The Daily Journal selected Christopher B. Dolan to the 2022 list of Top 100 Lawyers in California
The Dolan Law Firm PC’s DE&I Committee is proud to support Pinay Powerhouse Conference 5 as a Platinum Sponsor and contribute to the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California’s Scholarship. Thank you to the Filipino Lawyers of Washington and the Pinay Powerhouse Collective for putting on an incredible conference in Seattle.
Pinay Powerhouse is a women’s collective focused on empowering Pinay attorneys, future attorneys, and legal professionals as leaders in the law. Pinay Powerhouse puts on programs and events to support its mission, including an annual conference that has been held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Waikiki, and Seattle. The Dolan Law Firm is proud to have sponsored this conference every year since its inception.
Their lists of outstanding lawyers are compiled by conducting exhaustive peer review surveys in which tens of thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers. If the votes for a lawyer are positive enough for recognition by Best Lawyers, that lawyer must maintain those votes in subsequent polls to remain in each edition. Lawyers are not permitted to pay any fee to participate in or be recognized by Best Lawyers.
Pinay Powerhouse is back and Dolan Law Firm continues to be a proud sponsor! Our Senior Associate Attorney and DE&I Director Mari Bandoma Callado is a Pinay Powerhouse founder along with 4 other Filipina attorneys who all envisioned a women’s conference empowering more Filipina attorneys and aspiring attorneys as leaders in the law.
Here are some pictures of Dolan Law Firm supporting Pinay Powerhouse from the previous years:
To register, click here
August is National Breastfeeding Month (and includes World Breastfeeding Week – August 1 to 7). This month is dedicated to promoting advocacy and protection of breastfeeding to ensure that all families have the support they need and the opportunity to breastfeed.
With all the obstacles that breastfeeding parents who return to work have to overcome, it’s not surprising that while the American Association of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding parents to exclusively nurse their infants for the first six months, with the continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by parent and infant, the California Department of Public Health reported that in 2016, 94% of mothers began breastfeeding but only 24.8% were exclusively breastfeeding at six months.
Under the California Labor Code, lactating employees in California are entitled to a reasonable amount of break time to express breastmilk – this includes time to pump, time to get and put away the pump, as well as time to travel to and from the employee’s workstation. If possible, the break must run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee.
Employers may, but do not have to, pay employees for lactation breaks that take longer than regular paid break time. So if an employee usually receives a 10-minute paid break, and it takes the employee 20 minutes to pump, the employer does not need to pay the employee for the last ten minutes. However, reasonable travel time to and from the lactation space is not considered break time and should be paid.
The Labor Code also requires employers to provide adequate space to express milk in private (not a bathroom) that is in close proximity to the employee’s work area and be used only for lactation purposes while an employee expresses milk. It must also include a surface to place a breast pump and personal items, a place to sit, access to electricity, a sink with running water, and a refrigerator or cooler for storing breast milk. The space must also be clean and free of hazardous materials.
If you have questions bout your lactation accommodations in the workplace, or if you have questions about your employment rights, contact our employment attorneys.
32 years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law, making it unlawful for private employers, state/local governments, employment agencies, labor organizations, and labor-management committees to discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities. Under the ADA, employers with fifteen or more employees cannot discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities.
A person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity is “disabled” and protected by the ADA. Major life activities are basic functions and may include: seeing, sleeping, learning, hearing, breathing, thinking, speaking, concentrating, reproduction, performing manual tasks, walking, interacting with others, sexual relations, caring for oneself, standing, reading, and working. It also includes bodily functions, such as normal cell growth, or the functioning of the respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, and digestive systems.
Disability discrimination occurs when an employee is treated differently at work because of their disability, perceived disability, or association with a disabled person. The ADA makes it unlawful to discriminate in all employment practices such as recruitment, pay, hiring, firing, promotion, job assignments, training, leave, lay-off, benefits, and all other employment-related activities.
began far before July 26, 1990 when people with disabilities began to challenge the social barriers that excluded them from their communities, and when parents of children with disabilities began to fight against the exclusion and segregation of their children. It is important to recognize the uphill fight that generations past have endured to secure the rights for people with disabilities.
The ADA is one of America’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life — to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in State and local government programs and services.
The landmark decision in Olmstead v L.C. was one of the first uses of the ADA to protect individuals unnecessarily held in a psychiatric unit. Two women (L.C. and E.W.) with mental disabilities were confined in a psychiatric ward for years prior to this decision.
