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Title VII sex discrimination oral arguments

14 Oct Title VII Sex Discrimination Oral Arguments

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two landmark Title VII sex discrimination cases on October 8, 2019. The two cases involve whether Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Court's decisions in these cases could transform federal employment discrimination law. Bostock v. Clayton County Georgia: Does Title VII's sex discrimination provision prevent employers from discriminating against gay employees? The first of the cases was Bostock v. Clayton County Georgia. This case is actually two cases that the court consolidated because they raise the same issue. The Bostock plaintiff was an employee of Clayton County in Georgia. When the county found out he was gay, it fired him. The Plaintiff sued the county, arguing it unlawfully discriminated against him for being gay. The county argued that Title VII does not cover sexual orientation. At the Supreme Court, the plaintiff's argument started with the text of Title VII, which prohibits discrimination "because of...

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New Uber and Lyft bill

09 Oct New Bills to Make Uber, Lyft Drivers Employees

Following California's lead, other states are considering bills to make Uber and Lyft drivers, as well as other gig economy workers, employees. In September 2019, California's legislature passed Assembly Bill 5, which would change how the state regulates the use of independent contractors. In practice, AB 5 aims to make many workers in the gig economy, such as Uber and Lyft drivers, employees. Currently, such workers are independent contractors. Now, other states are mulling similar bills. Illinois lawmaker preparing bill to make Uber, Lyft drivers, others in gig economy, employees Illinois State Representative Will Guzzardi, will sponsored a bill similar to AB 5. Like AB 5, Guzzardi's bill targets gig economy workers, such as Uber drivers and food delivery app couriers, turning many into employees. Doing so would bring these workers under the protection of more labor regulations, such as the state's minimum wage laws. This effort is in the early stages and it's unclear how much support the bill will have. Either way, experts believe other states will follow California and Illinois in considering bills limiting the use of independent contractors. Lawmakers in other states will certainly be monitoring the reaction to these bills in California and Illinois. New York considering a bill that would extend some protections to non-employees New York State Senator Diane Savino says she'll introduce new legislation that would extend protections to"dependent workers," a new classification the bill would create. Unlike the California or Illinois bills, this bill does not intend to make Uber and Lyft drivers employees. Instead, it will extend certain employee protections to gig economy workers without making them employees. Critics say this is a half measure that will not do enough to combat what they say are Uber and Lyft's predatory employment practices. However, such an approach may prove more politically appetizing for lawmakers weary of radical changes to employment law. The difference between being an employee and an independent contractor is significant There are significant differences between being an employee and an independent contractor. State and federal labor law often does not extend to independent contractors. For example, independent contractors are often exempt from minimum wage laws. Unsurprisingly, employers regularly classify their employees as independent contractors. Unsure if you're properly classified? Read our blog post, for more information. If you believe your employer has missclassified you as an independent contractor, contact the Khadder Law Firm today for a free consultation. For updates on these bills and more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram....

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New #MeToo bills

08 Oct #MeToo inspired sexual harassment bills await signature

Three #MeToo inspired sexual harassment bills await the governor's signature. The legislature passed each of the three bills partly in response to the #MeToo movement, which has grown in response to sexual harassment in the workplace. As part of the movement, #MeToo advocates have called for updates to California's sexual harassment laws. While the bills all aim to deter sexual harassment, they each address distinct issues. AB 9, inspired by #MeToo criticisms, would extend the statute of limitations for sexual harassment claims AB 9 would extend the time victims of sexual harassment have to file claims under state law. Currently, sexual harassment victims generally have only one year to take action. AB 9 would change the statute of limitations for sexual harassment to three years. Employment lawyers and supporters of the #MeToo movement have criticized the short statute of limitations California has for sexual harassment claims. They argue many sexual harassment victims don't immediately recognize they've experienced legally actionable sexual harassment. By the time they do, it may be too late to take action. Meanwhile, critics of AB 9 argue that it will increase employers' liability. Undoubtedly, this would be a major change to state employment law. But until the bill goes into effect, nobody can say for sure how much real world impact the change would have. AB 51 seeks to protect sexual harassment victims' right to sue in court AB 51 would prohibit employers from enforcing mandatory arbitration clauses against victims of sexual harassment. Employers are increasingly using mandatory arbitration clauses in their contracts with employees. Arbitration is essentially a private court system. Arbitration generally has similar procedures as court, but there are some important differences. These differences, tend to advantage employers. Moreover, it's very rare that a court will decline to enforce an arbitration agreement. Unsurprisingly, many #MeToo advocates have been critical of arbitration agreements, arguing they take rights away from sexual harassment victims. Moreover, because arbitration is private, it allows employers to sweep sexual harassment lawsuits under the rug. AB 51 would make it harder for employers to enforce such agreements against victims of sexual harassment. Advocates hope the legislation would help victims fight back more effectively against sexual harassment at work. Even if passed, however, it's possible that AB 51 would conflict with federal law regarding arbitration agreements. Where state and federal law directly conflict, federal law prevails. Therefore, it's possible AB 51 would have little or no impact on sexual harassment lawsuits. If AB 51 does become law, courts will have to work this out. AB 749 would prohibit employers from including "no rehire" clauses in sexual harassment settlements AB 749 prohibits employers from including "no rehire" clauses in settlement agreements with sexual harassment victims. These clauses give employers the right to refuse to hire or employ the victim in the future. #MeToo advocates argue this is a form of retaliation against employees who file sexual harassment lawsuits. By prohibiting such clauses, the legislature sought to ensure that victims can move on without sacrificing future opportunities. #MeToo advocates hope governor will sign the sexual harassment bills As of now, these three #MeToo inspired sexual harassment bills are not law. They will only become law with the governor's signature. The governor has until October 13, 2019 to sign them. Activists in the growing anti-sexual harassment movement are hoping the governor will sign them before the upcoming deadline. If the governor does not sign one or more of the bills, don't expect that to be the end of the line. This is only the beginning of what will likely to be a long effort to reshape California's civil rights laws to combat sexual harassment. If you believe you have been a victim of sexual harassment, contact the Khadder Law Firm today for a free consultation. For updates on these bills and more, follow us on Twitter. and Instagram....

