Companies in California may not have a legal obligation to put sexual harassment policies in place, but most have one anyway. Sexual harassment policies may be especially important in the Golden State, where the #MeToo movement rocked Hollywood and took down some of the most well-known names in the entertainment business. These men — and sometimes, women — allegedly took advantage of younger candidates and employees seeking to advance their careers.
The at-will doctrine used by the state of California means employers are free to fire workers for any reason, provided the employers do not violate civil rights laws that forbid discrimination. However, if a company describes specific procedures for firing an employee, it could be argued that the company has waived at-will firing. One place to look for these procedures is an employee handbook.
Right now, there are no fewer than 20 California companies with outstanding wage theft judgments against them that are illegally operating with impunity despite owing workers more than a million dollars in penalties and back wages.
There are many rules and regulations to protect workers in California, and giving appropriate breaks is one of them. The state requires employers to give rest and meal breaks when employees work a certain number of hours. If an employer does not grant these breaks, there are consequences.
If you have friends of African ancestry in California, you have likely heard the stories. Women and men alike are often bullied by bosses to cut their dreadlocks or pull their afros into a more allegedly respectable style. The bullying does not involve harsh remarks and sternly worded emails either. These people are threatened with their jobs. Even children are affected by hair discrimination. Some are threatened with being booted from their schools. If you are of African ancestry, then you have probably experienced these injustices firsthand.