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Aged Teacher Sues School Administrators for Refusing to Grant Promotion

Being too old for a supervisory post tend to shun employers. Administrators argue that aged employees lack the agility and attractiveness that are vital for leadership, but are present among younger employees. Sadly, this reason may put owners into legal trouble as Title VII of Civil Rights Act prohibits such ...

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Sexual Harassment Suit Against Steven Seagal Dismissed

Sexual Harassment Suit Against Steven Seagal Dismissed

Action star Steven Seagal made the news a few months ago in the most unsavory way when a former personal assistant accused him of sexual harassment and illegal sexual trafficking. The lawsuit, which was filed against him by a former model Kayden Nguyen, asked for more than a million dollars worth ...

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David Carradine’s Widow Sues French Film Company for Wrongful Death

David Carradine’s Widow Sues French Film Company for Wrongful Death

The wife of deceased actor David Carradine has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the French company who was handling Carradine’s film before he died. The actor had only been in Bangkok, Thailand for 3 days when he died. [caption id="attachment_270" align="alignright" width="168"] "David Carradine’s widow filed a Lawsuit for Wrongful ...

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Britney Spears’ Former Bodyguard Claims He Was Sexually Harassed

Britney Spears’ Former Bodyguard Claims He Was Sexually Harassed

Oops, she did it again. Former pop princess Britney Spears’ ex-bodyguard is now claiming that he was sexually harassed by the star during his employment. According to Fernando Flores, Spears constantly “came onto” him and walked around naked in front of him. He is allegedly considering filing a multi-million dollar lawsuit. [caption id="attachment_279" ...

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How To Survive An Office Romance Gone South

How To Survive An Office Romance Gone South

Breaking up is hard to do, especially if you’re involved with an officemate, or worse, a superior. In an era rife with sexual harassment lawsuits, many workplaces have enacted policies about prohibiting relationships between employees or managers such as Starbucks. But office rules and regulations cannot exactly stop love, especially since ...

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Various Wage and Hour-related Claims You Can File as a California Worker

Various Wage and Hour-related Claims You Can File as a California WorkerIncidents of wage theft are nothing new in the State of California. Indeed, many employers still commit violations to the state’s labor laws, wherein they either deliberately or unintentionally deny workers their labor rights. If you are a non-exempt worker in California, you know that you are a victim of wage theft if you have not been paid of your minimum wage and overtime wages. You are likewise a victim of wage theft if you have been denied meal and rest breaks, as well as denied tips. If this happens to you, it is important that you are aware of your rights and that you must take action of your situation right away.

Under the California Labor Code and the wage orders from the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC), you can bring your wage and hour-related claims against your employer by either filing a wage claim through the state’s Labor Commissioner or by hiring a Los Angeles labor attorney who can assist you in establishing a civil suit. Either of these two legal options can help you recover the wages that are owed to you.

Meanwhile, in responding to your employer’s wage and hour violations, you can actually file various claims, depending on your situation. In general, you file a wage claim, but there are actually specifics to it. Indeed, here are some of the various wage and hour-related claims that you can file as a California worker:

  • Wage claim for unpaid overtime. Under California law, a non-exempt employee is entitled to overtime pay, which is 1.5 times the regular rate of pay. Overtime is paid if you work for over 8 hours a day or over 40 hours in a workweek. If you have been misclassified as an independent contractor or as an exempt (salaried) worker, then your employer most likely did it to prevent it from paying you overtime. In that case, you need to file such claim with the Labor Commissioner or with the help of your chosen legal counsel.

  • Wage claim for minimum wage. Under California law, a non-exempt employee must be paid for all of his or her hours worked at the minimum wage rate of $9.00 per hour. If you are being paid less than that, then it is important that you file a wage claim that would entitled you to recover the difference of the amount you have been receiving for all your hours worked and the amount you should have been making at minimum wage. Apart from that, you may also be entitled to recover liquidated damages, which is equal to the amount of wages that your employer owes you.

  • Wage claim for your missed meal breaks or rest periods. Under California law, a non-exempt employee must be given an unpaid 30-minute lunch break for every 5 hours worked. Likewise, he or she must be afforded a paid 10-minuite rest period for every 4 hours. When you file a claim for missed meal or rest periods, you may be able to recover additional pay equivalent to one hour of pay.

