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Sherman Oaks Law Blog

Electric utility company blamed for the Woolsey Fire

2018 has not been a kind year for many Californians. During the latter half of the year, many residents have lost their homes in some of the most destructive wildfires in the state's history. There have been millions of acres burned, billions of dollars in property damages and over 100 lives lost from these disasters.

Several state leaders and politicians have been trying to determine the causes of these wildfires to aid the victims that lost their homes and loved ones and preventing so many from happening ever again. Recent reports suggest that officials may have found a cause for at least one of these fires and legal action is being taken against the source. Residents should pay close attention to cases such as these to know what to do in case their home is destroyed by a liable source.

Female employee claims volunteer committed sexual harassment

In the current national situation in which people who are facing sexual harassment are more willing to tell their story and seek justice, the basics of a California sexual harassment claim can be forgotten. For example, there might be a perception that the only people who can commit sexual harassment are those in a position of power over a subordinate or lower-level colleague. That is not the case. People who are on equal footing in the workplace, serve as contractors, are customers and volunteers can commit sexual harassment. For people who have been subjected to this treatment, a legal filing is a strategy to receive compensation.

An employee at a university medical center has filed a case asserting that the employer did not protect her when a volunteer committed several harassing acts and stalked her for longer than a year. The woman says that the man was a fundraising volunteer at the workplace. He began harassing her in 2017 and kissed her without her permission as she tried to push him away. She said that she was concerned about her safety when she told him she was not interested and the employer did nothing to help her. He followed her and stared at her.

Gaming company under scrutiny for gender discrimination

The #MeToo movement has resulted in multiple industries coming under the public spotlight for poor working conditions. Video game development companies have not been immune from such criticism. Over the last year, stories have leaked about developers shutting down and not giving their workers severance pay or having some employees spend an obscene amount of time perfecting the details of a game far beyond what the standard work hours should be.

Out of all of them, few have been able to match this year’s allegations against Riot Games, a video game developer in Los Angeles best known for their highly popular online multiplayer game, League of Legends. Despite the massive success of the game and having over 2,500 workers under their employment, the company has recently come under fire for their poor treatment of their female employees.

Amusement park worker alleges sexual harassment by chef

Despite the growing attention on people who allege they have been sexually harassed in California and across the nation, the behavior continues to a disturbing degree. While people who claim to have been subjected to sexual harassment are having their voices heard with greater seriousness, the treatment happens all too often. When there is a person at work who is behaving inappropriately, those who are victimized must remember their rights to seek compensation in a legal filing. Understanding what constitutes sexual harassment and discussing the case with an attorney is vital.

A woman who worked in a Southern California amusement park says that an executive chef at her workplace sexually harassed her. According to her, the man touched and grabbed her while he was speaking to her in a freezer. She said she walked away. The treatment began in July, and it happened on approximately 30 occasions. He also asked her inappropriate questions about her possibly having tattoos on her body that were hidden. She told human resources hat was occurring and spoke to a separate supervisor.

Defining "sexual harassment" in America

Many of our readers in California have probably heard of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, more commonly referred to as the EEOC. This government entity is responsible for investigating a wide range of potential abuses committed by employers in America, including sexual harassment claims. When the EEOC gets involved in your sexual harassment claim, it is important to understand how this organization defines "sexual harassment."

For starters, the EEOC definition of sexual harassment encompasses not only harassment that is sexual in nature, but also harassment that many people would probably consider "gender harassment." That is, for example, harassment of a woman in the workplace about women in general.

Taking action when sexual harassment occurs

It can be hard to believe that sexual harassment is still an issue in workplaces throughout the country, including in California. But, unfortunately, news coverage of this important issue over the last couple of years has highlighted the fact that, yes, this is a problem that persists in American workplaces. Knowing what to do when you are the victim of sexual harassment at work can be difficult to determine.

Many people decide not to take any action at all when they are the victims of sexual harassment. From a certain standpoint, most of our readers can probably understand where this hesitancy comes from. Victims may feel used, embarrassed or even threatened. However, as we see more news stories about victims of sexual harassment coming forward and reporting this illegal behavior, more people are coming to understand that they can come forward and tell their side of the story too.

Popular California resort faces multiple harassment lawsuits

The #MeToo movement exposed numerous companies for their failure to respond to sexual harassment and poor treatment of employees in general. Hotels and resorts have had this problem for several decades, but now the pressure is on for employers to step up their safety protocols for harassment prevention on their sites.

One state resort that stood out amidst the extensive media coverage was Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, as a worker who filed a sexual harassment and assault lawsuit against the resort became one of several women that were named among the Silence Breakers for Time Magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year. Since her story came to light, several more workers have begun to file complaints and lawsuits against Terranea, demonstrating how severe the resort’s mishandling of sexual harassment reports could be.

Filing a retaliation complaint in California

Perhaps your employer does not include you in company emails because of your nationality. Perhaps you were refused a promotion because you practice a specific religion. Maybe you receive less pay, for the same amount of work, due to your gender. In any of these discriminatory cases, you have the authority to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Unfortunately, after you file a discrimination complaint, your employer and other employees treat you unfairly because you brought a complaint. You were demoted from your position, you face a hostile work environment, or perhaps you were even given less responsibility. For bringing a claim, you now face retaliation.

What is "retaliation" when it comes to employment law?

There are many people in America, probably including many in California, who have more than a few complaints about their jobs. Those complaints are usually made just to co-workers, or maybe to a spouse when the worker gets home each night. However, there are situations in which serious complaints about illegal practices committed by an employer need to be listened to, especially when, as a result of the complaint, there are allegations of retaliation by the employer against an employee.

What is "retaliation" under employment law? Well, in essence, retaliation occurs when an employer disciplines, reduces pay or even fires an employee who exercised his or her rights to file a complaint about the employer, typically regarding allegations of sexual harassment or discrimination of some type. Employment law protects workers against retaliation by employers.

California orchid grower fires women after maternity leave

A growing number of young couples are opting to not have children. Several have speculated to the reason for the shift. It could be the increased cost of living the country has experienced recently, a greater desire to focus on personal interests over raising a family or simply a change in social norms.

One major determining factor for many women is how pregnancy will affect their careers. There are federal protections in place which shield women from having to choose between their job and family, but that does not mean pregnancy discrimination does not happen.

  • Insurance
    Bad Faith Result

    $250 Million

    Recovery for policyholders victimized by insurance bad faith practices following Northridge Earthquake.

  • Recent Class
    Action Result

    $23 Million

    Judgment on behalf of a class of employees for personal injury and loss of property related to illegal working conditions.

  • Recent Insurance
    Bad Faith Result

    $4 Million

    Recovery in defense costs for insureds denied their right to independent counsel by their insurance companies.

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