Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New California Employment and Labor Laws to Watch Out for in 2014

The year 2014 is just around the corner, and as it is, everyone in the workforce, both employers and employees, are expecting changes in the California employment and labor. New laws signed by Calif. Governor Jerry Brown will be made effective next year, and as such, employers would have to make the necessary changes in their employment handbooks, as well as in their practices and policies.

Here is the list of some of the notable employment and labor laws in California to watch out for in 2014:


•    Assembly Bill 10. This bill was signed September 25 of this year, which would raise the state’s minimum wage from the current per-hour rate of $8.00 to $9.00 on July 1, 2014. By Jan. 1 2016, the minimum wage would increase once again, this time to $10.00. This bill, however, has been met with criticisms, especially from some businesses in California.

•    Senate Bill 770. This bill expanded the Paid Family Leave program of qualified California workers. Before the law, employees who took time off to take care of a child, spouse, parent or domestic partner with a serious illness, or to bond with an adopted or foster child can collect state disability insurance. The new law, which will be made effective July 1 next year, would include taking care for seriously ill grandparents, grandchildren, siblings and in-laws.

•    Senate Bill 496. This newly-signed bill would protect workers from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation for reporting local law violations.

•    Assembly Bill 218. Signed into law October 10, this bill states that local and state government agencies searching for potential employees are now prohibited from asking applicants regarding their criminal convictions. Here, agencies may still ask for the prospects’ criminal background, so long as the former determine the minimum employment qualifications.

•    Assembly Bill 263. This newly-signed bill would protect employees against unfair employer practices related to immigration, especially if they exercise their rights that are protected under the state’s Labor Code. Here, covered employers are not allowed to threatening employees in contacting immigration authorities when the latter complains about certain employer violations.

With these new laws taking into effect in 2014, employees can expect stronger protections against discrimination and other unfair employment practices, as well as be made aware of the changes in the realm of California labor. Meanwhile, an employee who thinks his or her employer violated any provisions in any of these new laws may consult with an expert Los Angeles employment lawyer.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

California Becomes 7th State to Forbid Employment Discrimination Against Victims of Domestic Violence

Employees in California who had been victims of domestic violence can now rejoice after Governor Jerry Brown  signed last October 11 Senate Bill 400, a bill that would provide them protections against employment discrimination.

Stop domestic violence!
Image: chetna-dfw.org

Effective at the start of 2014, the newly-signed bill makes it unlawful for covered California employers to discriminate or retaliate against, or wrongfully terminate employees who have been victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. The legislation also requires employers to provide victims reasonable safety accommodations, including changing a work phone number and implementing a safety plan within the workplace, among others.

SB 400 was sponsored by Senators Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), and Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles). With the signing of the bill, California became just the seventh state to forbid workplace bias against victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault in any aspect of employment, following Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island.

It can be remembered that the introduction of SB 400 in the legislature was primarily brought into the spotlight after an incident involving a California teacher named Carie Chatsworth. She was a second-grade teacher of 14 years at an elementary school in El Cajon when she was fired last April after her estranged husband who verbally and emotionally abused her for several years went to the school’s parking lot, causing the campus to go on a preventive lockdown.

The man was later arrested; however, Chatsworth later received a notice telling her that the events that transpired involving her former husband resulted in her contract to teach for the school to not be renewed.

Long before the bill was passed and was still being heard in the California Senate, Chatsworth testified before a Senate committee, explaining the need of victims “to be able to speak up about what is happening so they can get the help they need to leave their abusive situation.” Fortunately, the bill was passed, thanks to the all-out support from its sponsors, as well as civil rights groups.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles employment lawyers see this recent legislation as a great way to extend employment protections to employees working in California. With the passage of the bill, legal professionals believe that victims of domestic violence are no longer at risk of losing their jobs.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wrongfully Terminated Employee Scores Victory Against Her Employers

Since time immemorial, women have been falling victims to the many forms of discrimination in the workplace. Day in and day out, women are being harassed in different ways. Some get subjected to physical abuse. From groping, to rubbing of certain body parts, even with simple sexually-charged jokes and remarks. All these acts of sexual harassment clearly violates women’s rights and are prohibited based on federal and state laws implemented everywhere in the country.

Are the laws not yet enough?

