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California Labor & Employment Law Blog

Los Angeles County settles a wrongful termination lawsuit

A spokesperson with the Montebello Unified School District (MUSD) announced on July 8 that they'd settled a wrongful termination lawsuit with a former superintendent of theirs. Another case filed by the school district's then-chief financial and operations officer (CFO/COO) is still awaiting a judicial review.

Both plaintiffs were let go from their roles with MUSD back in 2016. They were terminated after calling attention to political corruption involving activities by the school district's former chief business officer, who was also the head of the school board. The chief business officer was ultimately let go from his role and was replaced by three new board members.

Dealing with an unexpected job loss

Losing your job unexpectedly can feel devastating. Not only do you have to deal with rejection and feeling unappreciated for your hard work, but you will also be without an income.

When you are not given a good reason for why you were let go, this can feel frustrating and disheartening. It is important, however, that you are proactive in moving forward after a job loss. The following are some things that you should consider doing immediately after being fired.

Older workers can face age discrimination

You always thought that your experience would help you when it came time to find a new job. After all, your lack of experience when you were a young worker really stood in your way. At 50 years old, you were at least looking forward to having a stronger resume.

But does that experience make it easier to find a job, or are you now going to run into discrimination based on your age when you look for a new job?

When must your California employer legally pay you overtime?

As an hourly worker in California, you likely depend on your wages to help you cover all of your living expenses, from rent or a mortgage payment to groceries to feed yourself and your family. That's why it is so important that your employer complies with all employment and wage laws.

After all, your financial stability depends on your employer complying with those rules. Some companies will do just about anything to avoid incurring extra expenses. That can include overtime pay.

Understanding affirmative action in the workplace

While it is illegal to discriminate in the workplace on the basis of characteristics such as race, religion, nationality, gender or disability, imbalances are unfortunately still present. This means that there is still a significant gender pay gap, and minorities continue to be underrepresented in managerial positions.

Due to the representation imbalances that persist, large companies are seen to have a responsibility to put policies in place that address this. These policies are formally known as affirmative action.

Can sexual harassment at work be prevented?

The workplace should be a professional environment that is free from discrimination and inappropriate behavior. While every individual is responsible for their own actions, companies and their managers have the responsibility to set boundaries and expectations regarding what is acceptable. They should also have clear procedures for reporting unacceptable behavior in the workplace such as sexual harassment.

If you feel uncomfortable with an experience you have had at work and believe that your employer has not dealt with the issue in an acceptable manner, it is a good idea to understand how a business should respond to a report of sexual harassment. If your employer did not deal with the issue appropriately, you may be able to take legal action.

Steps to take if you think you were wrongfully fired

If you have recently been fired or laid off from your job, it is likely that you are feeling a mixture of emotions. You may feel a sense of anger toward your employer or manager. In addition to anger, you may also be feeling disappointment, frustration, and sadness -- particularly if you believe that the circumstances behind your job termination were unfair.

It is important that you do not act on any of these emotions impulsively. Instead, you should look into the rights you have under the law. If you can prove that your employment termination was wrongful, you may be able to gain compensation or have your position reinstated. Following are the initial steps that you should take.

Key signs of gender discrimination at work

The law dictates that all workers should be treated equally, regardless of their gender. This means that both sexes should be paid equally for equal work, and they should be able to do their job without facing gender-based or sexual harassment.

If you are feeling uncomfortable about some recent experiences you have had at work, you may be wondering if these experiences constitute workplace discrimination or harassment. If you feel that the experiences have created a hostile environment, you should take action to address the situation. The following are some subtle ways that gender discrimination can be perpetrated.

Basis of discrimination and types

Discrimination in the workplace should never happen. Companies need to have clear guidelines that forbid this atrocious behavior. There are many types that must be addressed. Supervisors and anyone who works in personnel should have a basic understanding of discrimination so they can ensure it is being avoided.

The impacts of discrimination are considerable for targeted workers. They often have to deal with a hostile work environment and negative work actions. For these workers, taking action to make the behavior stop is a priority.

Understanding the Employment Retirement Income Security Act

The Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was enacted in 1974 with the purpose of protecting employees and their rights to regulated pension benefits. ERISA offers guidelines for employers to comply with when creating benefit plans for their employees.

If you have a reason to believe that your employee benefit plan is unfair and violates the law in one way or another, it is important to learn more about the requirements in place under ERISA.

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