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Helping You Navigate Workplace Issues in California

Got Labor Pains: The Blog


Are U.S. Tech Companies Protecting an Ancient Form of Social Hierarchy? California Authorities Charge Cisco with Caste-Based Discrimination

By Scott • Wagner and Associates |

California attracts workers from all parts of the globe. This means that various aspects of foreign cultures also find themselves imported into the United States–including certain practices that may violate federal and state laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Indeed, a recent lawsuit filed by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) addresses a particular… Read More »


Is Your Company Ready to Reopen? California Public Health Officials Issue Formal Guidance to Employers and Employees

By Scott • Wagner and Associates |

California remains a major epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most businesses, even those in what are considered “essential” industries, continue to struggle with how they can safely reopen without putting their employees or customers at unnecessary risk. To facilitate this process, the California Department of Public Health recently released an “Employer Handbook for a… Read More »


“We Never Consider a Job Applicant’s Age”: Is an Employer Telling the Truth–or Is It Just a Pretext for Discrimination?

By Scott • Wagner and Associates |

Proving employment discrimination is often easier said than done. Even if you believe you were denied a job or other employment opportunity, such as a promotion, because of your age, sex, race, or some other legally protected status, the employer can turn around and argue it had a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the actions… Read More »


What Happens If I Sign an Arbitration Agreement After Suing My Employer?

By Scott • Wagner and Associates |

California employers often try to keep labor disputes out of court by requiring their employees to sign binding arbitration agreements. Normally, these agreements are signed before a dispute arises, such when the employee starts work. But it is also possible to sign an arbitration agreement after an employee has already filed a lawsuit or… Read More »


When “Disorderly Conduct” Is Misconstrued as Domestic Violence: Allstate Ordered to Pay Fired Insurance Broker for Defamation

By Scott • Wagner and Associates |

In California, state law prohibits your employer from firing you solely because you were arrested on suspicion of a crime. Under Section 432.7 of the state Labor Code, an employer may not consider “any record of arrest or detention that did not result in conviction,” when making employment decisions. This prohibition also extends to… Read More »


California Governor Orders Large Food Sector Employers to Offer Additional Paid Sick Leave During COVID-19 Pandemic

By Scott • Wagner and Associates |

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to rapid changes in the laws governing the rights of workers throughout California. For example, Congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which grants emergency sick leave benefits to individuals working at companies with less than 500 employees. Obviously, this excludes a wide swath of Californians who work… Read More »


San Francisco Orders Large Employers to Provide Paid Sick Leave During COVID-19 Pandemic

By Scott • Wagner and Associates |

On March 18, the Families First Coronavirus Act became federal law. This Act required certain employers to offer “emergency paid sick leave” to eligible employees unable to work, either remotely or in-person, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But the Act only applied to smaller businesses. Employers with more than 500 employees were exempted… Read More »


Who Is Responsible for Racial Discrimination in the Workplace? California Court Addresses Liability of Staffing Agencies

By Scott • Wagner and Associates |

Sexual harassment and racial discrimination are both prohibited under California law. An employee who is the victim of either may sue their employer (or former employer) for damages. But what about other parties? For example, could a victim of employment discrimination sue a staffing agency? A recently published decision from the California Second District… Read More »


California Accuses Uber & Lyft of “Misclassifying” Drivers

By Scott • Wagner and Associates |

In recent years, there have been a number of lawsuits aimed at determining the legal status of drivers who use ride-sharing apps to connect with customers. The two largest ride-sharing companies, Uber and Lyft, have always maintained drivers are “independent contractors” who are not entitled to any of the legal benefits of employees, such… Read More »


Ninth Circuit Rules for Second Time That Employers May Not Use “Salary History” to Justify Paying Women Less Than Men

By Scott • Wagner and Associates |

Since the 1960s, the federal Equal Pay Act (EPA) has prohibited employers from paying women less than men to perform the same job. Put another way, an employer cannot engage in pay discrimination on the basis of sex. But an employer may be able to justify a pay disparity on a “factor other than… Read More »

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* Cathleen Scott is licensed to practice in Florida only.

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