There are a number of federal laws, strengthened by many state laws that help put a stop to these forms of discrimination and abuse. However, some employers and supervisors think that think they can get away with these laws. Moreover, these people think that they can manipulate every woman in their respective workplace. Just like in the complaint filed by a female employee, Jennifer Johnson from Wyoming. Miss Johnson was said to be harassed by one of her female supervisors at a construction site. After she talked to the owner of the company to report the said abuse, she was then terminated from her work. Under existing laws against discrimination and wrongful termination in California, you can file charges to avenge the injustice that you’ve been subjected to.

What should a female victim do?

Just like Miss Johnson, you should first seek remedy internally. However, when that fails, you can always turn to government agencies like the US EEOC. They will help you come up with your complaint, assisting you from the preparation of the case, its filing, even to the settlement and litigation of your complaint. They will help you seek remedies for the different kinds of abuses that you get subjected to. And just like Miss Johnson, you too can get justice for the harassment that you have been subjected to.

What can you do to finally stop these acts of discrimination from happening?

First up, you should familiarize yourself with your rights. Such reading materials can be found online. Read and understand them so you will know when your rights are being trampled on by other people. This could also help you know what you should do if you’ve been a victim of such acts. Just look for and hire the services of a top-notch California lawyer to help you prepare and file charges against those who harassed and discriminated you.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Understanding How to Prove Retaliatory Termination

Retaliation simply means an action that is made out of revenge. In employment, retaliation usually happens when an employer punishes you in any way or form for doing what is right, such as reporting the employer’s unlawful conduct.

If you are an employee, you are entitled to your right to report to the appropriate employment agency your employer’s engagement in an illegal activity. However, if you do so complain and you have been subjected to an adverse employment action such as termination, then you may have a case of retaliatory termination or discharge. It is also possible that you may be subjected to discrimination or harassment before getting fired.

You can only be protected under various federal laws if you already filed your complaint of discrimination or harassment with your employer’s human resources department but wasn’t able to address it. There are a lot of federal laws that protect you from getting terminated in retaliation for doing what is right, such as the following:

•    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
•    Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA);
•    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);
•    Equal Pay Act (EPA); and
•    Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), among others.

Under these laws, current and former employees are protected from retaliation. There is also no need to prove that you were treated differently in employment because of being a member of a protected group like your race, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability.

Moreover, under federal employment laws, your employer cannot retaliate against you if you engaged in a so-called “protected activity.” One example of a protected activity is when you refuse to obey an order you believe is illegal under the prevailing laws, or you filed a complaint citing discrimination or harassment in your workplace. You cannot also be subjected to retaliatory termination if you participated in an investigation, hearing, or lawsuit against your employer’s perceived illegal activity.

In order for you to establish a valid claim of retaliatory termination, you must not only prove that you were engaged in a “protected activity,” but you believe that your termination is connected to it. The best way to fully establish your claim against your employer is to seek the expertise of a Los Angeles employment lawyer.

Friday, September 27, 2013

About Pregnancy Discrimination According to the EEOC

Discrimination on the basis of sex is prohibited under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. This form of workplace bias does not only include harassment towards the opposite or same sex and discrepancy in terms of pay and compensation for both sexes, but also include pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.

Credit: Steadyhealth.com

As it is, pregnancy discrimination in employment involves treating a female applicant or employee unfavorably because of her pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition. Since it is considered sex discrimination, pregnant employees and applicants are protected under Title VII via the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), a law amending the said federal law.

Basically, the PDA does not allow covered employers with 15 or more employees to discriminate a female applicant or employee based on her pregnancy in any aspect of employment, from hiring, termination, pay and compensation, fringe benefits (e.g. leave, health insurance), to any term or condition of employment.

Having a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth could result to an employee not being able to continue her job. If this is so, her employer must treat her the same way as an employee with a temporary disability. Providing reasonable accommodations (e.g. lighter job duties, alternative job assignments) and pregnancy and maternity leave can be provided to the pregnant employee.

Also, harassing an employee or applicant because of her pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition is likewise not allowed under the PDA. It is considered illegal if the harassment is frequent and causes a hostile work environment that may result in an adverse employment action, such as termination, demotion, or deprivation of employment privileges.

Covered employers of the PDA that allow employees with temporary disabilities to take a leave must also do the same to employees with pregnancy- or childbirth-related disabilities. Incidentally, the Family and Leave Act (FMLA) allows new parents, including foster and adoptive parents, to be eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave (unless the employee has earned it) in order for them to take care of their newborn.

