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Religious Discrimination: Know Your Rights

In the last few years, religious discrimination in the workplace has been on the rise. Laws on religious discrimination are quite confusing and contradictory.  For example, you can’t make employment decisions based on a person’s religion. On the other, you might have to take an employee’s religion into account when making certain workplace decisions. If you feel that you have been subjected to religious discrimination or harassment at work, contact your Los Angeles employment lawyer to explore your legal options.

Religious discrimination can take place in many ways.  A few examples include:

  1.  Treating an employee different than others due to their religion
  2.  Questioning their faith/religion during an interview process
  3. Letting an employee go due to their religion
  4. Not allowing an employee to wear religious clothing/items
  5. Denying a pay raise/promotion due to their religion

An employer must accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs in order to prevent an employee from facing hardship in the workplace.  Employers must understand that many religions observe Saturdays or Sundays and therefore must be willing to accept these conditions.  Refusing an employee to implement such practices is against the law.

Employment Rights Against Retaliation: Whistleblowing

In November 2012, President Barack Obama signed new whistleblower protections into law.  Also known as the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, consists of protections for federal employees who are terminated for speaking out against illegal behaviors or actions on behalf of employees or their employer.

The Act, which was first passed in 1989, adds onto existing protections to those who disclose evidence of fraud, abuse, or waste they have encountered in the course of their employment. The new law provides greater insight to those seeking such relief.

According to the Wall Street Journal, informants in the private sector who expose violations of securities law can receive between 10% and 30% of a penalty if it’s more than $1 million under a program created by the Dodd-Frank Act. The program received more than 3,000 tips in the past year.

It is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee in any way regarding complaints made to proper labor organization agencies for any legal claims which are filed by the employee as a result of workplace actions or conditions, if you feel like you have experienced retaliation contact your Los Angeles employment lawyer.

Employment Law: When California Employers Must Pay for Travel

Are you an hourly worker? Did you know that California law requires that hourly workers be paid for hours worked, which may include pay for travel. Pay for travel consists of time where an employee is not necessarily required to perform work but is still under an employer’s control. It is important to note that commuting to and from work is generally not time that an employer must compensate. Have you ever found yourself working off the clock? Contact your Los Angeles Employment Lawyer for a confidential consultation.

For example, time spent as a passenger in a transportation related entity is considered to be under employer’s control if required by the employer.  Examples of such include, attending an event or meeting. On top of that, there are instances where travel related cases such as waiting in traffic, purchasing a ticket, or getting on board, count as under employer’s control.  However there are cases where travel doesn’t count under employer’s control.  These instances include; meals, relaxation breaks and personal business.

In addition, California law permits employers to pay different rates for travel time. Although the rate must not be less than minimum wage, it can be under what their normal pay rate is. It is important to note that, in order to qualify for a reduced travel time payment, the employer must have notify you of a different pay rate for travel time before you travel.

If you believe that your employer has committed violations of the wage and hour laws, you don’t have to file an EEOC claim as you would in a typical discrimination case. Instead, you can hire a private attorney and file suit as soon as you discover the violation. If other people at your company have also been denied overtime, meals or breaks, you may be able to file a special type of FLSA class action lawsuit.

Are You Working in a Hostile Work Environment?

“Hostile work environment” is often misunderstood.  Many believe that such an environment is when one employee dislikes another, and intentionally makes their work life miserable to the point that they quit.  However this isn’t the case.

The concept of a hostile work environment falls under the ADA, ADEA, Title VII, and any state employment discrimination laws. Meaning that, unless the alleged at-work harassment is based on race, color, religion, sex, national original, age (40+), disability, or some state-protected characteristic, a hostile work environment most likely doesn’t legally exist.

A hostile work environment legally occurs when there is harsh and/or persistent conduct that a reasonable person would consider intimidating or abusive such that it impacts their way of working.

Conduct needs to be based on one of the aforementioned characteristics, or done for a retaliatory reason. Typical at-work harassment includes offensive jokes, slurs, touching, threats, ridicule and insults.

Simply being rude does not count as hostile work environment—actions need to be sufficiently offensive.

In addition it is important to know that even if an employee is not the direct victim of at-work harassment, even if he/she was affected by it, he/she has a right to sue an employer for creating such an environment.

If you believe you have a case against hostile work environment contact our Los Angeles employment law offices immediately to find out about your rights.



Via FindLaw

The Dangers of Social Media and Employee Discipline

I am sure you have heard of employees exploiting their work environment on social media for all to see.  Whether they intentionally did it or were in a moment of frustration, the consequences can be difficult, often resulting in termination.  See what happens when workplace harassment leaks onto social media.

