In a recent decision involving a Northern California hospital (Fahlen v. Sutter Central Valley Hospitals), the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a physician has the right to bring whistleblower lawsuits to challenge adverse peer reviews. In a world of online review sites and offline peer review team building exercises, the decision is likely to bring about a significant shift in the way that peer review of physicians plays out in the legal realm, and highlights the prudence of hospitals’ engaging legal counsel when conducting peer review proceedings.Details
California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law a bill that will make it more and more challenging for California employers to discriminate against women because of their gender when it comes to compensation. The California Fair Pay Act is said to be the nation’s most aggressive equal pay law and becomes effective January 1, 2016.
Generally speaking, women in California make 84% of what men make and some of the state’s biggest industries have even larger pay disparities. In Silicon Valley, for example, men with Bachelor’s Degrees make 40% than women with the same education, and men with a graduate or professional degree make 73% more. The tech industry is not alone when it comes to unequal pay for men and women. If you believe that your employer is paying you less because you are a woman, the law is on your side. Contact an experienced Orange County employment attorney to discuss your legal rights.Details
Sex and gender discrimination in the California workplace is an increasingly hot topic as more women and openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals enter the workforce. While state and federal laws require that these employees are given equal access and protections, they often do not receive these mandated benefits and instead are discriminated against because of their sex or gender identification on a regular basis.
Sex & Gender Discrimination
Sex or gender employment discrimination involves treating a person unfavorably because of the person’s sex. While predominantly an issue for women, sex discrimination can also be directed towards men. This person could be a job applicant or a current employee. If you were discriminated against at work because of your gender or sexual orientation, know that California law is on your side. For example, if you have not been hired for a job, fired, or otherwise harmed in employment because of your sex or gender, then you may have suffered sex or gender discrimination. An experienced employment lawyer can explain more.Details
Employment discrimination is a hot topic these days and unfortunately, not for good reasons — Employment discrimination cases are on the rise in California.
Employment discrimination is illegal under state and federal law. This means that California employers generally cannot discriminate against employees on the basis of race, sex, pregnancy, religion, national origin, disability, age (for workers over 40), military status, financial situation, genetics, or citizenship. These rights are guaranteed by the “equal protection clause” of the Constitution and by state constitutions. For instance, the California Constitution provides explicit protections to public and private sector employees. This is unusual, because in most states protections are offered only for public sector workers. In other words, if you have a potential claim for discrimination at work, know that California and federal law are on your side.
Examples of workplace discriminationDetails
Various state and federal laws govern the amount of wages to which an Orange County employee is entitled.
A recent case involving a collective bargaining agreement (Vranish v. Exxon Mobil Corp.) illustrates the fact that unionized California employees may be subject to different legal requirements than employees not represented by a union or labor group when it comes to overtime pay. In this case, the California Court of Appeal ruled on the issue of whether state overtime laws applied to employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement.
Many Orange County employers are unclear as to the type and scope of legal protections available to employees with a recognized disability. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), employees are offered various types of safeguards, including the right to not be discriminated against because of his or her disability, and can seek “reasonable accommodations,” including a leave of absence, for their disabilities.
According to the ADA, employers are required, under certain circumstances, to reasonably accommodate an employee’s physical or mental impairment that limits a “major life activity” for that employee. One way in which employees have sought to be accommodated is by obtaining leaves of absence from their jobs in order to accommodate their disability. This can result in a conflict between employee and employer. Whereas an individual with a disability may feel a leave of absence is crucial to his or her health and well-being, employers often feel that extended leaves of absence are too disruptive to their business operations, and therefore not “reasonable”. Discuss your rights as an employee with an experienced ADA lawyer in Orange County.Details
The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, is a federal law that protects individuals from discrimination based on disability in a variety of contexts. Although the ADA offers wide-reaching protection, legal remedies for individuals with disabilities are not necessarily automatic. As a recent federal case illustrates, individuals with disabilities must take certain necessary steps prior to filing a lawsuit under the ADA.
For example, in order to establish a claim under the ADA for workplace discrimination, an individual with a disability must allege certain facts, or elements. First, the employee must show that he or she has a disability. An individual with a disability, as defined by the ADA, is someone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such impairment. Second, the employee must show that he or she is qualified (with or without a reasonable accommodation) to perform the functions of the job in question. Lastly, the ADA plaintiff employee must show that he or she suffered discrimination based on his or her disability.Details
Class actions are a common type of litigation in California (learn more about class action lawsuits here). But successfully filing a class action lawsuit is not always easy and involves meeting certain legal requirements. In fact, one issue that often arises in filing a class action involves determining who will be members of a particular class, and whether a given group of people qualifies as “class members”. In the recent case of Duran v. U.S. Bank N.A., the California Supreme Court weighed in, indicating that representative samples are sometimes improper methods of determining class members, but stopping short of defining a clear rule of when and for what reasons representative samples are admissible in state court.Details
A class action lawsuit permits one or more plaintiffs (victims) to file and prosecute a lawsuit on behalf of a larger group, or “class”, and can be a powerful tool for recovering damages for injuries suffered. Class actions can be brought in state or federal court. The general belief is that state court is more favorable for plaintiffs than federal court.
Where do I file a class action lawsuit?Details
With today’s technology, it seems that employees are able to work practically anywhere and at any time. Indeed, many Fortune 500 companies have adopted this more flexible approach to employment styles, known as telecommuting, often making life quite a bit easier for their employees. Does your California employer offer you the ability to work for home? If not, you may be wondering if he or she is breaking the law. Are California employers required to do, at least this in certain situations? Not surprisingly, the answer depends on the specific facts surrounding your employment, which an experienced employment attorney can discuss with you.
What does it mean to telecommute?
Telecommuting is often called a few things, including remote work, or telework, and involves is a work arrangement in which employees do not commute to a central place of work. A person who telecommutes is known as a “telecommuter”, “teleworker”, and sometimes as a “home-sourced,” or “work-at-home” employee.Details