  • Wage claim for doubletime pay. Under California law, doubletime wages are given to a non-exempt employee if he or she works more than 12 hours in a workday. The rate of pay should be twice his or her regular rate of pay. Like the minimum wage and overtime claims, it is important that you file a doubletime pay claim if the wages you received are not double your regular rate of pay.

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What You Need to Know About the Laws that Prohibit Religious Discrimination in the California Workplace

What You Need to Know About the Laws that Prohibit Religious Discrimination in the California Workplace

Living a life that is centered on your religious beliefs is a right that should not be taken away from you. If you are a California worker, you must be aware of the fact that discrimination or harassment on account of your religion is basically prohibited. Indeed, there are two pertinent laws that make it illegal for employers to commit certain discriminatory or harassing actions against employees and applicants on any aspect of employment.

On one hand, there is the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Not only does it protects individuals from discrimination and harassment on account of their religion, but also protects those of a certain race, color, national origin, and sex. Retaliation, or carrying out an adverse employment decision in response to one’s exercise of a protected right such as filing a religious discrimination complaint, is also not allowed under the federal law.

Basically, employers with 15 or more employees are subject to Title VII. Indeed, they cannot treat applicants or employees differently due to their practice of their religious beliefs. Likewise, harassing them verbally through generalizations of typical stereotypes is prohibited. The same prohibitions stipulated under Title VII also apply to individuals who associate with people who practice religious beliefs.

Also, under the federal law, reasonable accommodations must be provided. Generally, these are adjustments that employers may make in order for their employees to perform their jobs well. In the case of religious beliefs, modifications are allowed so that they can do their duties and responsibilities while still adhering to their religion. For instance, a worker may request to have his or her schedule changed in order to observe the Sabbath day. Employers, however, may not need to provide accommodations if it would pose undue hardship for their businesses.

Meanwhile, on the other hand, there is the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which is a state statute that likewise prohibits discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in the workplace on account of one’s religion. While Title VII covers 15 or more employees, the FEHA covers 5 or more employees. Like Title VII, the state statute cannot subject employees or applicants to any adverse employment decisions or treat them differently just because they practice or believe in their religion.

Until recently, however, the FEHA’s definition of “religious creed” expanded further to include “religious dress and grooming practices.” Here, it became even clearer that discriminating and harassing an individual just because he or she dresses or grooms in accordance to their religious beliefs or practices are prohibited. Thus, it is important for employers covered under the FEHA to accommodate workers by having them dress or groom themselves consistent to their religious beliefs. Again, employers may not provide such accommodations if it would cause undue hardship for their businesses.

For example, wearing hijabs for women of Islamic faith and wearing turbans for men of the Sikh faith must be allowed. Jewelry, artifacts, and other article of clothing of religious importance must likewise be allowed. Wearing a beard, shaving the head or sporting a long hair must be allowed, especially if it’s a customary grooming practice for their respective religion.

If you are a victim of religious discrimination in the California workplace, it is important that you are aware of your rights. Taking note of these laws would be advantageous for you, especially if you want to pursue legal action against your employer. Consulting a Los Angeles employment attorney is one of the best things you can do to establish a claim for discrimination on account of your religious beliefs.

Posted in Religious Discrimination.

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Older Employees May Be Getting Hired, But They Get Paid Less, Says Survey

Older Employees May Be Getting Hired, But They Get Paid Less, Says SurveyThe issue of the elderly in the workplace is rather commonplace in the realm of employment in the US. Indeed, there are some companies that are being indecisive when it comes to hiring and retaining older employees. There are also other instances wherein unfair treatment and other incidents of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation towards them become prevalent, especially during the hiring process and during promotions. The good news, though, is that many of the elderly, especially those who are near their retirement age, are getting hired. Bad news is that they are getting paid less.

That last point in the longstanding issues of the elderly when it comes to careers and the workplace is what the AARP, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, found out in a survey conducted by the non-government organization’s Public Policy Institute. The survey, which was released just last March 2015 and is entitled “The Long Road Back: Struggling to Find Work After Unemployment,” finds that although the unemployed elderly get to land jobs, they actually earn less than they did previously.