Meanwhile, if you are an employee and you have been discriminated against, say, fired, by your employer because of your pregnancy, then it is best that you consult with a Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer. It may also help if you file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Helpful Pointers for Working More Happily with Your Co-workers

Having a strong relationship with your co-workers really matters a lot, especially if you want a workplace to be as happy and productive as possible. Basically, California employment discrimination issues happen too often in most workplaces in the state, but if you and your co-workers get along together socially and professionally, then the likelihood of a major inconvenience won’t materialize.

Meanwhile, here are some helpful pointers on how you can promote a happy workplace:

•    Establishing strong friendships with your colleagues makes for a fun working environment. This is what many people believe, despite others who opt to avoid making friends at work just because they believe personal and professional life should not be intertwined. Having close relationships with your colleagues does not only promote happiness, but is also known to reduce anxiety, among other positive effects.

•    But then, if you are currently in a relationship with someone, stay away from any situations with one of your colleagues that might tempt you to do something bad.

•    If you are the introvert type of person who would rather work alone, it might be best for you to allot your time to getting to know other people in your workplace. Socializing with others gives you and your co-workers a boost, especially on the moods of both introverts like you and extroverts.

•    Always identify the problem. Whenever you have an issue with a colleague, especially if he or she gets under your skin, try to know why.

•    Try to talk to a few people in your workplace whom you have not known too well. That way, you will feel more socially comfortable. Also, doing so will facilitate work flow, and the more you often see someone, the more intelligent or attractive he or she that person will seem. That is what you call repeated exposure.

•    Be as casual as you can be, but do not forget to draw the line. Divulging too much personal information about yourself may turn off some of your colleagues whom you have already established a close relationship with.

As long as you maintain a strong friendship with your colleagues, not only will there be work flow and productivity. All problems that all of you may encounter at work can be sorted out right away. Plus, you will be avoiding any instances regarding major employment issues such as discrimination and harassment.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

100 Years of Department of Labor: 100 Years of Fighting For Employee Protection

In March 4, 1913, the workers in the United States have found an ally in the government. In that day, legislation paved the way for the creation of the US Department of Labor. This agency of the government is responsible for representing the Labor Sector in the White House. The DOL is responsible for ensuring that the rights and welfare of the American workforce are protected and upheld at all times. This ensures the protection of every worker from abuse, harassment, discrimination, and other unfair practices by employers. This also makes sure that all the employment and labor laws are properly implemented.

The DOL: A hundred years after

One hundred years after its institution, the DOL has continued to not just provide protection for employees, it is also is responsible for the creation of jobs, the improvement of working conditions, and ensuring that workers are provided with access to benefits and are aware of their rights. In celebration of its centennial the following events highlight the agency’s contributions in its 100 years of existence:

  • The release of a report about the Moynihan Black Poverty Report and what 50 years after

  • A video about the state of the US Labor and Employment Relations for the past 100 years

  • A Bloomberg report about the Women’s Bureau’s Esther Peterson and how she have fought for the equal pay for women in the workplace

  • MSNBC’s report that honors former Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, the architech of Social Security on her 133rd birthday

  • The posting of a question about the DOL on Jeopardy

  • The choosing and the celebration of the life of Frances Perkins as the best “Labor saint

  • A Federal News Radio guesting of Carl Fillichio, senior adviser for Public Affairs and Communications of the Labor Department where the Labor sector’s past, present, and future was discussed

  • Celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and

  • An academic symposium with the Labor Department held in Cornell University

DOL: 100 years and beyond

The celebration of the Labor Department’s 100th year is just one of the many more celebrations that are about to come. A group of Los Angeles employment lawyers believe that the agency through its leadership and the participation of all citizens can make a huge impact in once and for all ensure the fostering of a perfect working environment for every American. That is why these Los Angeles attorneys encourage everybody to be an active player in helping achieve the goals of the Labor Department in the next hundreds of years.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Employers’ Guide in Legally Laying Off Employees in California

Deciding to lay off some of your employees is definitely a difficult decision to do. It is a tough situation to be in, especially if you know that the workers you are about to let go are long ways to go before they are hired by their new employers. Aside from that, doing so is already a hard one, especially that layoffs are governed under the prevailing federal and California employment and labor laws.

