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employment law Archives

Pregnancy discrimination and California paid family leave

Pregnancy is a time of celebration and hope for many expectant mothers (and their partners). However, pregnancy is also stressful for many people, whether couples face financial uncertainty or women experience health problems during the course of their pregnancy. Unfortunately, some people experience discrimination during this important time in their lives.

State Supreme Court rules on PAGA-only actions

California is often an outlier in favor of the employee when it comes to employment law and employee rights. One example is the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), a law from 2004 that enables a plaintiff of a PAGA-only claim to sue their employer on the state’s behalf to get unpaid wages. The unions backed the idea because it was a way to hold employers more accountable to labor codes. As recently as last year, this meant that employees netted $88 million from California businesses, including $10.7 million to 99,000 current and former Walmart cashiers.

Keeping that unpaid internship compliant with FLSA

Internships have been around in one shape or another for ages. The arrangement these days ideally involves enabling the intern to learn through doing rather than from a textbook. It also allows businesses to scout young new talent that they wish to hire at a later date.

Rallying the team when there is adversity

A business can be on the ropes because of a downturn in the economy, increased competition, poor leadership, or other circumstances. This can lead staff to lose confidence in the company, and potentially prompt top performers to leave for other opportunities before it all comes crashing down.

Jury award $54.6m in suit against WalMart

The 9th Circuit Court recently affirmed the San Francisco jury trial award of $54.6 million to long-haul truckers working for WalMart. According to news reports, this award is for damages plus interest for not paying the drivers during rest breaks, layovers and the inspections of their semi-trucks. The ruling by the three-judge panel was a 2-1 decision to support the jury award. The 16-day trial that featured a robust number of motions is likely the conclusion of litigation that lasted 12 years.

Uber pays $4.4 million to address sexual harassment

Bay Area tech companies are synonymous with innovation, but the #MeToo movement had a significant impact there as it did in traditional business, media and entertainment. Uber was one of the many tech-based companies that tolerated sexual harassment in the workplace.

Wage theft runs into the billions

Wage theft does not top the list of concerns for most employers or employees. Nevertheless, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) found that 2.4 million workers in the ten most populous states lose $8 billion in combined income annually. That amounts to about one-third of all property theft each year. This averages to be about $64 per worker per week for an annual total of $3,300. Here in California, the Department of Labor claims there are 372,000 minimum wage violations each week.

Federal rules involving overtime to change

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has finalized new rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for overtime. The federal agency determined that most workers who fall under the FLSA qualify for overtime when they work over 40 hours per week. This change will increase the number of workers eligible for overtime by an estimated 1.3 million employees here in the U.S.

Accommodations for your worker with autism

Temple Grandin, a renowned professor of animal science at Colorado State University, said "the world needs all kinds of minds" in her Ted Talk back in 2013. Ms. Grandin, like many others across the United States, lives with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which is previously known as autism. The disorder is difficult to characterize because individual cases vary greatly. Some common behaviors of ASD include social awkwardness, sensitivity to external stimuli and repeated actions or body motions.

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