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Sacramento Employment Law Blog

When management fails to address severe discrimination

We have covered many of the different types of discrimination which occur in workspaces across the state of California. Unfortunately, some workplace situations which involve a great deal of discrimination can be especially tough for employees to deal with. For example, someone who is experiencing discrimination because of their ethnicity or their religious beliefs may be subjected to relentless, brutal discrimination. Even worse, there are times when management fails to take action and ignores what is happening on the job. In these instances, it is pivotal for victims of discrimination to firmly stand up for themselves.

There may be all sorts of options available to someone who is experiencing these challenges. If discussing the issue with a manager or an employer does not help, filing a complaint may be the next step to take. Moreover, some people even need to file a lawsuit as a result of their experiences. Severe discrimination can be incredibly difficult not only from an emotional point of view but from a financial one as well. In some cases, those who are subjected to relentless and serious discrimination may even fear for their personal safety. This is unacceptable and has affected far too many workers across the country.

Did your employer misclassify you as an independent contractor?

When you make your living working in California, it is important that your employer classify you appropriately with regard to whether you are an actual employee or an independent contractor. The way your employer classifies you will have a considerable effect on your paycheck and the manner in which you pay taxes, so it is essential that you have the correct classification so you can make sure to cover all your bases.

According to the State of California’s Department of Industrial Relations, it is not uncommon for some employers to misclassify their employees as independent contractors so that they can save substantial money in key areas. Employers do not, for example, have to pay payroll taxes or overtime pay for independent contractors, and they also do not have to adhere to typical wage and hour laws regarding lunch breaks, meal periods and the like.

Why are victims of sexual harassment reluctant to come forward?

Experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace can impact you emotionally, but it can also have a substantial effect on your productivity and overall wellbeing in the workplace. Regrettably, many women who are victims of workplace sexual harassment never come forward, and in many cases, this allows the harassment cycle to continue.

According to Psychology Today, women are responsible for filing about 83 percent of all U.S. sexual harassment claims, with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reporting that it receives about 12,000 reports of this type of behavior annually. Because so many victims of sexual harassment never come forward, though, advocates believe the true number of instances of sexual harassment in the United States is considerably higher.

What rights do you have as a pregnant woman in the workplace?

As a pregnant employee in California who works for a company that staffs at least 15 people, you have certain rights related to your pregnancy status that your employer cannot infringe upon. Outlined by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, these rights set certain guidelines your employer must follow with regard to his or her treatment of you, given your pregnancy status.

Per the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the PDA asserts that your employer must treat you in the same manner he or she would others with similar abilities during your pregnancy. This holds true in all areas relating to employment, from hiring and firing to promotions, breaks and so on. Furthermore, your employer must treat you in the same manner he or she would other employees with similar abilities or disabilities, even if the employer believes doing so could be dangerous or otherwise not in your best interests.

Founder and CEO sues company after being fired

People who work in California and hear about others being fired from their jobs may sometimes think that this is a problem that employees in leadership positions within a company may not have to grapple with. In reality, anyone in any position may find themselves out of a job for reasons they do not always agree with. An example of this can be seen in a lawsuit that was recently filed in the Bay Area. 

As reported by Tech Crunch, the lawsuit was filed by the man who not only was the Chief Executive Officer for the company he was employed by but he was also the founder of the company. The company is a technology developer of a mobile advertising app and was started eight years ago in 2011. He led the company until he was fired by the Board of Directors in October of 2017.

What your personnel file can tell you about your firing

Being fired from your job can be an especially distressing experience when you have no idea why you were terminated. You might be sure that you have performed up to the standards of company conduct and performance. So if you feel left in the dark over your firing, California law allows you to ask your employer to provide your personnel file to look at, in addition to any records relating to your firing. By checking your personnel file, you may find the rationale behind your termination and even discover if the termination was unjust.

Per Ieci.org, a personnel file contains a lot of information pertaining to the employment life of a worker. This information can include the worker’s initial application for employment and the worker’s resume, but it can also contain documentation of a worker’s performance. An employer may place performance evaluations in the file or records of a worker’s training. Additional documents may include receipts that demonstrate that the worker attended job training sessions, positive recognitions such as awards, or letters from clients that commend the worker for good performance.

Sexual harassment with the Department of Justice

Despite intense company trainings and media accusations of workplace harassment, situations involving sexual harassment continue. In fact, a survey conducted by National Public Radio found that 81 percent of women have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work. Surprisingly, the same study discovered that 43 percent of men have also been harassed at work. Yet, these numbers are thought to be low as men are less likely to come forward and report sexual harassment. More women, however, are coming into the forefront as harassers.

The Department of Justice is not out of reach when it comes to sexual harassment cases. Documents show that the California Department of Justice settled claims of sexual harassment with more than $1.1 million from 2011 to 2017. Employees of the Department of Justice filed claims of inappropriate touching, as well as actions and comments that were unwarranted and left employees feeling uncomfortable in their work environment.

How to heal after sexual harassment at work

Sexual harassment is a painful experience. It can cause much more than just distress or discomfort at the time of the incident. The effects of sexual harassment in the workplace often include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, headaches, muscle aches and chronic health problems. 

If you are a victim of inappropriate behavior at your job, you deserve to heal. Here are some guidelines on how you can recover and regain control of your life after experiencing harassment

Discrimination in the wake of a workplace accident

People are injured on the job in numerous ways, from electrical accidents on construction sites to mishaps that take place in office spaces. These accidents can create various short-term and long-term challenges, and aside from physical and emotional pain, financial problems due to hospital costs and lost wages and disabilities, they can also impact a worker in other ways. For example, someone who is injured in a work-related accident may be subjected to discrimination following the accident. They may be discriminated against as a result of their disability, or they may even experience some other type of discrimination (such as racial discrimination or gender discrimination) that surfaces following their accident.

Our law firm firmly stands against workplace discrimination and we believe that injured workers deserve access to any benefits they are entitled to. If you are struggling with a workplace injury, being discriminated against can make your daily life even more challenging. Whether you have found yourself out of work altogether or your work environment has become unbearably hostile as a result of discrimination, you should explore all legal avenues that are open to you.

Exceptions to California’s employment-at-will doctrine

The vast majority of people who live and work in California receive classifications as “at-will” employees, meaning they can leave a position, or conversely, have their employers fire them from a position, at virtually any time, and for virtually any reason. At the Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton, we recognize that there are a number of exceptions that exist to the state’s at-will employment doctrine, and if your situation meets the terms of any of these exemptions and your employer terminates you anyway, you may have grounds for recourse.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, California’s employers typically do not have to have a valid reason or a fair or honest cause for firing you, unless you meet one or more of several clearly defined circumstances. So, what are the exceptions to California’s at-will employment doctrine?

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