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employment law case,  San Jose employee misclassification lawyers, sharing economy, employment lawsuits, sharing economy driverBloomberg Technology reports that U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley recently heard closing arguments on an employment law case that is poised to have a wide reaching impact on California’s sharing economy. In the sharing (or “gig”) economy companies such as Uber, AirBNB, and GrubHub provide infrastructure for private individuals to use their vehicles, homes, and other resources at their disposal to provide services to others (generally for a fee). 

The Facts of the Case 

The case, Lawson v. Grubhub, involves a GrubHub food-delivery driver who is fighting to be recognized as an employee rather than an independent contractor in the eyes of the law. Misclassification of workers is a big deal because employees in California are afforded a wide variety of legal protections that independent contractors simply do not enjoy. The question of whether or not a particular worker should be classified as an employee or as an independent contractor in California primarily turns on how much control the company had over the worker.

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California employers, prospective employees, criminal history, San Jose employment lawyers, employment regulationsLawmakers in California are toying with the idea of passing new legislation (Assembly Bill 1008) that would make it illegal for most employers in California to ask prospective employees about their criminal histories during the initial stages of the hiring process. However, under the proposed legislation employers would have the right to enquire about an applicant’s criminal history after making a conditional job offer. The Sacramento Business Journal points out that Assembly Bill 1008 is seen as an extension of the “ban-the-box” initiative that California lawmakers passed several years ago.

Ban-the-Box

In 2013, California’s ban-the-box bill took effect and prohibited government employers in the state from asking prospective employees about their criminal histories on job applications. Although this statute only applied to employers in the public sector, many cities across California have followed suit and enacted similar laws that apply to private employers. However, many of these laws only restrain employers with a specified number of employees from inquiring about a job seeker’s criminal past on a job application so many small employers are currently exempt from this prohibition.

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Posted on in Employment

San Jose gender discrimination lawyers, equal pay lawsuit, employee discrimination, gender discrimination, California Equal Pay ActThree women recently filed a lawsuit against Google alleging that the technology giant systematically discriminates against female employees by denying them promotions and underpaying them. According to Bustle, the lawsuit alleges that the three women went through similar experiences while working for Google and that each of them was discriminated against in violation of the California Equal Pay Act.

Beyond their own personal experiences, the women claim that Google has a history of filtering female employees into lower level jobs and keeping them on lower paying job ladders than their male counterparts with similar education and work experience. Because the women believe that other female employees have also been illegally discriminated against on the basis of their gender they have petitioned the court to certify a class action request. If the court approves this request, then their lawsuit will be opened up to other female employees who similarly believe that they have been discriminated against by Google.

The California Equal Pay Act

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San Jose employment law attorneys, transgender identity, transgender expression, workplace regulations, employer discriminationCalifornia employers should be aware that as of July 1, 2017 there are several new state regulations on that books that pertain to transgender identity and expression in the workplace. Under state law it was already illegal to harass or discriminate against transgender employees (or prospective employees) based on the fact that they identify as transgender. However, the new regulations are aimed at expanding the anti-transgender identity discrimination protections already contained in California’s Fair Employment and House Act and are as follows below.

Restrooms in the Workplace

Under the new regulations, employers in California must allow employees to use the restroom facilities that correspond with the gender identity or gender expression that he/she embraces. Additionally, employers are forbidden from requesting proof of an employee’s gender or sex in order to use a certain restroom.

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employment lawyer, San Jose employment law attorneys, employer obligations, ERISA, employer compliance violationsThe Employee Retirement Income Security Act (or ERISA) is an important compilation of federal laws designed to protect the retirement income security of workers employed in the private sector who have health and pension plans through their employers. The employer obligations contained in ERISA concerning these health and pension plans set minimum standards that most private sector employers in the United States must abide.

While a local employment lawyer can provide private employers with thorough ERISA compliance assistance, employers bound by the ERISA should be aware of common compliance violations outlined below.

Common Compliance Violations

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