The year is drawing to a close and with the arrival of 2019 there will also be some new labor laws taking effect in California. These changes will have a direct impact on employment law. The changes coming will impact hourly incomes and overtime pay as well as create new laws around sexual harassment.
Workplace discrimination based on religion is not permitted in California or elsewhere in the country. Freedom to worship as one wishes is one of our most sacred freedoms and one that many of the original settlers risked their lives for. In a recent case in Menlo Park, a man believes he was turned down for a job because of his religion and alleges that this constitutes an employment law violation.
The #Metoo movement reminded people that in 2018 sexual harassment is still an issue in the workplace. There is a piece of employment law in California that can limit an employee's ability to file suit against an employer. Included in the documents that new employees sign as part of their employment agreement is an arbitration document that waives their right to sue the employer in the event of sexual harassment, discrimination, labor violations and other issues. Instead, such grievances would go to binding arbitration.
Firemen in California put their lives on the line every day to protect people and property. The California Public Employees Retirement System is an organization put in place to, among other things, help make retirements affordable for firefighters. Companies are mandated to pay into the system if a firefighter works more than 1,000 hours per year. A firefighter is suing for wrongful termination in violation of employment law.
In the year 2018 sexual harassment remains an issue for working women in California. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the media and entertainment industry where the issue was brought to the fore by the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Revelations in the wake of that case reveal that it is a much broader problem. In a recent survey, 41 percent of women who filed harassment claims were in the media or entertainment industry. The California Assembly is revising a 1994 employment law to further protect women.
What can workers do when they face sexual harassment on the job? One key step can be to report the harassment.