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CA labor lawyerSexual harassment has been a long-standing problem in the workforce. While federal and state employment laws are in place to protect victims against discriminatory actions, the #MeToo movement has helped to call attention to the ongoing problem. In Santa Clara County and throughout the country, Google is the most recent target of employee protests over the issue.

Golden Parachute for Accused Executive Spurs Backlash

On November 1, 2018, Google employees across the nation walked off their jobs in anger over how sexual misconduct claims are being handled by the company. In Mountain View alone, roughly 2,000 men and women took part in the walkout, which resulted from what they claim is an attempt to silence and downplay abuses of power.

The walkout centered around revelations that the tech giant had provided a ‘golden parachute’ for a top-level executive accused of engaging in sexual misconduct. The executive, who is credited as being the father of the Android system, was forced to resign due to the allegations, but employees were outraged when reports surfaced that he had been provided with a $90 million severance package. The executive is one of three executives that protestors claim the company is protecting against repercussions due to similar claims. They demand greater accountability and that more actions be taken to defend workers against these types of abusers.

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CA workers rights lawyerIn any job, there are hazards you may encounter in fulfilling certain tasks that could put you at risk for accidents and injuries. Some job fields and occupations are inherently more dangerous than others, and it is important for employees in these situations to be aware of their rights. Employment laws in California require that certain safety standards be met and provide a clear path for workers to voice their concerns or complaints.

Your Rights on the Job

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the national agency responsible for ensuring job standards and protecting workers. They require employers to provide a workplace free of certain hazardous substances while regulating safety practices.

OSHA conducts routine inspections, provides educational workshops, and may cite employers for failing to adhere to the proper standards. They also require employers to post public notices informing workers of their rights, which include:

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Posted on in Employment

CA workers rights lawyerMany workers dream of obtaining steady nine to five employment, with regular weekends and holidays off to take care of their families and other personal responsibilities. Unfortunately, too many are stuck in jobs with unpredictable shifts, where they are either over scheduled or not given the number of hours they need to support themselves. San Jose and San Francisco are among the few places to have employment laws in place that protect workers against these types of practices. At the Jachimowicz Law Group, we can use these laws to help defend your rights in these situations.

Fair Workweek Laws

Workers in many industries, such as food service and retail, are frequently required to jump through hoops as part of obtaining a weekly schedule. They may have to call in at the beginning of the week or even before a shift to see if they work and the type of shift they are required to cover during the day. As a result, they have little stability in being able to plan for needs such as transportation and child care, and may be denied the total amount of hours they originally were promised when they took the job.

According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), there is a growing awareness of how unfair these types of practices are and how damaging they can be to an employee’s overall well being. As a result, several major cities across the United States have initiated fair workweek laws to prohibit these practices. In addition to ensuring workers receive adequate hours and timely notices of schedules, fair workweek laws also aim at prohibiting employers from taking actions against employees who must request time off for certain personal duties, or from requiring them to perform unreasonable split shifts based on peak times of demand. Fortunately, San Jose and San Francisco are among the six major areas that have put fair workweek practices in place over the last several years.

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San Jose whistleblower retaliation lawyerWhen discriminatory actions and policies or unsafe conditions occur on job sites, employees are encouraged to speak out. Unfortunately, many fail to do so out of fear that their employer or manager may retaliate against them. There are laws in place to protect whistleblowers, and a recent case in San Francisco involving utility giant PG&E shows how employers can be held accountable for acting out in any way against these employees. 

PG&E Ordered to Pay Nearly $350,000 in Damages to Employee

When an employee cooperated in an investigation against PG&E over racial problems and spoke out about safety issues in the aftermath of a transformer explosion that occurred in 2015, the utility company responded by firing him. A former electrical maintenance and construction supervisor filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming retaliation was the motive and that the firing was unlawful. After an extensive trial which brought additional safety infractions on the part of the company to light, the Mercury News reported that a San Francisco County Superior Court jury reached a verdict in favor of the worker in July 2018, awarding him more than $341,000 in damages. 

Despite the company’s claims during the trial that they place “public safety first,” this is not the first safety scandal PG&E has been embroiled in. Numerous incidents, including the 2015 explosion and one in 2010 which proved fatal for eight people and destroyed an entire San Bruno neighborhood, have tarnished its reputation. In the aftermath of the 2010 explosion, the company was ordered to pay more than $1.6 billion in penalties and was convicted on felony charges in federal court.  

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employment discrimination,  San Jose employment lawyer, age discrimination, anti-discrimination laws,  discrimination claimWhen it comes to employment discrimination, not all employers are equal. Federal and state laws actually “discriminate” against employers based on their size. That is to say, anti-discrimination laws may only apply to businesses that have a specified minimum number of employees.

For example, most federal laws protecting workers from discrimination based on race, sex, or national origin can only be enforced against businesses with 15 or more employees. In contrast, California's Fair Employment and Housing Act generally applies to businesses with just five or more employees. Additionally, some laws, such as the federal Equal Pay Act which requires men and women be paid the same for “substantially equal” work, apply to all employers regardless of the total number of employees.

California Court Rules Local Governments Not Subject to Minimum-Employee Rule Under ADEA

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