A total of 2,492 respondents aged 45 to 70 responded to the survey, all of which were unemployed at some point over the past five years. The study revealed that nearly half of them, or 48 percent, earned less than they did in their previous work. It becomes worse for those who got hired but were unemployed for a long time for about at least six months or so. About 59 percent of them have obtained jobs with lower yearly earnings. Surprisingly, 29 percent of the unemployed, as well as the 25 percent of those who were unemployed for a long time, have landed on jobs where they earn more.

One takeaway from the survey findings is that it is more than ever, the older unemployed are having difficulty getting rehired than their younger counterparts. In fact, half of them who have been unemployed over the last five years don’t have jobs; they’re either still looking for work or have already given up doing so. Around 73 percent of those who responded in the survey have been trying to look for jobs for at least six months or longer.

Another takeaway is that for those who were able to land jobs, 53 percent of them actually had to change occupations just so they could get to work. Indeed, it was necessary for them to be able to land jobs. But the most glaring statistic coming from the survey is that 12 percent of them say that age discrimination significantly affected their ability to be hired, followed by discrimination on account of one’s status as unemployed.

Despite the negative points that the findings provided, there are also positive things. Of note, nearly half of the newly-hired employees were able to experience better working conditions than in their previous work.

Age discrimination, as well as other factors, can truly make it hard for the older unemployed to get hired, sometimes to the point that they just quit becoming part of the workforce. But then, the elderly who still have the gusto to contribute their knowledge and skills can make it easy for them to land jobs by being aggressive in their job hunt and not putting up any delays in looking for work after becoming unemployed.

Posted in Age Discrimination.

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Using Twitter to Look for Jobs: Tips to Consider

Using Twitter to Look for Jobs Tips to ConsidervSocial media has since become the venue for job seekers trying to land jobs and hopefully jumpstart or continue on with their careers. Of course, when talking about the role of social media in the realm of employment, we quickly think of LinkedIn, the professional networking site where job seekers can create well-organized profiles that puts into account experiences, skills, and other pertinent information. While it is beneficial for job seekers to use LinkedIn as a way to get noticed by recruiters and prospective employers, trying to stand out from the competition can be quite a challenge.

As more and more people use LinkedIn for that purpose, it could be a matter of time before job seekers who are fresh off their stints from their previous companies may see that their notifications from potential employers start to dwindle. Fortunately, there are other channels within social media wherein unemployed professionals can truly give themselves a boost in putting their names out there for the employers and recruiters to see.

One of these channels is the use of one of the most popular social networking and microblogging site: Twitter. Indeed, people can take advantage of Twitter in order for them to establish their online personal brand, not to mention get noticed by other professionals who may be looking for prospects. If you are searching for a job right now, you would want to find better strategies to become successful in your job hunt. If Twitter is not yet within your sights, then it might be time to open an account now.

Meanwhile, here are some tips that are worth considering when you use Twitter for your job hunt.

  • Make sure that your Twitter handle is sounds and looks professional. If you haven’t set up one yet, make sure that you include your name and your profession, e.g. @[your name]_[profession]. You can also use your first name and surname as your Twitter handle; if you already have such, make sure that the content in your feed is generally positive.

  • Speaking of content, it would be great if you post something relevant to your profession or field. For example, if you saw an article or latest news in your field, tweet it by posting the link to the web page (you can use a URL shortener if you want to) together with the corresponding and relevant hashtags. You can also add a little something to your tweet, adding some thoughts to the article or news.

  • When you search for job openings, make sure that you keep yourself updated. Follow the Twitter profiles of companies you would like to work to for their latest job openings. You can also utilize the search option found in your profile; take note of your location, your profession, the job title, and other pertinent information for your search keywords.

  • You can still use your personal Twitter account to find potential employers and to get noticed by recruiters, as long as your handle is professional enough and, more importantly, you post generally positive posts. If you have content that might put off employers and recruiters, delete them immediately. Otherwise, you must create a professional Twitter account to use for your job search.

Posted in Employment Law.

