Law Offices of Denise Eaton May
Bay Area mediator and attorney with over 30 years of experience
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What counts as retaliation in the workplace?

Many people have an idea of what discrimination in the workplace is. But while discrimination claims on the basis of sex, race, age or another protected category are a serious issue, the most common type of discrimination claim is something else: retaliation.

In fiscal year 2018 alone the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recorded 4,344 discrimination charges in the state of California. Retaliation claims accounted for half of those, outpacing complaints related to any protected category. That rate mirrors federal figures as well. What qualifies as retaliation might surprise you.

How do you remove an executor compassionately?

It is a sad truth that not all appointed executors are up to the task. Some people are blindsided by the position, completely unaware their loved one chose them until the event of their death. Others think they can handle it but grief or an uncontrollable circumstance leaves them overwhelmed.

If you think the executor of a will is overburdened, unqualified, or simply the wrong person for the job, can you remove them? Is there a way to do so compassionately?

Can employers ban natural racial hairstyles?

It may be an unusual thing to consider for some; the idea of facing employee discrimination simply because of your hairstyle is something most people would not believe possible until it happens to them or someone they know. But the truth is, is that it can and does happen. Enough so that states have taken notice and are now addressing the issue through legal measures and legislative bills.

6 signs you may be suffering workplace discrimination

Have you ever been in a situation at work where you felt like you were unfairly treated due to factors outside of your control? Most notably, comments or actions because of your race, age, skin color, gender, disability or national origin. If this happened to you, then you may have been a victim of employment discrimination.

Employment discrimination can be tricky to pinpoint. If you were late to work one day and was verbally accosted for this action, but others have done it without these consequences, then your co-worker may be discriminating against you. Sometimes discrimination is not easy to detect. Familiarize yourself with some common signs of discrimination so you are ready to protect your rights.

Can I avoid a sexual harassment claim at my company?

As sexual harassment cases seemingly become more frequent, business owners have a reason to be worried. Sexual harassment cases can be bad for employee morale and for business.

For business owners who are concerned someone on their management staff could exhibit behavior that leads to a #MeToo moment, there are steps to take. Here are three things to do to create a work environment that is not susceptible to sexual harassment.

How do you know if you have a right to overtime pay?

You work hard. You stay until you finish the job, not when the clock tells you to go. Your supervisor appreciates your hard work and tells you that you're a team player. So why aren't those extra hours showing up on your paycheck?

California law requires anyone paid by the hour (nonexempt) to be paid overtime for any work over eight hours in one day, or 40 hours in one week. 

How can a severance agreement protect your business?

If the time has come to let an employee go, it is likely a task you are not relishing. Terminating an employee is one of the most difficult and potentially emotional parts of your job, and it may never get easier as time passes. Nevertheless, you realize that, for whatever reason, keeping certain people on the payroll is no longer a viable option for your California company.

There is always a risk involved in firing someone. A disgruntled employee can cause untold damage to your business, taking up time and money with litigation and potentially causing irreparable damage to the reputation of your company. One way to head that off is by offering a severance package.

What's so great about mediation?

Most businesses, whether here in California or elsewhere, end up in disputes with other businesses or individuals. They could be vendors, customers or employees. Resolving those disputes doesn't always happen over lunch or a friendly phone call.

The first step is often an informal meeting to try to work things out before taking any steps in the legal direction. If that doesn't work, you may dread taking the next steps if you believe that your only option is traditional litigation.

Will mediation work for your conflict?

The conflict you are facing with an insurance company, in your business or among your family members is consuming your energy. The longer you and the other party struggle, the more firmly you become entrenched in your own side of the issue. You may be spending more and more time researching the law for your point of view or gathering proof that you are in the right. All of this takes a toll on your relationships, your health and your ability to fulfill your duties at work.

It may seem that your only choice is to take your opponent to court, present your side of the argument and hope the judge agrees with your case. However, you may be interested to know that there is an alternative to a heated and exhausting courtroom battle.

Could mediation be an option for you?

Like other California residents, you may find yourself embroiled in a dispute with another party. Perhaps you attempted to resolve the situation without involving the courts, but those efforts got you nowhere. Now, you are facing the possibility of filing a lawsuit.

If this is not your first choice as a resolution method, you may want to know that there is another way. Mediation is an alternative method of resolving disputes that has worked well for others in the past. You may also be considering this method but need answers to some questions first.

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