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December 2014 Archives

Verbal abuse issues and workers' rights in California

In a report issued in 2010, the U.S. Workforce Bullying Institute found that more than one-third of the workers it interviewed noted that they had experienced some form of on-the-job bullying. Verbal abuse was one of the most common issues encountered. While any verbal abuse can be disconcerting, encountering the issue in the workplace can be especially stressful due to the connection between the environment and the ability to earn a living.

Caregivers to be paid over $300,000 in back wages

On Dec. 17, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that dozens of caregivers in California would be paid a combined total of $637,048 for minimum and overtime back wages and liquidated damages. According to a federal investigation, the 24 Filipino workers received less than $5 an hour despite working 11-hour days, five or six days a week.

Price is Right model gets new trial after appeal

People in California may be interested in the ongoing litigation between a former "Price is Right" model and the show. The woman, who worked on the show as a model from 2002 until 2009, claims she was fired in 2009 upon informing the show she was pregnant with twins. She had previously been awarded a jury verdict of $8.5 million in the case, but a district court judge set aside the award. Upon taking her case upon appeal, the appellate court ruled that she will have a second trial.

Former Goldman Sachs brokers awarded $7.6 million

Two brokers in California were awarded $7.6 million on Dec. 5 by a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel. Unless they are able to appeal the ruling, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. must pay the award for damages to settle complaints of wrongful termination and other transgressions.

Zillow seeks dismissal of sexual harassment suit

A real estate company has moved for the dismissal of a sexual harassment suit in California, but it faces numerous other potential actions in connection with workplace discrimination claims. The plaintiff in the current case has alleged workplace sexual harassment in connection with explicit text messages received from a coworker. Zillow counters that the messages were not a matter of work-related actions but were a pattern of interaction between both of the individuals over a two-year period.

What is disparate impact discrimination?

In some California workplaces, employment policies that are implemented might not have been written or implemented with any intent to discriminate, but when they are put into practice, they have a disparate impact on certain protected groups. These types of policies are said to cause disparate impact discrimination and, as such, are also legally forbidden.

What is age discrimination in the workplace?

Age discrimination in California workplaces can take many forms, including being passed over for promotion, being verbally harassed, being terminated or not receiving pay increases solely because of age. The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, prohibits employers from making decisions about a person's performance, job duties or income based on their age. People 40 and older are covered by the ADEA, which protects employees from discrimination by supervisors, co-workers and even people who are not directly employed by the company, like clients or vendors, who simply do business with them.

Defining sexual harassment in California

The Fair Housing and Employment Act defines sexual harassment as harassment based on a person's gender. Even if the harasser is the same gender as the person being harassed, it could still be considered sexual harassment if it meets the criteria to be considered as such. Actions that could be considered sexual harassment include making offensive gestures, staring, or using jokes or slurs of a sexual nature.

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