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CA Bill Aims to Make Transgender Discrimination in Jury Selection Illegal

CA Bill Aims to Make Transgender Discrimination in Jury Selection IllegalMany states in the US have made great strides in ensuring that the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community is afforded the same rights and responsibilities in various aspects of society. One of them is the State of California, which is known for its progressive stance in protecting the rights of individuals of a certain sex or gender. Indeed, according to a Los Angeles employment lawyer, the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) provides that it is illegal for covered employers with 5 or more employees to discriminate against workers and applicants based on their gender, including their gender identity and gender expression.

This statute alone significantly impacts the members of the LGBT when it comes to employment. That does not stop there, however. The California Legislature, in fact, continues to introduce bills that would protect them from any form of discrimination, not just in employment. Last month, Assemblyman Mark Stone, (D-Monterey Bay) introduced Assembly Bill 87 (AB 87), relating to the jurors but focuses on the aspect of discrimination.

Basically, there is an existing law that states that it is prohibited for a certain party involved in a jury trial to use a “peremptory challenge” in an effort to remove a prospective juror during jury selection on the basis of an assumption that the latter is biased due to his race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, or similar grounds. “Peremptory challenge” refers to the prosecution and the defense being allowed to remove a prospective juror from being a part of the jury panel without providing any reason for his or her removal. Mr. Stone’s bill, AB 87, seeks to make a clarification regarding that said existing law.

The bill, which was introduced January 2015, aims to make it illegal to use the peremptory challenge clause for a prospective juror who is a transgender. If successfully passed into law, the bill would no longer allow either the prosecution or the defense in either a civil or criminal case to remove a juror based on the assumption that he or she is biased due to his or her characteristics as a transgender individual. Aside from this clarification, the bill also aims to prevent peremptory challenges based on the juror’s identification as part of an ethnic group, disability, and genetic information.

As recently as last month, AB 87 passed the Assembly floor via a 68-2 vote. It is now being read in the California Senate, under the Judiciary Committee. Last year, a similar measure was introduced; it passed the Assembly but was amended by the state’s Senate to focus on different issue.

AB 87 is just one of the many legislative bills that have been introduced recently that takes into account the rights of transgender individuals in California. The ones that have been recently enacted were those that involved transgender people given the permit to amend their names and their genders on their birth certificates without the need to secure a court order, as well the permit to have their gender identities appear in their death certificates.

Posted in employment discrimination, Sex and Gender Discrimination.

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Newly Approved Law for California Employers, Workers and Staffing Agencies and Contractors: The Subcontractor Bill

Newly Approved Law for California Employers, Workers and Staffing Agencies and Contractors The Subcontractor BillApproved by Governor Edmund “Jerry” Brown last September 28, the state of California will be expecting a new legislative bill entitled as the Assembly Bill No. 1897 (AB 1897) on the very first day of the approaching year of 2015. This newly approved law mainly targets the eradication of wage theft and other abuses that has been undertaken and practiced by unreasonable companies when dealing with human resources agencies and other labor contractors which are able to supply workers to them in prior years. The said unlawful actions are detailed as the failure to provide compensation insurance for workers, violating the existing laws concerning wage and hour and also the failure to withhold proper taxes.

In general, this subcontractor bill, upon effectivity, will start governing all employers of the state with various provisions which are carefully studied and composed to give ample protections towards these said employees. Some inclusions of this approved assembly include the following points:

- Sharing of all legal responsibility and liability should be done by all client employers with their respective human resources agencies and other labor contractors to ensure that all workers supplied by the said entities will receive the right amount of their wages as well as the compensation which is entitled to them.

- Client employers are not allowed to unfairly transfer all related legal duties that are administering the workplace safety provisions to these agencies and contractors with respect to the managed workers or employees.

- Impose that all client employers together with human resources agencies and labor contractors are not forbidden from mutually contracting for otherwise lawful remedies for actions which are against its provisions by other parties.

- Authorization of the Labor Commissioner, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the California Employment Development Department (CAEDD) to enforce the entire provisions of this assembly bill.

