The Los Angeles Employment Attorney Services blog is an online portal of elite group of employment and labor law attorneys of Mesriani Law Group.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Workplace Discrimination on Account of Age: Statistics and the Laws That Prohibit It

Many companies already have their own set of policies that prohibit discrimination in their respective workplaces. Although they are making strides to promote not just equal opportunity in employment but also dynamic and diverse workplaces, occurrences of discriminatory and harassing behavior are still evident in some of these companies.

One of the many forms of discrimination that have been rampant in the realm of employment in the U.S. is on the basis of one’s age. Indeed, statistics from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) showed that there were 21,396 age discrimination claims filed with the agency for the fiscal year 2013, or 22.8 percent of all claims filed in the U.S. Said figure was a slight decrease from the previous fiscal year (22,857).

About age discrimination

Basically, age discrimination involves unfair treatment of employees and applicants over 40 years of age, wherein they are subjected to discriminatory behavior in any aspect of employment. An example of this type of employment bias is when an older, more experienced employee is not favored for a promotion by his or her boss, with the latter choosing a younger yet less experienced employee. Another is when an applicant is not hired despite his or her qualifications simply because of the company’s inclination for a younger image.

Discrimination on the basis of one’s age may also involve harassing conduct, which may be verbal or visual in form. Making jokes, comments, or gestures pertaining to the employees’ age is what constitutes harassment, and if done in a consistent basis, it may result in a hostile working environment. When this happens, it is possible for the aggrieved employees to be constructively discharged.

Laws that prohibits employment discrimination based on age

If you are an individual working for a California employer and is 40 years or older, then you must be aware that you are protected by the various laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of age. Some of the important ones are the following:

·         ADEA. Also known as Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, this federal law applies to employers with 20 or more employees, including government offices on the local, state, and federal levels, as well as employment agencies and labor organizations. Not only is discrimination prohibited by the said Act, but also harassment and retaliation.

·         FEHA. In California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act is the state’s chief statute that prohibits discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in employment. Unlike the ADEA, FEHA’s covered employers are those with 5 or more employees.

In the even you have been subjected to what you believe is discrimination on the basis of your age, it is a must that you file a complaint with your human resources department (HR). If your complaint goes unnoticed or the management failed to address your situation, then it would be imperative on your part to consult with a Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer or file claims with the EEOC or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Hiring a Los Angeles Employment Lawyer: What You Need to Remember

If you are working as an employee for a private or public entity, you are entitled to your right to file claims against your employer, especially if you were subjected to discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or any unlawful employment action that violates the prevailing laws. As it is, obtaining legal representation from a Los Angeles employment lawyer is imperative, wherein you allege that your erring employer violated certain employment and labor laws. Whether you have been discriminated against or harassed because of your protected characteristic or suffered retaliation because of exercising a protected activity, you can always rely upon an employment lawyer who can aggressively defend your rights.

In hiring a lawyer for an employment case, here are some things you need to remember in doing so:

  • If you are planning to pursue claims against your employer, you need to do so immediately. 

Time is of the essence in any legal situation, which is why you should not delay seeking legal help. There are strict time limits that usually apply in most cases of discrimination, and getting your claim off on a timely start can make a difference. For example, if you already filed a complaint of harassment with your company’s human resources department (HR) but it failed to address your situation, then it would be best that you immediately seek a lawyer.

  • Allow yourself to find the right lawyer to suit the needs of your claim. 

It can be done through Internet research, as well as seeking referrals from friends, family members and acquaintances. Remember that they, too, handle lots and lots of cases, so expect that when you contact one, you may be refused outright because of caseloads. But then, you won’t run out of luck since you are most likely to be referred to an attorney who is willing to evaluate and eventually represent you.

  • Most employment lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis. 

Also known as the “No Win, No Fee” guarantee, your chosen lawyer, as is the case with most of them, is only paid if he or she wins your case on your behalf through trial or out-of-court settlement. Legal fees are set a certain fee, which is the agreed percentage of the settlement amount you would receive. For example, if you won $100,000.00 settlement, your lawyer will obtain a certain percentage of it.

  • After you have chosen the best lawyer for you, it is imperative that you work with him or her up to the resolution of your case. 

Being cooperative with your attorney can help decide how fast and how sure the outcome that you want would be. Your lawyer will explain to you what to expect of your case. You will be assisted in obtaining substantial pieces of evidence, as well as in getting statements from witnesses who saw your ordeal in the workplace.

  • Your case may end up being settled before litigation could start.

A lot of lawsuits are settled via out-of-court settlement instead of going through a trial, and the same can be said for employment cases. In fact, it is a much preferred method of resolution, as trials are deemed too costly. But if no settlement is reached and the best recourse is to have it undergo trial, then you can always rely on your attorney’s expertise, ensuring that it will be resolved at the soonest possible time.

