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San Francisco Employment Law Blog

What does the 'ban-the-box' law mean for Californians?

Californians and their lawmakers are always striving to remain at the forefront of employee rights, as the Golden State is already one of the safest and most progressive states in labor law. New laws protect people from discrimination, arbitrary termination and other excesses of managers and employers.

Many recent laws in San Francisco, Los Angeles and other jurisdictions in California made it illegal to inquire about a person's criminal history. These laws came to be known as "ban-the-box" laws, as it removed a checkbox about past convictions from employment applications. Now that there is a statewide "ban-the-box" law, employers may be looking for answers about their responsibilities.

Former manager wins nearly $8 million for wrongful termination

Workers of all kinds and industries can measure their progress in the new laws that protect their rights in the workplace. California leads the nation in protections for office employees, onsite contractors and even freelancers.

Many of these laws are vital because they make it harder to terminate an employee's contract without proper cause. In general, people are dismissed from their jobs because they have failed to fulfill their job description or behaved improperly as an employee.

California diabetic sues food chain for disability discrimination

A diabetic man who previously worked as an assistant manager in a large foodservice chain has accused his former employer of disability discrimination based on his chronic condition. His lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims that his employer refused to make reasonable accommodation and later fired him in retaliation.

The plaintiff's claim for damages may be inflated to include higher economic damages than similar cases. This is because he claims he was unemployed for months after the incident and many new job applications were turned down when he described his termination.

Bay Area restaurant get creative fighting sexual harassment

Sexual harassment in the workplace used to be a matter of course for thousands of female employees in earlier eras for American industry. Although it is no longer acceptable to treat women differently or deny any protected employee a fair share of work and compensation, instances of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior still happen.

One of the longest running and most important debates about sexual harassment is identifying it. Some believe that the intent of the speaker or actor is vital, while others claim only the effect felt by the victim is important.

New employee rights require new employer oversight

California's state government tries to go above and beyond in supporting employee rights in all industries to keep the state attractive to companies and workers alike. While U.S. laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act laid the foundation for modern labor protections, the Golden State often goes above national standards.

The state assembly in Sacramento spent much of 2017 addressing new protections to properly take care of the state's workforce. Most of these laws took effect on New Year's Day 2018, so businesses have completed the first few months of the new responsibilities to workers.

How does California fight workplace discrimination?

It is no accident or coincidence that California has the largest economy among U.S. states. The state government and businesses have worked hard to make opportunities in employment open to all groups and individuals equally.

Some instances of employment discrimination, which can apply to either job applicants or employees, and workplace harassment mar this positive landscape. Fortunately, the state works with federal guidelines and federal agencies to make it easier to report and deal with discrimination before it affects a person's career and results in other workplace issues.

Basketball coach settles wrongful termination lawsuit

It is no accident that California is one of the strongest and most diverse economies, in terms of output and participation. The state has led the way in welcoming workers and managers of all races, genders and backgrounds. Legislators and companies have worked together to make this the norm.

The expectation of safety and security in careers and workplaces relies on the ability to report violations. Whistleblowers who attract attention to inappropriate workplace policy or behavior may not be terminated, demoted or passed over for promotion because of reporting these issues.

Disability discrimination lawsuit targets California business

Society has greatly improved its general approach to workers with disabilities. Injuries, illnesses and other limiting conditions are no longer an excuse to keep people out of the workforce or marginalize their position within it. Federal and California laws protect this principle.

Disability discrimination in the workplace can happen at any level in any workplace. Some people may need extra equipment or infrastructure to fully engage with their work. Several minor cases can be simply corrected with an alteration to a workstation. A refusal or neglect to deal with these issues can land any employer in legal trouble.

California court system deals with victims of sexual harassment

Sexual harassment has no excuse in the workplace, and the last year brought new attention to the inappropriate practice that exist in many businesses, organizations and government entities in California. The fields of high-tech development, venture capital and even the State Assembly in Sacramento have all had to face allegations of misbehavior regarding some managers and officials.

The California court system has also created victims of sexual harassment, as new records show more than $500,000 in payments. These payments were made over seven years to resolve at least five complaints of inappropriate behavior by judges and staff. An additional sum approaching $80,000 went to investigating other allegations against judges.

Bonus payment case ruled on by California Supreme Court

California is the nation's factory, grocer and seat of innovation. The largest part of the state's ability to attract and retain some of the world's best workers is the government's recognition of basic and advanced workers' rights.

When employees' rights are violated in the workplace, the victims may consider recourse to civil law to rectify the situation. This may include compensation for lost wages and payments to punish employers for the violation. Beyond damages, lawsuits can clarify employee rights and create better workplaces.