Los Angeles Employment Law Firm Blog - Legal News and Trending Topics

Can My Employer Retaliate After I Refuse to Do Something Illegal?

Uber, the nationwide ridesharing company, has recently had a slew of allegations come against them, from sexual harassment to using technology to operate in banned areas, and now, telling one of their engineers to cover up the fact he stole illegal documents for them. Waymo, the self-driving company working with Google, claims that former employee Anthony Levandowski illegally downloaded 14,000 documents from them and turned them into Uber officials. These documents contained trade secrets vital to the development of self-driving cars. Uber wrote a letter to Levandowski, letting him know he should either return the documents to Waymo or deny under oath that he stole them, and that he may be fired if he does not comply with their orders. In this case, an employee committed an illegal act knowingly and would be charged for his crimes separately, but Uber is not completely off the hook. We don’t know if…
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Is Appearance Discrimination Legal?

There is no denying that appearance does make a difference in the workplace. A recent study conducted by Italian researchers found that resumes that included a headshot of an attractive person were much more successful in getting responses than ones that did not. Certain employers may have judgements against people for having tattoos or their weight and body type. Although it is unfair to discriminate based on appearance, it is not currently illegal. However, appearance discrimination can lead to other violations that are. Although asking for someone with a certain appearance is legal if it applies to the nature of the job duties, the employer runs a risk of committing illegal types of discrimination by factoring appearance into their hiring decisions. Did the employer ask you questions about your race, religion, or sexual orientation? How Do You Know If Appearance Discrimination Went Too Far? Racial discrimination: If you are harassed…
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Can You Get Fired for Speaking Out Against an Employer?

In the chicken industry, farmers that are categorized as independent contractors have to provide their own equipment, and are subject to practices most people would consider unfair by massive food corporations. For example, in 2008, a man rallied local farmers to file complaints against Tyson foods with the United States Department of Agriculture and their Congress members, siting injustices including inaccurate chicken weigh-ins that he was not allowed to see. Tyson allegedly retaliated by giving the farmer sick chicks and did not renew his contract. The farmer took his case to court. Independent contractors are allowed to speak out against employers, but they are not covered from employer retaliation under federal laws, unless they have been misclassified. Should You Be Categorized as an Independent Contractor? In the case with Tyson, the employee firing case was dismissed because the issue was found not to affect competition across the entire industry. There…
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