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Los Angeles Employment Law Blog

Justice Department argues transgender isn't protected by law

Two years ago, a unanimous three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against transgender individuals.

"Discrimination against employees, either because of their failure to conform to sex stereotypes or their transgender or transitioning status, is illegal under Title VII," the court wrote.

Walmart will pay $65 million settlement for denied seating

A class of almost 100,000 current and former cashiers at California Walmart stores reached a settlement last week with the retail giant. Walmart will pay $65 million to settle allegations that it violated California law by refusing to provide the cashiers with a place to sit while they work. The company will also provide the requested seating but denies any wrongdoing.

The settlement must still be approved by a federal judge.

Despite pitfalls, sexual misconduct victims consider speaking out

The parallels between the situations faced by Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford are obvious. Both accused Supreme Court nominees of sexual misconduct, of course. For each, doing so meant going up against men with impressive backgrounds and powerful supporters. Both spent hours before the Senate and the press, opening their lives to scrutiny.

Both are heroes to many people. Not only did they put their personal discomfort aside to share crucial information about Supreme Court nominees, but they also served as inspiration for other victims. They are worthy of admiration for undergoing such an ordeal as victims of sexual misconduct even when they weren't certain they would be believed.

Her boss should have protected her from a violent co-worker

What happens when a co-worker with a history of violence assaults someone at work? If the employer knew of the history, the employer could be liable for failing to prevent the attack. The employer certainly shouldn't blame the victim.

In our last blog post, we discussed how the law regards workplace violence, which often begins with sexual harassment and can end in threats, verbal abuse, physical harm or even homicide.

We also discussed how employers are legally obligated to take reasonable steps to stop or prevent workplace violence. When they don't, not only can they face fines and penalties, but they could also be held liable for any damage or injuries that result.

Workplace violence: How to identify and prevent it

We have written extensively in this blog about sexual harassment. We have not explored, however, the fact that workplace sexual harassment cases sometimes include violence.

In this blog post, we will take a close look at how the law views workplace violence. In our next post, we examine a specific case of workplace violence in Los Angeles.

Lawsuit: Microtargeted job ads discriminate against older workers

"Their business relies on this microtargeting; the problem is microtargeting can be discrimination," explains a spokesperson for the Communications Workers of America (CWA). "Civil rights don't stop when you turn on your computer."

The CWA has filed a federal class action against Facebook, T-Mobile, Amazon and "similarly situated employers and employment agencies" who use microtargeting to make their job ads visible only to those of a certain age -- generally, an age under 40.

Attorney Twila White gets arbitration award overturned on ethics grounds

In employment disputes, arbitration is increasingly common, especially since the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in Epic Systems Corp v. Lewis that employment contracts can lawfully include mandatory arbitration clauses.

Unfortunately, these clauses are usually the result of a substantial imbalance in bargaining power. Plus, the contract clauses outsource civil justice to private organizations that resolve these disputes confidentially, instead of in a public forum.

Forced out for blowing the whistle on hospital patient safety?

If you're a registered nurse, LPN, CNA or any healthcare professional at a hospital, you're in a position to notice patient safety problems and unsafe working conditions. When you do, it's part of your job to report these issues to the hospital. Patient safety should be of the utmost concern because everyone, including their loved ones, wants to go to hospitals that are safe.

Common patient safety issues you may notice include:

Investigation finds sexual harassment in photojournalism field

Journalists have been leaders in the #MeToo movement, publishing articles that have brought the problem of sexual harassment to the nation's attention.

But have news organizations been providing safe harbor for harassment in their photojournalism departments? A recent investigation by the Columbia Journalism Review raises that question, and the findings prove that no industry is immune to sexual harassment.

Top Uber exec resigns over unresolved discrimination complaints

In another shakeup for Uber Technologies, Inc., the company's chief people officer resigned following an investigation into whether she handled discrimination complaints properly. An anonymous group of whistleblowers has accused the executive of systematically ignoring or dismissing internal discrimination complaints, especially those involving race.

The female executive had been among the company's top spokespeople on discrimination and diversity issues. She had held the position of chief people officer, or head of human resources, for 18 months.

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