Company Websites and Applicant Disabilities

In recent employment cases filed in California, plaintiffs — potential job applicants — have alleged California employers have an obligation to make their job application websites accessible to the visually impaired under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), the state’s version of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Under this law, employers must take affirmative, proactive measures to ensure those with disabilities have the same access to their goods and services as do sighted job applicants. However, employers do not have an obligation to provide the specific requested accommodation from applicants. Employers must simply provide an effective accommodation.
Steps Employers Can Take

Gender Discrimination: Still Present in California Workplaces

A Los Angeles jury has awarded a former UCLA oncologist $13 million in damages in a gender discrimination case. Dr. Lauren Pinter-Brown claimed that while she was working at UCLA, she was subjected to harsher treatment than her male colleagues and that when she did complain about her treatment, her employer retaliated against her.

The jury agreed, awarding $3 million in economic damages and $10 million in non-economic damages against UCLA. This recent decision highlights the need for thorough training about workplace discrimination and uniform reporting and investigation procedures for following up on discrimination complaints.

Tips for Dissolving a Business Partnership

Just as forming a business partnership under California law requires completion of certain tasks, ending a partnership is also a process. General partnerships, where there is no specific end date, must be dissolved using three basic steps. These steps apply when partners voluntarily agree to dissolve the partnership. Where partners cannot agree, legal action is typically the best way to resolve disputes over the dissolution process.

Trade Secrets in California

Companies sometimes dismiss trade secrets as a significant form of intellectual property because unlike patents, copyrights or trademarks, trade secrets are not publicly recognized or registered with the government. Indeed, every aspect of the trade secret depends on just that, secrecy. Once a trade secret becomes known, the value is lost (and a business generally suffers). Fortunately, California has laws in place to protect trade secrets.