An employee may find him or herself dreading going to work each day because he or she is being subjected to harassing or abusive treatment in the workplace. It could be sexual harassment or some other abusive treatment. The harassment or abuse could be coming from a supervisor, a co-worker, a customer or even an outside contractor. The employee has heard the term "hostile work environment" and believes that he or she is the victim of a hostile work environment. Is the employee entitled to compensation for the hardship and distress that the hostile work environment is causing?
When an employee in California first complains about sexual harassment, his or her employer has an opportunity to resolve the situation so that it does not result in a lawsuit. However, many employers mishandle sexual harassment complaints and end up making the situation worse for their employees and for themselves. Before an act of sexual harassment takes place, employers also make mistakes by failing to set up sound policies for addressing these types of serious complaints.
A new report claims that an outside investigation at the University of California, Los Angeles, discovered that female staff are working in a hostile environment in the research center for Alzheimer's disease. The center is part of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
California workers may be interested to learn that, on April 10, it was reported that retail giant Walmart could potentially be facing a lawsuit after allegedly failing to pay their managers for overtime. Under federal overtime laws, hourly employees must be paid time and a half for each extra hour that they work if they work more than 40 hours in a week.
The former vice president of Blue Shield of California believes he was unfairly dismissed after voicing his concerns about a more senior officer's suspicious conduct, and he filed a suit in state court on April 6. In his lawsuit, the former officer claims that the company's chief information officer and senior vice president was responsible for his termination after the plaintiff had voiced objections about potential financial improprieties.
A lawsuit recently filed in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges that Kaiser Permanente and Southern California Permanente Medical Group fired the plaintiff after she reported that other employees had violated the privacy rights of patients. The plaintiff, a woman who had been employed by Kaiser since 1978 for 34 years, complained of retaliation and age discrimination.
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing announced that eight Napa Valley vineyard workers will share $65,000 as part of the settlement of a sex discrimination and retaliation lawsuit. The complaint was filed against a vineyard owner, a management company and a farm labor contractor.
On March 16, a former Facebook employee filed 11 complaints against the social network in a California court. The woman's claims stemmed from her time working for Facebook between June 2010 and October 2013. She alleges that race and gender discrimination were pervasive in Facebook's work environment, and her claim charges Facebook for various offenses including national origin discrimination and sexual harassment.
Some California residents may be employed at places that promote wellness for their employees. While this can be positive, it may also leave employees vulnerable by requiring them to share health information that their employers may later use to discriminate against them.
Although discrimination based on religion is one of the things prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, previous cases ruled in favor of allowing employers to discriminate against visibly religious applicants based on the dress code or "look" enforced by the business. In late February, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that challenges this practice, which may be good news for highly diverse states like California.