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.
Los Angeles is a diverse city, but even though residents of all races and religions live here, folks continue to face harassment and discrimination on the basis of their race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation and gender. Unfortunately, discrimination and harassment is not something that only occurs on the streets; it also occurs in the workplace. The workplace should be a place where all hard-working employees are respected, but not all employers respect the rights of their employees.
According to reports, actress Sharon Stone has been accused of violating another employee's rights. Stone was sued earlier this week by a former employee who claims that she was fired after she suffered an injury that had prevented her from doing her work as quickly as she normally performed her work duties prior to being injured. The actress was sued last year by a nanny who claimed that Stone fired her after Stone realized the nanny was being paid for overtime hours worked.
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.
When supervisors are informed about incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace, they are required under California and federal laws to address the complaints. Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal and harmful, and when this type of inappropriate behavior is not handled appropriately by employees' supervisors and employers, work environments may become hostile and unbearable.
Two former employees and one current employee of a school in Whittier recently filed a lawsuit against the school, its principal and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The plaintiffs claim that they were retaliated against in the workplace for trying to protect the school's students and that they were also forced to work in an environment that made them feel unsafe.
Women in Los Angeles and Long Beach should not be forced to sacrifice their jobs or careers because they are pregnant or raising young children. If women want to continue working while also raising a family, that choice should be up to them, not their employer. Unfortunately, many employers still engage in discriminatory practices against women who are pregnant, and even Oprah Winfrey's OWN network is currently being accused of retaliation, sex discrimination and pregnancy discrimination.
Last week on our Los Angeles / Long Beach employment law blog, we had mentioned that restaurant workers in California had finally recovered compensation that was owed to them for hours worked. Their employers violated many wage and hour laws, including failing to pay workers for all of their hours worked and failing to pay workers overtime wages. Unfortunately, these illegal practices are all too common in the restaurant industry.
A former American Apparel employee who signed an "At Will Employment Confidentiality Agreement" is now suing the company for wrongful termination and other wrongdoings. The employee has disclosed some very concerning issues regarding his employment with the company that he believes the public should be aware of, but American Apparel claims that the allegations are false and that the former employee has violated a "Mandatory Arbitration and Mediation Agreement" by filing a lawsuit against the company.
Over the years Wal-Mart has been criticized for its labor practices, and unions and labor rights groups have often protested alleged unfair treatment of Wal-Mart employees. Recently, more protests have occurred outside of Wal-Mart stores across the country. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) is reportedly leading the protests. Now, Wal-Mart has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the union, alleging they are disrupting business and causing emotional harm to its customers.