Kristin's Blog

2017 California Supreme Court Bar Exam Decision

The California Supreme Court issued its decision today (October 18, 2017) not to change the California Bar Exam Pass Score of 1440. The Court noted, “[i]n making this determination, the court expects the State Bar to complete its other bar exam studies and to continue analyzing whether the exam or any of its components might…

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Kristin's Blog

DFEH Issues Workplace Harassment Guide

WITH RECOMMENDED PRACTICES FOR WORKPLACE INVESTIGATORS In May 2017, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) issued the “California Department of Fair Employment and Housing Workplace Harassment Guide for California Employers,” which discusses how an employer should effectively deal with harassment in the workplace, including identifying an effective anti-harassment program, and defining the…

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Kristin's Blog

What Every Employer Should Know about External Workplace Investigations

It is incumbent on a California employer to establish a mechanism to receive employee complaints and to determine whether a detailed fact-finding investigation is necessary. The following outlines what every employer should know about external workplace investigations. [1]  1. Types of Claims Requiring Investigation. The types of employee complaints and/or allegations which require an employer…

Kristin's Blog

Protection against Transgender, Gender Identification, and Gender Expression Discrimination and Harassment

  Transgender and Gender Identity Discrimination California’s vast protections for employees cover those persons who are transgender or identify as transgender, or of a certain gender expression. The Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), found at Government Code sections 12900-12996, specifically prohibits discrimination or harassment based on a person’s “gender identity” or “gender expression,” i.e.…

Kristin's Blog

New California Law Requires Employers to Provide Employees with a “Recovery Period”

Effective January 1, 2014, Senate Bill 435 expands existing law to prohibit employers from requiring an employee to work during any meal period, rest break or recovery period mandated by applicable statute or regulation, standard or order of the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) or California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA). This new law expands…

Kristin's Blog

New Minimum Wages for California Employees

Pursuant to A.B. 10 – Effective July 1, 2014, the California minimum wage for all industries will be raised from $8.00 per hour to $9.00 per hour.  Effective January 1, 2016, the minimum wage for all industries will be raised from $9.00 per hour to $10.00 per hour.

Kristin's Blog

New Law: Sexually Harassing Conduct no Longer Needs to be Motivated by Sexual Desire

California Legislation amended the definition of discrimination based on sex in its Senate Bill 292.  The new law provides that with respect to an employment-related sexual harassment claim made under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), “sexually harassing conduct need not be motivated by sexual desire.” Government Code § 12940(j)(4)(C). This amendment was triggered by…

Kristin's Blog

Muniz v. United Parcel Service, Inc.: Employer Found Liable on a Plaintiff’s FEHA Gender Discrimination Held to Pay $700,000 in Attorney’s Fees

Kim Muniz sued her employer for discrimination in a California State Superior Court. Due to diversity jurisdiction, UPS removed the case to the federal court. The jury tried the case and returned a verdict in Ms. Muniz’s favor, concluding that UPS discriminated against her based on gender. The jury’s total award for damages was $27,280.…

Kristin's Blog

Two Supreme Court Rulings Support the Right to Same-Sex Marriage

On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued two important decisions on same-sex marriage rights.   In United States v. Windsor, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defined marriage as only between a man and a woman. The Court found that defining marriage…

Kristin's Blog

Sanchez v. Swissport: Protections for Pregnant Employees Under Disability Laws

A recent court opinion upholds employment law protections for pregnant women in the workplace.  In Sanchez v. Swissport, Inc., the California Second Appellate District Court ruled that an employee who has exhausted all of her leave under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL) is nonetheless still entitled to reasonable accommodation under the Fair Employment and…

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