Category: Unlawful Employment Discrimination

Protected Leaves of Absence

PROTECTED LEAVES OF ABSENCE FOR SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

  1. Time Off For Noble Deeds – If employees want to help save the world, in California, they can do so without fear of losing their job.  Lab. Code §§ 230.3-.4; 1501-1507.  Employers in California are required to allow employees to take unpaid leaves of absence to serve as volunteer firefighters, reserve peace officers, emergency rescue personnel, or as a member of the Civil Air Patrol.  Any employer who discriminates against an employee for taking time allowed under the law is guilty of a criminal misdemeanor, and the affected employee is entitled to reinstatement, lost wages, and benefits. 
  2. Time Off For Saving Lives –If an employer employs 15 or more employees, an employee that has worked for the employer for at least 90 days is entitled to take up to 5 business days of paid leave during any one-year period to donate bone marrow, and up to 30 business days of paid leave during any one-year period to donate an organ.  Lab. Code §§ 1508-1513.
  3. Time Off For Classroom Assistants – Parents, guardians, and grandparents with custody can take unpaid time off (or use vacation/personal leave) up to 8 hours per month and 40 hours per school year to participate in their child’s school or day care activities.  Lab. Code § 230.8.  The penalty for violating this provision includes reinstatement, lost wages and benefits, as well as a civil penalty of three times the lost wages and benefits.
  4. Time Off For Addicts And Those Who Need Help ReadingEmployers are also obligated to allow employees to take unpaid leave as a “reasonable accommodation” to participate in alcohol or drug rehabilitation programs, or adult literacy programs, if they employ 25 or more employees.  Lab. Code §§ 1025-26; 1041.

Family Responsibilities Discrimination

Feel Discriminated Against Because You Have to Take Care of Your Family?

It is commonly known that an employer may not ask a prospective employee about his/her marital status or family issues because an employer may not discriminate against an applicant based on their family status. But what about discrimination based on family status after hiring? California may be close to passing a law that adds familial status to the list of protected categories under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Continue reading “Family Responsibilities Discrimination”

Exxon Mobile’s Discriminatory Hiring Policies

Two nearly identical resumes were recently submitted to Exxon Mobile’s HR hub located in the state of Texas to “test” the companies purportedly non-discriminatory hiring policies.  The gay rights group known as Freedom to Work submitted these two fictional resumes, with only slight differences between the two: one applicant’s resume clearly demonstrated  that she was a gay rights activist, and the other was not.  Continue reading “Exxon Mobile’s Discriminatory Hiring Policies”

“Cultural Differences” Don’t Justify Racial Discrimination

Paula Deen, long-time cooking show host and author of numerous cookbooks, recently learned that the Food Network can’t stand the heat and is kicking her out of the kitchen for racial discrimination.  Deen is famous for her deeply Southern, often sweet and fatty comfort foods.  Deen’s Southern roots have landed her in the fryer this time, as she has been accused of racism and discrimination by a former employee.  Continue reading ““Cultural Differences” Don’t Justify Racial Discrimination”

Albertson Pregnancy Discrimination

An Alberston’s manager, Reyna Garcia, filed a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against the grocery chain for failing to accommodate her high risk pregnancy with light duty.

After she became pregnant Reyna Garcia told her store manager that she had a history of pre-term delivery and asked that her pregnancy be accommodated through lighter work. The store manager’s response was “I thought you said nothing was going to change?” Her requests to be moved to the deli counter or customer service were turned down. In fact, Ms. Garcia requested reasonable accommodations three times, but the requests were ignored. She had no choice but to continue working because she could not financially afford to stop and needed the health insurance due to her pregnancy. Continue reading “Albertson Pregnancy Discrimination”