California Labor Law: Discrimination Goes Both Ways


Rancho Palos Verdes, CA Leo says that managers of the theater where his daughter works "has a policy of ethnic discrimination and harassment to people of Hispanic or African-American descent." Andrew, a manager at the State of California's SDI program, says he has been targeted by an employee for sexual harassment and discrimination after he "wrote her up for abusing break time." Although the California Labor Law does not tolerate discrimination, the California labor code can also be abused…

"My daughter worked at this theater for more than a year but she never got any training except for the concession," says Leo in an e-mail. "She was promised full-time employment, but sometimes she only got a few hours per week if her Asian co-workers needed the hours." Leo goes on to say that his daughter was harassed and discriminated against to the point where she had a mental breakdown and had to be hospitalized. She didn't return to work.

According to Leo, the managers, all of Asian descent, gave their Asian employees promotions, better positions and more hours.

"Employees who are Hispanic or African American are treated like third class citizens. They have even been physically pushed and humiliated. My daughter was laughed at by one manager who later asked her 'What are you going to do about it?' These same managers have been reported by other managers for abusive behavior and discrimination, but HR has not done anything. For the last seven months that my daughter worked there, the harassment escalated, week after week. There are many other employees with similar situations??"they have felt displaced by their newly hired Asian co-workers and have suffered some form of California labor abuse but have been told that they would be fired if they complained." Not only is discrimination and some forms of harassment against the California labor code, so is retaliation.

Sexual harassment is a California labor law violation, as Cindy (not her real name) is aware of. What happened to Ian (also not his real name) is the flip side of the above situation.

"Part of my job as department manager is to monitor the staff, including their breaks," says Ian, in an e-mail. "I had to write up a female employee for abusing break time (her 15-minute break became 55 minutes on several occasions, and again for yelling and insulting me in front of staff). In response to my reports, she falsified an e-mail and falsely accused me of sexual harassment."

Ian states that upper management looked for evidence of the e-mail in question but can't find it. However, if you dig deep enough, just about every e-mail is traceable. According to Ian, he then asked local management to pull all of his e-mails, but they refused, saying there was too much work to be done and they didn't have the resources to investigate.

"So that leaves me in extreme stress as this woman daily displays and promotes hatred, discrimination and harassment towards me."

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