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Two San Diego massage parlors cited for wage & hour violations

Most employers in San Diego understand that they must pay employees in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, a federal statute that requires employers to pay overtime for work in excess of 40 hours per week. Unfortunately, many employers attempt to circumvent the law by improperly classifying their employees. The United States Department of Labor recently announced that two Thai massage parlors in San Diego violated the statute by misclassifying their employees.

The Fair Labor Standards Act defines a number of positions that are exempt from the mandatory overtime requirements. Two types of exempt positions are management employees and independent contractors. Many employers believe that they have the power to classify employees in whatever manner they please and that they can place employees in exempt positions without penalty. The recent Labor Department announcement reveals the error in this assumption.

Sex discrimination case against Salk Institute heading for trial

Most employers facing claims of sex discrimination will try to seek "summary judgment," determining that they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Summary judgment is a judicial proceeding in which the moving party must demonstrate that no material facts are disputed, and it is entitled to judgment in its favor as a matter of law. The Salk Institute in La Jolla made such a motion in a case originally begun by three female faculty members alleging workplace discrimination. Two of the three settled their claims, and the Salk used a motion for summary judgment to dispense with the third woman's claims.

The remaining plaintiff has alleged that she was subject to gender discrimination because she was treated differently than male faculty members. She has alleged that she was routinely excluded from meeting with private donors and representatives of foundations. She also alleged that the Salk routinely denied her professional advancement opportunities. The plaintiff is also contending that the Salk retaliated against her for suing the institute when it failed to renew her contract.

Burger chain faces lawsuit alleging gender discrimination

Many people throughout the country, including in California, may think that certain types of discrimination in the workplace are a thing of the past. Gender discrimination, for instance, may be one such example. However, all too often we are reminded that this type of discrimination can still occur.

According to a recent report, a California-based restaurant chain called "Burgers & Beers" is facing a lawsuit which allegations gender discrimination in the workplace. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and specifically alleges that male employees and applicants for employment faced discrimination which favored female employees instead.

Know your rights in a wage and hour dispute

Over the past few decades there have been many efforts to help ensure fair pay between men and women in the workplace. However, a wage and hour dispute isn't usually about any type of pay disparity based on gender; on the contrary, a wage and hour dispute is about getting the right pay that you are entitled to based on your agreed-to wage from your employer and your employment status.

Many wage and hour disputes arise when employers fail to recognize that a certain employee is entitled to overtime pay. Others are based on a failure to pay an employee the correct minimum wage under the law. There even disputes that arise based on conflicts about whether or not an employee should be paid wages while on a break from work.

Can retaliation be the basis for a wrongful termination claim?

No one in California enters a new job thinking about what could happen if they are fired. Most people go into a new job full of optimism. However, unless an employee is afforded certain protections by an employment contract, the only thing that stands between an employee's livelihood and an employer acting illegally is state and federal employment laws. When employees in California believe they have been wrongfully terminated from employment, they may need to turn to these laws to determine their options.

For example, can retaliation be the basis for a wrongful termination claim? Well, as with all legal situations, the initial answer is "it depends." So, what does such a claim depend on? In essence, the employee must claim that the employer terminated their employment relationship based on the employee engaging in fully lawful conduct, but perhaps conduct that the employer didn't like.

Some basics about employment contracts

Many employees in California have relationships with their employers that are governed by employment contracts. The terms of these contracts can be fairly extensive, governing most aspects of the duties and obligations expected from both sides. However, there are some basics about employment contracts that our readers should be familiar with.

For starters, almost all employment contracts will address the length of the term of employment and how employment can be terminated by either side. For instance, the employee may want to include a condition that they can leave at any time with no notice, while the employer will likely seek a defined period of time in which the services of the employee are exclusive to the employer.

California employer faces discrimination lawsuits

Our readers in California are used to seeing news reports about gender and race discrimination occurring in Hollywood by now. But, these prominent news stories can easily drown out discrimination cases that have originated from other sources during the same time period of the last year or so.

According to one report, one of the top biomedical institutes in America - located in California - is facing a number of discrimination lawsuits from employees who are alleging that assault and harassment of a sexual nature, as well as gender discrimination, occurred in the workplace. The allegations have come forward over the course of the last year and are directed not only at the biomedical institute, but one of the biologists who works there personally as well. As a result, some of the top-level leaders of the institute have either left the organization or have been suspended pending an investigation.

Consider your options after a wrongful termination

In the recent past in California and throughout the country, most people were just happy to have a job during the so-called "Great Recession." Now, the economy is doing so well that some reports state that there are more jobs available than there are employees to fill them. But, the strength of the economy is no reason for employees to suffer abuses of employment laws from their employers.

It is a sad fact that in today's business landscape, there are still employers who attempt to take advantage of employees. Perhaps the employers don't think that employees know about the various employment laws that provide them with protection. Or, perhaps the employers don't see the legal violations when they occur. Regardless of the circumstances, whenever employers violate state or federal employment law, they can and should be held accountable.

Overview of California's child labor rules

Like the federal government and many other states, California has rules specifying when children under 18 can work. The idea behind these rules is to protect children from abuse and make sure they are able to get the education they need without a job interfering.

Every child under 18 needs to have a valid work permit before they can take on a job. This permit can be revoked under certain conditions, such as if the student is not doing well in school.

California employer settles EEOC disability discrimination claim

A telecommunications company in California that formerly had ties to AT&T recently settled with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in order to resolve a disability discrimination claim.

The claim involved an employee who was hard of hearing. The employee had asked for someone to interpret via sign language what was transpiring during company meetings. The employer declined this request and instead accommodated the employee's needs by writing down what happened at the meeting so that he could understand after the meeting was over. Of course, this limited his ability to participate meaningfully in the meeting.