Effective January 1, 2016, an employee’s request for an accommodation for a disability or for religious reasons is considered to be “protected activity” for a retaliation claim under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”).

Continue Reading An Employee’s Request for a Disability or Religious Accommodation Is Considered Protected Activity Under Change to the Fair Employment and Housing Act

An employer is prohibited from retaliating against an employee who makes a complaint to a government or law enforcement agency under California law.

Labor Code section 1102.5(b), for example, makes it unlawful for a hospital to terminate a nurse because the nurse complained about a doctor to the Medical Board. It also would be unlawful for an airline to terminate a pilot who reported potential violations of regulations to the Federal Aviation Administration. These are classic “whistleblower” situations, where an employee complains about the conduct of his or her employer.  However, a recent case, Cardenas v. M. Fanaian, DDS, Inc., has held that the reach of section 1102.5(b) is not so limited, but applies to matters unrelated to the employer’s compliance with law in operating its business, such as employee reports to law enforcement involving personal matters.
Continue Reading “Whistleblower” Retaliation Applies to Private Matters Unrelated to the Whistleblower’s Employment

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law AB 2751, a “clean up” bill that expands the bases and remedies for immigrant-related retaliation, and clarifies the penalty and employee information provisions of AB 263 and SB 666.

AB 263 and SB 666 were enacted last year to protect immigrant workers against unlawful retaliation. These two bills have since operated in conjunction to prohibit employers from engaging in various “immigration-related practices” against employees who had exercised certain rights protected under state labor and employment laws. These “unfair immigration-related practices” included threatening to file or filing a false police report or threatening to contact or contacting immigration authorities in retaliation for some protected activity engaged in by the employee (e.g., filing a workplace complaint).
Continue Reading California Broadens Immigration-Related Retaliation Protections

On May 15, 2014, the California Assembly passed a proposed amendment to California’s statute governing sexual harassment training.

Currently, the statute requires employers with 50 or more employees to ensure workplaces are free of sexual harassment by providing training to their supervisory employees at least once every two years.  Such training must include information regarding

Finding an intern had produced sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to conclude his supervisor engaged in a pervasive pattern of harassing conduct “because of sex,” including numerous gifts, frequent lunch purchases, along with sexual jokes and displays of pornographic computer images, the California Court of Appeal has allowed his harassment suit to proceed, reversing