In 1992, L.C. was voluntarily admitted to Georgia Regional Hospital at Atlanta (GRH), where she was confined for treatment in a psychiatric unit. By May 1993, her psychiatric condition had stabilized, and L.C.’s treatment team at GRH agreed that her needs could be met appropriately in one of the community-based programs the State supported. Despite this evaluation, L.C. remained institutionalized until February 1996, when the State finally placed her in a community-based treatment program, 3 years after doctors said her needs could be met outside of the psychiatric unit.
E.W. was voluntarily admitted to GRH in February 1995; like L.C., E.W. was confined for treatment in a psychiatric unit. In March 1995, GRH sought to discharge E.W. to a homeless shelter, but abandoned that plan. By 1996, E.W.’s treating psychiatrist concluded that she could be treated appropriately in a community-based setting. She nonetheless remained institutionalized until a few months after the District Court issued a judgment in the Olmstead v. L.C. case in 1997.
Both E.W. and L.C. were held for years of their life, even after doctors had suggested community based settings for treatment. The only reason they were allowed to re-enter their communities was because they successfully brought a lawsuit under the ADA to protect their rights against discrimination.
The two woman brought suit under Title II of the ADA arguing that unnecessary institutional segregation constitutes discrimination. The U.S. Supreme Court found that the unjustified segregation of people with disabilities is a form of unlawful discrimination under the ADA and both E.W. and L.C. were able to finally be released from their psychiatric units in 1996 and 1997.
Following the landmark decision, individuals with disabilities can demand they be provided with services for their disability in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.
The Court held that states are required to provide community-based services for people with disabilities who would otherwise be entitled to institutional services when:
Individuals with disabilities have the right to dictate their life and treatment. Being institutionalized for mental disabilities is common in America. Following Olmstead v. L.C. many individuals have avoided unnecessary institutionalization and are now receiving services in their own communities.
Individuals with disabilities now have greater control over their community-based care and services. Individuals’ needs are met by providing reasonable accommodations in their communities, and not by moving to a more restrictive setting.
The stories of L.C. and E.W. are stories of bravery and courage. Thanks to their fight many Americans today do not have to face institutionalization by the State. Unfortunately though, institutionalization still occurs and individuals with disabilities are still discriminated against. We highlight this case and these individual’s stories to remind us all that the fight must continue and change is not made in one day. There is no place for discrimination in our society and it takes each and every one of us to make the changes necessary for everyone to have their rights upheld and protected.
To be protected by the ADA, an employee must disclose their disability to at least one person who represents the employer, such as a supervisor or human resource person. While the employee does not have to share every detail about their disability, they do need to provide enough information to show that they have a “disability” under the law and that they need accommodation.
If you believe that you have been discriminated against and/or harassed because of your disability, perceived disability and/or association with someone with a disability, contact our disability discrimination lawyers today.
This week’s question comes from Leticia who asks: Lately, the news has focused on the Supreme Court and their rulings. I’m concerned how all this will affect me. I live in the Bay Area and don’t plan to leave California any time soon. I want to know how the opinions released by the Supreme Court of the United States affect Californians?
Thank you for your question. The Supreme Court of the United States, also called SCOTUS, has released a series of opinions that affect various issues, from reproductive rights to environmental protection. A question that many Californians are asking themselves is how do the SCOTUS decisions affect our state?
To understand how the SCOTUS decisions will affect Californians, reviewing the Supremacy Clause is essential. The Supremacy Clause is a clause within Article VI of the United States Constitution, which states that federal law is the “supreme law of the land.” Federal law preempts state law if it interferes with or conflicts with federal law.
For example, the case of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc., et al. v. Bruen, et al. illustrates how the Supremacy Clause preempted New York state law. This case involved two men who applied for permits to carry a concealed weapon in public. Under New York State’s Sullivan Act, local officials were given discretion in determining whether the applicant proved “good moral character” and “proper cause” for needing the concealed-carry licenses for self-protection distinguishable from the general community. Local officials determined that neither of the men had demonstrated proper cause and denied their requests. The two men then sued the state officials who oversee the process of licensing applications, alleging that their Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated by denying their unrestricted-license applications.
After reviewing the case, the SCOTUS determined that “New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment. It prevented law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense.” (Id.) The SCOTUS effectively struck down New York State’s Sullivan Act, which placed restrictions on individuals carrying concealed weapons.
The SCOTUS decision is important to California specifically, as we have similar gun control laws to New York, and the recently decided case is now precedent. This means that the SCOTUS opinion will be used as authority by other courts when deciding subsequent cases involving similar facts or similar legal issues. Therefore, they SCOTUS opinion may be used to challenge gun laws in California.
