Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Statistically Probable Unlawful Termination Case

The California Labor Code mandates that an employee is considered as “at-will” employee unless he/she is hired for a certain period. It implies that an employee could be fired for any reasons or no reason at all. However, an employee could not be fired because of discrimination or unlawful causes.

Hard data on employment litigations are elusive although a widespread perception tells us that employment cases in both state and federal courts have swelled up.

Consequently, most studies on employment cases such as wrongful termination have focused only on jury verdicts rather than on the total filings.

For instance, a Phoenix private preschool teacher won $1.8 million award in a wrongful termination case. Also in 2003, a Yuba County California jury has awarded a doctor a staggering amount of $24 million in compensatory and punitive damages for his dismissal from a hospital.

Figures might not have been exact to inform us of the real deal on wrongful termination. But the fact remains that many employers have exercise their power to terminate indiscriminately.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Reasonable Accommodations

Religious discrimination just like any other form of discrimination is rising. Religious practices and beliefs often become source of disagreement between employers and employees.

revealed that in fiscal year 2006, it received 2,541 charges of religious discrimination. Out of them, a total of 2,387 charges were resolved and approximately $5.7 million were recovered in monetary benefits for accusing parties and other aggrieved individuals.

It is a fundamental right of every person to have her or his religion respected. Hence, the law gives employees the right to have their religious needs accommodated by the employer. For instance, an employee shall be given a time in a day to pray or a certain day off to attend to religious obligations.

On the other hand, the employers could not also make decisions which greatly depend on the employees’ religious beliefs. Religious accommodations would be set aside if it would entail prejudice and harm to the business or company.

Apparently, a contradiction exists. As an employer, you must give preference to these accommodations. However, if accommodating these religious practices would mean causing morale problems or other serious concerns then it may be set aside.

The gauge is this; an employer must have room for employees’ religious accommodations or give preference, at least. These reasonable accommodations are not only legally imposed but also morally encouraged. Otherwise, the employer shall be open to religious discrimination cases.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Protecting Californians from Housing Discrimination

The US government is serious in its mission of leveling the playing field by minimizing discrimination in all areas.

The Department of Fair and Equal Housing (DFEH) is a government department, which ensures that every Californian employee is given the equal opportunity to housing privileges. It aims to protect employees not only from employment discrimination but more so with housing discrimination.

DFEH accepts complaints of discrimination in areas such as employment, public accommodations, housing and hate violence. Complaints filed before it are investigated as to the veracity of the allegations.

It serves as a fact finder. It assists the parties in resolving their issues. If sufficient evidence has been found as to the existence of discrimination, a formal accusation may be filed. A public hearing or a lawsuit follows.

Housing is a necessity. We need a roof on our heads for security and convenience. The last thing we want is to be discriminated against.

It is rewarding to know that the government is doing its responsibility towards us. Victims of employment or housing discrimination have now a venue to redress their claims and grievances. If you have been a victim, feel free to visit DFEH. Surely, you will find answer.