Drew Pomerance has been named Class Actions Lawyer of the Year by Finance Monthly, a multi-platform publication that provides finance news and analysis to a global readership of C-suite executives, company directors, investors and entrepreneurs.
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
A California state senator has proposed a bill that would hold major retailers liable when the trucking companies they use to carry goods violate labor laws. California Senator Ricardo Lara has introduced SB 1402 to attempt to solve a long-standing “driver misclassification issue” for drivers who carry goods to and from ports in Southern California.
California employers may no longer ask job applicants or potential hires about criminal convictions during the hiring process, but they may still rescind conditional offers upon learning about convictions. New legislation effective January 1, 2018 prohibits employers with five or more employees from askin about criminal convictions under three circumstances:
The New Year ushered in a number of laws increasing employee protections related to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in California.
Sexual harassment training:
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.
As of January 1, 2018, California’s small employers—those who employ 20 to 49 employees within a 75-mile radius—must provide job-protected unpaid leave for new parents to bond with a newborn child. This law is significant because it increases the number of employers who must provide parental leave. Employees of larger companies are entitled to job-protected leave under federal law.
An insurance policy is supposed to provide the insured policyholder with peace of mind: the policyholder and the insurance company have a contract stating that in exchange for premium, the insurance company will pay medical bills and provide other compensation in the event of an injury to the policyholder. Insurance is the only product that a consumer purchases which she hopes she never has to use. Unfortunately, however, when a claim is ultimately made, insurance companies do not always hold up their end of the bargain. When that occurs, a policyholder should consult a lawyer for assistance.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that Allstate Corporation, the nation’s second-largest personal lines insurance company, acted in bad faith under California law by refusing to settle a motorcycle collision case. As a result of engaging in these unlawful tactics, the appellate court upheld an award of $14 million in damages to the plaintiff.
Insurance companies and policyholders agree to a number of terms in an insurance contract. For example, a company might agree to insure a business’s manufacturing plant in the event of a disaster such as a flood, in exchange for the corporation paying monthly premiums to the insurance company.
What’s more, every insurance policy in California is deemed by law to contain an “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.” This means the insurance company is supposed to treat policyholders fairly. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.