The National Labor Relations Board, which has been re-energized under the Obama Administration, affirmed an Administrative Law Judge’s ruling that the nonprofit, Hispanics United of Buffalo, Inc. violated the National Labor Relations Act by terminating five employees for comments they made on Facebook in response to a coworker’s criticism of their job performance.

Two coworkers employed by HUB to assist victims of domestic violence regularly frequently communicated with each other using text messages outside of work.  One weekend day one of the coworkers received a text (“recipient” from the other coworker (“sender”) criticizing the recipient’s job performance and stating that the sender planned to report the recipient to the Executive Director of the organization.

The recipient then posted a note on her Facebook page stating: “[Sender], a coworker feels that we don’t help our clients enough…I about had it! My fellow coworkers how do u feel?”

Four off-duty employees responded to the note on Facebook objecting to the criticism of their work by the [sender]. The [sender] responded on Facebook and demanded that the [recipient] “stop with ur lies about me.”  The [sender] then complained about the Facebook comments to the executive director of the organization.

The executive director then fired the recipient and the four coworkers for “bullying and harassing” the [sender] on Facebook citing its “zero tolerance” for harassment policy. None of the employees were represented by a union.

The primary issue was whether the employees’ Facebook postings constituted concerted activity. The Board upheld the ALJ’s determination that the employees’ comments of protest with other employees was concerted activity because the communications related to an employment complaint against one employee, and the postings were an important step in defending themselves against the accusations which they had reason to believe the [sender] was going to make to management.

The Board rejected the organization’s claim that the employees were fired pursuant to the “zero tolerance policy” because “legitimate managerial concerns to prevent harassment do not justify policies that discourage the free exercise of Section 7 rights by subjecting employees to . . . discipline on the basis of the subjective reactions of others to their protected activity.”

The NLRB’s decision is a step closer to creating a “zone of protected activity” over every discussion or communication about employment even when it has nothing to do with a union or union activity.  Moreover, the NLRB has demonstrated that it will protect communications which are remotely connected to “organizing” or group activity.

With social media continuing its popularity, it is important for employers to tread carefully when any potential disciplinary action is based on communications among employees.  It is also important to remember to think twice about what you are posting on social media, especially regarding work.  The internet is an open book.

For more information on workplace discrimination and harassment contact Attorney Aryeh Leichter your Los Angeles Employment Law Attorney.



Via JD Supra Law News

Understanding Employment Law on Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Sexual orientation discrimination submits as harassment or disparity based on someone’s gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or heterosexual orientation.  Many workplaces and even states have employment and labor laws against sexual discrimination.  The topic of LGBT rights has been a controversial one with mixed emotions throughout the country.  Whether it is employment law in Los Angeles or Arkansas, it is important to check with your workplace policies for the sake of your rights.

Whether you live in a state that has employment laws against sexual orientation discrimination or not, many companies offer policies that prohibit sexual orientation discrimination.  According to an article from FindLaw, “by law, these policies can be more, but not less, stringent than the state or local law’s standards. So, if you live in Indiana, a state that protects public workers from sexual orientation discrimination, but not workers in the private sector, and you work for a public company, your company may have policies that protect against sexual orientation discrimination.”

Many of these policies include disciplinary steps forced on managers and other employees who partake in sexual orientation discrimination.  The policies can eliminate any discriminatory action taken against the employee or even disciplinary action against the manager or conflicting party.  If you have experienced sexual orientation discrimination be sure to check your state’s employment laws and or company’s policies.  If your employer does not follow such rules, contact your Los Angeles employment lawyer immediately.

What You Need to Know About Labor Law and Maternity Leave

If you or your significant other is about to become a parent in the state of California, it is important that you are informed about California’s maternity leave rules and regulations.  The Golden State has some of the best family leave laws in the nation better helping expectant parents through the process.  Employment law in Los Angeles, better yet in California can often be under estimated, therefore it is important to understand your rights and take advantage of all the amenities the state has to offer.

In 2004, the Paid Family Leave law went into effect, which provides partial wage replacement to eligible workers on leave for care giving and bonding.  In order to quality for PFL, you must meet the following:

  1. Reside in California
  2. Must have contributed to State Disability Insurance, which is an automatic deduction from most paychecks
  3. Have a doctor’s note to support your time off due to bonding with a newborn, foster or adopted child or to care for a sick family member.

If you meet all the requirements for PFL, you are eligible to obtain up to 6 weeks worth of wages at a reduced level.  For example, this can be as much as two-thirds of your regular incoming during the time period.  California employment law defines a few things to remember when considering PFL.

  1. Benefits will begin after one week
  2. You can split you PFL over different segments instead of taking off six straight weeks off.
  3. Some employers may require you to use your vacation time or sick days before your PFL benefits kick in.
  4. Both parents may take PFL at the same time

Maintaining contact with your employer and human resources department is a great way to promote a clear line of communication.  Understanding California employment law and rights is important to better help you focus on what’s most important: your baby’s health.

