June 2020 employment law decisions
Airline workers are protected by California’s wage and hour laws only if the base of work operations is in California.
June 29, 2020, California Supreme Court, Charles E. Ward v. United Airlines, Inc. and Felicia Vidrio v. United Airlines Inc.; Dev Anand Oman v. Delta Airlines, Inc.: Pilots (Ward and Vidrio case) and flight attendants (Oman case) sued their airline employers for violations of California’s minimum wage (Oman case) and wage statement (both cases) laws. The California Supreme Court decided that the laws apply only to those pilots or attendants who have their base of work operations (principal place of work) in California, regardless of their place or residence or whether a collective bargaining agreement governs their pay.
Federal law prohibiting discrimination in the workplace includes discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
June 15, 2020, U.S. Supreme Court, Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on sex. The question for the U.S. Supreme Court was whether the prohibition applies when an employer terminates an employee based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The high court concluded that “[t]he answer is clear” because an employer who fires and individual for being homosexual or transgender does so for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. The Supreme Court acknowledged that those who adopted the Act might not have anticipated this result, but the express terms of the law provided the court with its answer.