Putting these in mind sets your expectations straight in case you have been involved in a situation in the workplace wherein you have been subjected to adverse employment actions or practices by your co-worker or your employer. With an attorney by your side, you enhance your chance of obtaining compensation that you deserve while exacting justice from your employer’s inconsiderate actions.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ballmer to Show that He’s Got Game

After 14 long years as the Chief Executive Office of Microsoft from January 2000 to February of 2014, businessman Steve Ballmer is about to show everybody that he’s still got game. From being the head of arguably one of the biggest technology companies, he is now the owner of a very competitive basketball team in the NBA, the Los Angeles Clippers. The opinionated leader used to give jabs against his competitors, Apple Inc., Linux, and Google, which he bowed to “kill”. Will he also have that same ideology in leading the Clippers though?

Leading Microsoft for A Decade and A Half
In 1980, Ballmer became Microsoft’s 30th employee. As the years have passed, he has been a part of the software giant’s growth and domination of personal computing. When he was elected Chief Executive Officer in January 2000, Ballmer has dramatically shifted the company’s vision into directions other than software development. He was at the helm when Microsoft started their cloud computing strategy and the acquisitions of various companies, one of the more popular, was Skype. He was also able to boost the sales of Microsoft from $25 billion to $70 billion. He was also able to put in a lot of innovations for Microsoft, which led to the development and launch of the Xbox gaming console, Microsoft Exchange, Windows Server, SQL Server, SharePoint, System Center, Dynamics CRM, and most recently, the Windows phone operating system, and the Surface tablet device. After facing a series of problems, Ballmer eventually retired and vacated his post as the company’s Chief Executive. After his stint at Microsoft, Ballmer has then tried to buy a couple of NBA teams until his recent victory with his acquisition of the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Clippers’ Ownership Saga/Racism in the Modern Times
The Clippers have been in the spotlight recently after its longtime owner, Donald Sterling has been involved in a controversy. In April 25, 2014, entertainment news organization TMZ has released an alleged audio recording of Sterling that contained disturbing and racist statements. The players feared being subjected to acts of race and color discrimination and later on mounted their silent protest for it. This is a great proof that famous people like Chris Paul and the team’s African-American players are still vulnerable to various acts of discrimination in the workplace. Fortunately, after a series of investigations were done by the NBA, Commissioner Adam Silver has banned Sterling for life in the league, paving the way for the search of a new owner.

For a time, the future of the Los Angeles Clippers team was left in limbo as Donald Sterling contested the NBA’s decision about him, blocking the sale and transfer of the team to a new owner. This seemed like a bad time to happen as this was the Clippers’ most successful seasons as of late.

Ballmer and the Future of the Clippers
While the past year has been a rollercoaster ride for the team, the Clippers might probably be in for an exciting future as they can put the Donald Sterling issue to rest. There might be issues about Ballmer’s leadership/ownership style. However, it is undeniable that the Clippers are definitely one of the teams to look out for this coming season. Hopefully, with more focus and the newfound leadership with Ballmer, the Clippers will be ready to compete this coming season.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Beauty Tilt End Woman’s Employee Compensation Fraud Attempt

To some individuals, their work is the only source of livelihood that they have. This makes it difficult for them to miss their work as doing so would mean cuts in their paychecks. That is why some of them, especially minimum wage earners have been making a conscious effort to be at work every day even if they are sick or have a medical condition that bothers them. However, there are times that an employee ends up getting sick or injured because of conditions in the workplace. While accidents can generally be avoided, some employers end up failing to do what is right which leave their employees hurt and injured. Realizing this, some lawmakers have come up with a form of insurance that will enable people to support employees even if they are unable to work due to a medical condition that leaves them disabled, either temporarily or permanently, and not able to work.

Workers’ Compensation

In dangerous workplaces, accidents that lead to injuries are quite frequently happening. Such leaves an employee disabled and unable to perform his duties at work. This makes them lose potential earnings. For them to be able to receive wage replacement and medical benefits to help them get treated or at least have a means of survival in spite of not being able to work, a workers’ compensation insurance is made. Through this, one can get payments in place of wages, compensation for economic loss, reimbursement for the payment of medical and other similar expenses, as well as benefits that are payable to the dependents of the workers should they get killed during employment. All of these are given in exchange for one’s mandatory relinquishment of their right to sue their employer for negligence. This, according to lawmakers are a win-win solution as an injured or killed employee, and his or her family’s future is secured without having to go through the painful and difficult stage of litigation for charges that one will file against their employers.

Abuse of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Sadly there are individuals who would want to take advantage of these forms of insurance. Case in point is the story of Shawna Palmer, a female worker in Sacramento, California. According to authorities, Palmer pretended that she had a foot injury that has been keeping her from going to work. The owners of the company then have let Palmer take a leave of absence while she was receiving her workers’ compensation benefits, something that she requested for. Not long after though, videos of Palmer joining a beauty pageant surfaced, a clear case of fraud. In the pageants, she was even seen wearing high-heeled shoes while walking on the ramp. After getting busted for lying, the California Department of Insurance has booked Palmer for workers compensation fraud. If found guilty, Palmer might end up serving a full year in jail and pay up to $25,000 in fines, something that will be hard to do as her employer have already fired her.

A workers’ compensation attorney in California reminded employees that remedies like these should be respected and not used for taking advantage of your employer. Doing so may lead to legal complications that may get you in bigger trouble, something that you would definitely not want to happen. Since acts of fraud can be discovered most of the time, cases like these might end up with you not being able to file such claims when the real need arises.