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April 2013 Archives

Garment maker fined by California Labor Commissioner

A Los Angeles apparel company that makes women's garments is being fined by the California Labor Commissioner for failing to pay overtime wages to 110 of its employees. The state's Department of Industrial Relations announced April 11 that the company is required to pay $113,785 in unpaid overtime wages, along with $61,450 in penalties for failing to pay the overtime and additional penalties of $307,250 for improperly itemized statements. The apparel company in question pays its employees by the piece. Per law, manufacturers are required to provide employees with accurate itemized statements showing how many hours were worked. If manufacturers pay by the piece, they are also obligated to list the number of items made and how much employees were paid per item. The labor commissioner believes that the company was attempting to circumvent labor laws that require companies to pay employees overtime by paying employees by the item and not letting them know how many hours they had worked.

California woman allegedly fired for reporting drug use

An anonymous security guard filed a lawsuit alleging that clients who visited her workplace, the California-based Universal Music Publishing Group, regularly smoked pot and engaged in other illicit activities. While residents of California have the right to smoke marijuana for medical reasons, they cannot legally use the drug at work. The 41-year-old woman claimed that she was the victim of wrongful termination when she was banned from the property after reporting a number of the drug activities. She is requesting an unspecified amount of compensation. She claimed that she personally saw drug use by at least five celebrities and could smell pot coming from studios. She also claimed that one supervisor asserted that one of the stars could do anything he wanted, including use drugs in the workplace.

'Fashion Police' writers strike, claiming overtime violations

The popular television program "Fashion Police" is facing trouble now that its writers are claiming serious violations of California's wage and hour laws. Writers on the E! Network program say they have been underpaid by approximately $1.5 million.

California Supreme Court issues clearer standard for bias claims

California law prohibits employers from taking any adverse action against an employee or job applicant because of discrimination on the basis of a protected status. In some cases, though, the alleged discrimination may be mixed in with legitimate reasons for taking adverse action. Until recently, courts in California have not had a clear standard to work with in these so-called "mixed-motive" cases.

California retiree advocates for caregiver workplace protections

Los Angeles workers might look forward to retirement as an opportunity to delve further into hobbies, catch up on extra reading, or perhaps just as a time to relax and enjoy freedom from work obligations. Yet one California retired firefighter is not taking time off. Instead, he's doing his part to support a proposed bill that would protect caregivers from discrimination in the workplace.

Can Los Angeles employers snoop on their employees?

Although new laws in California prohibit employers from requiring employees and prospective employees to give employers access to their private social media sites, there are still many other laws in California that allow employers to snoop on their employees without violating employees' privacy rights in the workplace.

Whistle-blower claim filed against Rutgers over coach's misconduct

Employees in Los Angeles and Long Beach who work in hostile environments need to know that they have rights that must be protected when they choose to expose their employers' wrongdoings or testify against employers who are under investigation for committing workplace violations.

Age discrimination still affecting thousands of workers every year

While some workers in Los Angeles may look forward to retiring as soon as they are able to, others may look forward to working for as long as they possibly can. Having a career and remaining involved in the workplace can be very fulfilling, and some workers simply do not want to give up such an important part of their lives when they reach the age of retirement.

City will settle LAPD officers' sexual orientation harassment suit

Last week on our Los Angeles / Long Beach employment law blog, we had mentioned that a Los Angeles Police Department officer had won his race harassment lawsuit that he had filed against the city for failing to protect his rights and for failing to put an end to harassment in the workplace when supervisors and other officials became aware of the environment the black officer was forced to work in.

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