On the other hand, there are also some exclusions to consider when defining a client employer and also putting them into exemptions from all imposed liability under the discussed provisions of this subcontractor bill. To further clarify, these eliminations are applicable only with the following conditions and contracts. Some of these are:

- Business entities with less than 25 workers including the directly hired employees and also such companies with only 5 or fewer employees of which are provided by the said agencies and contractors at any given time.

- Motor carrier of property which also have engagements with another similar entity of which are also providing services with regards to transportation. Also, all employers that operate a third-party motor carrier are included in this specific point.

- Telephone companies, cable operators and direct-to-home satellite providers that build, install, maintain or even perform repair work under certain contracts. This is for as long as the name of the contractor is visible on the uniforms and vehicles of employees.

With greater liability for employers who will be committed with all abovementioned prohibitions of this newly approved law, the AB 2271, to combine with all existing employment laws, it is visibly true that all workers in the state of California are well taken care of by the government. True enough, there are still other assembly bills consisting of mandated paid sick leave for employees, volunteers and interns to receive protections against employee discrimination, requiring employers to organize training to their respective supervisors regarding sexual harassment addressed as an abusive conduct, retaliation victims to be entitled to claim civil penalties and more that are approved by Governor Brown.

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Posted in Employment Law.

Some Types of Workplace Discrimination among Aircraft Pilots

Some Types of Workplace Discrimination among Aircraft Pilots

The world had been shocked by the ill-fated MH370 that disappeared on March 8, 2014 and which was not yet located until today followed by an incident involving the MH17 which was then bound for Amsterdam wherein 283 passengers plus 15 crew members died and many similar events that happened last year. These situations have really created an alarm towards the mankind. However, while the fatalities resulted from misfortunate accidents affecting the aircrafts receives a lot of concerns from the general public, what most people are also unware of is the discriminations that most pilots are suffering from. Observed for decades, age discrimination is the leading problem that these professionals are distressed of.

Meanwhile, it’s not always the age of a pilot that is being mistreated and directly affecting their employment intentionally. Also, not every circumstance wherein a pilot was dismissed from work or either not accommodated during a hiring process means that he or she was subjected to ageism. However, there are other issues that this particular classification of workforce has been exposed and therefore distressed with. Other examples of workplace discrimination among pilots are included in the enumeration below.

Gender discrimination

Illegal actions such as refusal for employment are usually triggered by the element of age. In fact, the gender-based discrimination does not exempt the women pilots specifically when obtaining a job. According to data, although there are 6.61 percent of women pilots who are employed as of December 2013, this portion is still extremely small compared to the records of men pilots. Truly, when it comes to disparity regarding one’s gender, the aviation industry is greatly imperiled to such. Some claims expound that the absence of masculinity among the women pilots instead of the most important things is being prioritized by the hiring airlines and other similar entities which caused gender-based discrimination in the process.

Diabetes discrimination

Referred from an article released by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a pilot traced for using insulin to control diabetes will definitely be forbidden to obtain a medical certificate which is necessary before he or she can operate an aircraft. Meanwhile, there’s still other ways to receive a certificate although with a lower merit if a diabetic pilot is willing to undertake the required special procedures. With this option, although the pilot can perform similar tasks, he or she will be obliged to operate an aircraft as a student pilot, flight instructor and sports pilot during private and leisure activities alone. This practice is unfair because enough studies proving that insulin intakes do not affect the pilot’s skills were previously done.

On the other hand, issues regarding a pilot’s color blindness are supported by reasonable grounds. Apart from the maritime jobs, electronics-related works and employment in interior design, a person who would like to get employed in the aviation industry must not suffer from color blindness as well. This is because being able to distinguish color correctly is important for managing the devices and equipment fixed in every aircraft. The FFA requires every aspiring pilot to take the necessary test for normal color vision first.

In addition, the aspect of a pilot’s decision-making and mental health is another significant element that resulted to some confusion. Yet, these professionals should incorporate a good mental health so not to execute some rare instances wherein some pilots killed themselves together with their passengers due to unknown reasons. In any of the said variables and all other things which assuredly affect the pilots, securing that any action that will be done towards them should have a sensible motive so not to root any type of employment discrimination against them.

Posted in employment discrimination.