Being an employer covered by such laws, it is important that you are aware whether your decision to lay off some of your employees duly violates any legal standards, especially if you operate your business in California. You wouldn’t want to face a wrongful termination lawsuit from a discontented former employee whom you’ve included in your mass layoff, right?

The Legal Ways of Laying Off Employees in California

To better understand what you need to do in case you plan to lay off a group of employees, here is a guide on how you can do so legally in the State of California:

•    Before anything else, retain a good business law attorney first. He or she will surely help you give sound legal advice to help protect you from any lawsuits that may hit you along the way, especially in your decision to lay off employees.

•    When announcing layoffs, it is imperative that you provide proper notice. Under the California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), you must do so within 30 days before the layoff date, as opposed to the federal WARN wherein notices must be given 60 days prior. If you decide on a “mass layoff,” the state law states that you can lay off at least 50 employees, either full-time or part-time. If you want to include some of the latter, make sure that they have worked six of the previous 12 months.

•    At the day of the layoff, ensure that their final payments—accrued vacation leaves, bonuses, and other due wages—must be forwarded to them during that day or the day after.

•    Very important: keep employee records. For every employee you laid off, it is important that you preserve a detailed paper trail as to the circumstances of the layoff and the courses of action you took to arrive at such decision. This will help you a lot if one of them decides to sue you.

Always keep in mind to uphold the rights of the employees you are about to lay off, especially when it comes to their final pay and other compensations. More importantly, you must carefully plan out your layoffs as dictated by the California employment laws to prevent you from facing discrimination or other labor-related lawsuits.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Some of the Well-known Race Discrimination Cases in the United States

California employment discrimination is nothing common, just as it is in the whole country. Most of the time, such workplace bias is often based on race. However, thanks to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as other state laws such as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), employees working in the state are now protected from any adverse actions of their employers, especially if race is one of the motivating factors.

Speaking of discrimination on the basis of race, it is always good to reflect on how far the United States had gone through in terms of battling such form of bias not only in the workplace, but in society in general. A lot of racial discrimination cases in the previous decades have resulted in many landmark legal decisions, which directly changed the landscape of how the term “equality” should be defined as mandated by the U.S. Constitution.

Here are some of the well-known race discrimination cases in the United States that were proven instrumental in laying the groundwork for societal equality among the American people:

•    Brown v. Board of Education. In 1954, this landmark case made racial segregation in the United States unconstitutional. Before that, the notion of a “separate but equal” society ruled much of the country for more than 60 years, thanks to the Plessy v. Ferguson case of 1896. It was during that time wherein racial minorities, particularly African-Americans, were excluded from engaging in activities and being in areas dominated by whites. If not for the Supreme Court’s decision on the Brown case, racial segregation may still be present in the country.

•    Guinn v. United States and Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections. Despite the 1870 ratification of the 15th Amendment, which gave black and other minority men the right to vote, a lot of states discourage them to vote. Good thing there were landmark cases that made it possible for them to exercise such right as amended by the Constitution. The Guinn case, for example, for one, nullified the grandfather clauses of 1915, which favored mostly white citizens. Moreover, the Harper case of 1966 abolished poll taxes that disenfranchised deprived citizens, particularly blacks.

•    Loving v. Virginia. In 1967, the Supreme Court deemed that marriages between mixed-race couples are unconstitutional. Along with the Brown case in 1954, the Loving case put an end to state-sponsored race discrimination in the country.

While these laws paved the way for providing equal treatment to people of all races, racism is still a prominent problem, especially in today’s society. But then again, the federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination in all aspects of society, including employment, continue to protect people of all races and ethnicity from any adverse advances or actions.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Independence Day Gift to Same-sex Couples in the Workplace

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community has received its early Independence Day gift last week; the striking out of one of the Defense of Marriage Act’s (DOMA) provisions. The Supreme Court struck down DOMA’s Section 3 which allows gay married couples the same rights when it comes to federal benefits that straight married couples do get. This is a landmark victory for the LGBT community as it is one of the major rulings that favor equal rights for all citizens, regardless of what their sexual preferences are. This event will greatly help ensure equality in the workplace. A Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer lauds this latest decision by the Supreme Court as he says that this will better help the elimination of discrimination in the workplace on the basis of one’s sex.

