If You’re Not Salaried, You’re Not Exempt

Although most of the focus in determining whether an employee is exempt from the requirements of overtime and meal and rest periods is usually focused on the duties the employee performs, California’s Sixth Appellate District recently reminded us that there is another, equally important factor to consider.  In order to be “exempt,” an employee must be paid “a monthly salary equivalent to no less than two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment.” Continue reading “If You’re Not Salaried, You’re Not Exempt”

“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”

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”

Employee’s Appeal Reversed on Sexual Harassment Claim

In Westerndorf v. West Coast Contractors of Nevada, Inc. the Ninth Circuit recently reversed the lower Court’s summary adjudication of a Plaintiff’s claim for retaliation on the basis of sex despite the fact that it affirmed summary adjudication on the sexual harassment itself.

Plaintiff Jennifer Westendorf filed suit against her former employer West Coast Contractor for, among other things, sexual harassment and retaliation stemming from said harassment.  She alleged that during the course of her employment, she endured a number of “offensive sexual comments”. Continue reading “Employee’s Appeal Reversed on Sexual Harassment Claim”