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Long Beach Employment Law Blog

Family and Medical Leave Act and parents of special needs kids

California parents know that there are certain laws that protect their right to take time off when they adopt, welcome a baby or take in foster children to add to their family. The Family and Medical Leave Act allows these parents to take a certain amount of time off without fearing they will lose their jobs or face some kind of retaliation. A new ruling from the U.S. Department of Labor is now saying that parents can also take FMLA to address meetings related to the special needs of their children.

Parents of special needs children often have to attend meetings regarding their kids' education. It takes a significant amount of time and often several face-to-face meetings with medical professionals and educators to get the right plan in place. It can also require a lot of time away from work simply for a parent to get an accurate diagnosis, the right treatment and support.

Problems after filing a workers' comp claim? You can speak out

As a California employee, you understand that you have the right to seek workers' compensation benefits in the event that you suffer an injury at work or become ill as a result of your job. These benefits allow you to get the support and care you need during your recovery. This can be especially important if you had to take time off work after the accident.

You are entitled to seek support after a work accident, but your employer may feel differently. Your insurance claim could result in higher costs and complications for him and her, and you could endure unfair treatment simply for seeking your rightful benefits. If you believe that your employer is retaliating against you because you filed a workers' compensation claim, you have the right to speak out.

Your age should not count against you at work

For many older California workers, age is just a number. You may be older than other applicants or the people who work at your job, but that does not in any way mean that you cannot still do good work or add value to the company. Despite this fact, there are employees who have to deal with age discrimination at work.

Any type of discrimination is unacceptable. There is no excuse for acting in a discriminatory manner toward someone because of his or her age or allowing another person to do so. This is a real problem, and there is a federal law that protects your rights as an older worker. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act shields the rights and interests of individuals who want to work or find employment.

Amazon workers allege unpaid overtime from Prime Day

Amazon is an enormous online retailer that sells everything from ebooks to household goods to clothes. The company recently ran its Prime Day sales, which featured discounted prices on various products and is popular among consumers in California and across the rest of the United States. In terms of sales, Prime Day, this year a two-day event, is one of the busiest and biggest periods of time for Amazon. However, Amazon may have stiffed the workers who made the giant sale possible for unpaid overtime.

On July 19, 2019, one Amazon delivery facility was located in an area in the midst of a record-hitting heat wave. Warehouse workers described conditions in the warehouse as unbearable, and management apparently agreed. Management agreed to let workers go home approximately six hours before shifts were scheduled to end. Workers were also promised to receive full pay for those six hours.

Fewer cases of workplace sexual harassment being reported

California employees have the right to expect that they will be able to go to work, do their jobs and fulfill their duties without experiencing harassment or discrimination of any kind. There are both state and federal laws that protect employees from sexual harassment, but unfortunately, it still happens. Thankfully, there are fewer incidents of this type of harassment being reported. 

Thanks to the popular #metoo movement, more women feel empowered to speak out against sexual harassment and other types of inappropriate treatment experienced by men. This new sense of boldness and bravery may be behind the lower numbers of harassment incidents. Women are more likely than ever before to report harassment, which may discourage men from acting inappropriately.

New law protects ethnic hairstyles in the workplace

After completing your education or training, you landed a job interview for the perfect position. Getting this job would put you on track for achieving your goals, so you prepared and put your best foot forward. The hiring manager seemed impressed and offered you the job on one condition: that you change your hairstyle.

If your new employer drew your attention to the employee handbook's grooming and appearance policy, you may have seen that the policy specifically forbids the kind of hairstyle you wear. On the other hand, the company may simply require hair that is "neat and well-kept," which the employer implied did not describe your hair. If you are a person of color, you may be interested to know that California recently passed a law protecting your right to wear your hair in a style that expresses your culture.

Workers' compensation possible for worker who fell off roof

California workers who are required to work on roofs and from heights understand the importance of fall protection and safety training. Recently, the importance of this issue came to light when an employee of a solar panel installation company fell off a roof. Like other employees who suffer injuries in work-related accidents, he has the right to seek benefits through a workers' compensation claim.

The accident occurred as several workers were on a roof, working to install solar panels at a home. One of the workers was unable to regain his balance after losing his footing, ultimately falling onto the hard concrete driveway. He was seriously injured, suffering a broken jaw and a broken wrist. According to the report, none of the workers were wearing fall protection equipment, which would have helped this individual avoid serious injury.

Where you came from shouldn't count against you at work

Whether you are a first-generation American, a recent immigrant or your family has been in this country for generations, you deserve a hostility-free workplace. Your culture, religious beliefs and more that you cherish because of your national origin should not keep you from receiving the same opportunities as anyone else.

In fact, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission protects your right to those opportunities and a hostility-free workplace regardless of the country or part of the world you or your ancestors are from originally. Just because you have an accent or look like or are of a certain ethnicity does not mean anyone has the right to mistreat you.

Workers' compensation for heat-related illnesses

The summer is hot, especially in certain parts of California. For workers who must be outside for the majority of their day, the heat can be a dangerous threat to their health and safety. It's smart for workers to know their rights when working outside and how to stay as safe as reasonably possible. Workers will also find it useful to understand the workers' compensation process in case they need to file a claim due to heat-related illnesses.

This is the time of year when the summer harvest is coming in, which means there are more farm and agricultural workers outdoors. It has also been a summer of higher-than-normal temperatures, and heat safety has become a pressing concern. For more than a decade, state law has required that employers provide adequately shaded areas for breaks.

What kinds of behaviors qualify as harassment?

When you go to work, you expect to be able to do your job in an environment that is respectful and free from mistreatment. Unfortunately, that is not always the case for some California employees. Harassment is an unacceptable type of behavior, no matter the type of workplace, and workers who are experiencing this have the right to speak up and take action.

However, how can you know if what you are experiencing is harassment, or just annoying or rude behavior from your boss or a co-worker? It may be helpful for you to learn about what types of behavior qualify as harassment and what you can do to assert your rights, hold liable parties accountable and make this type of treatment stop.

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