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.

One California labor lawsuit was filed by the EEOC against a security services company, alleging discrimination after a woman was denied her job when she tried to return from maternity leave. The employee reportedly worked at the company for a year prior to her maternity leave but was told there was no job for her when she tried to return. The company allegedly told the employee they would contact her if a position opened up, but failed to do so even though the company hired men as security guards just after the employee attempted to return to her employment.

The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of California and alleges the security company violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Meanwhile, a farm contractor reportedly faces a million dollar California labor lawsuit alleging the contractor violated California labor law by failing to pay minimum wage and overtime to workers. According to California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su, the defendant, Salvador Zavala Chavez dba Zavala Farms, did not pay minimum wage or overtime to approximately 150 employees over 10 locations from April 1, 2009 to April 1, 2012. Workers allegedly picked lettuce and worked in grape fields for 10-hour workdays without being properly paid for their time.

The lawsuit was filed after an investigation was conducted by the California Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. The investigation reportedly found evidence that Zavala Farms acted willfully in violating the California labor law. The lawsuit seeks $1.26 million in unpaid wages, overtime and penalties.

And Hollywood interns have filed a lawsuit of their own against Fox Searchlight and other employers, alleging they should have been paid for their work for Hollywood studios. Although interns have long been accepted as standard practice in Hollywood, interns at for-profit employers should be paid for their work. The lawsuit seeks class action status on behalf of other interns who were not paid for their time working for Hollywood studios.

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