An Employer Can Potentially be Held Liable if a Nonemployee Sexually Harasses an Employee

 

What happens if a nonemployee harasses or sexually assaults an employee in the workplace?  Is the employer liable?  Possibly.  On October 26, 2017, the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District considered whether an employee’s claims against her employer for violating the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) for harassment and failing to prevent harassment overcame the workers’ compensation exclusivity doctrine.  M.F. v. Pacific Pearl Hotel Management, LLC (D070150, Fourth Appellate District, Division One, 10/26/17).  Continue reading “An Employer Can Potentially be Held Liable if a Nonemployee Sexually Harasses an Employee”

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New California Law Prohibits Employers from Asking Job Applicants about Salary History

 

On October 12, 2017, Assembly Bill 168, which prohibits employers from asking job applicants for salary history information, was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Governor Brown vetoed a similar bill in 2015 on the grounds that it would prevent employers “from obtaining relevant information with little evidence that this would assure more equitable wages.” This time around, the bill enjoyed the support of both parties and the governor. Continue reading “New California Law Prohibits Employers from Asking Job Applicants about Salary History”

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California Court Rules that One Year Statute of Limitations to File DFEH Complaint Runs from Last Day of Employment

If an employee is being harassed or discriminated against in the workplace, he has one year to file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).  Employees and employers alike sometimes question when the one year statute of limitations starts to run.  On August 29, 2017, the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District held that an employee has one year from his last day of employment to timely file a complaint with the DFEH.  Aviles-Rodriguez v. Los Angeles Community College District, No. B278863, 2017 WL 3712199 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 29, 2017).    Continue reading “California Court Rules that One Year Statute of Limitations to File DFEH Complaint Runs from Last Day of Employment”

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Ninth Circuit Issues Decision Regarding Employee’s Retaliation Claim Against Employer’s Attorney

In Arias v. Raimondo, Plaintiff Jose Anrulfo Arias filed suit against his employer’s attorney, Anthony Raimondo, for retaliation after Raimondo tried to have Arias taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) during a deposition. Arias v. Raimondo, No. 15-16120 (June 22, 2017).  Raimondo was representing Angelo Dairy in a lawsuit that Arias had filed in 2006 alleging various wage and hour violations.  In an attempt to derail this lawsuit, Raimondo provided ICE with information helpful in determining Arias’ legal status in the United States, and offered to “make the necessary arrangements” to assist ICE in apprehending Arias just ten weeks before trial.  When Arias discovered what Raimondo had done, he settled his wage and hour claims out of fear that he might be deported.  Then, Arias filed suit against Raimondo for retaliation in violation of the the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) under the theory that Raimondo was acting as Angelo Dairy’s agent when he retaliated against Arias.  Continue reading “Ninth Circuit Issues Decision Regarding Employee’s Retaliation Claim Against Employer’s Attorney”

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The Ninth Circuit Examines Whether Prior Salary Can Justify Wage Discrepancies Under the Equal Pay Act

The Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from paying men and women differently for equal work.  However, is it unlawful for an employer to have a policy that offers its new hires a salary that is five percent higher than their previous salary if the policy results in a female worker getting paid less than all her male colleagues?

 

In a 1982 decision, Kouba v. Allstate Insurance, the Ninth Circuit held that an employer can take prior salary into account when deciding an employee’s pay rate if the prior salary effectuated a business policy and was reasonable.  691 F.2d 873 (9th Cir. 1982).  In a decision last month, the Ninth Circuit provided further guidance on the extent to which employers can rely on prior salary in determining its employees’ pay.  Rizo v. Yovino, No. 16-15372 (April 27, 2017).  Continue reading “The Ninth Circuit Examines Whether Prior Salary Can Justify Wage Discrepancies Under the Equal Pay Act”

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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.

Continue reading “California Fair Pay Act Expands State Law Against Pay Inequality”

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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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