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Sherman Oaks Employment Law Blog

Riot Games walkout: the issue with forced arbitration

On Monday, hundreds of workers walked out of Riot Games over the company’s handling of two sex discrimination lawsuits. The company had these discrimination cases moved to a forced arbitration process, citing a clause in their employees’ contracts.

Forced arbitration is a practice that has become increasingly common for employers. In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that employers have the right to require employees to settle collective disputes in individual arbitration. Here’s why this practice negatively impacts employees.

What reasonable accommodations must California employers offer?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that protects individuals with disabilities from being discriminated against in the workplace. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) provides added protection for these individuals to ensure that that they're also treated fairly on the job and afforded reasonable accommodation.

California employers that have five or more workers on their staff are required to abide by the FEHA, especially as it relates to providing individuals with disabilities with reasonable accommodations. They are required to do this as long as it doesn't create an undue hardship on the business to do so.

Hold a former employer liable for a wrongful termination

Employees count on their employers to pay them so they can cover bills and other life expenses. When you are terminated unexpectedly, you likely won't have the funds available to cover those expenses. You might think that there isn't anything you can do to remedy the situation; however, it is possible that you may have legal recourse that can help you to hold the employer liable for the situation.

Wrongful termination can cover a variety of circumstances, but they all are grounded in harassment, discrimination or retaliation. These three factors aren't ever able to be considered during a termination. This means that your employer can't fire you because you won't submit to sexual harassment, because of a protected status like race or because you report illegal behavior at the workplace.

The Crown Act may offer protection for natural hair

While offering a bill on California’s Senate floor, the bill’s sponsor described “a defining and paradoxical struggle” in the work experiences of many Americans.

The struggle is “to maintain what society has deemed a ‘professional image’ while protecting the health and integrity of their hair.”

Age is just a number -- unless you're a judge in California

These days, it's more common than ever to hear the phrase, "Age is just a number!" People are living longer -- and healthier -- than ever before. Their work lives are also extended. Nobody thinks much of it anymore when someone -- particularly a well-educated professional -- is working well into their "golden years."

Well, three retired California judges are taking exception to the fact that new rules used by the Assigned Judges Program are limiting how long they can work when they're tapped to fill in an active judge's seat in court. The program keeps the state's 58 trial courts moving along despite leaves of absence by other judges for vacations, medical issues and family needs.

What does workplace sexual harassment look like?

You hope to never be involved in any form of workplace sexual harassment, but keeping your eyes open will help protect you from trouble.

Workplace sexual harassment comes in many forms. To start, it's important to note that both men and women can be victimized.

Can workers be discriminated against for sexual orientation?

When you've read over a job vacancy or application before, you've likely seen a listing of different classes of people that are protected from discrimination under federal laws. They strictly prohibit a worker from being treated differently from others solely based on their age, race, national origin, disability or pregnancy status or religion. Sexual orientation isn't included on this list though.

Even though sexual orientation isn't a protected class recognized by the federal government, workers who are harassed or denied advancement opportunities in the workplace because of this still have rights. California and at least half of all the other states in the country have laws on the books that prohibit discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation.

Were you fired in violation of your employment contract?

When you start a new job, it's always a good idea to sign an employment contract. This can go a long way in protecting your legal rights should you be terminated in the future.

If you were recently terminated, regardless of the reason given by your employer, review your employment contract to better understand your legal rights. You may find that you were terminated in violation of the agreement, which puts you in a position to take action against your employer.

Can my visual impairment be used to deny me a job in California?

Many individuals who haven't met a visually impaired person assume that they're unable to do most everything, especially since they cannot see. This is far from the case though. Individuals who are blind need only to be given some minor accommodations by an employer to be able to carry out their assigned job roles.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes anyone that has eyesight that can't be corrected to a functional level as having a vision impairment. More than 21.2 million adults suffer from blindness according to the National Health Interview Survey Preliminary Report which was published in 2011. Only 36.8 percent of those individuals have jobs.

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