It is understandable that most gay communities are still celebrating now for this really is a sweet victory for them. This win is an important step for them to achieve their quest for totally equal rights for everyone no matter what their sexual preferences are. But when the smoke all clears, what does this latest achievement really mean for them? How does the Supreme Court ruling affect them and affect the employers? Here are some answers to people’s common questions about this latest development.

What does this ruling really mean?

Basically, federal benefits that apply to an employee’s spouse will now be made available for the same-sex spouse of an employee. However, what employers need to focus on is how they’d extend benefits to employees’ spouse that include health and retirement benefits, taxes, family leaves and more.

What if you are working in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage?

This is a bit tricky because there are still states that do not recognize same-sex marriages. For these states, you may need the help of a good lawyer to give you guidance by sharing their legal opinion about these laws.

How will the inconsistencies between states be solved?

After the Supreme Court ruling, some laws of various states may need to be re visit and amend certain states may need to revisit and change such provisions of some of their laws to help ensure that the ruling of the laws to ensure that every same-sex couples get the most out of this law.

This new law may truly have brought freedom to the LGBT community. However, there are a lot of insistencies with current laws that makes this recent ruling rather confusing. And so, if you have questions about this ruling, you must not hesitate to ask a Los Angeles attorney for his legal advice. This way, you’d be able to claim your rights as an employee and as a citizen, and avoid abuse and discrimination in the workplace. When that day comes where there are equal rights for every American, no matter what color, race, or gender preferences they may have, then we can truly say that we are living in the “land of the free, the home of the brave.”

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Things You Must Look Out for If Ever You Get Terminated in California

The State of California is known as an “at will” state, which means that employees can be terminated at any time with or without just cause. Usually, such employment decisions are handled by the employers’ Human Resources departments. Despite the “at will” status of employees, some employer-employee relationships are bound by contracts.

That being said, termination of employees, regardless if the employee is considered at-will or contracted, should be in adherence with the prevailing employment and labor laws of the state, so it is a must that you make sure that your employer meets and follows these laws.

One of the things that you must know as an employee is how termination should go down. If you are an at will employee, you must make sure that the reason for your termination is not based on any discrimination or retaliation. If you are a contracted worker, on the other hand, your termination must only be based on your failure to follow certain provisions set forth in your contract.

Also, you must make sure that your employer gives you important documentation showing the reason why you were fired. This should include any behavior that caused your termination, as well as prior warnings you’ve incurred as regards to your behavior. For reference, your employer will record your termination into your work history file.

Under the existing California employment and labor laws, you are entitled to all wages due to you. These include all your hours worked, as well as paid vacation leaves you did not use. All of these must be paid to you during your termination date and not on the next scheduled pay date.

Although some employers follow these very basic procedures in terminating an employee, some others take advantage of the latter’s “at will” status, or illegally terminate the latter even though a contract between them exists. In this regard, the prevailing employment and labor laws in California also provide the necessary protections for employees who have become victims of wrongful discharge by their employers.

If you have been subjected to such, then you must first air your complaint with the human resources department of your company. If your company does not address your grievances, then it is a must that you file a complaint with the appropriate agency. Better yet, you may seek the expertise of a Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Picking the Best Lawyers Made Easy

Have you been a victim of workplace discrimination,wage and hour disputes, as well as other more cases in the workplace? You are probably itching to file the necessary complaint and get justice for all of the wrong that has been done to you. But to be able to win the complaint you are filing, you have to be able to come up with a strong, solid case and a good team to back you up. Being assisted by nothing but the best lawyer would be very helpful to ensure your case’s victory. So here are tips on how you can find and hire top Los Angeles employment lawyers that you can find. 
-          Get quality referrals. Talk to your family and relatives. They probably have been in contact with a good lawyer. Or perhaps, they have friends and other relatives that have been through legal battles before. You can also get referrals from your local State Bar Association. These would help you get the best lawyers possible to help ensure your win in the case you are filing.

-         Screen possible candidates. After you have asked for referrals, come up with a shortlist of the best possible lawyers to hire. Interview the candidates to help you find the best lawyers you can find. A shorter “shortlist” can help you come up with the best candidates for the job.