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Title VII Supreme Court case

03 Oct Court case on gay, transgender employment discrimination

The Supreme Court will decide whether discrimination against gay and transgender employees is illegal under federal law. The Court has agreed to hear three cases on the issues in the fall term. The cases involve Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on protected classes such as race, gender, and national origin. In these cases, the Court will decide whether Title VII makes sexual orientation and gender identity protected classes. Lower courts are divided on whether employment discrimination against gay and transgender workers is unlawful under Title VII Courts are split on whether Title VII protects gay and transgender employees. Most courts have found Title VII does not protect sexual orientation and gender identity. Where this is the law, employers can discriminate against gay and transgender people. For example, an employer can fire an employee for being gay. Some courts, however, say Title VII does protect gay and transgender workers. This means that gay and transgender employees can sue their employers for employment discrimination under Title VII. Therefore, whether federal law protects gay and transgender workers from discrimination currently depends on location. In some places it does, in other places it does not. The Supreme Court's decision will set the law for the whole country. Many states do not have laws prohibiting employment discrimination against gay and transgender people Title VII is federal law so it applies across the entire country. Because many states do not have strong employment discrimination laws, Title VII is very important. If you live in a state that does not protect gay or transgender employees, Title VII is your only protection. Therefore, millions of gay and transgender Americans will be left with no protection if the Supreme Court decides Title VII does not protect them. The Court will hear arguments on gay and transgender employment discrimination on October 8 The court will hear oral arguments in these cases on October 8, 2019. Next, the Court will issue decisions. This will likely happen in the next several months. However, it's possible the Court could dodge the issue and resolve the cases on procedural grounds. Accordingly, the Court may not definitely resolve the issues raised in these cases at this time. The Supreme Court will decide whether employers can discriminate against gay and transgender workers under federal law only Fortunately, California law does protect gay and transgender people from employment discrimination. Therefore, whatever the Supreme Court decides, California law will still protect gay and transgender workers from employment discrimination. If you believe an employer has discriminated against you, contact the Khadder Law Firm today for a free consultation. For updates on these cases and more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram....

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New Uber bill

30 Sep New bill that would make Uber and Lyft drivers employees

The California State Senate has passed Assembly Bill 5, a new bill that would make Uber and Lyft drivers employees, likely turning Uber and Lyft drivers into employees. If signed into law, the bill would restrict the use of independent contractors. Such a change would profoundly impact California's labor market. In particular, AB 5 would affect thousands of gig economy workers. This includes Uber and Lyft drivers and couriers for delivery apps such as Postmates and DoorDash. It could also affect Amazon warehouse workers and delivery drivers. New rules for determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor AB5 codifies and expands the California Supreme Court’s groundbreaking 2018 decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Charles Lee. In that case, the court adopted a new test for determining when a worker is an employee. Under the new "ABC Test," a worker is presumed an employee and will deemed so unless the employer proves that: (1) that the worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact; (2) that the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and (3) that the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed. Uber and Lyft do not treat their workers as employees, but AB 5 would likely require them to do so Under previous law, employers could usually treat workers as independent contractors as long as they did not exercise direct control over workers’ schedules and tasks. This regime allows companies such as Uber, Lyft, Postmates, and DoorDash to treat their drivers and couriers as independent contractors. Under the rule codified in AB 5, companies must show that the worker performs work outside of the core of their business. Because transporting people is so central to Uber and Lyft’s business, it will be difficult for such companies to avoid treating their workers as employees. The effects of being an independent contractor are significant While it may see like a subtle distinction, the practical effects of being an independent contractor, as opposed to an employee, are significant. Many labor and employment laws apply only to employees. For example, in some circumstances, companies can pay independent contractors below minimum wage. Additionally, employers must also carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover all employees, but not independent contractors. Perhaps most critically, much of the state and federal law that prohibits employment discrimination does not apply to independent contractors. Accordingly, independent contractors often have no legal recourse for harassment and discrimination. Unsurprisingly, misclassification is common in California. The Department of Industrial Relations estimates that misclassification costs the State $7 billion per year in lost payroll tax revenue. Even if the governor signs AB 5 into law, employers will undoubtedly continue to misclassify workers. Uber and Lyft say they wont classify drivers as employees Uber and Lyft have already announced that they do not plan to reclassify their drivers as employees if the bill becomes law. They argue that they are technology companies, not transportation companies. Therefore, they contend that their drivers do not perform tasks that are core to their business. If AB 5 becomes law, this argument will surely be tested in court. AB 5 now goes to Governor Newsom, who is expected to sign it into law AB 5 now goes to Governor Gavin Newsom for signature. Newsom has already announced his support for the bill and will likely sign it. AB 5 would go into effect on January 1, 2020. For updates on AB 5 and more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. If you believe you have been misclassified as an independent contractor, contact the Khadder Law Firm for a free consultation....

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