discrimination

What is Required for an Employer to Reasonable Accommodate A Disabled Employee?

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In our last blog, we discussed an employer’s obligations in regards to reasonably accommodating disabling employees. As we discussed, there is a lot of confusion and unclarity regarding what these responsibilities entail and what employers can do to reasonably accommodate disabled employees.

California courts have made it clear that they are looking for evidence of a “cooperative dialogue” and good faith on the part of both parties. Barnett, 228 F.3d. at 1014; Jensen v. Wells Fargo Bank, 85 Cal. App. 4th 245, 266 (200). Further, neither side is allowed to engage in obstructionist conduct. Also, the dialogue between employers and employees includes making reasonable efforts to communicate concerns and making information available to the other party.

For example, if the employee requests a particular accommodation, the employer must give it “due consideration.” If the employer rejects the proposed accommodation, it must “initiate discussion with the employee regarding the alternative accommodations.”

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work based on their disability? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://payablaw.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

Employees with Diabetes: What You Need to Know

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Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and an estimated 79 million adults have pre-diabetes. Employees with diabetes are covered by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) which prohibits disability discrimination in the workplace. Diabetes is a physical impairment that limits major life activities, and thus meets the ADA definition of disability.

In fact, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has made it clear that diabetes should be a covered disability under the ADA. Diabetes can limit major life activities, such as caring for oneself, seeing, walking, eating, and standing.

Accommodations for employees with diabetes are usually minimal, easy to accomplish, and require little or no cost to the employer. Reasonable accommodations include: breaks to check blood glucose levels and treat by taking medicating or eating, ability to keep diabetes supplies and food nearby, opportunity to work a modified schedule, and opportunity to leave for treatment of diabetes.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work because of diabetes? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

What Is Age Discrimination?

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The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects employees who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. The ADEA protection applies to employers with 20 or more employees and applies to both employees and job applicants. The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

Harassment of employees on the basis of age is also unlawful discrimination. Harassment can include offensive remarks about a person’s age. Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that aren’t very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision, such as the victim being fired or demoted.

The harasser can be the employee’s supervisor, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work based on your age? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

3 Common Overtime Mistakes

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The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulates the payment of overtime. Here are three common overtime mistakes:

Mistake #1: Misclassifying employees – some employers classify workers as independent contractors to escape liability for overtime wages. Courts look at whether an individual is “economically dependent on the business to which he renders service or is, as a matter of economic fact, in business for himself,” and they use a variety of factors to determine whether an individual is an employee or independent contractor.

Mistake #2: Exemption confusion – Paying an employee a salary does not necessarily make him exempt from overtime wages. Most employees who are exempt from overtime fall under the executive, administrative, or professional exemptions (also known as the white- collar exemptions), which require payment on a salary basis. However, for the white-collar exemption to apply, an employee must meet the duties test and be paid a minimum salary of $455 per week.

Mistake #3: Calculating the regular rate – employers should make sure to properly calculate employees’ regular rate of pay. Overtime is calculated at 1.5 times an employee’s regular rate for all hours worked in excess of 8 hours up to and including 12 hours in any workday and for the first 8 hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek. Further, double overtime is calculated as 2 times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours in any workday and for all hours worked in excess of 8 on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek. However, an employee’s regular rate is not necessarily the same as the hourly rate. If an employee’s only compensation is his hourly rate, the regular rate is the same as his hourly rate, and the overtime rate is 1.5 or 2 times that amount. If you provide any compensation over and above straight hourly wages, make sure you calculate any bonuses or compensations which must be included in the calculation of the regular rate.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Do you have any questions about your overtime wages? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/

All You Need to Know About Retaliation

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An employer may not fire, demote, harass or  “retaliate” against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in a discrimination proceeding, or otherwise opposing discrimination.

Retaliation occurs when an employer, employment agency, or labor organization takes an adverse action against a covered individual because he or she engaged in a protected activity.

Protected activity includes opposition to a practice believed to be unlawful discrimination. Opposition is informing an employer that you believe that he/she is engaging in prohibited discrimination.

Examples of protected opposition include complaining to anyone about alleged discrimination against oneself or others, threatening to file a charge of discrimination, picketing in opposition to discrimination, or refusing to obey an order reasonably believed to be discriminatory.

Examples of activities that are NOT protected opposition include actions that interfere with job performance so as to render the employee ineffective, or unlawful activities such as acts or threats of violence.

Protected activity also includes participation in an employment discrimination proceeding. Examples of participation include filing a charge of employment discrimination, cooperating with an internal investigation of alleged discriminatory practices, or serving as a witness in an investigation or litigation.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been retaliated against at work? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

New Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination Released

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued an enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination. The new guidance includes significant developments in the law during the past 30 years.

