Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Managers and employers to share in the tips - illegal

For now, the rule of the thumb in California is: employers, managers, supervisors or any employer’s agent, may not take part in the division of tips between and among employees. Meaning, what goes on the tip box, pooled together and divided among employees, cannot be shared to above-mentioned individuals. To do so would violate the law.

A CA court so said when it ordered coffee chain giant Starbucks Corporation to pay its baristas more than a whopping $100 million in back tips that the company paid to its shift supervisors.

The ruling of the court is essentially prohibiting managers and supervisors from sharing in the “employee gratuities”. As of the time of this writing, the case is probably elevated on appeal as a spokesperson for the company already signified their intention to an immediate appeal – further on saying that the ruling is “fundamentally unfair and beyond all common sense and reason.”

But for now, that is the rule in California. Any case similar to this one may also be brought before the court with the help of a competent employment attorney.

The initial lone complainant in this case, who was later on joined by nearly 100,000 former and current Starbucks baristas in a class-action suit, felt vindicated by the judgment – issued a statement saying, “tips really help those receiving the lowest wages. I think Starbucks should pay shift supervisors high wages instead of taking money from the tip pool.”

There are at least hundreds, if not thousands, of establishments similarly situated with the Starbucks case in California nowadays. As it stands, it is illegal for managers, shift supervisors or any employers’ agent to share in the tips. If this happens or if an employer still employs this practice – contact an expert Los Angeles attorney right away.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Periods for Filing Discrimination Charges

Fighting sexual harassment in the workplace may not be a simple task. Even filing a complaint may take courage and great determination for a victim.

Sexual harassment can take many forms and depends on the circumstances. According to law, this act may consist of “vulgar or lewd comments, or forcing workers to wear sexually revealing uniforms. It can involve unwanted physical touching or fondling, or suggestions to engage in sexual conduct”. Even obscene or sexually suggestive cartoons and posters can be sexual harassment. Occasional inappropriate touching, off-color jokes, or repeated sexual references can be sexual harassment.

In deciding on a case, courts often consider the nature, severity, and frequency of the conduct, as well as the conditions under which the conduct occurred.

The first step in fighting sexual harassment is filing a complaint against an offender. The victim may lodge her complaint with any Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) office. This can be done in person, by mail or by telephone.

To ensure that the EEOC may effectively act to protect your rights, you must observe some guidelines when filing charges of discrimination. Here are periods that must be observed:

• Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII) charges must be filed with EEOC within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act.

• Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - The time requirements for filing a charge are the same as those for Title VII charges.

• Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) - The time requirements for filing a charge are the same as those for Title VII and the ADA.

• Equal Pay Act (EPA) - Individuals are not required to file an EPA charge with EEOC before filing a private lawsuit. However, charges may be filed with EEOC and some cases of wage discrimination may be violations of Title VII. If an EPA charge is filed with EEOC, the procedure for filing is the same as for charges brought under Title VII. However, the time limits for filing in court are different under the EPA; thus, it is advisable to file a charge as soon as you become aware the EPA may have been violated.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Firemen’s Employment Discrimination

The majority of job applicants in this City, or any city, county or municipality for that matter, didn’t know that they have been a victim of some form of discrimination. Large chunk of our citizens has a common misconception that employment discrimination exists only when one is already hired or already an employee of the employer.

Recently, news about potential firemen who weren’t ultimately accepted albeit have passed all the necessary exams and other requirement because they failed in the medical examination, hit the headlines – or at least becomes subject of murmurs.

Truth be told, there can be discrimination in this aspect. One can be unfairly and discriminately deprived of a possible future employment because of a certain medical condition.

Under the law, particularly ADA, it is unlawful for private employers, state and local governments and employment agencies and labor unions to discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in the following:

• Job application procedures
• Hiring
• Firing
• Advancement
• Compensation
• Job training
• Employment terms
• Employment conditions
• Employment privileges

If you are among the firemen candidates who believe that you were unfairly and discriminately treated in your job application, our expert Los Angeles attorneys are willing to help you. After more than a decade of handling cases of discrimination, we have recorded one of the highest, if not the highest, settlement amounts reaching more than $1M made from claims arising from employment discrimination.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Jogger Awfully Killed in Pedestrian Accident

This blog on motorcycle accidents retell the story of a jogger who was killed in Oak Park reportedly because of a car accident. The accident, which claimed the life of a once lively, pro-active woman, happened one fine morning.

The authorities identified the jogger as Karey Marsh, 46, resident of Thousand Oaks. She was doing her early morning routine when then came a driver who turned out to be driving under the influence and bump her with his car.

Karey was reportedly thrown approximately 30 feet into thick bushes on the side of the road. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident near the intersection of Lindero Canyon Road and Bowfield Street.

The driver was identified as Nicolas Lagrotta, 23 years old. He was driving southbound on Lindero Canyon Road near Bowfield Street around 6:25 in the morning, when, for reasons known only to him, he suddenly swerved off the roadway and struck Karey who was then jogging in the bike lane.

Nicholas didn’t know he has killed Karey, not until police deputies suspected he had hit someone when they saw a jogging shoe on the pavement. They even have to use a thermal camera to find Karey’s body in the bushes – they even have to cut though heavy shrubs to be able to take her.

Nicholas suffered injuries and was taken to the hospital. He was later on arrested for vehicular manslaughter and suspicion that he was driving under the influence.

The gravity of the consequence of this pedestrian accident caused by Nicholas is despicable. The full force of the law must be applied to him. He has wronged someone – gravely. He must, at all cost, pay – dearly.