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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.

How common is sexual harassment in the fast food industry?

For whatever reason, many people probably imagine that sexual harassment in the workplace is more likely to occur in an office environment than in other contexts. But, according to a recent report, sexual harassment may be quite a problem in places where many of us interact with others on a weekly basis: fast food restaurants.

How common is sexual harassment in the fast food industry? Well, the recent report provided details of the recent worker strike that took place in McDonald's restaurants across the country, the intent of which was to draw attention to this important issue. Such a coordinated effort by so many workers in various states shows that sexual harassment in this particular industry may be more common than any of us may have previously suspected.

Schimmel & Parks, APLC Obtains Significant Appellate Win In Whistleblower Retaliation Case

Schimmel & Parks has just won an important appellate victory against the State of California Department of Corrections on behalf of a whistleblower who was retaliated against after being reinstated back into his job. The State of California had sought to have the whistleblower's case thrown out based on the argument that the First Amendment protected the State's adverse actions against the whistleblower. The California Second District Court of Appeal, Division 7, disagreed with the State, and agreed with Schimmel & Parks, APLC's arguments that the State was not protected under the First Amendment for the adverse decisions and actions it took against the whistleblower after he was reinstated. The whistleblower's case for retaliation can now proceed forward, and Schimmel & Parks, APLC can seek justice before the trial court on behalf of its client. The case is entitled Goleco v. State of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (Cal. Court Appeal, Second Dist., Div. Seven, Case No. B280591, Sept. 18, 2018).

Legal options after suffering from drug rehab center abuse

Most of our readers know that there is a serious drug problem that has been sweeping through the nation in recent years, particularly when it comes to opiates. California has not been immune to this issue. Some drugs, like opiates, are heavily addictive and can ruin a person's life. However, to their credit, some people come face-to-face with their addiction and seek help at a drug rehab center. Unfortunately, the stay at these centers isn't always beneficial for some California residents.

The fact is that certain types of abuse are not uncommon in drug rehab centers. After all, the individuals who enter into these facilities, typically on an inpatient basis, are in an extremely vulnerable state. Any person who works at the facility who is inclined to take advantage of such a situation may do so. In other situations, the caregivers at these facilities simply make mistakes, similar to what may occur in a hospital setting.

Proposed sexual harassment law seeks to prohibit secrecy

Many of our readers in California have no doubt been following all of the news stories that have come out over the past year or so regarding sexual harassment in the workplace in America. California, in particular, as the home of Hollywood and thousands of celebrities, has been at the center of the developments in the so-called #MeToo movement to expose and end sexual harassment. Now, the movement may be getting some formidable legal back-up.

According to a recent report, a bill to prohibit secret sexual harassment settlements has been passed by the state legislature and sent to Governor Jerry Brown to be signed into law. The law apparently stems from many instances in which allegations of sexual harassment, once uncovered, are "silenced" by a financial pay-off and a confidential settlement agreement. The law, if signed into effect, would prohibit the alleged perpetrator in such a situation from being shielded from exposure. The alleged victim, however, could remain unnamed.

Nike hit with California wage and hour lawsuit

Nike has been in the hot seat since earlier this spring regarding a proposed class action alleging wage and worker safety violations. A former employee at the retail store in San Clemente alleged in a February 2017 class action that the company fails "to furnish safe and healthful employment and place of employment" under California state law.

He said that while working as a sales associate, workers were not provided seating on the job and were forced to share headsets, which he characterized as an "unhealthful and unsanitary practice." The original complaint stated that this practice exposes workers to various illnesses by the close contact with the skin, ear wax and bodily fluids like sweat.

What are your options against sexual harassment in the workplace?

The daily news cycle bears out that sexual harassment in the workplace is still a very real problem for employees in California and throughout the country. This type of harassment in the workplace can be very direct, such as inappropriate touching or sexual advances, or it can be somewhat indirect, such as sly remarks or hushed conversations between supervisors and managers. All of it can lead to creating a workplace that is hostile for employees to deal with.

So, what are your options against sexual harassment in the workplace? There is no real "set" series of actions to take because, in many cases, the employee who is being harassed may fear the retaliation that could come with any steps taken. However, in most cases, the first step would typically be for the employees to inform their immediate supervisor of the issue and hope that it is addressed "internally."

Tesla founder’s tweets incite new class action lawsuits

The prominent electric car manufacturer Tesla is facing three new class action lawsuits stemming from a series of tweets posted by founder Elon Musk last week. Since the August 7 Twitter stream, three lawsuits and an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission have begun.

The first two lawsuits came from investors on August 10, alleging the founder’s Twitter-based proposal to take the company private was a ploy to influence the company’s stock value. The third class action lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and could include any buyers and sellers who publicly traded Tesla stock between August 7 and August 14.

Starbucks loses class-action lawsuit for unpaid wages

California is a state that employers need to be especially careful in when it comes to paying their workers fairly. The state leads the country in the amount of wage theft lawsuits per year. This is because these managers fail to realize that California’s labor laws have strengthened considerably in the last couple of decades to give employees more freedom when it comes to taking their issues with the company to court.

The popular coffeehouse chain Starbucks is suffering the consequences for their failure to account for California’s labor laws. A recent successful lawsuit from a Los Angeles employee demonstrates that you should not be afraid to pursue legal action against your employer for potential wage theft.

  • 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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