-          Interview the top candidates after a series of screening. You may need to personally meet with the lawyer-candidates and ask them questions personally. Ask about their law experience, their specialty. Ask for names of previous clients and get additional information. Ask them if they have been involved in employment law activities like legal seminars and professional organizations. These could help you come up with finest lawyers ready for the final selection process.

-          Know the costs. The one final thing that could affect your decision is the cost of their service. Are they too expensive for your budget? Find the best compromise between a good and an affordable lawyer.

Getting representation in the courts is critical to ensure that you get the best services possible. Your choice could spell the difference between winning and losing your complaint. So pick the best possible lawyer you can find to get justice for all the wrongdoings done against you in the workplace.

Friday, May 17, 2013

New Reason for Whistleblowers to Surface

Everyone grew up with various institutions inculcating the right values. It is one’s nature to believe in what’s right and stand up for it. However, as one grows up and deals with the real world, he or she faces deception, corruption, abuse, and all bad things that one can think of. With all of the negativity around, some people are lured and swayed into being one of the bad guys. Meanwhile, others choose to just keep quiet and leave in peace. Everybody’s innate goodness dictates what’s wrong and some people do go and stand up for what is right.

Fighting for what’s right

These days, doing what’s right can be very difficult. You’d face all of the possible discouragements that will make you think twice about doing what you have to do. In the workplace for example, your employer might retaliate against you, terminating you with no valid reason, making life harder for you and your family. That should not discourage you from doing what’s right for the government has put in place a law that will protect you from retaliation. Ever since its implementation in 1989, the Whistleblower Act has been able to provide the protection to employees that have reported and disclosed information of fraud, abuse, waste, or violations of laws, rules, or regulations. Many workers have benefited from the protection that this law provides.

Whistleblower’s act: Reloaded

However, federal workers are still falling victims to violation of whistle blowing laws. That is why the Senate came up with the Whistleblower Protection and Enhancement Act of 2012 that aims to cover the loopholes of the law, especially for federal employees. Here are some of the vital provisions of this new whistleblower protection law:

•    Clearer, wider scope of protection. The statutes of who’s eligible for protection has been changed to cover more and more people who come forward to report wrongdoings in the workplace
•    Discourages retaliation against federal workers. Through expanded penalties for any act of retaliation, it is more difficult to retaliate against others.
•    Removal of provisions that are “unfriendly” to whistleblowers. By removing some statutes that make it difficult for whistle blowers to seek justice, more and more people will be encourage to stand up and fight for their rights.

Going against people in authority is a difficult thing to do. However, these new protection offered by the recently amended Whistleblower’s act should give you the courage to stand up for what is right to finally right what is wrong in your workplace.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Two Seniors Get Almost a $100k As Company Rejects Their Referral

Age is just a number; that is what an old adage says. But in reality people are critical to age, including companies. Did you know that most employers would rather have younger, “cheaper” employees than experienced and more senior employees? If you think about it, the wiser decision would be retaining the best and most experienced workers. However, most businesses think otherwise. Why is it so?

More than a senior employee’s increasing paycheck, they also need various accommodations on the job. For example, older employees get sickly in time that requires them to take frequent leaves from work. Some senior workers also have a harder time adapting to varying trends at work. These factors can put them at a disadvantage compared to younger employees. Despite their great experience and know-how about the biz, controlling costs and maximizing assets can make them less competitive in the workplace.

Age Discrimination is Against the Law

Recently, two electricians in their 60’s and 70’s were denied jobs when they applied for a work in an electronic utility company. The two senior men were rejected by the company just because of their age. Instead, the company hired two men in their twenties. The men’s applications were denied even though they were referred to the company for their qualifications. This is a clear violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA).

The two old men then did the right thing. They turned to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and filed Age discrimination raps against the company that turned down their application. Soon enough, they got a settlement in their favor where they got monetary compensation. This case is a clear indication that people can stand up and fight for their rights.

The federal and state governments have various employment laws and are doing everything it can to implement such laws properly. But for these laws to work, the government needs the active participation of the citizens. By standing up against people who discriminate, abuse, and harass people, you can get the justice you deserve and hold people who commit such infractions accountable for their wrongdoings. By doing so, you don’t only fight for your rights, you also save others from being victims of abuse in the workplace.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Discrimination: How Does It Start and How Can You End It

Photo Credits to: beforeitsnews.com
Nobody deserves to be treated less. All human beings are created equally no matter what their differences are. Everybody has their different skills and abilities that when meshed together can create great results. However some people find it quite hard to open up and treat all of the people with fairness and equality. Some think of others less just because of their physical appearance or because of their race.

