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Northern California Employment Law Blog

Man claims he was fired for taking leave under FMLA

One new father was excited for the addition to the family and attempted to take more responsibility for childcare. He took a few weeks off to bond and help his wife but was later fired. The man claims that his employer unfairly punished him for taking leave per the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, and filed a case. California parents may be interested to learn more about the man's struggle for fair paternity leave. 

Previously a rock star manager at a major pharmacy chain, the man knew that he wanted to spend more time at home after the birth of his second child. When he requested the leave from his supervisor, he was chided and embarrassed a bit in front of his colleagues. When the store suffered in his absence, he claims that higher-ups blamed him, and he was later fired. 

2 women file wrongful termination lawsuit in California

Two women reported problems at a local surgical center and now claim that they have lost their jobs because of it. The allegations of misconduct range from unlawful opiate control, failure to maintain a sterile environment and claims of sexual misconduct. The California women claim that they were victims or wrongful termination after being fired for reporting the issues. 

Earlier this year, the women observed and reported issues to their supervisors. They noticed that some employees had failed to maintain a sterile environment. One of the women fired was an infection control specialist. As a result of their observations, they informed the medical clinic director, who allegedly told them to ignore the infection control standards for fear that it would hurt the business.

Sexual harassment has a number of motivations, say psychologists

A recent spat of misconduct allegations in the news has focused attention on the behavior of men in the workplace. Although sexual harassment is not limited to men harassing women, it is statistically more common. In a recent news report, three psychologists explain why men harass women in the workplace, which California readers may find enlightening. 

The psychologists say that men harass women who work in traditionally male fields as a way to protect their occupational territory. By using harassment, they are able to discourage women from participating or gaining power in the field. Many times, the behavior goes unpunished, even after it is reported, which can lead to an accepted culture of intimidation. 

California auto maker sued for employment discrimination

This has been a year riddled with legal challenges for one groundbreaking automaker that is being sued once again. This time, California automaker Tesla is being accused of employment discrimination based upon its treatment of African-American workers at its local plant. A class-action lawsuit has been filed, claiming that the company did nothing to stop racist abuse in the workplace. 

This lawsuit is at least the third racial discrimination claim against Tesla filed by black workers just this year. However, it's the first one filed on behalf of a whole group of workers. The individual who initiated the suit has alleged that he was often called by racial slurs, and that reports to human resources did nothing to stop the behavior. He was later fired. The employer gave a lack of a positive attitude as the reason for the firing. 

Overtime and wage issues for California university employees

A recent proclamation by a university president had some hopeful that fair pay would be strengthened in the state. In 2015, the University of California unveiled a new policy that set a $15 hourly minimum wage for employees, but two years later some employees are crying foul. One worker claims that he is paid using two separate names in order to avoid overtime pay. 

The contract food service worker has issued pay stubs through the union that show he worked over 100 hours in two weeks and was paid only $10.15 an hour. The union requested anonymity for the employee because he is afraid of losing his job. Another employee who worked for an outside contractor at the university reports being paid only $12 per hour, much less than direct UC employees are paid. 

Teacher accuses school district of wrongful termination

Many individuals in California and elsewhere place a great deal of time and effort into the pursuit of their preferred careers. Should a person be subjected to unfair or unjust treatment during employment, he or she may suffer in various areas of life, personal and professional alike. A teacher in another state has recently filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against a school district after she claims she was forced into resigning from her position.

The woman has spent the past seven years teaching at the school, and has reportedly received high scores on evaluations each year. However, in the most recent evaluation, she received low marks in each category, which other teachers claim is a sign that someone is being targeted for termination. The woman also claims that the scores were a means to bully her and force her to leave her position.

Paid maternity leave a no-go for California teachers

A new bill that would have allowed teachers more time off to be with their babies was vetoed by the governor. The bill passed the California legislature only to be struck down at the last turn. The state governor says that he has taken steps to allow for maternity leave, and that further benefits are best bargained for at the local level. 

The bill would have granted all teachers and employees of California school systems six weeks of fully paid maternity leave, starting as early as next year, but as the bill was written, no funding for the paid leave was provided. The governor has signed two previous bills that allow for differential pay for new parents in the school system. Differential pay is the teacher's rate less the cost of employing their substitute. 

Women of California politics come out about sexual harassment

Recent revelations of criminal sexual behavior in the entertainment industry have sparked a wave of testimony from women of all walks of life. Recently, 140 women of California politics have penned a letter stating that they are taking a stand against sexual harassment in government. A news story released by NPR gives more details. 

The NPR story shares that the women drafted a letter to say that they were not going to tolerate sexual harassment in the workplace, and they issued a call to other women to do the same. The letter also asked for the support of men in speaking out against inappropriate sexual behavior such as harassment, unwanted touching and sexual comments. It asked that men speak out against this type of behavior and not sweep the actions of others under the rug. 

Woman claims wrongful termination against California employer

A recent news story has reported that one woman has filed a lawsuit against her former employer. The woman alleges that she was sexually harassed, retaliated against, and finally fired because she resisted the sexual demands of her employer. She has charged the California employer with harassment and wrongful termination.

The woman was en employee of Raj Properties where she was employed as a janitor. She alleges that her boss would grope her and fondle himself while requesting sexual favors. The woman has claimed that the incidents of harassment happened several times. Other employees allegedly were aware of the man's behavior, and the woman supposedly was urged by other employees to just ignore it. As she rebuffed the advances, the man became irritated and supposedly gave her a heavier and heavier workload. 

Most Americans support reasonable accommodations for leave

Most people will admit that there are times when a person simply needs to be at home to take care of the family. Whether that leave is used to introduce a new child, to care for a family member or to address one's own health concerns, there are times when a person will require significant time off from work in order to tend the home fires. The Family and Medical Leave Act allows certain employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, and employers must allow for reasonable accommodations for disabled employees in California and across the country. Some individuals also feel that it is time to give paid medical leave to individuals who have medical or caregiving needs at home.

Recent polling shows that Americans on both sides of the political fence support a paid leave option for working mothers and individuals with family caregiving needs. Right now, only a low percent of individuals have access to paid family or short-term disability leave. A few states, including California, have passed or implemented legislation to give paid leave to employees, but there is no national policy yet. 

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