Lets Take a Break From Employment Law: 13 Funny International Laws

Your Los Angeles employment lawyer likes it mix it up when it comes to blogging. This week we’ve decided to sway away from employment law and add some fun.  Reader’s Digest came out with an article on “13 Funny International Laws You’d Never Know Were Real.” For all you travelers out there check out these wacky laws before you head out! No one likes to pay fines!

Vicks inhalers are forbidden in Japan

In Japan, over-the-counter allergy/sinus medications that contain the ingredient pseudoephedrine such as Vicks inhalers and Sudafed are banned under Japan’s strict anti-stimulant drug laws.

Don’t eat on church steps in Italy

It’s an offense in Florence to eat or drink while sitting on church steps or within a church courtyard.

Keep your top on in Fiji

Public nudity and topless bathing are illegal here. Stay covered up and out of jail.

Feed the pigeons and you’ll break the law in San Francisco

The city famous for the Golden Gate Bridge blames the ubiquitous birds for spreading disease and damaging property.

Leave your bible at home in the Maldives

In the Maldives, public observance of any religion other than Islam is prohibited, and it’s an offense to import bibles into the country.

Watch your camera in Kazakhstan

Photography in and around airports is illegal, and taking pictures of military and official buildings is frowned upon as well.

Don’t smoke in Jamaica, mon

Tourists may be surprised to discover that marijuana is outlawed in Jamaica.

Pack a breathalyzer in France

Drivers are legally required to carry a portable Breathalyzer in their vehicle.

Pucker up at your peril in the United Arab Emirates

Tourists have been arrested and thrown in jail for kissing in public.

Butt out and chew carefully in Singapore

Lighting up in public—in restaurants, on the street, in a park—will earn a stiff fine in this Asian country.

Keep your pants on in Greece

Dropping your drawers is a chargeable offense in Greece that can bring with it a steep fine or jail time.

Bathing suits are for the beach only in Barcelona

In this Spanish city, it’s against the law to wear swimming attire on public streets

Don’t empty your piggy bank for purchases in Canada

If you’re shopping in Canada, don’t expect cashiers to accept stacks of coins as your sole method of payment

Now if you thought employment law was complicated, don’t you think these laws are a little crazy?


Los Angeles Race and Origin Discrimination Laws

The law requires everyone to be treated properly and there can be no discrimination based on race and origin. Laws and regulations in the US usually differ from state to state. However, discriminatory laws are generally the same throughout the country including Los Angeles.

According to your Los Angeles race and origin discrimination attorney laws emphasize on equal employment opportunity (EEO). As per EEO everyone should be treated equally and one should not be preferred over other due to race and origin. Every decision from hiring to firing to promotion to salary should be based on a person’s competencies and not on such points.

Several organizations still treat people unfavorably due to them belonging to a particular race or country. Discrimination may also be based on other things such as a person’s gender, disability, marital status etc. Los Angeles race and origin discrimination laws say that any company that indulges in such practices is breaking the law and may be brought into the court to justify its position.

If the discrimination is based on skills then the organization is not responsible. However, if it is based on other points then the organization may have to suffer a blow. It is due to this reason that many organizations do not have sections for gender, race, nationality, religion and marital status on their application form so that there is no chances of discrimination at the time of selecting a candidate.

However, discrimination problems may arise even after a candidate has been selected. Other areas such as a company’s failure to promote an employee due to reasons such as ethnicity are also covered in detail by Los Angeles race and origin discrimination.

If you face such problems from your organization you should not waste time in consulting a lawyer so that you can get what you deserve.

Areas US Labor Laws Cover

Laws are created to give strong grounds to industry for the whole country to stand on. In the US there are laws regarding everything including labors. The presence of these laws makes it easy for everyone to work as the law gives answer to all labor related problems.

If you ever face a problem in your tenure you should look for a Los Angeles labor law attorney. Some areas that are very well explained by the law include.

Wages and Hours

This section covers minimum wages to be paid and overtime pay so that the workers receive a justified amount of money. This is known as Fair Labor Standards Act and gives strong guidelines regarding these. Additionally, child labor protections and laws for disabled are also passed.

Safety Standards

In order to make companies provide the right kind of environment to the workers several acts have been passed including Occupational Safety and Health Act. If your organization does not take care of safety standards then you may contact a Los Angeles labor law attorney.

Benefits and Compensation

Most of the time benefits and compensation receives is the biggest bone of contention. The law is very clear about these points. All problems like retirement benefits, available leaves etc. can be easily solved in the court of law.

In addition to these a Los Angeles labor law attorney can also help you with several other standards. There are laws for both, American and non-American, citizens so that there Is no ambiguity.