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.
Sacramento, CA: Last month the undocumented worker in the State of California won yet another series of protections from those seeking to send them packing for their place of origin, with the signing of Bill SB54 by Governor Jerry Brown October 5. While other states have passed laws in an attempt to better protect their immigrants and undocumented workers, TIME / AP (10/05/17) reports that SB54 is the most comprehensive basket of protections in the country, making California a so-called ‘sanctuary state.’
San Francisco, CA: A class action ERISA lawsuit that combines two separate cases is claiming that a provider of group health insurance is in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA, as amended 1974) as well as California state laws in denying coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatments.
Los Angeles, CA: A California wrongful termination lawsuit that also has overtones of sexual harassment and an inappropriate workplace environment was launched in September against NBCUniversal by a former employee of the media company.
San Diego, CA: A California wage and hour lawsuit that was originally put forward as a class action has been amended to allow class participants the opportunity to pursue their wage and hour claims individually. To that end, all class claims associated with the plaintiffs’ fourth amended complaint have been stricken, following approval by US Magistrate Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte earlier this month.
Squaw Valley, CA: The ski resort where a ski patroller died this past January has been cited by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health for safety code violations. Fines totaling $20,250 have been levied against the operators of Squaw Valley Ski Resort. The operator, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, is not commenting on the citations beyond sharing its intention to appeal the rulings.
Los Angeles, CA: A somewhat complex harassment and discrimination lawsuit underway in California pits a gifted academic from Taiwan against the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a trainer at the university who is alleged to have contributed to the plaintiff’s early exit from the school.
Sacramento, CA: It’s a sad commentary on the preparedness of employers that there are so many instances of litigation surrounding the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the state-centric California Family Rights Act (CFRA) given the wealth and breadth of knowledge available. An employer well-versed and conversant on the Acts, and the respective relationships between the two, can easily prevent an FMLA lawsuit from occurring. What’s more, the latest information is readily available to Human Resources Departments (HR) as well as the public at large.
Sacramento, CA: A corrections officer in the California State Prison, Sacramento who refuses to quit her job is suing The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) for discrimination and for not responding to what plaintiff Meghan Frederick claims is a hostile work environment.
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.