Why discrimination happens?

According to studies there are some reasons as to why men discriminate. Here are some of them.

Has something to do with evolution.
Men have adaptive strategies to things that are different to them. This defensive response proved to work well in some situations. However, when acts become prejudice to groups, this response becomes bad and ceases to be adaptive. That is when discrimination happens.

Misrepresentation of facts. Stereotyping may have positive attributes; however, these have harmful effects on their subjects. Negative stereotyping is usually created from a certain truth that has been affecting the sense of self-worth in some people.

Ignorance, fear, anger, or jealousy. These things lead to the formation of bigoted and xenophobic attitudes that hurt others.

Stopping discrimination in the workplace

Now that you understand where discrimination comes from, how do you go around and stop it? First, people who discriminate must be properly educated. By knowing the truths from made-up ideas, one will be able to understand that discrimination has serious effects on the people you inflict it to. One should also be made realize of how seriously these acts affect people. Finally, you must eliminate fear, anger, or jealousy by fostering a positive attitude in the workplace; a harmonious relationship between the workers in a workplace.

Moves to eliminate discrimination in the federal sector

Despite the various laws and efforts made to prevent workplace discrimination, truth is that it still exists. And so the government, through its agencies has been continuously coming up with new projects to promote equality in the workplace. One of those is the No FEAR Act. According to a Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer this new law has provisions that are specifically made to prevent discrimination among federal sector employees. And so if you have been working in the federal sector and continue to experience discrimination, make sure that you consult an expert lawyer so you could get sensible legal advice and be able to file your complaints as soon as possible.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fighting against Sexual Harassment: What You Need to Know

So you have been a victim of your bosses’ sexually-charged jokes and lewd acts? Being subjected to such disrespect and harassment is indeed so traumatizing. However, you should not let emotions guide the way you act on things. Winning your battle against sexual harassment needs you to be all matured and determined to take on the challenges you will face.

Protect Yourself from Sexual Harassment

To help you come up with a better strategy to go and fight for your rights, here are some of the tips from a Los Angeles labor lawyer that can help you in this long and difficult battle:

·        Do not quit. Winners never quit and quitters never win, so the cliché goes; but it is definitely true. Most abused workers would decide to quit as soon as the first or first few incidents of sexual harassment happens. Being abused is indeed scary so it is quite normal for people to think about quitting when abused. For you to be able to seek other legal remedies, you need to first exhaust all efforts possible in your workplace to resolve the issue. So if you’re planning to pursue your case eventually, make sure to stay and file the necessary complaints.

·         Know your company’s policies. Look for sexual harassment clauses in your employee handbook. Remedies to combat sexual harassment are there. Put these to good use.

·           Write it down. Writing details about the abuses against you is the most formal way of filing a complaint. Keeping a written record off all the offenses made against you, helps build the credibility of the complaint you are, or will be, filing.

·          Sex is not the operative word. Unwanted remarks, groping, and sexual overtures are not the only forms of sexual harassment. Any form of harassment against your gender is also considered sexual harassment.

·           Keep reporting forms of harassment and retaliation. Let the authorities know about the continuing offenses you are being subjected to. Report instances of harassment as they happen.

·        You have people behind you. Always remember that you are never alone and your family, friends, and colleagues are cheering for you to continue the fight.

It is not easy to go up against power and abuse. However, having the right mindset, the right information, and help can help ensure your victory against these abusive people.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Filing Your Employment Discrimination Raps

Protect Your Rights
Have you been discriminated against lately but didn’t know what to do to go and file your claim? To help you fight for your rights, we have come up with a list of things you should remember when filing your discrimination complaint to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

·         Check if the incident you are about to file a complaint for will still be accepted by the EEOC. There is only a limited period of time where the EEOC will process you complaint. For employees of private firms, you have 180 days to come up with a complaint and file it to the agency. For federal employees on the other hand, you only have 45 days since the last day of the discrimination or harassment took place. However, there are a few exceptions where the EEOC offers a 300-day complaint filing timeframe.

·         Get as much pieces of evidence that you can have to prove the harassment or discrimination. Any document such as notarized written witness accounts, any correspondence with your employer, written records of alleged discrimination, and employment or personnel files that can support your case would do.

