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August 2018 Archives

Some independent contractors may really be employees

With the rise of the "gig economy," which now encompasses more than 16.5 million Americans throughout California and across the country, many questions have been raised about the way in which workers are designated as independent contractors. Higher education has always relied significantly on contracted workers, such as adjunct professors who often teach full-time schedules but receive limited compensation, benefits or job security.

Movie theater workers file class action lawsuit

Movie theater employees in California are moving forward with a class-action lawsuit against cinema chain Cinemark, alleging that the company failed to comply with state law that requires overtime pay rates to be made explicit on pay stubs. Across the state, there are at least 843 people eligible to become part of the lawsuit, said lawyers working on the case. Their statements were based on Cinemark's disclosures in the case about the number of incorrect statements issued to workers. On August 16, a federal judge agreed to certify the class-action lawsuit, requiring the theater company to provide the names and contact details for workers who could have received incorrect pay stubs.

How to create a more equitable workplace

California workers may be treating their male colleagues different than their female colleagues without even realizing it. For instance, a person may interrupt a woman in the middle of a sentence but not do the same to a male. This is referred to as a "micro-inequity'. Other such inequities include a lack of eye contact or signs of boredom when talking with a woman while being excited to talk with a male.

EEOC prioritizes fight against disability discrimination

People with disabilities in California and across the United States often face discrimination in the workplace. However, there are laws that protect the rights of disabled workers, including the right to take medical leave. Several major corporations have recently settled large lawsuits after they strictly limited the amount of time off disabled workers could take or required them to be cured of their disabilities before returning to the job. The latest settlement with the federal government was concluded by Mueller Industries.

Tech workers facing retaliation for pointing out workplace abuse

A recent survey of tech industry employees found that 41 percent of respondents who reported workplace abuse were retaliated against by management. The survey, which was conducted by a company developing an anonymous app for reporting abuse, showed that Airbnb had the most reports of retaliation. Tech giants Google and Facebook also made the Top 12 list. Workers in California should understand that the results from the survey mirror data gathered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2017.