Posts in Discrimination & Harassment.

In two decisions issued within the last month, the California appellate courts broadened the circumstances under which agreements to arbitrate civil claims can be enforced. One court held that an employee effectively entered into an agreement by continuing to work for the company around the same time a claim was filed, while another held that an arbitration agreement applied to a claim even after a lawsuit was filed. The two cases clarified the availability of arbitration agreements to insulate employers from the prospect of jury trials in both such situations.

On April 10, 2019, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a detailed breakdown of workplace discrimination charges the agency received in fiscal year 2018, which ended on September 30, 2018.  The enforcement and litigation statistics are available on the EEOC website.

In the recent case of Huerta v. Kava Holdings, Inc., 2018 WL 5999639 (Cal. Ct. App. Nov. 14, 2018), the California Court of Appeal held that a prevailing employer that made a section 998 settlement offer to the plaintiff in an action brought under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) was not entitled to costs and expert witness fees incurred after the plaintiff’s rejection of the offer.

Employers who are faced with sexual harassment or sexual abuse claims by a current or former employee now have another problem to consider – are the settlement payment and related attorney’s fees incurred in settling the claim deductible?  Unfortunately, the answer to that question may now be no.

Beginning January 1, 2018, California employers are required to display the “Transgender Rights in the Workplace” poster created by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”).  Employers must place the poster in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace.

The DFEH published on its website the mandatory poster, which is available in English ...

What kinds of provisions in arbitration agreements will cause the courts to invalidate them?  The Court of Appeal in the recent case of Baxter v. Genworth North America Corporation analyzed and rejected several of them, in upholding the denial of a motion to compel arbitration of an employee’s wrongful termination and discrimination claims.  Baxter v. Genworth North America (October 26, 2017 ...

When can an employer be liable for failing to prevent a sexual assault or rape of an employee?  The California Court of Appeal in the recent case of M.F. v. Pacific Pearl Hotel Management, LLC (D070150, FOURTH APPELLATE DISTRICT, DIVISION ONE, 10/26/17), helped provide some answers to this question.

The plaintiff in the case worked as a housekeeper in a five-building hotel property.  One morning, the hotel’s ...

On August 29, 2017, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) informed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that it is suspending implementation of the EEO-1 form that was revised on September 29, 2016, in accordance with the OMB’s authority under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA).  This means that employers will not be required to report salary information with the EEO-1 Report due on March 31, 2018.

Many employers purchase Employment Practices Liability Insurance (“EPLI”) polices to protect themselves against employment-related lawsuits by current or former employees or job applicants, such as claims of alleged discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination.

The “Claims Made and Reported” Time Trap.

EPLI policies are often written on a “claims made and ...

On February 17, 2016, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) issued first-of-its-kind guidance on transgender rights in the workplace.

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