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23 Oct Bullying and harassment at work

Many people experience what they consider bullying and harassment at work. While bullying and harassment is morally wrong, it's not always unlawful. In fact, the most common forms of this conduct is not prohibited by state or federal employment law. That's because the major anti-harassment laws define harassment fairly narrowly. Much of what ordinary people would describe as bullying or harassment does not fit into that definition. So when does bullying and harassment at work become unlawful? When bullying and harassment at work becomes unlawful The two major laws prohibiting workplace harassment are Title VII and the Fair Employment and Housing Act, or the FEHA. Title VII is federal law, the FEHA is state law. They both apply in California. Title VII and the FEHA mostly take the same approach to harassment. Both prohibit harassment, but only harassment based on certain characteristics. For example, if your boss is simply a jerk that is constantly rude and demeaning to you, that's probably not harassment as defined by Title VII or the FEHA. But if your boss is rude and demeaning to you because of your race or gender, that may be actionable harassment. A good way to illustrate this is a manager who insults your intelligence. This comes up quite often and can fall on either side of line. If your manager tells you she doesn't think you're smart or good at your job, that's probably not harassment under Title VII or the FEHA. Now suppose your boss says that she doesn't think African Americans are as intelligent as other groups and implies you can't do your job well because you're African American. This is the type of conduct that Title VII and the FEHA were enacted to address. In the simplest terms, bullying and harassment become unlawful when based on a protected characteristic. It's important to note that sexual harassment is different from other types of harassment. Sexual harassment is unlawful under any circumstances and it doesn't matter what the harasser's motive is. When is harassment based on a protected characteristic? Garden variety harassment isn't typically unlawful, but when does it cross the line? The strongest cases generally involve repeated use of slurs or other explicitly derogatory comments. This can also be conduct such as making threats or drawing offensive symbols around the workplace. But in most cases, things will be a little more complicated. Just because your harasser hasn't repeatedly used the most offensive possible words to refer to you doesn't mean it's not harassment. For example, the use of stereotypes can be evidence of unlawful harassment. Typical bullying or rude treatment is not unlawful. And it's not necessarily a question of severity. Even severe bullying might not be unlawful if it isn't based on some protected characteristic. But it's a fine line and it's not always obvious the kinds of conduct that rises to the level of unlawful harassment. If you're not an attorney, you may overlook conduct that crosses the line. Accordingly, if you think you are being bullied or harassed at work, you should speak with an employment attorney, even if you're not sure whether it's based on a protected characteristic. If you believe your are experiencing harassment at work, contact the Khadder Law Firm today for a free consultation. For more, follow us on Twitter....

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15 Oct The Khadder Law Firm is Now on Twitter

The Khadder Law Firm has joined Twitter! We'll be tweeting out links to our blogs and posting about new developments in employment law. To stay up to date with the Khadder Law Firm, give us a follow. If you'd like to speak with an attorney about an employment matter, contact the Khadder Law Firm today for a free consultation....

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30 Sep Court grants new trial in French Laundry discrimination suit

The Khadder Law Firm is pleased to announce that the Honorable Judge Victoria Wood of Napa County Superior Court has granted a Khadder Law Firm client a new trial in her pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against renowned Chef Thomas Keller, The French Laundry, and the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group. For several years, our client worked at Per Se, a Keller restaurant in New York. During a 2016 visit to California, she became interested in transferring to The French Laundry in Yountville. After speaking with management at The French Laundry, our client believed she had secured a position there. Before starting at The French laundry, she discovered she was pregnant. After The French Laundry learned of the pregnancy, it told our client it had no position for her. The French Laundry then denied that it ever offered our client a transfer. She retained the Khadder Law Firm and filed suit in Napa County Superior Court in September 2016. After a month-long trial during May and June of 2019, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants on each of our client's four claims. The Khadder Law Firm, along with our co-counsel, moved the court for a new trial. On September 5, 2019, Judge Wood ordered a new trial as to each of our client's four claims. Judge Wood’s order acknowledges significant irregularities in the jury deliberation process. Additionally, Judge Wood found multiple instances of attorney misconduct by the defense. Based on the strength of our client's evidence and the jury verdict, Judge Wood concluded that these irregularities were prejudicial and that “a new trial is most certainly warranted.” As of now, the court has not set a date for the new trial. If you believe you have been the victim of pregnancy discrimination, contact the Khadder Law Firm today for a free consultation....

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06 Dec Oakland Warehouse Fire

On the evening of December 2, 2016, at least 36 people, many in the prime of their lives, were killed while attending a concert at a warehouse in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, CA. The Oakland Warehouse Fire is a horrific tragedy that has shocked all Bay Area residents and beyond. What should have been a night of fun and enjoyment, turned into one of the deadliest fire disasters in the Bay Area in recent history. Beyond the victims are many more friends and loved ones who have lost someone dear to them. While it is too early to say if this could have been prevented, it appears that there were failures on multiple levels. The victims and their families deserve a thorough and honest investigation. And those responsible, whether it is the City of Oakland or the owners and tenants of the building, should be held accountable. The Khadder Law Firm sends its deepest condolences to all of those affected by the Oakland Warehouse Fire....

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