Medical Leave / Disability Discrimination and Retaliation – Case Example

Medical Leave / Disability Discrimination and Retaliation

AC is a wonderful professional with a unique talent in her field. She went on a medical leave of absence due to a temporary medical condition.  She returned to work with minor work restrictions. Her employer’s refusal to accommodate AC’s work restrictions forced her on to another disability leave. Upon returning to work from her second medical leave, AC was suddenly terminated. 

AC complained verbally and in writing multiple times to management about their illegal conduct. But, instead of fixing the issues, her employer let them continue and retaliated against her. Her boss retaliated against her by issuing a false performance warning and terminating her employment shortly after AC returned from leave.

AC’s employer failed to engage in the interactive process, failed to offer a reasonable accommodation, and engaged in illegal disability discrimination and retaliation.

If you have been harassed, discriminated, or retaliated against based on a protected category such as a medical condition or disability, give us a call at 310-400-5891 for your free intake.

Learn more about Medical Condition / Disability Discrimination Law

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Disability / Medical Condition Case Example- Termination for taking too much Medical Leave

Disability / Medical Condition; Termination for taking too much Medical Leave

Michael is a hard working Los Angeles native who brought a strong passion to his field of work. Michael performed his duties with excellence and was very well liked by co-workers, clients, and supervisors.  

Michael was diagnosed with COVID and he required medical leave.  Unfortunately, his symptoms were severe and long term so his medical leave was extended several months.  

Michael provided all requested medical leave of absence documentation from his doctors. In response, Michael’s employer told him that he would be fired if he did not cut his leave early and come back a few days before his doctor stated he could return.  Michael could not return and was summarily fired because his employer would not wait a few more days for him to heal.

Michael was fired because his Employer had an illegal 6 month maximum leave policy.  Maximum medical/disability leave policies are illegal in California.  

If you or someone you know has been fired or mistreated because of their disability or fired while on disability leave, please contact us at 310-400-5891 for a free confidential consultation.

Learn more about Medical Leave / Disability Law

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Medical / Disability Leave & Failure to Provide Reasonable Accommodation

Diane Case Example: Medical Leave/Disability & Failure to Provide Reasonable Accommodation

Diane—a Southern California native–was a top performing employee who needed time off due to a temporary mental/emotional disability. 

Her employer refused to grant the limited reasonable accommodation and just summarily fired Diane in direct violation of the FEHA and with no interactive process. 

Diane was in constant contact with her Employer and provided them all medical notes they asked for in a timely manner. Before that, HR gave her a very hard time and played games with her FMLA leave request.  Diane’s employer forced her to cut her medical leave short and come back early or lose her job. Then they changed her work schedule when she came back to work.  Three times she requested the same schedule as before her leave as an accommodation so she could attend her mental health treatment program. Her employer refused.  

During her second medical leave she was wrongfully terminated before her last medical note was set to expire. She was told that she was terminated because her FMLA leave was exhausted as of 3 months before and was on an “unprotected” leave of absence since then.

Such terminations are illegal.  Even if an employee’s 12 weeks of CFRA/FMLA leave are exhausted, employees are still entitled to additional leave as a reasonable accommodation under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. 

If you believe you have been harassed, discriminated against, or wrongfully terminated based on a protected category such as physical or mental disability or medical condition, give us a call at 310-400-5891 for your free intake.

Learn more about Medical Leave / Disability Law

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Prevailing Wage Lawyer in Los Angeles

Construction Workers Representing Prevailing Wage Law

Prevailing wage is a base pay rate established by California law to ensure that all construction workers engaged in public works projects are paid adequately for the craft they are working in (i.e. electricians etc…). It is a combination of an hourly pay rate plus fringe benefits. Payment of the prevailing wage is supposed to ensure that contractors will hire qualified workers and the public entity will therefore receive quality work.

But, many contractors and sub-contractors take advantage of the higher pay they receive from public entities by paying their employees less than the prevailing wage rate. 

If you believe you have not been paid the proper prevailing wage or been retaliated against for complaining about prevailing wage violations call us now for a free confidential case evaluation at 310-400-5891 for your free intake.

The US Department of Labor states that typical prevailing wage violations include:

  • Misclassification of laborers and mechanics
  • Failure to pay full prevailing wage, including fringe benefits, for all hours worked (including overtime)
  • Inadequate recordkeeping, such as not counting hours worked or not recording hours worked by an individual in two or more classifications during a day
  • Failure to submit certified payrolls

If you are fired or retaliated against for complaining about not receiving prevailing wages, you may also have a wrongful termination/retaliation claim.

Who is subject to receiving prevailing wages?

