Los Angeles California Employment Law Blog

California is behind on tracking sexual harassment

When it came to states that rebounded on new employment policies during the #MeToo movement, few could compare to California. Over the last few years, the Golden State has implemented several new laws in response to the public outrage that aims to help employees that face some form of discrimination or harassment from their employers.

A large reason on why California has been putting so much effort into creating these new regulations is to make up for past mistakes. Many often cite famous actors and their repulsive producers and co-workers when discussing the beginning of the #MeToo movement. Many of the stories these celebrities described occurred in California. Many people believe that California should have seen something like this coming earlier, but what they don’t know is how difficult state officials made it for themselves to do so.

California bans discrimination against natural hair

There is no reason for people to face discrimination in 2019, yet it happens every day. Whether you're in California or across the country, you have the potential to face discrimination as a person of color, due to your gender, because of your religion or due to other reasons.

Today, California has become the first state to ban discrimination based on wearing your natural hair. A June 28 report states that the state voted 69 to 0 to update anti-discrimination laws in the state regarding race to include traits that are historically associated with race, including hairstyles.

Were you a victim of pretextual employment discrimination?

In our not-so-distant past, minority voters were disenfranchised and kept from voting under the pretext of literacy tests. That finally went the way of the dodo, but pretextual employment discrimination still lingers in the workplace.

What is pretextual employment discrimination? It can be challenging to prove, but essentially it is a covert form of discrimination that sets up allegedly non-discriminatory job requirements that actually make it quite difficult for members of certain protected classes to be hired or promoted. Here's how it might play out.

What does the Family and Medical Leave Act do for you?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is an important act that allows certain employees the opportunity to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from their jobs. During those 12 weeks, their jobs are protected.

The FMLA allows you to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave every year. This allows employees to safely balance their work lives and home lives, giving them the opportunity to leave work without the risk of losing their jobs.

How can employers make coming out at work easier for workers?

As Pride Month comes to a close, many companies are reflecting on the status of LGBTQ discrimination throughout the United States. While many workplaces have improved for members of the LGBTQ community, there is still quite a bit of work that needs to be done.

A recent study by the employment website Glassdoor reveals that nearly 43 percent of LGBTQ workers have not fully come out at work. Many are afraid that they may lose their job or hurt their relationships with their bosses and coworkers if they reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Discrimination at work? Don't stand for it

Discrimination is the one thing that can catch anyone off-guard at work. Whether you're Asian, White, Black, Hispanic or another minority, discrimination can affect you. You might be discriminated against for being female, male or for your gender preferences. Essentially, all people have the potential to be discriminated against.

In any case of discrimination, the goal has to be to help the victim find a safer work environment. This should be addressed by penalizing those who harass or discriminate against them. Often, the reality is that it may seem there's nothing that can be done, particularly if the person discriminating against you is doing so in a way that's hard to prove.

Yes, men can be victims of sexual harassment

Although women are often the ones who others describe as being harassed on the job, anyone can be exposed to sexual harassment. Men often face harassment, too. In 2013, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported that 17.6% of sexual harassment charges were filed by men.

That works out to nearly one in five cases of sexual harassment involving men based on those statistics. The true number may be even higher.

California Act protects natural hair against discrimination

One thing that has been a problem in some workplaces is a kind of discrimination against hair. When it comes down to it, the hair isn't the problem. The problem is that some employers are racist, asking people of other races to change their hair from a natural form to something that they believe is more appropriate (with no justification for believing this).

Senator Holly Mitchell created SB 188, which will create the CROWN Act. This would make a respectful, and open, workplace environment for those with natural hair. That act would also clarify that certain hair traits associated with race would be protected against discrimination and in schools across the state.

Summer workers should review overtime laws

Summer is arguably one of the busiest times of the year for thousands of businesses. The warmer weather is convincing more people to go outside and travel, school’s out for teenagers and college students and many people are starting a temporary or full-time job around this time.

Since it is such a hectic time of the year for many companies, there are plenty of workers that will end up working past the clock on several weeks. Employers must provide them for their hard work, but there is a high chance they may make a mistake or refuse to do so during this season. It is important for workers to know how their eligibility to receive overtime might be different than other jobs during these busy months.

What should you do as a victim of sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment can make any work environment inhospitable. It may make you want to avoid going to work or make you feel that you aren't welcome there.

Sexual harassment doesn't have a place in the workplace, even if it seems like everyone is okay with it. You have the right to work in an environment that doesn't threaten your safety or make you feel uncomfortable about the way clients, co-workers or your employers make you feel.

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