Employment lawsuits have risen to their highest peak in history, with almost 100,000 claims files in 2010, according to the EEOC. Incredibly, that number reflects a 31% increase from just 4 years ago! There is a never-ending flow of new court cases and decisions that change the employment landscape, making it extremely difficult for employers to stay ahead of the curve. Particularly in California, labor law evolves faster than federal law, adding to the complexity of employment compliance.In the first half of 2011, employment and labor lawsuits in California have resulted in many important decisions that will directly affect the way employers in the state relate to their employees. Many of these cases have already been decided upon by the California Supreme Court, while others are still pending a decision.Below is a brief outline of three key cases, and an important “take away” for employers from each one.Case #1Summary: The Plaintiff was a senior executive at Google and claimed that he was discriminated against because of his age in a notoriously “young” corporate culture. To support his case, he relied on various comments by superiors and coworkers that his ideas were “obsolete” or “too old to matter,” that he was not a “cultural fit” and that he was an “old man” and an “old fuddy-duddy.” Google argued that none of these remarks were made in connection with any employment decision and should be deemed irrelevant “stray remarks.”The California Supreme Court rejected the notion that “stray remarks” made by non-managerial staff, or by supervisors outside of the disciplinary process, should not be given weight in court. Rather, such “stray remarks” may and should be considered in the context of the evidence and could be used towards reaching a final decision.Take away: All managers should be aware of what is being said in the workplace, even in casual talk between employees, and to be proactive in eliminating derogatory or discriminatory remarks.Case #2Summary: This employer’s corporate location was based in California, but had employees working out-of-state. Due to California’s dissimilar overtime laws, the employer paid the out-of-state employee based on his state of residency, and not according to California’s overtime regulations. The California Supreme Court is currently reviewing the case to determine if the California Labor Code applies to overtime worked in California for a California-based employer, by out-of-state workers.Take away: While the case is still pending before the Supreme Court, employers should carefully review all state labor code guidelines.Case #3Summary: The E.E.O.C. sued a California airport services company based on a male employee’s allegation that he was sexually harassed by a female co-worker and thus suffered from a hostile work environment. The California Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a summary judgment for the employer, emphasizing that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act entitles men, like women, to protection from an abusive work environment. The California Supreme Court eventually found in favor of male plaintiff.Take away: Never just tell a male employee to “Be a man” or “Get over it”, if he claims of harassment. Take the claim seriously and conduct a proper investigation.In conclusionMost work related acts made by employers toward employees are not intentionally bigoted, malicious or discriminatory by nature. However, the complexity of labor laws in California demand that employers act with extreme caution when engaging employees and making employment decisions. In many cases, these actions can and will be brought against them in an employment lawsuit. As a reminder, California labor laws differ in many areas from Federal laws, so check with legal counsel before making any questionable employment decision or act.
West Virginia is one of the famous states that is situated in the Mid-Atlantic and Appalachian region in the United States. This beautiful state is enclosed by Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland. This state has a favorable working condition.Following are some of the state labor laws that are applicable in West Virginia.1. Labor law poster
The employment laws of the West Virginia states that each and every owner has to post a compulsory West Virginia labor poster in their organization. It id done to let the workers know their rights. They must circulate precise posters which should have entire information about the minimum wages, unemployment insurance, health and safety protection and notices of worker right.2. Laws Related To Hiring
Federal Law states that an employer may not hire his employees in accordance to the color, age, creed, arrest record, nationality, sex, race, disability, ancestry etc. Each and everyone should be treated as equal. There should not be any partial treatment.3. Laws Related To Employment At Will
According to this law at-will employee can be terminated due to any cause. But for the termination it is necessary that the reason should be legal. The law is in accordance to the contract so one has to follow the contract. In case one abides the law then that person will have to face the law.4. Laws Related Work Place Injury
According to this law, the owner is completely responsible for any type of injury on the work place. In case of death of the worker his dependents will be given compensation.5. Laws Related To Work Place Safety
The Federal and State law states that it is the responsibility of the owner to provide a decent working condition to his employees. There should be no compromise with the regulations, occupational health and safety, rules and standards. In case the employer does not provide a good working condition then he should be answerable towards the questions of the employees.6. Laws Related to Harassment
If the employer is found to be a guilty of harassment of any kind then he will have to face the legal proceedings. This law ensures the safety of women in company.7. Laws Related To Minimum Wages
According to this law the employer shall not pay less than $7.25 per hour to his employees. But in case of special conditions of training of 90 days, the employer can pay at the rate of $5.15 per hour to his employee.Above are some of the State Labor Laws that are followed in West Virginia. Hope that this article would have helped you to get information about these laws.