Although in New York’s case, the SCOTUS determined that federal law preempted state law, it has also issued opinions that embolden a state’s ability to enact legislation on various other issues, including those which the SCOTUS itself had once settled. A couple of those decisions are Dobbs, et al. v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, et al., which overturned the landmark case of Roe v. Wade. The SCOTUS opined that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. They would return the authority to regulate abortion to the states. As a result, each state can ban abortions, place restrictions on abortions, or allow for safe abortions to take place. Similarly, in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), the SCOTUS limited the federal EPA’s ability to overhaul the nation’s electricity supplies in favor of wind power and other renewable resources. Therefore, allowing the states to determine what legislation to enact. Thus, although the SCOTUS opinions did not involve California, they may affect California laws. The cases discussed above are a short synopsis of the SCOTUS opinions. We strongly encourage everyone to read the opinions themselves or the detailed summaries of organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The right to protest is fundamental to our democracy and sacrosanct. The Founding Fathers thought that the right was so important that they wrote it into the first 45 words of the Bill of Rights and labeled it the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
As the Supreme Court observed in 1958, “It is beyond debate that freedom to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of the ‘liberty’ assured by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which embraces freedom of speech.”
In an eerie coincidence of numerical proportions, the 45th President is aiming to thwart, limit, or outright eviscerate the fundamental right to protest and have grievances heard. On Monday, President Trump left the White House, walked across Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C. and posed in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church while holding a Bible. The path to this photo op was cleared by the U.S. Park Police, Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, and other agencies. The overwhelmingly peaceful protesters and members of the media were driven from the area using aggressive and violent crowd control tactics which included tear-gas, rubber bullets, smoke canisters, pepper spray pellets, and good ole’ brute force.
It has been widely debated as to whether tear gas or smoke were really used on the protesters. However, that debate is hollow. It was a crowd of American citizens engaged in constitutionally protected protests against police violence. So it does not matter what was used because it was fired into a crowd of people just wanting their voices to be heard and fighting to prevent the injustice that was suddenly thrust upon them. Imagine the heartbreaking absurdity of sanctioning police brutality at a protest against police brutality.
The simple reality cannot be brushed aside by rhetoric or partisan sound-bites. The clear and undeniable fact remains that law enforcement officers who harass peaceably assembled citizens are violating the First Amendment, no matter the tactic used. It is unlawful and those rights must be protected.
Even though the incident on Monday in Washington, D.C. occurred before the curfew set by the mayor, curfews in and of themselves violate civil liberties. Public officials at every level of government are making arbitrary decisions about when, where, and what time citizens are allowed to have their voices heard. Just like it is wrong to forcefully disperse protesters before curfew, it is just as wrong to disperse them after curfew.
Under state law, cities and counties can impose curfews during a state of emergency “to provide for the protection of life and property.” However, there must be actual or imminent violence beyond the means of the government to address the issue. That threshold must be met. Unfortunately, curfews are enforced in very arbitrary and discriminatory ways. Historically, curfews have been used to suppress the voices of the people.
Even if curfews are being enacted for a legitimate purpose, there is an added danger for continued police misconduct. This is not a fear but a reality that is broadcast not only on the television news but throughout social media. The chilling scenes play out daily since the imposition of curfews where law enforcement rush crowds of peaceful protesters as soon the curfew time begins. Like a ticking time-bomb that explodes as soon as the clock strikes. Many of the violent confrontations have occurred under the cover of curfew enforcement. Unfortunately, depending on the particular law enforcement officer enforcing the curfew, a crowd could encounter a warning to go home, a ticket, mass arrests, or even rubber bullets. Those are just the mild encounters.
But the risk is not just one sided. We cannot also deny that a heavy-handed response to protests and the imposition of curfews also place the lives of law enforcement officers at risk. Violent confrontations sometime become unavoidable when fight or flight takes over. Additionally, there are those that are just waiting for an opportunity to inflict harm on law enforcement. Those consequences are not considered by those in power when the goal is to eviscerate the fundamental right to protest government action. It is very easy to make demands and insist on “dominating” the protestors with a heavy hand of “law and order” when you sit behind a desk or hide in a bunker.
In short, there is no denying that government and law enforcement have a goal of curtailing the rioting, looting, and destruction of property. But those interests must be weighed against a sweeping infringement of a fundamental right. The use of force, such as arrests, or the use of less-lethal weapons, should not be imposed against protesters unless strictly unavoidable. Otherwise the intended effect would be muzzling voices that need to be heard and censorship.
We will gladly represent anyone whose rights have been infringed.