Professional Service News

Los Angeles to Pay Almost $4 Million to Settle Harassment and Discrimination Lawsuit

Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles has agreed to pay almost $4 million to a city parks worker who filed a lawsuit against the city alleging he suffered harassment and retaliation for years at the hands of one of his supervisors. After years in court, the Los Angeles City Council reportedly agreed to the payment after the court issued a ruling in favor of the city worker.

February 18, 2016

TrueCar Truly Believes It Is Compliant with California Law

Santa Monica, CA: In an ongoing California compliance battle between the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) and TrueCar Inc. (TrueCar), the former continues to chase the latter in the courts over what the CNCDA feels is unlawful pricing, together with false and misleading advertising on the part of TrueCar, or so it is alleged.

February 8, 2016

California Minimum Wage Increases

San Diego, CA: As of January 1, 2016, the California minimum wage has increased to $10.00 per hour. That means all eligible employees must be paid at least $10.00 per hour for regular hours. Employees who are not properly paid the minimum wage may be eligible to file a wage and hour lawsuit against their employer.

January 10, 2016

Judge in Uber Case Rules on Arbitration Agreements

San Francisco, CA: Plaintiffs in the Uber misclassification lawsuit have been handed another victory in their litigation against the ridesharing company. The judge in the lawsuit has ruled against Uber’s arbitration agreement, setting the stage for thousands more plaintiffs to join the lawsuit.

December 28, 2015

California Fair Pay Act About to Take Effect

Sacramento, CA: On January 1, 2016, California’s Fair Pay Act, SB 358 (Jackson), will take effect. The bill will give more grounds for employees to challenge pay discrimination. In addition to addressing wage disparity, the bill is designed to prevent employers from retaliating against employees who discuss their pay.

According to the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), women working full time in California lose more than $33 billion annually to the wage gap, earning around 84 cents for every dollar a man earns. The statistics are even bleaker for minority women, who earn as low as 44 cents per dollar earned by white men. The California Employment Lawyers Association further argues that employers effectively prohibit or discourage employees from discussing their pay, preventing lower paid employees from fighting against pay disparity out of fear of retaliation.

Although there are existing state and federal laws that address pay inequality, those laws contain loopholes that make it easier for employers to prevent employee discussions of their pay. For example, one of the provisions in the existing California law regards wage differentials only when they occur at the same establishment, not within the same company. So a woman doing the same work as a man, for the same company but at a different office could still be paid less without breaking the law.

“Pay secrecy also contributes to the gender wage gap, because women cannot challenge wage discrimination that they do not know exists,” the bill states. “Although California law prohibits employers from banning wage disclosures and retaliating against employees for engaging in this activity, in practice many employees are unaware of these protections and others are afraid to exercise these rights due to potential retaliation.”

Revisions to the bill would mean employers would have to prove a wage differential is based not on gender but on seniority, merit, quantity or quality of production, or another legal factor other than sex. Otherwise, if men and women do substantially similar work, they must be paid the same even if their job titles and employment locations are different. Furthermore, employers would be prohibited from retaliating or discrimination against any employee who attempts to protect her rights based on the bill, and would further be prohibited from preventing employees from discussing their wages or the wages of other employees.

Employers who are found to violate the law could face legal action. The new bill could see a rise in gender pay discrimination once it takes effect.

December 20, 2015

A Hard Life, Unfairness the Bastion of the California Undocumented Worker

San Francisco, CA: Julieta Yang’s voice is only one in the wilderness that is the undocumented worker in California. But the single mother of three who hails from the Philippines is an example of the challenges and hurdles faced by the undocumented worker in the state of California.

December 18, 2015

California Judge Grants Preliminary Approval to $1.8 Million Settlement

Los Angeles, CA: A California Wage and Hour Employment class-action lawsuit reached an important milestone a week ago when a US District Court Judge gave a nod to a settlement worth $1.8 million. Up to 22,000 class members will share in about $1.2 million, with the remainder going to attorney’s fees.

December 9, 2015

Retired Teacher Files $12 Million Lawsuit

Los Angeles, CA: A retired teacher has filed a $12 million lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District, alleging her employer did not provide her with a working environment that was free from harassment. Cathy Figel, an openly gay teacher, alleges in her lawsuit that she was subject to an unsafe work environment, including anti-gay language, vandalism and physical violence.

December 6, 2015

Plaintiffs Have Another Go at Farmers Insurance Exchange in California Lawsuit

Los Angeles, CA: It’s déjà vu for Farmers Insurance Exchange (Farmers), following the filing of a California wage and hour class-action lawsuit alleging Farmers improperly classified commercial claims representatives as exempt from overtime pay, while often being made to work upwards of 50 to 60 hours per week or more without compensation.

November 22, 2015

Animal Welfare Complaints Result in Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

Vallejo, CA: Concerns about animal welfare at a Six Flags park in California have reportedly resulted in a wrongful termination lawsuit against the theme park operator. Michael and Holley Muraco filed the California wrongful termination lawsuit because they say they were retaliated against for reporting Six Flags for poor animal care.

November 11, 2015
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