Three Lawsuits That Are Altering The California Labor Law Landscape

Employment lawsuits have risen to their highest peak in history, with pretty much 100,000 claims files in 2010, according to the EEOC. Extremely, that quantity reflects a 31% raise from just four years ago! There is a by no means-ending flow of new court situations and choices that adjust the employment landscape, generating it incredibly complicated for employers to remain ahead of the curve. Specifically in California, labor law evolves more quickly than federal law, adding to the complexity of employment compliance.

In the initially half of 2011, employment and labor lawsuits in California have resulted in numerous vital choices that will straight have an effect on the way employers in the state relate to their staff. A lot of of these situations have currently been decided upon by the California Supreme Court, though other people are nevertheless pending a choice.

Beneath is a short outline of 3 crucial situations, and an vital “take away” for employers from every a single.

Case #1

Summary: The Plaintiff was a senior executive at Google and claimed that he was discriminated against since of his age in a notoriously “young” corporate culture. To help his case, he relied on many comments by superiors and coworkers that his suggestions have been “obsolete” or “also old to matter,” that he was not a “cultural match” and that he was an “old man” and an “old fuddy-duddy.” Google argued that none of these remarks have been created in connection with any employment choice and need to be deemed irrelevant “stray remarks.”

The California Supreme Court rejected the notion that “stray remarks” created by non-managerial employees, or by supervisors outdoors of the disciplinary approach, need to not be offered weight in court. Rather, such “stray remarks” may perhaps and need to be regarded as in the context of the proof and could be made use of towards reaching a final choice.

Take away: All managers need to be conscious of what is becoming stated in the workplace, even in casual speak in between staff, and to be proactive in eliminating derogatory or discriminatory remarks.

Case #two

Summary: This employer’s corporate place was primarily based in California, but had staff functioning out-of-state. Due to California’s dissimilar overtime laws, the employer paid the out-of-state employee primarily based on his state of residency, and not according to California’s overtime regulations. The California Supreme Court is presently reviewing the case to decide if the California Labor Code applies to overtime worked in California for a California-primarily based employer, by out-of-state workers.

Take away: When the case is nevertheless pending just before the Supreme Court, employers need to cautiously critique all state labor code suggestions.

Case #three

Summary: The E.E.O.C. sued a California airport solutions business primarily based on a male employee’s allegation that he was sexually harassed by a female co-worker and as a result suffered from a hostile operate atmosphere. The California Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a summary judgment for the employer, emphasizing that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act entitles males, like ladies, to protection from an abusive operate atmosphere. The California Supreme Court sooner or later located in favor of male plaintiff.

Take away: By no means just inform a male employee to “Be a man” or “Get more than it”, if he claims of harassment. Take the claim seriously and conduct a appropriate investigation.

In conclusion

Most operate connected acts created by employers toward staff are not intentionally bigoted, malicious or discriminatory by nature. Nonetheless, the complexity of labor laws in California demand that employers act with intense caution when engaging staff and generating employment choices. In numerous situations, these actions can and will be brought against them in an employment lawsuit. As a reminder, California labor laws differ in numerous places from Federal laws, so verify with legal counsel just before generating any questionable employment choice or act.

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