The guidance sets out the fundamental requirement that an employer may not discriminate against an employee on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions and that women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions must be treated the same as other employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work. The guidance requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations “to the known limitations of otherwise qualified employees and applicants for employment.”

Also, the guidance explains how the definition of “disability” could apply to workers with impairments related to pregnancy. Although pregnancy itself is not a disability, impairments related to pregnancy can be disabilities if they “substantially limit one or more major life activities.”

Read More: http://goo.gl/iZUgrG

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in pregnancy discrimination cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

All You Need to Know About Tips

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“Gratuity” is defined as a tip, gratuity, or money that has been paid or given to or left for an employee by a patron of a business over and above the actual amount due for services rendered or for goods, food, drink, articles sold or served to patrons.

The law states that gratuities are the sole property of the employee or employees to whom they are given. Labor Code Section 351 prohibits employers from sharing in or keeping any portion of a gratuity left for employees by a patron. Furthermore, it is illegal for employers to make wage deductions from gratuities, or from using gratuities as direct or indirect credits against an employee’s wages.

In California, an employer cannot use an employee’s tips as a credit towards its obligation to pay the minimum wage. California law requires that employees receive the minimum wage plus any tips left for them by patrons of the employer’s business. Labor Code Section 351.

If your employer discriminates or retaliates against you in any manner whatsoever, for example, he discharges you because you object to his crediting your tips against your wages, or because you file a claim or threaten to file a claim with the Labor Commissioner, contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

What is Reasonable Accommodation and How Does the Process Work?

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In a two-part series, we will explain what Reasonable Accommodation is and how the process works.

Part I – What is Reasonable Accommodation?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities. It also requires that those individuals should be given reasonable accommodations to allow them to perform the essential functions of the job, as long as doing so does not create an undue hardship for the employer.

Reasonable accommodation could be any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that allows an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. This includes changes to: the job application process, the work environment, the manner or circumstances under which the job is performed, or other areas that allow an employee with a disability to have equal benefits and privileges as other employees.

In practice, this can mean any number of things and is dependent on the specific situation for each employee. It is up to the employer to discuss options with the applicant or employee to determine what options might work.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in disability discrimination cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, disability discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.
Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work based on your disability? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

Same-Sex Harassment: Same as Opposite-Sex Harassment

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In a recent case, Plaintiff was an intern at a water treatment plant. Defendant, Plaintiff’s supervisor, showed him pornographic images on his computer. Defendant also told Plaintiff vulgar sexual jokes. Defendant also suggested that Plaintiff visit his home and once said, “Why don’t you just kiss me?” Defendant claimed that the joke telling and computer images were “mere banter among male co-workers.”

The court found that sexual harassment can occur between members of the same gender as long as the employee can show that he was harassed “because of sex” or was exposed to disadvantageous conditions to which employees of the other sex weren’t exposed.

Courts have recognized many situations that show same-gender harassment is discrimination “because of sex.” Explicit or implicit proposals of sexual activity between same-sex employees are sufficient proof of harassment if there is credible evidence that the harasser is seeking a same-sex relationship. However, harassing conduct doesn’t necessarily have to be motivated by sexual desire. Sexual comments intended to humiliate an employee and challenge his sexual identity can be sufficient to show unlawful harassment because of sex.

In this case, Plaintiff presented enough evidence to support an inference that Defendant was motivated by sexual interest.

BOTTOM LINE: Same-gender sexual harassment claims are just as dangerous as claims filed by opposite-sex employees. An employee need not necessarily object at the time of the offensive conduct to later pursue a claim, so you must make certain that everyone in the workforce is trained on the do’s and don’ts of proper workplace conduct and not wait until an employee complains to be proactive.

Read More: http://goo.gl/evCh2p

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been sexually harassed at work? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

California is among the riskiest states for employee lawsuits

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According to a new study by international specialist insurer Hiscox, California, Illinois, Alabama, Mississippi, and the District of Columbia are the top five riskiest areas in the United States for employee lawsuits. Businesses in these states face a substantially higher risk of being sued by their employees compared to the national average.

According to the study, on average, a US-based business with at least 10 employees has a 12.5% chance of having an employment liability suit filed against them. However, California has the most frequent incidences of charges in the country, with a 42% higher chance of being sued by an employee over the national average.

State laws can have a significant impact on risk. For example, the employee-friendly nature of California law in the area of disability discrimination may contribute to the high charge frequency in the state.

Read More: http://goo.gl/tqy7Ko

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.