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San Francisco Employment Law Blog

Don't let the backlash against 'MeToo' intimidate you

America has been suffering from a lot of divisive beliefs lately -- including those surrounding the #MeToo movement.

Many people believe the movement helped open the door to conversation about sexual harassment and sexual assault -- as well as reduce the stigma that victims often felt. Simply realizing that they aren't alone in their experiences has helped many victims find their voice and new strength. However, a surprising amount of people -- 40 percent in at least one survey -- indicate that they feel like the movement has gone too far.

How do you confront racist comments in the workplace?

Are you wondering what you can do to help stop racist comments and jokes in the workplace?

Racism is a community issue and it will only end when it becomes clearly unacceptable by community standards. That will only happen when enough people decide to take a stand and call out racism whenever they hear it.

How to avoid showing your age on your resume

Ageism and age discrimination can be a real problem when you're over 50 and trying to find a job. No matter what your qualifications and enthusiasm for a position, some employers won't seriously consider you if your resume makes you look too old.

Hiding your age on a resume to get your foot in the door isn't as simple as leaving a few dates off it. Instead, you need to make your resume look current and suited for the digital age. This means creating one that may be a lot different than the last ones you sent out a decade (or more) ago.

What do you do if you're handed a performance improvement plan?

Performance improvement plans, or PIPs, are part of an employer's paper trail. PIPs are supposed to be tools that employers can use to address deficiencies in an employee's work. They're also supposed to be tools that help the employee understand exactly what he or she has to do in order to bring his or her performance up to expectations.

In reality, they're usually part of a paper trail that employers try to build to insulate themselves against wrongful termination claims. It's not uncommon for the PIP to be so unrealistic in its goals that employees subjected to them quit in frustration. Those that remain seldom manage to meet the lofty requirements necessary to show improvement as given in the PIP.

What type of sexual harassment at work is actionable?

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a complicated issue. People are often confused about what the difference is between generally boorish behavior and something that is legally actionable.

This is what everyone should know about sexual harassment in the workplace.

Supreme Court asked to hear gender discrimination case

Are sex and gender the same? Is gender immutable and fixed or subjective?

These are some of the theoretical questions that have to be answered and defined into law because they have real-world implications for the nation's transgender community -- which has become increasingly visible and vocal over the last decade alone.

Imminent danger and your right to refuse to work

For the most part, employers have a pretty broad prerogative to tell employees what work has to be completed at any given time -- and many jobs have an element of danger that has to be managed on a daily basis. It's impossible, for example, to work on a construction site without recognizing that there is some danger associated with simply being there. Your employer's rights, however, stop where imminent danger begins.

Generally speaking, you can refuse to continue working or refuse to complete a specific task, depending on the situation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) details your right to refuse to work when the danger to your life is imminent.

Culture of sexual harassment alleged in government agency

Did the former personnel chief of a federal agency treat his office as like a private hunting ground for women? Did he create a culture that treated women as mere objects -- many hired on solely because they were viewed as attractive possible partners for the personnel chief and his friends?

That's the allegations against a former official with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The official recently resigned after an internal investigation into the agency's sexual harassment problem.

When you’re fired after developing health problems

What happens when you've developed a serious medical condition and your employer responds to the uncertainty in your life by terminating your position? Are you simply out of luck?

Not necessarily. There are a number of laws that protect employees from wrongful termination.

Generation X is the new face of age discrimination in tech fields

How old is "too old" in the tech field? Would you believe 36 is considered too old by many employers?

For anybody born between roughly 1965 and 1984, known as "Generation X," it seems almost inconceivable that members of their generation who witnessed the birth of the digital age are now considered too old to be part of it. Unfortunately, that's the accepted wisdom of many in various technological fields.

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