Blog maintained by
Doug Larsen

California HR

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It Can Happen Anywhere -- Employees Claiming Hostile Work Environment

Perhaps it's karma or even justice.  The LA Daily Journal (a legal newspaper) reported on December 20, 2010, that an investigator who worked for a plaintiff's law firm filed a lawsuit alleging a hostile work environment.  She claims partners made derogatory comments about women, discussed porn at work, and even took some employees to a strip club after the firm's holiday party.  Allegedly, at the strip club, a partner purchased a lap dance for a co-worker about whom the plaintiff had complained.  The partner told him to imaging the dancer was the plaintiff. 

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E-Discovery, The Stray Remarks Doctrine and Reid v. Google

Those of you who attended this morning's Legal Beagle Bagel Breakfast ("LBBB") enjoyed a great training course on the stray remarks doctrine and it's limited use in California courts.  Travis Stokes also discussed the California E-Discovery Rules, and how, between these rules and the court's ruling in Reid v. Google employers must be cautious with e-communications, and also routinely and in good faith destroy email communications. 

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Just when you thought it couldn't get any more strange in CA -- Getting sued for not providing a chair!

Eugina Bright was a cashier at the 99 Cent Only Store.  Turns out she was upset the company did not provide her with a chair.  She claims that the nature of the work reasonably permitted the use of seats.  She complained to the State and notified the employer (undoubtably with the help of a lawyer or union) that a seat should be provided.  The company disagreed and refused to provide that seat. 

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When criticizing the boss makes you a protected class

Hand it to a government agency for pursuing an employee's case after she criticized her boss online.  An ambulance service in Connecticut fired an employee after she ridiculed her boss on her Facebook page.  Included in her online rant were vulgarities and a reference to the boss being a psychiatric patient.  The company allegedly fired her for depicting the company in any way on social media.  (The company claims it fired her for a variety of reasons.) 

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