legal news & tips for employees published by Law Office of Eugene Lee
Both Federal and California laws prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on an employee’s “protected characteristics”. Under California’s broad, pro-employee laws (perhaps the best in the US), “protected characteristics” mean: “race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, (more…)
The following is an article I recently wrote for the ABA GP-SOLO periodical. It is geared toward other attorneys but employees may find it helpful in thinking about their cases. Note, for employees in California, I would generally recommend against filing claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (more…)
Did you know that it is NOT illegal to discriminate against someone because they are fat? There are federal and state laws against discrimination based on race, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, medical condition, religion, etc. However, Michigan stands alone in having an anti-fat-ism law. (more…)
In Gary Ross v RagingWire Telecommunications, Inc., the California Supreme Court considered the case of an employee who was taking marijuana for medicinal purposes (to deal with a back injury). When he tested positive for marijuana, his employer fired him. Plaintiff sued for disability discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, among other things. The California Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (CUA) protects medical pot users and their prescribing doctors from state criminal (more…)
Ever wonder what the most popular discrimination complaint in the US is? According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the answer is racial discrimination / racial harassment. Following close behind are 2. sex discrimination / sexual harassment, 3. retaliation for making a discrimination complaint and 4. disability discrimination.
I’ve created the below chart from discrimination charge statistics published on the EEOC’s website. Because most people who file an EEOC charge list multiple types of discrimination, the total number of charges is actually less than what’s indicated, (more…)
On November 7, 2007, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (“ENDA,” H.R. 3685), a federal bill which bans employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. The vote was decisive at 235-184. The bill is backed by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, NAACP, ACLU, (more…)
Fellow attorney Richard Vaznaugh reports a unanimous San Francisco jury awarded an employee in a disability discrimination case $150k in lost wages and $200k in non-economic damages. Tania Garcia had worked at the Electrical Industry Service Bureau, Inc. in San Francisco as a data entry clerk when she became disabled due to eczema and started a medical leave. Ms. Garcia was placed on unpaid leave. Just 18 days before she was due to return to work, EISB fired her without warning because her disability had exceeded 90 days. Ms. Garcia made several efforts to obtain reinstatement with the help of her union but EISB refused. The jury found for Ms. Garcia on all claims. “I feel like I’ve finally got some peace and that they didn’t get away with it,” said Ms. Garcia. Congratulations to Mr. Vaznaugh.