Recently a California jury awarded 249 exotic dancers $6.5 million for unpaid wages. The jury found that their employer, Paradise Showgirls, violated the Labor Code that prohibits a Club from taking a portion of the dancers’ tips or requiring a divestment of payments for services. The exotic dancers are employees, not independent contractors, and
What are Protected Classes?
The law prohibits employers from making decisions regarding employees based upon protected classes. But what is a protected class?
Protected classes are certain categories of specific, personal characteristics. For example, gender is a protected class. That means, an employer may not make decisions regarding employees based upon the employee’s gender. An employer cannot fire, demote, …
Harassment is unfair conduct targeting an employee or a group of employees based upon a protected class. Harassment can be verbal, physical, or visual (such as posters, cartoons, or drawings). See, Cal. Code Regs., tit. 2, §7287.6(b)(1).
For example, if employees frequently refer to a back co-worker as “boy” or use racial slurs, then …
An independent contractor is a person who an employer hires to complete a project. The employer does not have control over how the project is completed. In California, a person hired to do something for the benefit of another is assumed to be an employee unless the employer proves otherwise. See, Labor Code, § 3357.
For example, …
An employee is a person hired by employers to do something for the employer’s benefit or for the benefit of the employer’s customers. An employer has the right to control how the employee does their work is done by the employee. See, Labor Code, § 2750.
As discussed here, whether someone is an employee …
An employer cannot fire, demote, refuse to hire, or take other job actions concerning employees based on the employee’s
- veteran status, or
- any other protected class.
For example, if a clothing store decides to give raises only to non-Latino employees because it wants the store’s appearance to match a …
Retaliation involves an employer taking adverse employment action against an employee because the employee opposed any workplace harassment or discrimination forbidden by law, or because the person filed a complaint, testified, or assisted in any proceeding
See, CACI 2505 and Government Code, § 12940(h).
An employer faced with an allegation of discrimination resulting from disparate impact can defend against the allegation by claiming business necessity. To use this defense, the employer must prove that there was a real business purpose behind the workplace practice or policy that resulted in discrimination. There must also be no other way to achieve …
Adverse Employment Action
California’s law protects employees not only from so-called ultimate employment actions such as termination or demotion, but also from any adverse employment action – i.e. the entire range of employment actions that are likely to have a substantial negative impact on an employee’s job or career.
Although offensive or rude comments or even repeated social …