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Employment Law Blog

What do California's new labor laws mean for employees?

Under Governor Newsom, California's latest legislative session ended with the creation of several important new employment laws. These give workers more choices and stronger workplace protections.

Sites such as the San Francisco Business Times and The National Law Review have explored the ways these laws may affect California's businesses. Below, we look at the different ways they may empower employees in the workplace.

The City of Beverly Hills faces age discrimination suit

At age 66, Cynthia Brynan had worked for the City of Beverly Hills for decades. Serving as a Senior Recreation Supervisor, Ms. Brynan alleges that she first faced age discrimination once she entered her 60s. Her complaint points to being passed over for promotions, stripped of meaningful work, given menial tasks, and being eventually forced to quit.

The City filed a motion to dismiss portions of Ms. Brynan’s lawsuit, but the Los Angeles Superior Court denied its motion. Ms. Brynan, with Allred, Maroko & Goldberg’s Gloria Allred serving as her co-counsel, will therefore continue her lawsuit with all claims intact.

Assault victims have every right to keep their trauma and their settlements private

As seen in the Los Angeles Times

The #MeToo movement has elevated the voices of sexual assault victims, making it more likely that victims will come forward. But movement supporters are wrong to attack confidential settlement agreements that can help vulnerable victims get a measure of justice.

This issue has arisen in the new book "She Said," by the reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal. They have said that they talked to victims, some of whom chose to violate their confidential settlement agreements. The reporters have criticized victims' rights lawyers (like me) for assisting clients to settle their legal claims against sexual predators by entering into such agreements.

Jeffrey Epstein is not the only one who could face charges

Jeffrey Epstein’s name has prominently featured across headlines for the past few months in connection with allegations that he sexual abused under-age girls. Some of those alleged victims are represented by Allred, Maroko & Goldberg.

First, the multi-millionaire pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. Next, news outlets reported his sudden death while in prison. A medical examiner recently concluded that the former financier died from suicide by hanging, but the case is not over yet. 

Overlooked industries where sexual harassment runs rampant

We regularly hear news stories of employees suffering sexual harassment in the entertainment, financial and tech industries. And these industries do have a lot of work to do to fix these frequent injustices.

However, studies show that women in some less glamorous industries suffer workplace harassment in even greater numbers. Employees in the food and retail industries suffer the highest rates of sexual harassment, but their stories go largely unreported and unheard.

Triumphant U.S. Women's Soccer Team next goal is to break the glass ceiling and fight for Equal Pay

As you may be aware, the United States Women's Soccer Team (USWNT) recently won their second straight World Cup and fourth since 1991. The 2-0 victory over the Netherlands was a brilliant performance from a frontrunner who was expected to win, and deliver they did. This year's team captain, Megan Rapinoe, has unabashedly used her platform to take a strong stance promoting civil rights and has received push back from critics for fighting for equal rights for all. A prime example came from President Trump when he responded to her rejection of his invite to visit the White House.

Hair can no longer be used to discriminate against certain races

California recently passed a bill that prevents employers and schools from discriminating against an individual based on their natural hair type, texture or style. Hair styles tend to be closely tied to race. Therefore, discriminating against a certain hair type indirectly discriminates against a particular race of people. This bill aims to end racial discrimination that has been cloaked under the language of dress codes.

The bill is called the Crown Act which stands for “Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair.” Similar bills have been introduced in New Jersey and New York. The New York bill passed in February and applies to workplaces, schools and public accommodations.

Greyhound Lines was sued for religious discrimination

A Muslim woman applied for a bus driver position with Greyhound Lines. During the interview, she told the interviewer that she would need to wear an ankle-length overgarment (abaya) as well as a headscarf to comply with her religious beliefs.

The interviewer told her Greyhound could accommodate her clothing requirements. However, the driver was later denied the ability to wear an abaya. Greyhound claimed that the overgarment posed a safety issue and requested that she wear pants with a knee-length skirt instead. The woman driver was forced to quit her new position since the company’s request violated her religious beliefs.

Why did The French Laundry face pregnancy discrimination claims?

Prominent chef Thomas Keller of the famed Michelin starred restaurants The French Laundry and Per Se was recently released from allegations of pregnancy discrimination from former employee Vanessa Scott-Allen.

Scott-Allen was seeking $5 million in damages, claiming that she lost her position due to her pregnancy. She had intended to transfer from New York’s Per Se, where she worked as head server (captain), to California’s The French Laundry. She completed the company’s internal transfer form, agreed to start in April, moved across the country and informed the restaurant group of her pregnancy. However, Scott-Allen was never hired for the new position. Was she pushed out because of her pregnancy?

What is Quid Pro Quo Harassment in the Workplace?

The term quid pro quo literally means "something for something." In an employment situation, it usually refers to a type of illegal harassment.

You may be a victim of quid pro quo harassment if your employer, manager or another supervisor at work tries to coerce you into doing something in exchange for job protection or benefits. Often, the "something" demanded is of a sexual nature.

Contact Us for a Confidential Review of Your Case

Do you believe you are a victim of an employee rights violation or other injustice? Contact our firm for a case evaluation. Ask about our experience with confidential pre-litigation settlements and our previous courtroom successes.
We can be reached in Los Angeles at 323-302-4774 and New York at 212-202-2966.
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