Ninth Circuit Finds in Favor of Plaintiff’s Age Discrimination and Retaliation Claims

 

Gilberto Santillan will have another opportunity to demonstrate that his employer of 32 years, USA Waste of California, Inc., wrongfully terminated him on the basis of his age and retaliated against him.  On April 7, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal held that Mr. Santillan established a prima facie case under his claims for age discrimination and retaliation in Santillan v. USA Waste of California, Inc.  (No. 15-55238, 2017 WL 1289971 (9th Cir. Apr. 7, 2017)).  The Court further held that USA Waste failed to provide any evidence that it had a legitimate reason for firing him. Continue reading “Ninth Circuit Finds in Favor of Plaintiff’s Age Discrimination and Retaliation Claims”

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If Someone Hugs me in the Workplace, Can that be Considered Sexual Harassment?

If you feel uncomfortable when a boss or colleague hugs you in the workplace, do you have a valid claim for sexual harassment? Possibly. If a co-worker hugs you on several occasions and engages in other inappropriate conduct, you may have a claim. There is no magic number of incidents needed in order to establish liability. Continue reading “If Someone Hugs me in the Workplace, Can that be Considered Sexual Harassment?”

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California Fair Pay Act Expands State Law Against Pay Inequality

gavel-952313-mThe California Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from paying men and women differently for equal work.  On October 6, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Fair Pay Act, which expanded and strengthened the Equal Pay Act in several respects.  Under the California Fair Pay Act, employers are required to pay men and women equally for “substantially similar work” rather than merely “equal work.”  “Substantially similar work” refers to work that is similar in skills, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions.

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Can I Get Fired for Taking Time Off to Take Care of a Sick Family Member?

Many people are aware that employers cannot discriminate against an employee with a disability under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) or the Americans with Gear-and-Gavel_goldDisabilities Act (ADA).  But, what if you have a child, spouse or parent with a disability and need to take time off from work to care for him or her?  What if you need to be home in the evenings to nurse a disabled loved one back to health?  Can your employer retaliate against you for requesting an accommodation or discriminate against your because you are associated with someone with a disability?  Continue reading “Can I Get Fired for Taking Time Off to Take Care of a Sick Family Member?”

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Does it Matter if my Client is a Medicare-Enrolled Beneficiary?

 

Do you have a client who is sixty-five or older?  Do you have a disabled client?  If so, you should determine whether the client is a Medicare-enrolled beneficiary.Gear-and-Gavel_gold

Medicare beneficiaries who have claims against a tortfeasor with liability insurance or no fault insurance must initially contact the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and its Coordinator of Benefits Contractor (COBC) to report a case.  Continue reading “Does it Matter if my Client is a Medicare-Enrolled Beneficiary?”

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Are You Entitled to Overtime if You are a Trucker in California?

Many truckers in California work more than eight hours in a day or more than forty hours in a week.  Based on the number of hours they work, many drivers believe they are entitled to overtime pay, but Gear-and-Gavel_goldare they right?  Maybe.  There are several factors that must be considered, such as 1) the route the trucker is driving; 2) the goods the trucker is transporting; and 3) the weight and length of the truck.

 

There are two sets of laws that can affect overtime compensation for truck drivers in California:  federal overtime law and California overtime law.
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Is a Public School Teacher Protected by the First Amendment When Communicating with School Administrators or Parents?

What happens if a public school teacher complains about the administration of a program?  Would the teacher’s complaints be protected by the First Amendment?  Not necessarily.Gear-and-Gavel_gold

 

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed the district court’s summary judgment in an action brought by a public school teacher who alleged she was wrongfully terminated in violation of her First Amendment rights after voicing concerns about her school’s special education program.  (Coomes v. Edmonds Sch. Dist. No. 15, No. 15, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 5372 (9th Cir. Wash., Mar. 23, 2016)).  Plaintiff contended that her First Amendment rights were violated when the school district took adverse employment actions against her for expressing her views about the treatment of students in a program she managed.  The panel affirmed the portion of the decision regarding Plaintiff’s First Amendment claim.

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Employers Have to Reimburse Workers for Work-Related Cell Phone Expenses Even if Employees Have Unlimited Plans

Employees often do not think they are entitled to reimbursement of cell phone expenses if they have an unlimited plan.  Likewise, employers may also presume that they are under no obligation to reimburse their employees for using cell phones for work-related issues if the employees have an unlimited plan.  However,Gear-and-Gavel_gold they are incorrect.

Under California Labor Code section 2802, an employer must indemnify employees for all expenses incurred as a result of performing their duties.  Continue reading “Employers Have to Reimburse Workers for Work-Related Cell Phone Expenses Even if Employees Have Unlimited Plans”

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An Employer Cannot Retaliate Against an Employee For Filing a Police Report

Plaintiff Rosa Lee Cardenas, a dental hygienist, lost an expensive wedding ring in the workplace.  Suspecting that a coworker stole the ring, Ms. Cardenas wanted to file a police report.  However, her employer expressed his disapproval and requested that Ms. Cardenas not tell the police that she left the ring on the Gear-and-Gavel_goldbreakroom table at work.  Despite her employer’s objections, Ms. Cardenas filed a police report.  After the police came to the dental office on two occasions to investigate, Ms. Cardenas’ employer told her the situation was causing great tension and fired her.

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Your Employer is Prohibited from Retaliating Against You for Asking for an Accommodation

Under Rope v. Auto-Chlor System of Washington, Inc. (2013) 220 Cal.App.4th 635, an employee who requested an accommodation did not engage in a protected activity for purposes of a Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) retaliation claim. Workers’ rights advocates throughout the State celebrated when Gear-and-Gavel_goldGovernor Jerry Brown overturned the incorrect result in Rope and signed Assembly Bill (“AB”) 987 into law this year.

Under AB 987, employees no longer need to fear retaliation from their employers if they request a reasonable accommodation. Continue reading “Your Employer is Prohibited from Retaliating Against You for Asking for an Accommodation”

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