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Tesla employee files racial discrimination class-action lawsuit

Tesla has a strong corporate reputation with its customers, who not only value its products but admire its stated commitment to social responsibility and the environment. Unfortunately, its reputation regarding its employees may not be as well deserved.

Last week, former Tesla employee Marcus Vaughn filed a class-action lawsuit claiming racial discrimination, calling the California production plant a “hotbed for racist behavior.”

California car manufacturer sued for racial discrimination

Diversity is the great driver of innovation, industry and economic growth. California, one of the nation's most diverse states, also has one of the world's largest economies and a great stake in maintaining workplaces that are safe and attractive for all people who wish to work there.

Racial discrimination, sexual harassment and abuse of employees based on age or disability are all enemies of this diversity. Inappropriate and threatening behavior is corrosive to morale in companies of all types, as well as being personally offensive to employees and managers.

Lawsuit against California has bizarre conclusion

A strange legal situation has ended a family's legal claim against a California state department and has left several legal experts baffled. The survivors of a man killed on the job ceased their claim against the state after an obscure law blocked their chances of success.

The case involved a private contractor employed by the state firefighting agency who was killed when the bulldozer he operated tipped over while he cleared land in front of a large forest fire. The man's widow and two daughters filed a claim against the alleged negligent supervision of the job nine months later.

California legislators will hold hearings on sexual harassment

Although progress has been made in efforts to prevent sexual harassment and inappropriate sexualized behavior in the workplace, there is much work to be done. Recent allegations and discoveries show that several groups of Californian workers who simply want to pursue careers are facing harassment and discrimination in the entertainment, real estate and venture capital industries.

Now the state capital is getting scrutinized as the state assembly is calling hearings on sexual harassment during their next session in Sacramento. Hundreds of women signed an open letter expressing concerns about behavior at the Capitol, where many staffers do not enjoy the legal protections of whistleblowers because they are at-will employees.

Tech company hit with charges of discrimination

America's workplaces are getting more demanding, and they are meeting the challenge by getting more diverse. Innovation and efficiency thrives with multiple viewpoints among employees and managers, and the tech and industry centers in California have grown at incredible speeds with this concept.

The Golden State is not immune to outdated patterns of inappropriate workplace behavior that can strangle productivity and destroy morale. The most progressive employers have no tolerance for these problems and exceed state guidelines in preventing harassment and discrimination in their offices and worksites.

What exactly constitutes sexual harassment?

Question: I live in the Los Angeles area, and as many people have heard, there was a pretty big sexual harassment case here with Miramax films and Harvey Weinstein. That case seems obvious that sexual assault is not okay at work (or anywhere), but where is the line drawn when things are subtle?

Answer: Sexual harassment can mean many things to many people. Where one person may find a sexually explicit joke offensive, another may not. That being said, here are some general guidelines that just make sense to follow in the workplace:

Changes come to California discrimination law

California is expanding its requirements for training its workforce to avoid and prevent sexual harassment. Companies must now adapt not only to stay on the forefront of social progress but to stay in compliance with the law.

Large companies were previously required to train full-time employees on new policies prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. This requirement now extends to mid-size businesses, with 50 or more full-time employees.

California guarantees family leave at small businesses

California's economy depends on one of the most diverse workforces in the world, and workers and managers alike need to come to work and get their jobs done. This extends across the wide breadth of industries for which the state plays host.

Workers need to balance their vital tasks with family and, in some cases, children. This is why family leave is enshrined at the federal and state levels for full-time employees. The California statewide standard for new parents is 12 weeks of unpaid leave, during and at which a parent may return to work.

California lawsuit alleges widespread gender discrimination

Federal laws, as well as California state statutes, guarantee workers' rights to equal wages for a job performed or a target met. Workplaces are made complete only when all feel welcome to do their work and get the proper reward, regardless of gender, race or religion.

One of the most pervasive workplace equality issues in the United States is gender pay equity, which inspired the Equal Rights Amendment and other laws to try to bring women's wages up to par with men. Progress has been made in all industries, but the fight continues.

What is the legal definition of 'quid pro quo' harassment?

Ancient Latin phrasing persists in the modern legal lexicon. One such phrase is quid pro quo. Literally, quid pro quo means this for that.

When you apply quid pro quo to on-the-job sexual harassment it essentially means that an employee is being offered something by his or her employer in exchange for giving sexual favors or submitting to sexual advances. Quid pro quo may also apply to situations in which a boss threatens to fire an employee if he or she doesn't provide sexual favors or submit to sexual advancements. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable position where your sexual conduct is a condition of your employment benefits and/or job advancement -- or if your sexual conduct is required to prevent a negative action against you -- you are being victimized by quid pro quo harassment.

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