County of Yolo, CA: The recent rash of assault allegations and actual charges against the Hollywood elite, actors, media personalities and even members of US Congress have succeeded in raising the bar when it comes to proper office and workplace decorum and behavior. The issue has become so sensitive and emotionally-charged that an unwanted hug can be interpreted – many say, correctly – as a form of sexual assault. One well-known Hollywood studio head has recently taken a leave of absence voluntarily in order to reflect on his habit of providing warm hugs at the office. For the employer in California, employees rights and compliance to labor laws speaking to sexual and physical harassment are of paramount importance.
San Francisco, CA: Communications giant AT&T has been battling a compliance lawsuit for some time, defending itself against plaintiffs in a nationwide FLSA collective alleging AT&T misclassified them as independent contractors and thus, stiffed them out of overtime.
Mountain View, CA: An administrative compliance lawsuit brought against Google Inc. by the US Department of Labor’s Office of the Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has fostered interest in a potential employee’s rights lawsuit on behalf of some 70 current and former employees of the search engine juggernaut alleging wage discrimination. The employees, all of whom are women, are reportedly pursuing a potential class action lawsuit.
Los Angeles, CA: A settlement reached between the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and various trucking companies which operate in the Los Angeles Basin will result in the payment of just over $201,000 in penalties for failure to comply with California state regulations governing the need to protect air quality in an area of the state that already has some of the worst air quality in the country. While it is not known if the settlement stemmed from a compliance lawsuit per se, the fact remains a handful of companies were found to have dropped the ball when it comes to air quality and compliance with state laws.
Mountain View, CA: Metaphors flew late last month during a California administrative compliance lawsuit hearing over an alleged refusal on the part of tech giant Google Inc. (Google) to comply with a mandated requirement by the US Department of Labor (DOL) to hand over documents and data with regard to a pay equity spot check.
Palo Alto, CA: A software company located in Silicon Valley that is also a sub-contractor to the federal government has agreed to terms of a settlement that puts an end to a compliance lawsuit brought by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) alleging the defendant, Palantir Technologies Inc. discriminated against job applicants of Asian descent.
San Francisco, CA: A Google employee has filed a California labor lawsuit alleging the company violates compliance laws by requiring employees to maintain illegal standards of confidentiality. Although companies are allowed to maintain confidential trade secrets, the employee alleges Google takes the secrecy too far and violates California labor laws in the process.
Los Angeles, CA: Even though the losing defendant in a California employee’s rights and compliance lawsuit felt they had scored a win nonetheless, attorneys for Wal-Mart have signaled their likely intention to appeal the $54-plus million verdict. The plaintiffs, who were asking for more and received less than anticipated in the jury award for the plaintiff’s side, indicated they would appeal as well.
San Francisco, CA: McDonald’s has settled a California compliance lawsuit alleging the company violated state labor laws by failing to properly pay overtime. As part of the settlement, the company will work with the owner of the franchise that faced the lawsuit to ensure it remains compliant with California labor laws.
Sacramento, CA: When it comes to California compliance overtime laws might be among the laws that are most widely violated. Employers are accused of misclassifying employees as exempt from California overtime, or just full-out failing to pay non-exempt workers for overtime hours. In some cases, workers aren't even eligible for overtime pay, or have different standards for paying overtime. One group of workers - farmworkers - could soon see that change.