This week’s question comes from Tina S. in Noe Valley who asks: “I think that I am being paid less than the 2 men who are doing my same job. I work in Menlo Park and there is a lot of talk about gender equality but I don’t think it is being put into practice at my current job. We all have MBA’s and started at the same time. One of the men is my same class but the other worked in finance before getting his MBA. What is the status of the law and what can I do to find out if I am being discriminated against.”
JJ writes: “Dear Mr. Dolan: I just started a new job and they made me sign an arbitration agreement. Is that okay- what does it mean?”
Dear J.J: As you have discovered, more and more often employers are requiring employees to sign arbitration agreements as part of an offer of employment. While the arbitration agreement is often mixed in with a stack of other new-hire paperwork, it is much more sinister than most of the other documents employees are asked to sign.
Kathy from San Francisco writes: “I started working part-time for a small tech start-up in San Francisco in February this year. Last Wednesday, my five-year-old son came down with the stomach flu so I e-mailed my supervisor that evening that that I would not be working my shifts Thursday, and possibly Friday to take care of my sick child. When I returned to work on Monday, my supervisor told me that I should not be taking “so much” time off. I was confused by his statement because I have not taken any sick days since starting this job and just assumed that I had some available. I checked my paystub to confirm how much paid sick leave I have accrued but it did not have that information. I have my six-month performance review coming up. Should I be worried that taking a couple of days off to take care of my sick child will affect it?
Adam from Mission Bay writes, “Chris, my husband Jeff was hit by a car while crossing the street near our condo. Jeff was in the crosswalk and suffered a fractured leg and a concussion. I did not have any PTO at work. I took off a week anyways to care for Jeff after he was released from the hospital.
My manager was upset with me for not reporting to work. He said he couldn’t get coverage for my shifts and fired me the day I returned to the job. I had emailed my manager that I would not be coming into work to care for Jeff. It’s a big company of about 100 people throughout the Bay Area, with about 50 in my division in San Francisco. I have worked for them for two years and never called in sick. Didn’t I have the right to take time off?”
San Francisco, CA – June 8, 2017 – The Dolan Law Firm, on behalf of their client, Ms. Tishay Wright, filed suit today against Southland Construction Management Inc. and its owners Kenneth & Anita Hayden for racial discrimination and harassment. Ms. Wright, an African American woman, was repeatedly subject to unwanted racial commentary, stereotypes and differential treatment because of her race and gender.
We are pleased to report that the verdict in Williams v. Wyndham Vacation Ownership ranks as the top verdict by VerdictSearch for an individual employment action in California in 2016. The case also ranks as the fourth largest verdict in any employment case (class action or individual suit) in the U.S. in 2016.
Kate in San Francisco writes, “Chris, I worked as a licensed vocation nurse at an assisted living facility for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of advanced dementia and cognitive impairments. I was a dedicated, experienced professional. Last year, a new company bought the facility. The new management team was focused on cutting costs. Food menus were changed to reduce the quality and quantity of meals. PTO and sick leave for staff were reduced across the board. When anyone was ill, no one was called into to cover their shift. We were regularly short staffed.
Maria from San Francisco writes, “Chris, Susan Fowler’s account of her harassment at Uber seems far too typical of what women in tech experience. Why is it that so many women in tech are discriminated against? What should we do?”
Thank you Maria for your timely question. For those not aware, on February 19, 2017, Susan Fowler alleged in a detailed and lengthy account on her personal blog that she had been discriminated against and sexually harassed by her direct supervisor when she worked as a software engineer at Uber.