July 2018 employment law decisions and laws
Sufficient evidence to uphold verdict finding disability harassment.
July 9, 2018, Fourth District Court of Appeal, Augustine Caldera v. Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation: Mr. Caldera sued his employer, the Department, for disability harassment, failure to prevent harassment, and related claims. The case went to trial and the jury found in favor of Mr. Caldera awarding him $500,000. On appeal, the Department argued that there was insufficient evidence the harassment met the standard of being severe or pervasive. The appellate court reviewed the harassment standard, which is harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the employee’s employment and create an abusive working environment. The jury must consider the totality of circumstances, including the nature of the conduct, how often and over what period it occurred, the circumstances under which it occurred, and whether it was physically threatening or humiliating. Next, the Fourth District court concluded that the jury could find the conduct to be severe because Mr. Caldera described the conduct—employees, including a supervisor, mocking and mimicking his stutter—as demeaning, embarrassing, harmful, and hurtful; and this conduct caused Mr. Caldera to experience psychological disorders. The appellate court also found that the jury could decide the conduct was pervasive because it happened up to 15 times over a two-year period and was regarded as part of the culture at the prison.
The San Francisco minimum wage increases.
Effective July 1, 2018 the minimum wage in San Francisco is $15 per hour.
San Francisco’s Consideration of Salary History (Parity in Pay) Ordinance becomes effective.
Effective July 1, 2018, this ordinance bans employers from considering current or past salary of an applicant in determining whether to hire the applicant or what salary to offer the applicant. It also prohibits employers from (1) asking applicants about their current or past salary or (2) disclosing a current or former employee’s salary history without that employee’s authorization unless the salary history is publicly available.