In January 2015, the California Supreme Court handed down a decision concerning compensation for security guards for on-call hours when they are obliged to be on-site. Attorney Cathe Caraway-Howard was instrumental in moving the case forward through several years of litigation. The case, Mendiola v. CPS Security Solutions, Inc., marks an important turning point for employees who are required to be on their work site for extended hours beyond an active shift.
Employer Control of Employee Movements
The crucial element that provoked the case in the first place was that CPS Security Solutions required security guards to stay in on-site trailers during their on-call hours, restricting their movements during that time. The court’s decision found the degree of control over the employees during the on-call hours was such that it required compensation for those hours, beyond the original plan that CPS had created. In the original employment plan, the security guards would be compensated for on-call hours only if they responded to incidents that took three hours or more.
Responses to the Decision
Once the decision was given, many reviews of it focused on the changes it would make for employers who required workers to spend additional hours on-site while on call.
The Los Angeles Times report of the case decision dwells on the effect of the decision on employers, after mentioning the benefits it will mean to the on-call employees.
The Employment Law E-Buzz site gives a clear description of the circumstances that led to the case. In their summation, the site writers urge employers to review their on-call practices, taking into consideration the degree of control they exercise over their employees in those hours as well as their compensation structure.
The website for the National Law Review also provides a thorough exposition of the history of the case. They also mention the laws and regulation that apply to the case, for those who might not be familiar with the details of law.
On the Orrick Employment Law and Litigation Blog gives readers a full description of the case and findings. Their final evaluation of the decision is worth quoting:
The Mendiola decision should serve as a reminder to employers that California’s labor laws may not be interpreted consistent with federal analogues or the opinion of state enforcement agencies, and that standards applicable to one industry or vocation may not govern another. Cautious employers should seek the advice of counsel in understanding the nuances of, and navigating through, California’s complicated compensation landscape.
Because many of the participants in the class action suit are Hispanic, Telemundo also gave some coverage to the decision.
If you are dealing with unwanted advances in the workplace, any sexual harassment lawyer Los Angeles has to offer is prepared to help you fight for your rights. During the Fiscal Year of 2014, there were a total of 88,778 claims having to do with discrimination. Out of these claims, 26,027 had to do with sex. That is a total of 29.3%. Harassment lawyers in Los Angeles are prepared to assist you with your claims and can provide you with the justice you deserve.
Common Effects of Sexual Harassment on the Victim
Sexual harassment victims fear to speak up against the harasser out fear of losing their job. Since Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids employers from retaliation, you as a victim have the right to stand up for yourself and the right to fight back against the harasser. Sexual harassment can affect many individuals, even those who are not directly involved in the harassment.
Those who don’t fight against the harasser often experience a wide range of results, such as:
- Becoming publicly sexualized
- Scrutiny and gossip lead to humiliation and objectification
- Work performance decreases
- Defamation of reputation and character
- Personal relationships become strained leading to possible divorce
- Lifestyle and private life come under attack
- Loss of employment
- Loss of reference and recommendations
Thankfully, Title VII helps combat these consequences.
Different types of Sexual Harassment
There are two basic types of sexual harassment that are claimed on a regular basis, Quid Pro Quo (this for that) or Hostile Work Environment. Both cases can occur in a variety of situations.
Quid Pro Quo
This term refers to situations such as employment decisions requiring the employee to comply with a sexual favor in order to receive approval or advancement. It is harassment if everyday situations such as assignment, promotions or trying to keep your job are met with the employee being required to conduct a sexual act.
Hostile Work Environment
This refers to conditions where the workplace has become hostile, intimidating, or offensive due to the sexual harassment. There are several factors taken into consideration when determining that an environment is hostile:
- Was the conduct verbal, physical, or both
- How frequently has it occurred
- Was the conduct hostile or patently offensive
- Was the harasser a co-worker or supervisor
- Did others join on the harassing
- Was the harassment directed at more than one individual
Anyone can be sexually harassed. Title VII covers both male and female. Additionally, sexual harassment doesn’t have to come from the opposite sex. Likewise, the harasser is not always the supervisor. It can come from a co-worker or from other regularly encountered individuals. Sexual harassment can also be experienced indirectly; those who endure indirect harassment are often witnessing actions that are offensive.
In many quid pro quo cases, sexual advances that are linked to approval or rejection of employment or loss of employment benefits, often constitute harassment. In some states, there additional laws to Title VII which add additional protection. You should refer to your state’s relevant laws, or if you are an Angeleno, contact any sexual harassment lawyer Los Angeles can provide. They are well prepared and ready to help you fight for your rights. Don’t fight this alone. They are here to fight for you.
Most people in Los Angeles don’t think about the basics of employment law. They go to their jobs every day, do their work, and then go home to their private lives. They don’t worry about legal matters connected to their position as an employee and what might concern their employer. Then there comes a day when something goes wrong at work, where the relationship between the worker and the boss or the company gets disrupted. What are you to do in such a situation? Do you even know what to ask a Los Angeles employment attorney?
What Is Employment Law?
Employment law, also called labor law addresses matters in the relationship between employers, workers, unions and the government. It can involve mediation of disputes or representation of one side or the other in cases of major disagreement. Often, individual employees need legal assistance in securing rights or proper wages from their employers, or in dealing with various types of harassment in the work place.
Types of Legal Concerns
There are many types of legal issues that can call for the need of an employment law attorney.
- Wage and hours issues
- Health and safety concerns
- Discrimination of any sort
- Wrongful termination or dismissal
- Working conditions
Any of these issues could at some point require a worker or an employer to need the help of an attorney who knows all the ins-and-outs of laws related to work matters. Lawyers tend to specialize their practices in particular types of law. So when someone is in need of legal assistance over a work matter, they need to seek the advice of an employment attorney.
Advantages of a Legal Advocate
When you turn to an attorney when major employment conflicts arise, you gain the advantage of their knowledge and expertise. A lawyer will know of more issues that could apply to your situation than you would be aware of. An attorney is far more likely to know the flaws and weaknesses of certain regulations than the ordinary worker would. An advocate who will fight for the best benefit of his or her client is the sort that anyone in a distressing dispute would want.
There are so many things that can go wrong in work situations, and workers need to be aware of them and of the possibilities available to make them better. Disputes could arise over withheld wages, or the employee being required to work extra hours without proper compensation. An attorney would know which legal precedents would apply to the situation. Perhaps the work environment has become unsafe for some reason, and the employees have not been able to get management to address the matter. An attorney can help them secure a remedy to the situation. If a worker feels they are the victim of illegal discrimination, a lawyer can challenge the action. Harassment or wrongful termination are situations that a legal advocate can help bring to satisfactory resolutions.
Know Your Rights
The government Department of Labor has general information about the laws that apply to various situations. Anyone with an employment dispute can check that website for the basics that might apply to their situation. But to know the how the details of various laws might apply to your situation, you ought to consult with an attorney who specializes in these matters.
Each situation may have unique details that affect the legal aspects of a conflict. An attorney is the person who can determine what is pertinent to a solution. When an ordinary worker goes hunting information on the internet for advice, they can very easily go astray in the forest of information. When it comes to legal matters, anyone needing help should always consult an actual lawyer. Doing that can save them time and energy, and prevent them from focusing on things that will not help them.
If you are in need of a Los Angeles employment lawyer, turn to Cathe Caraway-Howard. She has devoted her career to employment law, and proudly considers her motto to be “Fighting for the little guy!”