·         File the complaint the way you want it. You can call any local EEOC field office to ask if you can file the complaint and ask if they do take walk-ins. You can also mail your complaint to the EEOC office near you. Finally, you can also call them up on their toll-free hotline, 1-800-669-4000 to begin the process of filing over the phone. Wait for the EEOC’s return call within 10 days after you have formally filed your complaint.

·         Settle the dispute through the EEOC’s mediation process if it is requested. An impartial mediator will listen to you and your employer’s sides before they come up with a decision.

·         Be patient and wait for the EEOC’s decision. They’d try to attempt a settlement with your employer, but if there’s no success in that, you will then receive a Notice of Right to Sue. Only then you can press charges against your employer with the help of a Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer.

Filing your complaint is easy; you just have to arm yourself with the right information to make sure that you are doing things right. Hopefully, this simple guide will help you with your employment discrimination woes.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What California Employees Should Be Aware Of With Regard to Whistle Blowing

Some employers often engage in activities that don’t only incur legal consequences, but may also result in employees revealing such acts. As it is, exposing the wrongdoing of one of the high-ranking officials of a company is one of the most courageous acts that an individual, or an employee for that matter can do. More often than not, doing so is more of a conscious action to do what is right.

However, not all employees have the bravery to put up a brave effort to combat the illegal acts of their employers. One of the underlying reasons why they can’t put a stop on these is because of the fact that some employers are known for their notoriety in sanctioning them in retaliation for their actions; much more so if the issue at hand revolves around fraud.

Incidentally, if you are an employee working in a California workplace and you think your employer is engaging in a fraudulent activity, don’t let yourself be intimidated. You must know that your worker rights are protected, especially with regard to disclosing such information about your employer to a legal representative or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

Protect Your Rights | Whistle-blowing Act

Meanwhile, here are some of the things that California employees like you should know when you have mustered enough courage to reveal your employer’s illegal activities:

·         When you file a case against your employer, not only are you protected under at least one statute. You may actually be protected under more than one, according to what the state law dictates.

·         Many nations have their own legislations that protect whistleblowers. In fact, the U.S. federal laws on whistleblowing claims call for the investigation and prevention of certain employer activities that are deemed illegal under international standards. Such laws also protect you from possible retaliatory acts from your employer.

·       The illegal act you expose in your claim would determine the type of legal protection, as well as its extent, that you may receive as a whistleblower.

Consulting with an experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer will help you become informed with regards to the laws that apply to your case. Having a legal representative by your side would help increase your chances of winning your case against your employer.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Youth@Work and the EEOC’s Advocacy to Prevent Abuse against Employees

 The young ones at work are the future of the country. For one, they are already on board the various companies and are making their mark in various industries. The United States’ Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) wants to make sure that the young workers are educated about their responsibilities and rights.

That is why the program, Youth@Work was established This initiative helps make sure that their employers are doing everything that they can to create a positive work experience.

This initiative has three main components:

·         The site. It is dedicated for the education of youngsters about their rights and responsibilities at work. The pages on this site contain explanations about acts of discrimination, enabling them to have the right reaction to such. It also features an engaging “Challenge Yourself” tool that lets them test their knowledge on analyzing discrimination scenarios at work.

·         Outreach events. Various events are held for high school students, youth organizations, and even small businesses where young employees are present. These programs lay out the laws enforced by the EEOC, as well as the rights and responsibilities of both the employees and employers so young workers will be better aware of what they need to know as they go and embark on their careers.

·         Projects in partnership with some business leaders, human resource groups, as well as industry trade associations. The EEOC is open for any possible partnerships with various groups as long as it involves the promotion of equal employment opportunity to all employees around the country, especially the young ones.

The fight against workplace abuse is a continuing battle not just for the EEOC, but for all abused employees around the country, especially the young, helpless workers. That is why the EEOC is opening its doors to people willing to help its cause.

One day, there would be no need for any employee to hire the services of a Los Angeles employment lawyer to defend them as they file cases of abuse against their employers. Let us all work together to put a stop to workplace harassment and abuse.

If you are interested in having EEOC speak to your high school or organization, or you want to help in the promotion of EEOC’s program, you may send the EEOC an e-mail at Youth.AtWork@eeoc.gov.