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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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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SLAPP Motions and Discrimination Claims: The California Supreme Court Limits Defendants’ Ability To Attack FEHA Cases

California has a powerful statute that is aimed at protecting our right to engage in free speech.  Known as the SLAPP law, Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16 allows people who are sued for engaging in free speech to bring a motion dismiss the lawsuit that has been filed against them.  In order to prevail […]

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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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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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California Law Prohibits Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Against Interns and Volunteers

Did you know that California is one of only three states in the US to protect interns and volunteers from harassment and discrimination in the workplace?

If you are an intern, volunteer or apprentice in California, you have the right to be free from harassment and discrimination at work. Under the California Fair Gear-and-Gavel_goldEmployment and Housing Act (FEHA) (California Government Code 12940), it is unlawful for an employer to harass or discriminate against an intern, volunteer or participant in an apprenticeship training program on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or any other classification protected by law.   Continue reading “California Law Prohibits Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Against Interns and Volunteers”

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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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California Supreme Court Holds Fast Food Employee Cannot Sue Franchisor For Sexual Harassment Claims.

On August 28, 2014, the California Supreme Court ruled that Domino’s Pizza could not be held liable for sexual harassment claims by an employee of a franchisee. The highly anticipated decision came on the eve of Labor Day weekend, dealing a blow to franchisee employees seeking accountability and meaningful Gear-and-Gavel_blackcompensation from franchisors.

Continue reading “California Supreme Court Holds Fast Food Employee Cannot Sue Franchisor For Sexual Harassment Claims.”

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