The Armstrong Law Firm
Free Initial Consultation
local: 415-692-0462 toll free: 866-590-6082
Related Topics

San Francisco Employment Law Blog

What's casual racism at work?

Overt racism at work is usually pretty easy to spot. It includes things like co-workers who use racial slurs and bosses who give the dirtiest, most dangerous jobs to employees of a certain race while reserving the "nice" jobs for those of another.

Casual racism, however, can often be covert. It's less about the conscious belief that one race is better than another than actions that rise out of one person's subconscious sense of racial superiority (or subconscious belief in another race's inferiority).

Sexual harassment issues in online meetings

Have you been working from home lately? If so, like many other companies in this nation, your employer may be rapidly making adjustments to the way that they do business, particularly when it comes to holding conferences and meetings. They may also have quickly set up an online forum that helps you and your co-workers communicate better outside of formal meetings.

That means it's definitely time to discuss a company's responsibilities regarding the issue of online sexual harassment.

Can women in high positions be sexually harassed?

One of the most frequently suggested solutions to the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace is to move more women into positions of authority. As supervisors, managers and executives, women might be in a better position to move a company's culture in a direction that won't allow such things to happen as easily.

Except that women at the top of the corporate ladder aren't immune from sexual harassment. In fact, some sexual harassers may be motivated to act because they're confronted with a woman who in charge at their workplace. The mere fact that she's in a position of authority over them can prompt some men to feel resentful and angry -- and they behave accordingly.

What employers should do about cyberbullying in the office

Cyberbullying is a distinctly modern issue -- which means that many companies aren't prepared to handle the difficulties it presents when it happens in the workplace. However, the recent shift to remote work by vast numbers of employees in many industries is drawing attention to this increasingly common problem.

Employees can be the victims of cyberbullying via internal communication platforms, emails and texts. The bullies can be their co-workers, clients and even their employers. A recent case involving the luggage company Away, exposed just how easy it can be for a manager or company owner to misuse communication tools like Slack to intimidate and harass their employees remotely.

Uber, Lyft sued by California over worker misclassifications

Have Uber and Lyft been guilty of misclassifying its drivers as independent contractors when they're really employees? California thinks so. The state's Attorney General, Xavier Bacerra, and the city attorneys from three major metropolitan areas within the state have filed a joint lawsuit against Uber and Lyft over the issue. This brings to a head a dispute that's been brewing for quite a while.

Uber and Lyft have long maintained that their business model makes drivers independent contractors -- and the two companies have defied any attempts to change that system. As independent workers, the drivers are not provided with a minimum hourly wage, any kind of sick leave, disability benefits, vacation time or unemployment benefits in the case of injuries. According to the complaint, however, the classification is unfair. If so, workers are being denied their fair due -- and the companies are operating illegally.

Winning a wrongful termination case can be challenging

You just got fired from your job. Do you have any recourse for filing a case alleging wrongful termination?

You may, although those cases can be among the toughest employment law cases to win. The reason for that is that most people have what is known as "at-will" employment. That basically means that your boss can fire you for any reason — or no reason at all.

Reasonable accommodations for executive dysfunction

"Executive dysfunctions" come in all shapes and sizes -- and they can be caused by many different conditions like attention-deficient hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism. But you don't have to be born with executive function deficits to have them. Many people develop problems with executive functions due to things like brain injuries, strokes, lupus, multiple sclerosis and other chronic health conditions.

Even if you've never had a problem with executive dysfunction before now, a processing disorder or memory problems can really disrupt your work and interfere with your productivity. When there are ways to work around your executive function deficits, however, you have every right to ask your employer to make some reasonable accommodations.

An employer's duty to stop third-party harassment

When you work in any kind of business with the public, you may encounter all kinds of different people. No doubt, some of them you could do without.

But what happens when one of your customers is outright hostile to you for some reason? What if a customer harasses you in a way that is racist, sexist or otherwise discriminatory?

Can you take a support animal to work with you?

Once upon a time, the only support animals being used by the disabled were "seeing eye dogs." Today, however, support animals are used to assist everyone from diabetics and those with seizure disorders to people suffering from mental and emotional conditions like anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

If you have a support animal, does your employer have to allow you to bring the animal to the workplace?

Is it legal to fire striking workers?

The weakening of the American union has made labor strikes less common than they once were -- but they do still happen. Amazon warehouse employees, for example, recently staged a brief walkout in protest over what they said were unsafe working conditions. They were urging Amazon's leadership to shut a Staten Island warehouse down and clean it after one of the employees became sick with a highly contagious disease that they feared could infect others.

It didn't take long for Amazon to respond -- but it wasn't in the way that workers had hoped. Instead of agreeing to their demands, Amazon promptly fired the employee who led the walkout.