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September 2016 Archives

What is a "hostile work environment" in California?

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits many kinds of discrimination and harassment in the workplace. If such acts become pervasive in scope or frequency, the victims of such acts may find themselves in a "hostile work environment." In this post, we will review the elements that can create a hostile work environment.

Former Chipotle employee alleges racial discrimination in lawsuit

Workers at chain restaurants in the Los Angeles area are often subject to a variety of different employment practices. In a lawsuit recently filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, a former employee of a Chipotle restaurant in El Segundo is alleging she has been the victim of at least three illegal practices: racial discrimination, workplace harassment and wrongful termination.

Comparing state and federal wage and hour laws

The right of workers in California to receive paid overtime and other fringe benefits is guaranteed by two laws: the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the California Labor Code. Both laws govern wage and hour disputes between workers and employers, and their provisions are very similar. All workers should be familiar with the basic provisions of each.

Who is an independent contractor in California?

One of the most misunderstood and misused legal concepts in California is the status of "independent contractors." Most employers know that they are not required to pay overtime or minimum wage, provide workers compensation benefits or provide fringe benefits for independent contractors. Many employers try to take advantage of this distinction by simply labeling employees as "independent contractors." Some even have employees sign employment agreements that describe the employee as an independent contractor. However, whether a person is, in fact, an independent contractor or an employee depends not on labels but on a complex test that has been derived from statutes, regulations and court decisions.

Jury awards nurses $4.3 million in damages for sexual harassment

Gay men and women are often the target of workplace harassment and discrimination, but, occasionally, the shoe ends up on the other foot. A Los Angeles Superior Court jury recently awarded a total of $1.7 million in actual and punitive damages to nurses who claimed they had been subjected to sexual harassment and workplace discrimination by a homosexual male supervisor in the mental health unit at Community Hospital of Long Beach.

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Law Offices of Allan A. Sigel, P.C.

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