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Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Law Blog

What is Title 7 and what protections does it provide?

Protections against discrimination in the workplace are important, but many workers may wonder exactly what protections they enjoy and what the legal basis for those protections is. Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, commonly referred to as anti-discrimination laws, prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from engaging in discrimination based on race, national origin, gender or religion.

Based on the employee's race, national origin, gender or religion, the employer is forbidden from refusing to hire, from firing, from failing to promote, from paying less or demoting, from denying training, from disciplining or from harassment. Discrimination based on pregnancy is also prohibited and employers are not permitted to adopt procedures or policies that have a significant impact on one group of workers protected by Title 7.

Discrimination and harassment are not tolerated in the workplace

Discrimination and harassment in the workplace may make every day a challenge for workers facing such treatment. On a daily basis, victims in these situations may face a hostile work environment and concerns related to a demotion, wrongful termination or retaliation from an employer for reporting the illegal conduct they are subjected to. It is illegal for an employer to fire an employee in retaliation for reporting illegal conduct or to treat them differently.

Discrimination in the workplace is illegal and may be based on race or ethnicity, national origin, gender, pregnancy, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability and military service status. Victims in these protected classes who have experienced discrimination in the workplace can bring a claim to receive compensation for the emotional damages they may have suffered in addition to financial damages, such as lost wages, among other types of damages that may be available.

Workers should understand wrongful termination protections

A job and job security is understandably important to many workers. Because of this, it is important for employees who have been recently fired or laid off to understand their wrongful termination rights in circumstances when the action taken may have been unlawful. In some circumstances, the employee may be able to obtain monetary damages, a severance package or other damages.

Reasons that may be considered unlawful for firing or laying off an employee can include, firing the employee in violation of federal or state anti-discrimination laws, firing the employee as a form of sexual harassment, firing the employee in violation of a written or oral employment contract, firing the employee in violation of labor laws or firing the employee in retaliation for the employee filing a complaint or claim against the employer. In all of these circumstances, the employee may have a wrongful termination claim.

What is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

If you have suffered age discrimination or other types of discrimination in the workplace, you may wonder what options are available to you. You might have heard of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC but have wondered what it is and what it does. The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws that prohibit discrimination against either an employee or job applicant based on the party's race, color, national origin, religion, sex, which includes pregnancy, gender identity and sexual orientation, age, which is those 40 or older, disability or genetic information.

In addition, the EEOC enforces laws that make it illegal to discriminate against an employee or applicant because they complained about discrimination, filed a claim of discrimination or were part of an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. Employees should keep in mind that it is always illegal for employers to retaliate against them for asserting their rights. The protections enforced by the EEOC relate to hiring, firing, promotions, training, wages, benefits and harassment.

LAPD officer brings lawsuit for sexual harassment

Residents in California and elsewhere are well aware that they are afforded rights in the work environment. Unfortunately, these rights are not always protected and are sometimes violated by an employer or fellow co-worker. Victims of sexual harassment are protected by the resources and remedies available through the legal process.

A recent lawsuit filed by a Los Angeles Police Department bomb squad officer alleges that she suffered sexual harassment that her supervisors failed to protect her from. The officer that brought the claim asserts that she suffered sexual harassment and stalking from a fellow bomb squad officer. According to the complaint, the fellow bomb squad technician confessed to the victim that he had been in love with her for 6 years and would leave his wife for her; the victim refused his advances and has a domestic partner who also works for the LAPD.

Workers owed unpaid overtime have legal protections

When an employer has taken unfair and perhaps illegal actions to avoid paying an employee, it can have a significant impact on workers and their families. Detrimental impacts on their livelihoods can create suffering for workers if they are incorrectly classified or are victims of unpaid overtime. When workers put in extra overtime hours at work, they understandably expect to receive overtime pay.

When overtime becomes expected, and goes unpaid, it can lead to harm to workers and their families.

What is sexual harassment in a California workplace?

Federal and California laws protect workers from sexual harassment in the workplace. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, or sexual conduct which interferes with the victim's job performance or creates a hostile or offensive work environment.

In general, there are two types of sexual harassment: the creation of a hostile work environment and quid pro quo. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when a person in authority requires subordinates to endure sexual harassment, or submit to unwanted sexual advances, as a condition of keeping their job and keeping or obtaining a job benefit, including raises and promotions. A single instance of quid pro quo harassment may be actionable, while hostile work environment sexual harassment is based on a pattern of offensive behavior.

Woman brings wrongful termination lawsuit in Los Angeles

Workers have important protections against wrongful termination so it is important to understand them. A wrongful termination lawsuit was recently heard in a Los Angeles courtroom. The CEO of a local rehabilitation center testified that he terminated the center's former human resources director because she did not perform up to expectations, and not because she had reported alleged workplace violations. The woman brought a wrongful termination claim alleging retaliation, as well as age and disability discrimination.

According to the CEO, the former human resources director failed to follow his instructions to meet with the managers of other centers following her hiring, and also failed to assist with recruiting and to put the time necessary into the department to get it off the ground. He further noted she did not meet expectations. In addition, there were conflicting accounts of how the death of a patient at the center was handled.

American Airlines faces overtime class action lawsuit

The State of California has enacted laws intended to ensure that all wage-earning employees receive paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a week or 8 hours in a day. A lawsuit has been filed by workers at Los Angeles International Airport against American Airlines alleging numerous violations of these laws.

The lawsuit has been started by three female American Airlines employees who claim to represent other AA employees who are suffering similar violations of the wage and hour laws. The plaintiffs allege that they were assigned to jobs that, based upon the duties they performed, should have been subject to the mandatory overtime provisions of the state Labor Code. The three women allege that they were wrongfully classified as managerial employees and treated as being exempt from the mandatory overtime rules. The claims alleged include failing to pay minimum wage, failing to pay overtime, and failing to reimburse the worker for necessary expenses related to their employment.

Tennis commentator files wrongful termination suit against ESPN

In today's age, "going viral" is often a goal some people in Los Angeles who are seeking Internet fame only dream of. However, not all statements that "go viral" do so for positive reasons. In fact, it takes only one misinterpretation of a person's remarks to have an otherwise upstanding person's reputation tarnished through no fault of their own.

Doug Adler, a tennis commentator on the popular television sports network ESPN, has sued the network for wrongful termination. In January, the network let Adler go without warning after a comment he made regarding tennis superstar Venus Williams. Adler claims the network's treatment of him was bad and unfair. He had been working as a broadcaster for 15 years prior to being fired.

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