Discrimination News

Jury Awards $186 Million in California Labor Lawsuit

San Diego, CA A jury awarded the plaintiff in a California labor lawsuit alleging employment discrimination $186 million last month. Although the California labor law award seems like a lot, experts believe the award will be reduced. Meanwhile, a lawsuit filed by the Los Angeles City Attorney alleges companies involved on a construction project violated wage and overtime laws, including failure to pay the California prevailing wage.

December 22, 2014

Home Depot Faces California Labor Lawsuit

Orange County, CA Home Depot reportedly faces a California labor lawsuit alleging the company discriminated against gay employees. The lawsuit, which was filed in California, also alleges harassment on the part of some Home Depot employees and contends that Home Depot discriminates against gay employees to avoid benefits offered under the California Domestic Relationship Act.

October 21, 2013

Target Faces California Labor Lawsuit Over Multicultural Memo

Sacramento, CA Target faces a California labor lawsuit alleging the company’s anti-racism literature is in fact racist. The lawsuit, filed in California by employees at one Target warehouse, alleges violations of labor laws, including laws prohibiting discrimination and retaliation.

August 5, 2013

Racial Discrimination: Employee Stands Up for His Rights

Sacramento, CA Not only was Armen the victim of racial discrimination, he was also wrongfully terminated, actions that are in violation of the California labor law.

June 24, 2013

Fired for Pregnancy against California Labor Law

Yuba City, CA Andrea was an exemplary employee at the gas station and she had no doubt that her employer would comply with the California labor law when Andrea told him about her pregnancy. “He promised I would get my job back after maternity leave, but instead I got lied to,” she says. And in doing so, her employer violated the California labor code.

Andrea’s employer would be wise to offer her job back and terminate his nephew (Andrea’s replacement) instead. Pregnancy discrimination is a violation of the Family Act Law, which clearly states that women who take maternity leave must be reinstated under the same conditions as employees returning from disability leave.

All states do not have the same rules and regulations, however. Fortunately for Andrea there are even stricter regulations in the state of California. For instance, The Pregnancy Disability Act (PDA) sates that “Any employer that’s subject to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (i.e., has 15 or more employees) must comply with the PDA.” That would likely mean that Andrea’s employer would not need to comply. But California’s provisions on pregnancy disability leave stipulate that the employer is subject to the PDA with as few as five employees. In addition, the leave is capped at four months.

As well, pregnancy disability leave comes in addition to leave taken under the California Family Rights Act (covering employers with 50 or more employees). So, an employee covered by both laws could feasibly take four months of pregnancy disability leave and then 12 weeks of family leave to care for a new child.

Back to Andrea. She started working as a cashier for Mohammed Khan at Pacific Petroleum Market in July 2011. (Incidentally, her employer is not unfamiliar with California law: he was charged with selling alcohol to minors at the gas station). Andrea worked hard: in addition to her cashier job, she cleaned the store, washrooms, everywhere. “I pretty much did everything and I was good with the customers,” she adds.

“I found out that I was pregnant at the end of August and I told Mr Khan right away. He told me to let him know when I decide to go on maternity leave, but I went out on March 31, 2012, just three weeks before my due date. Everything went well and I was secure in the fact that I had a job to come back to - it isn’t easy to get jobs here.”

Andrea called her boss when her son was six weeks old (by California law she has up to eight weeks to return to work). “He told me that he had hired his nephew to replace me until college started; it was just for the summer, and to call him back in August,” Andrea explains. “I was able to collect another six weeks for mother-child bonding from disability and that covered me.

“I called him back in August. ‘You promised my job back,’ I said. ‘Well my nephew is my family and he comes first,’ he replied. He told me that he would be opening a dollar store and I should drop by and talk to him, which I did. Instead, he told me that he wasn’t opening the store and said, ‘You’re a good worker and you should be able to find a job.’ Maybe he thought it was some sick joke, making me walk one and a half miles to the gas station to tell me there was no work for me. Why make me wait three months? I don’t know why he did this. I also have a six-year-old and I had child care set up for both children. He knew as much.”

Andrea adds that her employer is currently under investigation for not letting his former employees get unemployment insurance. Clearly, Andrea’s employer should also be under investigation with the California Labor Board for pregnancy discrimination.

April 29, 2013

Disney Worker Launches California Labor Lawsuit Alleging Religious Discrimination

Anaheim, CA A new California labor law that goes into effect in the New Year addresses a problem that Muslim Imane Boudlal had with her employer, Disneyland, over her choice of dress in deference to stated guidelines Disney observes for their employees. AB 1964 requires that California employers must make reasonable accommodations with regard to an employee's religious rights and freedoms, especially when it comes to attire.

December 19, 2012

California Labor Law and Pregnancy Complications

Santa Nella, CA Although a new California labor law (effective January 2013) intends to prevent breast-feeding discrimination in the workplace, it may not help women like Katherine and Jessica. Katherine was fired after coming back from maternity leave and Jessica, 12 weeks pregnant, had her hours reduced in an attempt that she quits her job.

December 12, 2012

California Labor Lawsuits Allege Failure to Pay Minimum Wage, Discrimination

Monterey, CA California labor lawsuits, alleging violations of federal and California state labor law, have been filed claiming employees were subject to discrimination and inadequate pay. Although some California labor law claims have been filed by the California labor commissioner and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, others have been filed by workers who claim their rights have been violated.

November 7, 2012

In-N-Out Burger Class Action Alleges Racial Discrimination in California

Irvine, CA While most complaints under California labor law pertain to prevailing wage law, denial of overtime or worker's compensation benefits, there remains the dark cloud of discrimination. The latter forms the basis of a class-action lawsuit filed recently against the In-N-Out Burger food chain, alleging discrimination due to age and ethnicity. The defendant, headquartered in Irvine, denies the accusations.

September 17, 2012

Plaintiff Sues Exclusive Golf Club for Alleged California Labor Law Violations

Los Angeles, CA A noted golf course in Los Angeles is facing a handful of lawsuits alleging California labor law violations. Trial for one of the lawsuits began July 10th against Angeles National Golf Club, which bills itself as the only Nicklaus Design golf course in Los Angeles County. The facility is an exclusive, private golf course that often hosts PGA events

July 16, 2012
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