The director of a Palm Desert holistic wellness center has apparently been critically misinformed about his legal responsibilities under California and federal law, as well as what constitutes pregnancy discrimination, according to a recent lawsuit.
In general, most employees will do a good job for their employer when they are treated with respect and paid an acceptable wage. If there are too many California workers who are dissatisfied with current conditions, there is a chance that a group will strike out in protest. A large group of team members does not need to be unionized for their voices to be heard. Should an employer respond to employee actions with wrongful termination, however, that response is not only unwanted but also illegal in most cases.
Exotic dancers, just like employees in all other industries, are entitled to the protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act and other state and federal labor and employment laws. Unfortunately, these dancers often don't get a lot of respect, and the workers may believe -- or may even be told -- that they have no right to be paid a minimum wage, keep their tips and be paid for overtime.
A Mira Loma warehouse operator that contracts out to Wal-Mart is facing a potential class-action wage and hour lawsuit over policies the employees say unfairly denied them overtime and violated their rights. Perhaps in an extremely misguided effort to be proactive, the company arranged to have the complaining employees brought in for interviews, supposedly for an internal investigation into working conditions at the firm.
After a federal court upheld its subpoena against LA-based clothing chain Forever 21, the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division confirmed that the agency is cracking down on what it considers widespread violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act in Southern California's apparel industry. The federal agency claims that garment makers and retailers violate the FLSA's recordkeeping, minimum wage and overtime requirements on an almost habitual basis. In fact, the DOL found violations in 93 percent of the apparel companies it has investigated.
Across the United States, all of the federal circuits except the Second, which covers Connecticut, Vermont and New York, have had the same rule on employer retaliation under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Here in California and in the rest of the country, workers who complain about violations of the FLSA are protected from retaliation whether they complained internally to their employers or filed formal complaints with regulatory agencies.
Two employees, a man and a woman, have filed complaints against Redwood City-based high-tech equipment dealer Capital Asset Exchange and Trading, LLC. The two worked as capital equipment traders for CAET and claim that the company's management allowed a hypersexual, lurid workplace culture to develop which included routinely calling women "whores" and "bitches" and numerous incidents of company-sponsored strippers and even prostitutes.
After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and hour division, a federal judge has ordered Sunnyvale-based Bloom Energy to pay a group of 14 workers a total of $63,844 in back wages and liquidated damages. The judge found that Bloom had willfully paid the workers less than the minimum wage, denied them overtime pay, and violated the recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
A law firm that represents employers in employment law cases just released its annual litigation forecast, shortly after the National Labor Relations Board announced its priorities for 2013. According to the report, the NLRB plans to pay special attention to First Amendment issues involving social media in the upcoming year, but the law firm also cited wage and hour disputes, whistleblower cases, and systemic discrimination investigations by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as major areas of probable litigation in the year ahead.
Typically when we see a wage and hour dispute it relates more to workers being forced to stay working past the end of their shift without pay. However, a recent case in California shows another side to overtime disputes. A lawsuit was brought against the Dole Food Co. which claimed that the time spent getting into and out of the mandatory safety equipment was time-consuming and resulted in unpaid overtime.