All construction personnel who actually work on a public works project are required to receive prevailing wages. Professional or support personnel such as architects, clerical staff or security guards are not subject to prevailing wages. Bona fide material suppliers who deliver materials to a job site are not subject to payment of prevailing wages. However if they then begin to help with the construction/installation, they are covered from that point forward.

What about Certified Payrolls?

Certified Payrolls provide a true and accurate record of the labor hours worked on a project. They are signed under penalty of perjury and are due weekly from the prime contractor and ALL subcontractors, owner-operators, vendors and suppliers who provide personnel to work at the job site. Prime contractors are responsible for ensuring that ALL subcontractors, etc. submit the required payroll documents.

Must a worker be in a union to get prevailing wages?
NO.

Common classifications include:

  1. Laborer
  2. Carpenter
  3. Electrician
  4. Iron Worker
  5. Journeyman
  6. Cement Mason
  7. Fence Builder
  8. Teamster
  9. Painter
  10. Landscaper
  11. Boilermaker
  12. Pile Driver
  13. Drywall Installer
  14. Hazardous Material
  15. Asbestos Worker
  16. Operating Engineer
  17. Parking & Highway Improvement

If you believe you have not been paid the proper prevailing wage or been retaliated against for complaining about prevailing wage violations call us now for a free confidential case evaluation at 310-400-5891.

Learn more about Wage and Hour Law in California.

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Sexual Harassment – Quid Pro Quo

Sexual Harassment Quid Pro Quo

KT (female) was hired by her boss because he was attracted to her.  Once she started, her boss/owner offered her work benefits and perks if she would have sex with him.  The work benefits offered included an expense account and other perks. 

KT tried to end the sexual relationship on several occasions, but he did not allow it to stop.  KT finally had enough and told her boss she was no longer going to engage in sex with him. In a matter of days, she was fired under false pretenses. 

Basically, the manager no longer wanted her around at work now that there wouldn’t be any more sex. 

This was a case not only about sexual misconduct, but about abuse of power in the workplace. Being offered a job opportunity and/or work benefits in exchange for submitting to sexual advances is called quid pro quo harassment and is prohibited by law.

We helped KT get much needed justice and some comfort after these traumatic workplace events.

If you have suffered sexual harassment or assault in your workplace, our firm can get you justice too. Give us a call at 310-400-5891 for your free intake.

Learn more about Sexual Harassment in California.

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Sexual Harassment – Hostile Work Environment – Same Sex

Sexual Harassment - Same Sex

JT (male) was a manager who was sexually harassed and assaulted by his male boss at work.

JT’s supervisor would grab and spank JT’s buttocks, twist his nipples, make sexually inappropriate comments, and send explicit text messages to JT.

Despite JT’s continual protests, the boss would not stop his unwelcome conduct.  The company had no Human Resources or any higher up management, so JT had no one else to complain to.   Thus, he was forced to quit despite having to support a family of 5.  This caused JT serious economic turmoil and caused him immense emotional distress.

This was a case not only about sexual misconduct, but about abuse of power in the workplace.  Same sex sexual harassment is prohibited by law.  Moreover, the law on sexual harassment does not require the motive be sexual desire.

We helped JT get justice.

If you have suffered sexual harassment in your workplace or have been retaliated against, our firm may be able to get you justice too. Give us a call at 310-400-5891 for your free intake.

Learn more about Sexual Harassment in California.

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Sexual Harassment – Hostile Work Environment – Abuse of Power

Sexual Harassment - Abuse of Power

Katy worked for her employer for many years. During the later portion of her employment, two supervisors sexually harassed her on multiple occasions.

The harassment included repeated and unwelcome inappropriate sexual touching, conduct, advances, and comments.

The company’s HR knew these supervisors’ had past complaints of sexual harassment, yet refused to take the necessary action. The harassment and the company’s refusal to stop the harassment—even after Katy complained—adversely affected Katy’s ability to do her job.

Katy was forced to quit when HR told her to just handle it herself.  As a result of the recurrent harassment and job loss, Katy endured emotional distress and lost wages.

This was a case not only about sexual misconduct, but about abuse of power in the workplace and callous Human Resources.  Sexual harassment in a work environment is prohibited by law.  

We helped Katy get justice and our firm may be able to get you justice too.

If you have suffered sexual harassment at work give us a call at 310-400-5891 for your free intake.

Learn more about Sexual Harassment in California.

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Sexual Harassment – Hostile Work Environment – Unwanted Attention

Sexual Harassment - Unwanted Attention

CC—a teenager—was forced to endure constant and severe sexual harassment and assaults by a co-worker. Early on, CC reported the co-worker pressing his crotch against her buttocks to the General Manager, but she laughed it off.  And the sexual harassment continued in plain sight of everyone.

