Category: Unlawful Employment Discrimination

Victory for California Employees

California-Employee-RightsLately, it seems like courts have all been jumping on the arbitration bandwagon, sending ever-increasing number of employee lawsuits to arbitration.  Courts have allowed employers to force all of their employees to arbitrate any claims against the employers and even allowed employers to use arbitration agreements to prevent their employees from filing class action lawsuits on behalf of wronged employees.

Regardless of employers’ overzealous attempts to restrict employee rights, however, advocates for employees have noted time and again that the law does not allow employers to force employees to arbitrate all of their claims.  In particular, California has a Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) that allows an employee to stand in for the government in seeking to sue an employer for certain penalties for unlawful employment practicesContinue reading “Victory for California Employees”

Refusing To Sign A Warning Considered Misconduct!?

The Court of Appeal in Paratransit v. UIAB, tackled a common wrongfully terminated question for employees, can my employer fire me for not signing a written disciplinary notice? According the Court in the Paratransit case, the answer could be yes.

Craig Medeiros, the employee who was fired, was a union member. His negotiated union contract required his employer to obtain the signature of the employee being issued a disciplinary notice. The notices however, must include a disclaimer that states that the employee is only acknowledging receipt of the document. Continue reading “Refusing To Sign A Warning Considered Misconduct!?”

Sharon Stone Sued for Firing Her Injured Housekeeper

sharon-stone-suedAngelica Castillo hurt her back while loading groceries for Sharon Stone. A few months later, Ms. Castillo was placed on modified work duty as a result of her back injury and instructed to take a short period of bed rest. Sharon Stone denied her request for medical leave and told her to report to work the next day.  When Ms. Castillo arrived for work, Stone insisted she lift heavy objects despite her doctor’s warning not to do so. When Castillo reminded Stone that her doctor had placed her on modified work duty, Stone fired her.

Ms. Castillo’s wrongful termination claims include retaliation for requesting medical leave and modified cleaning duties to accommodate a work-related injury as recommended by her physician, failure to engage in the interactive process, and wrongful termination. By way of her lawsuit, Ms. Castillo is seeking general and special damages with interest, incidental and coincidental damages, punitive and exemplary damages, and costs and interest, including attorneys’ and expert witness fees, as well as injunctive relief and a declaration that Stone engaged in unlawful employment discrimination.

The case is Angelica Castillo v. Sharon Stone, Los Angeles Superior Court Case Number BC502597.

Employers Cannot Disclose Employee’s Private Information

Melissa Ignat asked the court to rule that her right to privacy was violated when her employer, Yum! Brands, Inc. (parent company of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC and others) told her coworkers that she suffered from bipolar disorder. The California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, Division Three ruled in her favor and held that an individual’s right to privacy can be violated by oral communications.

Appellant Melissa Ignat asked the appeals court to review the lower court’s grant of summary judgment. In November 2011, the lower court had found that she could not pursue a privacy action on the grounds that the right of privacy can only be violated by written disclosure, not by word of mouth. Continue reading “Employers Cannot Disclose Employee’s Private Information”