One of California's most famous employers, Alphabet, has received accolades in recent weeks over their decision no longer to require employees to submit claims alleging discrimination to an arbitration process. Many people in the Fresno area probably recognize Alphabet as the parent company for Google.
According to recent statistics, San Francisco has paid tens of millions of dollars over the past 12 or so years to resolve various lawsuits, most of which were filed at the hands of employees who had been victimized by some form of discrimination. To break down the numbers, since 2007, San Francisco has had to resolve 57 wrongful termination cases and 55 racial discrimination cases filed by employees against the city.
It probably comes as no surprise that California employers, generally speaking, have the right to create workplace rules and policies that their employees are expected to follow. Employers have leeway to enforce these rules, including firing an employee who breaks them.
For many people who go to work in Fresno, California, talking about one's wages is taboo. Even if no one specifically says so, people just seem afraid to talk about how much money they are making or, at best, feel very uncomfortable with the prospect of doing so.
A Northern California resident who has done any sort of job search in recent years has probably noticed that job descriptions include a list of what are called "essential job functions." More than just being a way of describing the job, these essential job functions are important for legal reasons, particularly for California employees who may have a disability.
A California jury validated the claims of a 61-year-old former hospital worker, who at the time of trial was unemployed, that her former employer discriminated against her. The case may turn some heads in the Fresno area because it was not based on race, age or gender per se but instead was based on the fact that the woman lost her job after getting hurt at work. The woman, who had worked for the hospital for almost 25 years, hurt herself while trying to move medical equipment.
Although one must applaud those areas in which progress has been made, it seems that the entire country, including California, has room to improve when it comes to women's rights. This is particularly true with regards to women's right to be treated fairly and equally in the workplace.
Taking legal action against a big national or international corporation can be a very daunting task. Large companies usually have access to a lot of resources, including a well-financed legal team that will do what it can to defeat or minimize even a legitimate claim filed by an employee.
The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA for short, is a federal law that affords certain protections to people who have documented physical or mental disabilities. The ADA actually covers a variety of topics; among these, it protects employees in California and nationwide who may have to work with a disability.
Walmart has agreed to pay $65 million to settle a class action suit that has been pending for almost a decade. If approved, around 100,000 Walmart cashiers, some of whom have since left the company, may be eligible for a payout. The payout could be up to around $1,000 for cashiers who remained at Walmart for a number of years.