The sexual harassment included the harasser rubbing his crotch against CC’s buttocks, making sexual comments, blowing kisses, winking, and staring at her body for long periods of time.  

On top of this, CC was sexually assaulted twice.  Both times she was grabbed from behind.  On one occasion he touched her vagina and on the other he grabbed her breasts with both hands.  

The company did nothing to prevent or stop his unwelcome conduct and assaults—forcing CC to quit. As a result of the recurrent sexual harassment, CC endured severe emotional distress.

Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal—whether from supervisor, co-worker, or even a customer/vendor.  

If you have suffered sexual harassment or assault in your workplace, our firm can help get you justice. Give us a call at 310-400-5891 for your free intake.

Learn more about Sexual Harassment in California.

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Sexual Harassment – Hostile Work Environment – Assault

Sexual Harassment - Assault

RE was a very young woman who was subjected to sexual assault and harassment from her supervisor during her employment, culminating in her being raped at work.  

RE’s supervisor had sexually harassed her and others at the company. Everyone was aware that he was a pervert who would touch and make passes at all the young female employees.  

Prior to the rape, numerous other employees were sexually harassed by the supervisor.  At least two managers were aware of past sexual harassment and did nothing.

Two months before the rape, the police were called to the worksite to investigate a criminal complaint regarding the supervisor’s groping of another employee. Even after this, the company did nothing to stop this serial sexual harasser.  

The sexual assault caused RE immense emotional distress.  We handled RE’s case with respect and resolve.  She finally received some comfort when we helped her get much needed justice.

If you have suffered sexual harassment or assault in your workplace, our firm can get you justice too. Give us a call at 310-400-5891 for your free intake.

Learn more about Sexual Harassment in California.

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How to get EDD benefits while you cannot work due to Coronavirus

Child wearing mask due to Covid

WHAT IF MY CHILD’S SCHOOL IS CLOSED BECAUSE OF CORONAVIRUS?

California School Emergency Leave and Unemployment Benefits May Help Some Workers

If you miss work to care for your child after their school closes, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance. [JH2] The Employment Development Department is handling school closure applications on a case-by-case basis, and encouraging claims for partial benefits where the employer is allowing reduced hours, but has not yet clarified whether the usual requirements of being available for work will be waived where the employer does not allow reduced hours. Employees should apply right away since the usual 7-day waiting period for benefits has been waived due to COVID-19.[JH3]  Read more about this below.

Also, under California’s Labor Code, employers with 25 or more employees working at the same location must allow employees to take up to 40 hours of leave per year to address an emergency at a child’s day care or school. However, an employee must still notify the employer in advance.

I’M LOSING WAGES. WHAT WILL HELP ?

California Workers Can Apply for Wage Replacement for Disability and Reduced Work Hours

Two state-run programs are available for employees [JT4] in need of wage replacement to support social distancing for their health and safety – State Disability Insurance (SDI) and Unemployment Insurance(UI), both administered by the Employment Development Department (EDD). Governor Newsom’s Executive Order waived the usual one-week waiting period for people who are unemployed and/or disabled as a result of COVID-19.

State Disability Insurance eligibility defines disability to include any illness or injury preventing regular or customary work. Benefits cover 60-70 percent of wages up to a maximum of $1,300 per week for up to 52 weeks, and are tax-exempt. A worker must be unable to work for at least eight days, and must submit medical certification by a health practitioner prior to issuance of benefits. Applications may be submitted within 49 days of the first date they had to stop working because of disability.

While the EDD hasn’t yet confirmed that applications citing only age-related vulnerabilities will be approved, they have confirmed that people who cannot work due to “having or being exposed” to COVID-19, if certified by a medical professional, can file a Disability Insurance claim.

Older workers who are in an age-defined vulnerable population and who obtain medical certification of their age related condition as an “illness” may also be eligible for disability benefits, although there is no certain answer to this question yet. When doctors or other healthcare providers are filling in the disability forms, they should consider using “R54,” the International Classification of Diseases code for “age-related physical debility” when there isn’t a more specific condition.

EDD also administers Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits, allowing up to six weeks of PFL at the SDI rate to Californians who are unable to work because they are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19, if certified by a medical professional.

If an employer closes the workplace due to COVID-19 and doesn’t pay or only partially pays its employees, workers can apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI) or, if eligible, SDI. Unemployment Insurance benefits cover approximately 50 percent of wages, up to a maximum of $450 per week, which is taxable. [JH5]

The EDD has outlined how self-employed, independent contractors can qualify for UI. State Disability Insurance is only available for independent contractors who have enrolled in Elective Coverage. Workers are often misclassified as independent contractors, and may have the same rights to benefits as employees under AB 5, even if their employer calls them an “independent contractor.”

From CELA

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