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Northern California Employment Law Blog

Is California Google case one of employment discrimination?

Recently, tech giant Google released an employee who wrote a memo about gender differences as a way to describe the gap in representation in technology jobs. The memo sought to demonstrate biological differences between men and women and was written from a conservative perspective. Upon its release, the California company fired the employee, citing that the man was perpetuating harmful stereotypes in the workplace. The man is considering his legal options as he believes his firing was a result of employment discrimination. 

The man could choose to make his legal claim in one of three main ways. He could claim that his employer violated national labor laws that protect his right to certain activities. The National Labor Relations Act, in Section 7, protects activities aimed at improving the conditions in a workplace. Another option for a potential lawsuit is to claim that his employer violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, although he would have to prove that he was released from his position due to his race or gender. 

California pastor's inappropriate behavior pushes co-worker out

One pastor's antics has caused an uproar with one co-worker, an associate youth pastor, who has filed a claim. The woman alleges inappropriate behavior coming from the pastor and claims that the church did not do enough to stop it. This California congregation is learning about sexual harassment policies the hard way. More details are given in a recent news story. 

The woman, who had worked for the church since 2008, is suing the church and its new pastor. She claims that she was fired after she complained to church authorities about the man's behavior. The accused man recently took a position with the church in March, and the woman claims that the harassment started almost immediately. 

Court interpreter joins walkout over wage disputes

A court interpreter says that his wages have not kept pace with the market value. In California, the California Federation of Interpreters Union has staged a walkout in protest of what they say are unfair and stagnant wages. A recent news story gives more information about the walkout and the state of the wage disputes in the Interpreters Union.

On Monday, July 31, a regional walkout was staged by the union in protest of low wages. A Mendocino County interpreter was one of several interpreters who participated. He is at the center of an unfair labor practice charge filed by the California Federation of Interpreters Union in October. His pay was reduced by approximately $500 monthly for pension benefits, which the county took from him without bargaining. 

California court sides with employee in wrongful termination case

An appellate court has decided to uphold a prior ruling in a case involving the deletion of emails. An IT employee at a California school refused to mass delete emails from the server, which she says resulted in her wrongful termination from her position. A recent news story gives more details about the case.

The woman defied an order to delete the email archive system at the school in 2012 due to her belief that deleting the emails would be a violation of state rules and regulations. She was later fired, which she claimed was retribution for her refusal to obey the command. A jury agreed, and awarded her over $1 million in 2015. 

Former financial adviser sues for wrongful termination

In the workplace, workers are protected by law from discrimination and harassment. When a company fails to end harassment, it can also be held accountable for fostering an environment where harassment can thrive. A recent news story tells about a former financial adviser for a California branch of a Morgan Stanley branch who has filed a lawsuit alleging wrongful termination after she reported sexual harassment on the job. 

The woman was hired to the firm after a rigorous training. She started to experience harassment, including a report of one manager asking her to send sexually explicit photos of herself to him. At least two managers retaliated against her for rejecting their sexual advances, and when the firm transferred her to another location, the harassment reportedly continued. 

Time-Warner skips reasonable accommodations, sued in California

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed suit against cable giant Time-Warner. The lawsuit follows an incident where a woman was not offered reasonable accommodations to seek medical treatment for a recently disclosed disability. The California woman was fired after revealing her disability and request for treatment.

The Los Angeles branch of the EEOC has charged Time-Warner with violating federal discrimination laws and failing to accommodate an employee disability.  The employee was initially granted time off to seek treatment for her disability, but the company failed to provide additional unpaid leave time to her to continue to seek medical treatment. She was fired days after revealing her disability to the company. 

Sexual harassment charges for California tech company

The gender inequity in tech has reared its ugly head again. A former employee of the San Francisco, California tech company Binary has filed suit alleging sexual harassment in the workplace. A recent news story gives the details of the lawsuit and the woman's quest for justice since experiencing ongoing harassment. 

The woman was a principal at the company and left in 2016 after experiencing sexual harassment on the job. Many of the harassment allegations stem from Binary co-founder Justin Caldbeck. Caldbeck allegedly made unwelcome sexual advances towards other female startup founders. The company also had gender specific dress codes, and employees made statements about the attractiveness of the female employee and her female co-workers.

California company settles dancer's wage disputes

When employees pool together, they can defeat unfair practices by company owners. Recently, a multi-million dollar class-action lawsuit was settled against a strip club franchise based out of California. Dancers alleged unfair treatment and wage disputes in this case, according to a recent news story. 

The case was decided in federal court, since the franchise operates in several states. The lawsuit claimed that the clubs treated topless and nude dancers as independent contractors instead of regular employees. Dancers claimed that they were making less than minimum wage, were forced to share tips with other club employees and had to pay fees to work in the club.

California woman sues for wrongful termination from county jail

An employer is not allowed to fire an employee as an act of retaliation, especially when the retaliation is due to an issue that is not work-related, such as a loan. If an employee is asked to leave or is eliminated from the schedule due to this type of retaliation, it likely constitutes wrongful termination. A recent news story out of California tells the story of one woman who is suing her former employer for wrongful termination. 

The woman is suing Nevada County and the medical group that serves the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility. She made several loans to her supervisor when he complained of mortgage woes and financial issues. The loans go as far back as 2013, but she was not paid in full the nearly $9,000 she was owed until 2016. In order to get the loans repaid, she had to send a demand letter. 

Sexual harassment investigation changes major California company

While the focus of each company is different, one thing is true across all companies, the work environment is to be free from harassment and discrimination. Sexual harassment in the California workplace is not acceptable and does not provide the right environment for employees to thrive. It's also illegal. A recent new story shares the consequences of sexual harassment in the workplace at Uber, a major transportation company, resulted in firings and restructuring of leadership within the company. 

Uber has been under fire for some time after a viral blog post penned by a female former employee exposed the culture of the workplace. Her revelations sparked an internal investigation as well as a separate investigation by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Out of the 215 claims investigated, the internal investigation found 47 of those to be related to sexual harassment. Another 100 claims were found to be uncorroborated. 

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