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April 2017 Archives

Attitudes about harassment have changed little

Most California residents have likely heard about Bill O'Reilly being fired recently from his job with Fox News. One explanation given for O'Reilly's termination after years of sexual abuse allegations leveled against him was that the landscape in corporate America has changed in recent years. Low employee morale and the loss of advertisers were other reasons cited for his ousting from the network.

FMLA leave and "in loco parentis"

A California employer of a worker who has applied for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to care for someone who is not legally or biologically the employee's parent or child might still be required to grant that employee FMLA leave. "In loco parentis" refers to a relationship that is like that of parent and child, and if this relationship exists, the employee may be eligible for FMLA leave. Furthermore, the employee does not have to specifically invoke the phrase "in loco parentis" but simply needs to state the nature of the relationship. It may be up to the employer to ask for more information.

Court rules that sexual orientation discrimination is prohibited

The state of California has laws that protect employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation, but it is only one of 22 jurisdictions that do so. On April 4, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled that under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, this is a type of sex discrimination and is prohibited.

How some companies prevent sexual harassment claims

Employees in New York who attempt to resolve sexual harassment issues in the workplace might find that their company is more interested in protecting itself than preventing sexual harassment. This appears to have been the case in some recent high-profile cases, such as a class-action arbitration against Sterling Jewelers. Employees reported that calling the internal sexual harassment hotline could be negative for their careers. The company's internal arbitration system also prevented them from resolving the harassment outside the company.

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Avila & Shaddow Attorneys at Law

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