Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton

Sacramento Employment Law Blog

What is the #MeToo movement?

The California news has been filled with stories about well-known people being accused of sexual harassment and assault. While it was one high-profile case that started it all, there was another movement that brought every person into the fight against such actions. You may have seen the hashtag MeToo on social media. The #MeToo movement, according to The Atlantic, was started by actress Alyssa Milano to help bring awareness to the number of women who have experienced sexual assault or harassment.

Within hours of Milano posting the MeToo hashtag, it took off. Women everywhere were posting it. You might have even been one of them. Some told their stories while others simply wrote #MeToo. 

What are the child labor laws in entertainment?

In California, there is a need for strict child wage and hour laws due to the many child actors. This is a unique situation that does not occur in every state. Television and movies use child actors quite a bit and this requires special laws pertaining to this industry to ensure the actors are treated fairly and not harmed by working. If your child is an actor, then it helps to be clear on these laws.

According to The Department of Industrial Relations, any minor that is working must have a work permit. The employer must also have a permit to work with minors in the entertainment industry. Both types of permits must be entertainment work permits. There are also requirements for the hours children are allowed to work. The hour limitations depend on the age of the child. It may be possible to get exemptions to the hour laws in some situations.

Circumstances that may warrant a wrongful termination claim

If your employer terminates you from your California job, you may feel hurt, confused or downright angry. Because California observes the employment-at-will doctrine, however, your employer can fire you at almost any time, and for almost any reason. There are, however, some key exceptions, and at the Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton, we have a comprehensive understanding of exactly what these exceptions are. Furthermore, we have helped many former employees seek recourse after they were let go from their jobs for reasons that infringed upon their rights.

Per The Balance, your employer may not terminate your employment for any reason that is discriminatory or otherwise unlawful in nature. For example, he or she may not fire you because he or she disagrees with your religious preferences, or because he or she feels you are too old or too pregnant to work for them. If your employer fired you for reasons you believe are discriminatory, your next action should be to notify the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is a necessary step before pursuing a court case.

Do men have a right to paternity leave?

It has always been rather standard that when a woman has a baby, she gets time off work.  Employers routinely offer maternity leave, but if you are a father, do you also have a right to time off? Generally, maternity leave is a medical leave, allowing the mother time to recuperate after giving birth, but it also gives her time to bond with the child. This is why it has been also offered to adoptive mothers and why many companies are offering or considering paternity leave. As a father in California, you deserve time to bond with your child, too.

According to CNN, the state has passed laws giving you paternity time and requiring your employer to offer it. However, in many states, this leave is not standard or required. It is left to the employer, which can be tricky. Some employers may offer equal paternity and maternity leave. Others may not offer any leave if you are a father. In some cases, salaried employees may get leave while hourly workers may not. It is not a mainstream idea like leave for mothers.

Does your employer have to follow ADA regulations?

Like most in Sacramento, you likely take great pride in your career and your ability to thrive within it. That ability can be significantly hindered if you were to develop a disability or acquire one in an accident. Yet part of coping with a disability is being able to continue to do those things which you value (such as working). However, what if your employer tries to tell you that your new limitations prevent you from returning to work? The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits an employer from discriminating against you based on a physical or mental disability. What if your employer, however, claims that it is exempt from having to adhere to it? 

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lists the employers required to follow the mandates of the ADA. These include: 

  • State and local government organizations
  • Private companies
  • Labor unions and management committees
  • Employment staffing agencies

What you should know about sexual harassment in the food industry

Working in the food industry can be tough. Restaurants often include a fast-paced environment, and you must not only learn to multi-task several tables at once but also deal with people who are difficult to work with. For you and many other California restaurant employees, sexual harassment may be one more unpleasant thing you face each day on the job.

Unfortunately, sexual harassment is more common in the restaurant industry than many people think. A recent poll by the Hart Research Association showed that 40 percent of females in the industry reported encountering sexual harassment at least once at work. Additional studies revealed 90 percent of restaurant industry employees, both male and female, said it had happened to them. You should also know that incidents of workplace-related sexual harassment may be higher than the official numbers since many victims are too afraid or ashamed to report it or may not recognize the incidents as harassment.

The ongoing definition of sexual harassment relationships

Reports of sexual harassment in California are currently filling the state and national news outlets. While these news items tend to concern unwanted sexual advances or offensive sexual comments in the workplace, the scope of sexual harassment code in the state is not strictly limited to events occurring in an office.

New cases are coming to light concerning figures as prominent as film industry magnates and state legislators. The recent statements made by members of the congressional delegation and a congresswoman regarding sexual harassment in the government underscore this. However, a report from Los Angeles Times states that the very possibility of liability between members of congress is a subject of debate.

What are some exceptions to the at-will employment doctrine?

California is an at-will employment state, which essentially means that your employer has the right to terminate you at any time, and for almost any reason. Similarly, as an at-will employee, you have the right to leave or quit your job at virtually any time, and for any reason. There are some important exceptions to the at-will employment doctrine, however, and if your employer violates your rights in this regard, you may be able to seek recourse.

Per The Balance, while your employer may be able to fire you because he or she no longer wishes to, for example, maintain your position, he or she may not terminate your employment for any reason that interferes with your protected rights. In other words, he or she cannot fire you because of your color, religious preference, age, disability, sexual orientation or what have you.

An overview of California’s child labor laws

If you live and work in California, your employer must adhere to the state’s wage and hour laws, and if you have a child in the state’s workforce, their employer, too, must follow laws regarding the employment of minors. At the Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton, we have a firm understanding of California’s child labor laws, and we have helped many families whose children were taken advantage of by their employers seek recourse.

The California Department of Industrial Relations is the governing body responsible for setting guidelines regarding child labor laws, and the rules that govern your child’s ability to work in the state vary based on his or her age. Children who are 12 and 13, for example, may not lawfully work on school days at all, although they can work on holidays, vacation days and, typically, weekends. When school is not in session, 12 and 13-year-olds can work as much as eight hours a day or 40 hours per week, but not more. They can also typically work between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., although they can work until 9 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day.

What evidence is needed to prove discrimination?

Discrimination claims in California can often be difficult to prove. The legal system tried very hard to ensure both sides are given fair consideration and opportunity to prove their cases. This means you need to be able to provide adequate proof that discrimination occurred. The law has strict standards as to what burden of proof must be met.

According to the Department of Justice, you are protected against discrimination due to your religion, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation or disability. When you make a claim of discrimination, though, you are subject to the general rules of the legal system, which say you must prove your case using evidence. This helps to prevent people from making false claims. However, it also can make it difficult to prove your case since some discrimination is done very subtly or in a way that is hard to prove. To help, the courts have outlined the specific types of evidence you may provide in court.

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