Flight attendant Charlene Carter sued her employer and her union alleging, among other things, that they discriminated against her on the basis of religion, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”).  In July 2022, a jury awarded Ms. Carter $5.1 million.  This sum appears to be consistent with

The California Supreme Court has agreed to address whether the whistleblower statute, Labor Code section 1102.5, subdivision (b), applies to and protects from retaliation, an employee who discloses violations of law when that information is already known to the governing agency or person of authority at the employer.   This question stems from the case

This year, the California Legislature passed and the Governor approved the Contraceptive Equity Act of 2022 (Senate Bill 523 or SB 523), a piece of legislation intended to increase the ability of Californians to exercise full control over their reproductive decisions and to expand coverage and decrease access barriers to reproductive health services.

Among other

Social media sites have become the new “public square” where individuals share opinions and information about all types of political and societal events.  Public sector employees, as much as anyone else, use social media to post viewpoints and to participate in public debate.  Problems arise, however, when a public employee posts harsh, derogatory, defamatory, or

On January 27, 2022, the California Supreme Court unanimously decided that the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting analysis that is widely used to determine whether an employment discrimination or retaliation case should be dismissed before trial does not apply to whistleblower retaliation claims brought under California Labor Code section 1102.5. As a result, employers will face a

This post was authored by Melanie L. Chaney.

Under Title VII and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), the employer has an affirmative obligation to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.  In order to comply with this obligation, employers must investigate all complaints of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation. 

The allegations of sexual harassment and assault levied against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein have been front page news for the last week.  The board of directors of his company swiftly voted to terminate his employment, but only time will tell what impact Mr. Weinstein’s transgressions (and alleged criminal activity) will have on his former company. 

Supreme CourtOn April 26, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that a public agency can incur liability for a First Amendment violation if it demotes or disciplines one of its employee based on the agency’s mistaken belief that the employee has exercised a right of free expression.  The Court’s decision in Heffernan v. City of Paterson

Breaking-News1.jpgOn Thursday, June 19, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court in Lane v. Franks held that the First Amendment protects a public employee who provides truthful sworn testimony, compelled by subpoena, outside the scope of his or her ordinary job responsibilities.  In so holding, the Court overturned precedent from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the