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Santa Barbara Employment Law Blog

Dealing with same-sex sexual harassment

Employers and employees in California should be aware that sexual harassment can happen in same-sex situations. No matter who is the affected victim, any words or actions of a sexual nature that leads to an uncomfortable environment constitutes harassment and needs to be addressed.

According to Business Insider, workers in California are protected under SB 292. This law states that sex does not have to be the reason for the harasser's actions in order to be considered sexual harassment. This law helps clarify the question of sexual desire in harassment cases, which the state courts' decisions were previously split on. SB 292 refers to both different- and same-sex harassment claims.

Moving on after a wrongful termination

If your employer recently fired you in a way that violated employment law, you could be facing all sorts of different problems. However, it is paramount for you to take action right away if your rights were trampled on. Our law firm recognizes the multitude of challenges that workers in Santa Barbara and other parts of California may have to endure following a wrongful termination and we believe that people in this position deserve justice.

Depending on the details of your termination, you may want to look into filing a complaint or even taking your case to court. Unfortunately, you may be going through all sorts of other challenges during this time. For example, you may be facing difficulties while looking for a new job, for various reasons. For example, you could be having a hard time lining up work because of a competitive labor market or because your reputation has been damaged as a result of what happened at your former place of work.

Minimum wage laws in California

Employers in California are required by state law to pay their workers a defined minimum wage. This amount varies a bit depending on the type of employee, the number of employees a company has and workers who are disabled.

According to the United States Department of Labor, the federal government establishes requirements in regard to minimum wage and other employment standards such as recordkeeping and overtime pay. Individual states can choose to use these standards or set their own minimum wage laws, as long as the amount is higher than the federal wage. California is one of the states that chooses to set the minimum pay at a higher level.

We need a better perspective on ageism

When you were young, you probably saw older people as different from you. Depending on your perspective, you may have honored them as deep compendiums of valuable knowledge. Or, maybe you judged them as examples of a dying, outmoded system.

As you've grown older yourself -- maybe now you're an alleged "old person." You've probably noticed how the world looks at you differently, and you might not like it in all cases, especially in your job. When employers discriminate against older people, it can have negative and unjust consequences. In fact, ageism -- or age discrimination -- is unlawful.

Taking action against sexual harassment

Sexual harassment takes many forms, some of which we have covered on this blog. Whether you are subjected to the presentation of lewd and offensive sexual material while trying to work or are forced to endure nasty sexual comments, unwanted physical contact, or any other illegal form of sexual harassment, you should not hesitate to speak out. Sadly, some workers who are victims of sexual harassment stay quiet because they worry about the possible ramifications of standing up for themselves. Our law firm recognizes how hard it can be for victims to come forward, but offenders must be held answerable.

Sometimes, speaking out against sexual harassment can be difficult for different reasons. Some victims may feel ashamed and may not want others to know about the abuse they were subjected to. On the other hand, some worry that stepping forward will cost them their job or negatively impact them in another way. However, retaliation is also against the law and victims of sexual harassment deserve a voice.

Age discrimination in the workplace

Workers in California who are over the age of 40 need to be aware of age discrimination laws. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, these federal laws are in place to protect those who are discriminated in a variety of employment areas. These include hiring, termination, promotions, pay, benefits, job assignments and layoffs.

The law also protects employees from being harassed due to their age. Harassment is considered to be frequent derogatory or offensive language that creates a hostile environment. Harassment can come from a direct or indirect supervisor, a co-worker or client.

Voluntarily leaving a job could still count as termination

For many people in California, going to work is not something they spend time worrying about. However, if your employment situation makes you miserable, and you are not bound by a contract, you may be weighing whether quitting your job is necessary for your peace of mind. At Anticouni & Associates, we understand that employers may take extreme steps to avoid the appearance of breaking the law while still engaging in unethical and illegal practices.

At-will employment allows your employer to fire you at any time, as long as there is no employment contract and the termination is not because of discrimination or retaliation. However, some employers have been known to use an illegal tactic known as constructive dismissal to get rid of a worker without firing him or her.

What are some examples of religious discrimination?

On this blog, we have covered some of the different types of discrimination, such as discrimination based upon an employee's age, gender or national origin. However, it is important to point that that people in California may also be subjected to unlawful religious discrimination. If you think that you have been treated in an abusive or unlawful manner because of your beliefs, it is critical to know your rights and speak out.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that people who have various religious beliefs are protected from discrimination based on their faith. Not only does the law protect Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and those who belong to traditional religions, but people who sincerely hold moral or ethical beliefs are also protected from unlawful religious discrimination. In fact, even those who associate with people who believe in a particular faith, such as an employee who is married to someone from a certain religious background, cannot be discriminated against on the basis of that association.

Understanding overtime laws in California for hourly workers

Not everyone receives overtime pay, which can make employment laws confusing to some. People may simply assume that they aren't entitled to overtime pay for their work. In reality, unless you are a salaried worker, your employer should be paying you at least time and a half for any time over 40 hours that you've worked in any given pay period.

A pay period doesn't necessarily start on Monday or end on Friday, either. Your employer can choose what day of the week and time of the day to start your pay period. However, it must stay the same from week to week and include seven consecutive days back-to-back. If you are concerned about overtime issues, ask your employer about the days and times for your work week. Knowing that can help you accurately track how many hours you have worked and if they total up to be more than 40.

Employment of minors in California

Employers in California need to be aware of regulations related to the employment of minors. The laws vary from wage requirements to school attendance policies, and the consequences of breaking these laws can be major.

According to the C.O.R.E. Charter School, children as young as 12 can work, although nonfarm employment is prohibited for those under the age of 14. The state lays out specific requirements related to working on school days, the maximum number of hours allowed per day and limits on how early and late minors can work. Certain occupations are prohibited for all minors under the age of 18 due to their hazardous conditions. These include:

  • Roofing
  • Coal mining
  • Demolition
  • Radiation exposure
  • Logging
  • Power baking machines


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201 N. Calle Cesar Chavez
Suite 105
Santa Barbara, CA 93103

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