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Proven Ways Forming the Proper Hygiene of Employees

Proven Ways Forming the Proper Hygiene of EmployeesFulfilling the crucial obligation of protecting the consumers, the food industry, among other types must incorporate a good hygiene among the employees at all times most especially during food preparations and when handling it. As a matter of fact, health threats such as food poisoning also referred to as foodborne illness like diarrhea is the popular consequence of failing to follow such. This may even lead to one’s death if an immediate and proper medication is not sought. Accordingly, symptoms comprising of abdominal pains, diarrhea, fever, headache, nausea, stomach pains and vomiting will manifest quickly after an individual digested such contaminated foods.

Meanwhile, for every company owners who are venturing in food businesses, it’s a critical matter to consider because the lack of proper hygiene among their employees may result negative effects towards their companies as a whole. Here’s an enumeration of things that a food business owner can implement in his or her workplace:

  • A constant practice of hand washing.  It’s common for us to hear about washing our hands before meals and doing other things. However, what a few are still unaware of is the fact that failing to obey may expose the consumers of contaminated foods with dangerous bacteria including E. coli and Salmonella. If you are a food business owner, it’s a security to instruct your employees to wash their hands afore starting their tasks, handling cooked items, managing wastes, holding money and even during times of cleaning the equipment and utilities which they cast-off.
  • Disposing of food that falls off the right working place. Also, mishandling foods during transfers or other purposes in any stage of the production is inevitable. However, an employee should be reminded and be well-informed that a workplace’s floor carries millions of harmful bacteria even if no one can see it. This is caused by the volume of people who had walked from different places before stepping on such floor’s surface. Thus, even if the floor doesn’t appear dirty, it’s imperative to dispose the fallen food items instead of mixing it with others to ensure cleanliness.
  • Regular cleaning of equipment and utensils. Sanitation among these things should be seriously instigated by every food business owners at all times. Thus, conducting seminars that will edify the employees about the different procedures of cleaning used equipment and utensils. Heat and chemical methods, machines and ware washing as well as proper storing of these items should be explained among the workforce of the food industry. On the other hand, a food business owner may seek for expert’s services ensuring that this task is performed with fineness.
  • Wearing of proper working clothes and other inclusions. Evidently, the employees of food establishments can also transmit germs if they are dealing with the lack of proper clothes and other things for hygiene. Relatively, tidiness is secured by fixing hairs with pins and hair nets, wearing of masks and of course a dependable pieces of gloves. On the other hand, while the said things aim to prevent contaminated foods it’s equally important to contemplate about the employees’ safety as well. Evidently, the right protective gears will create best results.

Whether it’s a convenience shop, grocery store, restaurants and other food-related businesses, a proper hygiene among every employee should be checked in a regular manner so to ensure that it’s exclusively the best interest of every consumer or customers that will be served. Apart from that, when the right sanitation as well as the preceding point is present, the responsible company owners venturing in food businesses can reach success with a trusted reputation and without forsaking others. Making sure that the food items are not exceeding with the specified expiration date is a great measure to take. Lastly, smoking should be prohibited in such establishments at all times particularly inside the kitchen and other facilities in the workplace.

Posted in Labor Laws.

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Things to Do When You Are Discriminated Against at Work

Things to Do When You Are Discriminated Against at WorkDiscrimination may occur in any aspect of employment, not just during hiring and termination. Indeed, a certain decision that your employer might carry out on you, such as being demoted, not being promoted, being assigned to a lower level job, or being reduced of one’s salary or wages may have discriminatory intent. Also, discrimination may be on the basis of protected characteristics such as race, sex, disability, religion, national origin, color, age, and others mentioned under federal and California anti-discrimination laws.

