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September 2015 Archives

A Brief Overview of Employment Law in California

Numerous federal and state statutes protect equal opportunity in the workplace. The analysis applicable under most of these laws derives from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) generally follows this federal law, but features some slight variations that are often advantageous to plaintiffs.

State Court vs. Federal Court in Employment Litigation

There are many choices that a plaintiff must make when he or she decides to bring a lawsuit. A number of variables may affect the manner in which a case proceeds, and the judgment in which it ultimately results. One of the most important decisions that must be made at the earliest stages of litigation is that regarding the forum in which the lawsuit will take place. When an individual files a complaint, he or she may have the option to do so in either state court or federal court in certain circumstances. Each forum has unique advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to be informed about both before initiating legal proceedings.

Associational Disability Discrimination in the Workplace

Workplace discrimination can occur in numerous forms. Federal and state laws not only prohibit an employer from taking adverse action against an employee due to that employee's protected characteristics (such as race, religion, national origin, or disability status), they also forbid employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of the protected characteristics of those with whom they closely associate.

Termination After Relocation: California Law Protects Employees Fired from Distant Positions that were Falsely Advertised

The concept of at-will employment can often seem unfair. Many workers who feel they have been fired unjustly hope to take legal action against their former employers, but are disappointed to discover that they do not have sufficient grounds to bring viable lawsuits because the reasons for their terminations were not among those ordinarily proscribed by law. The idea that an at-will termination is non-actionable is all the more disheartening for an employee who moved a great distance to occupy his or her job position.

Advantages of Suing for Harassment Under FEHA

California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) offers plaintiffs many advantages over its federal counterpart, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. These advantages are particularly significant in the area of harassment.

Overtime Compensation in California

California's basic overtime provisions are expressed in section 510 of the state Labor Code. Section 510 mandates that employees who work more than eight hours in a single workday, more than 40 hours in a single workweek, or up to eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of a workweek be compensated for this additional time at a rate of one and one half times their ordinary wage. Section 510 additionally provides that those who work more than 12 hours in a workday, or more than eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of a workweek be compensated at a rate of twice their ordinary wage.

Non-Competition Clauses in California

Beginning a new job typically involves a great deal of paperwork. New employees invariably must fill out all manner of forms ranging from company policy acknowledgements to direct deposit authorizations. Due to the sheer number of documents associated with embarking upon new employment, it can often be difficult to grasp the significance of each and every provision to which one agrees.

Amazon, the New York Times, Nick Ciubotariu, and the Invisible Warehouse Employee

Recently the New York Times ran a highly publicized piece on the work environment supposedly created and fostered at Amazon.com. The focus of the article was mostly on Amazon's campus in Seattle and the plight of the fairly compensated lower and middle tier staff. The article then prompted an equally publicized rebuttal from current Amazon employee Nick Ciubotariu and a memo from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to his staff.

A Disabled Employee's Right to Reasonable Accommodations in California

It is illegal under both California and federal law for an employer to terminate or take other adverse employment action against an employee because that employee is disabled. In order to prevail on a wrongful termination claim for disability discrimination, however, a disabled employee who has been fired needs to prove not only that he has a disability, but also that he can still perform the essential functions of his job with or without reasonable accommodation.

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