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.
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.
Employees who are sexually harassed by co-workers or supervisors might assume that their employers in Los Angeles and Long Beach will want to know about the inappropriate and illegal behavior as quickly as possible so that employers can address the problem before it gets worse. Employers have a legal obligation to try to prevent sexual harassment from occurring in the workplace, and California employers also have a legal obligation to address workers' complaints and effectively resolve complaints.
Domestic workers in Los Angeles and throughout the state of California may have been disappointed about Gov. Jerry Brown's decision last year to veto a bill that would have provided domestic workers with important and basic labor protections. But the fight for these workers to have basic protections is not over.
Last week on our Los Angeles / Long Beach employment law blog we had mentioned that the California Fair Employment and Housing Act bans employers from discriminating against and harassing workers on the basis of their marital status and pregnancy. This means that employers cannot discriminate against or harass employees and job applicants who are pregnant but not married.
Workers in California and throughout the U.S. have rights and an expectation of fair treatment in the workplace. However, employee rights aren't always exercised by employers in Los Angeles and Long Beach who hire immigrant workers.
The rights of Los Angeles workers are protected under many state and federal laws. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act alone is meant to protect workers from being harassed and discriminated against in the workplace on the basis of race, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, age, medical condition and pregnancy.
A female police officer in California has recently chosen to file a lawsuit against the city and police department of Pleasant Hill for which she works, alleging she is a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace.
California is one state that protects gay workers from discrimination in the workplace. However, many states do not offer this protection, and gay rights groups and advocates are working to change that.
As we have mentioned before on our Los Angeles / Long Beach employment law blog, employers who fail to properly compensate employees for their work and employers who fail to give employees proper breaks to rest and eat are committing serious workplace violations.