If you believe you have been discriminated against in any aspect of your employment, it is important that you take action immediately. As such, here are the things to do when you are experiencing discrimination at work:

  • Unlawful actions of discrimination and/or harassment are not made known to the employer because not all victims are firm in asserting their rights. If you feel you have been discriminated against, let your employer become aware of what happened to you. Tell your immediate superior about your situation. If he or she is the one discriminating against or harassing you, then you may file a discrimination and/or harassment complaint to your human resources director or someone with managerial duties in-charge of accepting such a complaint.
  • Always remember that it is the responsibility of your employer to prevent, correct, and remedy the issue of discrimination and harassment in the workplace. As such, it is important that you let your employer know that your situation is something that should be taken seriously. Indeed, a written report must be written every time you file a complaint. Those who are in-charge of handling such issues must conduct investigations concerning your allegations. More importantly, imposing disciplinary actions on the perpetrators must be done to finally rectify the issue and finally put it to rest.
  • Every incident of discrimination or harassment must be taken down in a journal. It should have as much details as possible: dates, estimate time, location, people involved, witnesses (if any), and the conduct displayed towards you by the offender/s. If there are e-mail conversations in relation to your situation, keep them in your email inbox. Any objects, letters, or hard copies of correspondences that are discriminatory or harassing must be kept.
  • If your company has anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies in place, review them right away. You can use it to your advantage once your company steered away from what the policies’ provisions.
  • If your employer did not respond to your internal complaints, you must file a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). If you let the federal or state government involved, your issue may be quickly resolved. Otherwise, you need to exercise your legal options by retaining the services of a Los Angeles employment lawyer. Upon the receipt of your right-to-sue notice, you can now file a private lawsuit against your employer with the help of your chosen legal counsel.

Being treated differently at work, especially if such an action is based on your personal characteristic, is definitely an uneasy feeling. However, you must know that such a situation should not be left ignored. Responding on the issue by exercising the abovementioned actions is imperative as an assertion of your rights as an employee.

Posted in employment discrimination, Labor Laws.

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New California Bill to Protect the Unemployed from Discrimination

New California Bill to Protect the Unemployed from DiscriminationUnder the existing provisions of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees and applicants o n account of their personal characteristics. Protected classes covered by these protections include race, religion, age, color, sex, gender (including identity and expression), sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, familial and marital status, source of income, genetic information, and disability. Any time soon, however, another set of people will be set to be included as a protected class: the unemployed.

Indeed, last February 25, 2015, California Assembly member Ian Calderon, a Democrat representing the 57th Assembly District of the state, introduced last February 25, 2015 Assembly Bill (AB) 676. The bill, if passed into law, will be added to Chapter 3.95 (commencing with Section 1045) to Part 3 of Division 2 of the California Labor Code. Said chapter is entitled “Employment Discrimination on the Basis of Employment Status.” Under said chapter, “employment status” means the present unemployment of an individual, regardless of the length of time he or she has been unemployed.

Granted that it reaches several committees in the assembly floor and is signed by the Governor of California, covered employers, as well as employment agencies and individuals operating job posting sites in the Internet within the state, are not allowed to advertise or announce job openings in any medium—i.e. print, digital, etc.—“that includes a provision stating or indicating that an individual’s current employment is a requirement for the job.” However, employers, employment agencies, and individuals running such sites may still indicate the requirement unless the job opening is based on a bona fide occupational qualification or BFOQ.

Likewise, the bill would not allow the same to ask applicants to disclose, either orally or written, information about their current employment status, including them being unemployed, except as specified. Furthermore, employers, employment agencies, and individuals running job posting websites cannot interfere with or discriminate against individuals who exercise their rights specified under Chapter 3.95.

Since this is under the California Labor Code, an employer, employment agency, or individual running a job posting website in the state is subject to civil penalties. Since the bill does not authorize private cause of action, aggrieved applicants may only file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner, which would then impose penalties on those found to have violated the provisions under said Chapter. First violation would incur $1,000.00; second violation $5,000.00, and $10,000.00 for the succeeding violations. If passed into law, AB 676 would be implemented on and after July 1, 2016.

Meanwhile, AB 676 is not the only bill that focused on protecting the unemployed from discrimination in the hiring process. In January 2012, AB 1450 was introduced by Assembly member Michael Allen and co-authored by few others. It would have made California the second state that banned discrimination based on one’s unemployment had it passed; Governor of California Edmund “Jerry” Brown vetoed it in September 2012.

The status of AB 676 is currently active: it has been referred to the Assembly’s committee on labor and employment, with the hearing date set on April 8, 2015.

Posted in employment discrimination, Unemployment Issues.

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