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Employee Rights Archives

Employers' requirements related to ADA and FMLA

California workers may encounter personal situations that result in a need for extended time away from their jobs. In certain family or medical situations, job-protected leave may be taken under the Family and Medical Leave Act, which provides for up to 12 work weeks of time off within a period of 12 months. Disabled employees might face situations in which their need for leave exceeds the limits of FMLA, in which case the Americans with Disabilities Act could come into play. In both situations, timing can be confusing. Employers and employees can benefit from a clear understanding of these factors to minimize misunderstandings and abuses.

Not all workers necessarily protected from harassment

California workers who wish to complain to their employer about a hostile work environment may need to first make sure that they can do so as part of a protected class. Many employees may not realize that they are not necessarily protected against bullying at work. This also means that people are not protected against retaliation and could be fired for reporting that harassment.

Information for requesting accommodations in the workplace

A California resident who deals with physical limitations may find that obtaining and keeping a job can be challenging. Whether a limitation exists at the time an individual applies for a job or occurs at some point after hiring, requesting accommodations may be intimidating due to a concern over a negative response. An employee may want to keep the medical situation private, but accommodations may be important for ensuring that people are able to perform their work to the best of their ability. A few communication strategies may be helpful for addressing these needs without increasing stigmatization in the work environment.

California Supreme Court to hear case on background checks

A pending decision by the California Supreme Court could affect the way that employers collect information about job candidates. In Conner v. First Student Inc., an employer argued that the California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act is unconstitutionally vague. A District Court of Appeal ruled against the employer, but the California Supreme Court voted in November to look into the case and make a final ruling.

Most states trail California in LGBT workplace protection

While California has passed laws protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees, a study released on Oct. 27 by the Movement Advancement Project reveals that LGBT workers in more than half of the nation's cities, states and counties are not as fortunate. MAP is an independent think tank that conducts research into LGBT issues. The laws researched for the report protect LGBT employees and prevent them from being fired due to their sexual orientation.

Rights of employees who have diabetes

Many people in California have diabetes, and they may be unaware that their employers are prohibited from discriminating against them due to their illness. By understanding their rights, diabetic workers may be better equipped to recognize discriminatory behavior when they are subjected to it.

Employers and reasonable accommodations

The expectations concerning the duty of California employers to accommodate employees may begin to change in the near future. Two recent cases that might have a significant impact on the workplace involved the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission suing Abercrombie & Fitch and a female employee filing a lawsuit against UPS. The cases each reflect the higher burden now placed on employers, and focused on discrimination violations.

Court rules suspension without pay not adverse action

Workers in California may wonder whether being suspended from a position with pay is an adverse employment action that employees are protected against under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to a judgment by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, it is not. While the 3rd Circuit covers only Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and the U.S. Virgin Islands, other courts have made a similar decision.

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