A ruling by a San Diego Superior Court against a California-based international shipping company awarding more than $2 million to seven Los Angeles area truck drivers will have far-reaching implications for companies and drivers throughout the state. The truck drivers alleged that the company misclassified them as independent contractors and then leased trucks owned by the company to truckers to drive.
On Nov. 18, a federal judge upheld a jury's $185 million punitive award to a former AutoZone store manager for pregnancy bias, discrimination and retaliation she experienced at one of the retailer's San Diego locations. The judge rejected AutoZone Stores Inc.'s assertion that the punitive award could not stand because the plaintiff did not link a specific AutoZone director, officer or managing agent to her discrimination claims, ruling that the retailer's legal department qualifies as an agent under California law.
In California, a proposed law aims to stop harassment and bullying behaviors in the workplace. It seeks to prevent managers from berating their subordinates and creating hostile work environments. Unlike other legislation that protects certain subsections of the population, such as minorities and women, this legislation aims to provide a greater level of protection to all employees.
In early October, a former campaign worker for California congressional candidate Carl DeMaio began speaking publicly about what he claims was sexual harassment. Although the 28-year-old man's attorney says that he has not yet decided whether or not to file a civil lawsuit against DeMaio, he was willing to share his story with CNN.
On Aug. 15, another woman filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner who resigned in August 2013 after several other women accused him of sexually harassing them. Following his resignation, the man pleaded guilty to one felony and two misdemeanor charges arising from the allegations and received a 90-day house arrest sentence. In February, the City of San Diego also settled a claim brought by a former communications director for $250,000.
Being a police officer in California is a challenging career under any set of circumstances. Police must depend on the support of their fellow officers in order to do their jobs safely and effectively. But should an officer be subjected to a hostile work environment, his or her life and career could become very painful to manage.
For professional football fans in San Diego, the Chargers’ cheerleaders are a familiar sight on game days. Cheerleaders are among the most visible representatives of an incredibly successful entertainment enterprise, the National Football League. Yet recently, allegations have been made that one of the league’s franchises has violated wage and hour laws regarding payment and other practices involving the cheerleaders.
Working in the fast food industry can be very demanding. Fast food employees must perform their duties in a quick and friendly manner. They are hard workers just like any other workers in California. Most importantly from a legal perspective, fast food workers are employees.
Drivers hauling containers back and forth from the port of San Diego might find a pair of recently filed class action lawsuits of great personal interest. A former port driver is suing two Southern California transport companies over an issue that is important to more truckers than just him.
San Diegans will no doubt share a collective sense of relief when stories about the rampant indiscretions perpetrated by the city's former mayor Bob Filner finally cease. Since accusations of Filner's misconduct broke last year, a litany of reports recounting examples of inappropriate behavior and the resulting lawsuits have filtered through the media. Recently, cases of two women who accused Filner of sexual harassment were settled.