Two ranking members of the U.S. Department of Labor recently discussed workplace retaliation against employees who file wage-related complaints, sending this strong and unequivocal message to employers in California and elsewhere across the country: Don't do it.
Say that you're a high-ranking executive in a cutting-edge department of a profitable enterprise, tasked with developing new products and processes and, concomitantly, safeguarding your employer's vitally important trade secrets.
Whatever side of the matter you're on in a job termination case (whether you play a role on behalf of a company dismissing a worker or, alternatively, you are that worker), you will automatically look for evidence that documents and sets forth in a detailed manner the stated reasons to support a firing.
State and federal employment officials and regulators often take pains to walk a very fine line when discussing the use of contracted-for labor by companies across the country.
Larson & Gaston recently won a major transportation law defense victory on behalf of one of its motor carrier clients. Four of the carrier's owner-operators filed claims with California's Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), claiming to be employees of the motor carrier rather than independent contractors. This is a common accusation in the ongoing wave of litigation overtaking the transportation industry. The drivers sought over $500,000 in damages and penalties. L&G, on behalf of its carrier client, petitioned to compel arbitration of the claims pursuant to the arbitration clauses appearing in the independent contractor agreements. The drivers opposed, arguing that the arbitration clauses were unenforceable because they were unconscionable and therefore their claims should be resolved at DLSE Berman hearings
The legislation referenced above in today's blog headline is formally entitled the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order.
What one national media outlet refers to as Uber's "freelance labor model" generally works quite well for the company, obviously, given the online transportation entity's estimated worth of as much as $68 billion.
A recently concluded workplace discrimination case serves as a virtual primer to employers in California and nationally regarding how not to interact with pregnant employees at the workplace.