A Pasadena Employment Law Firm

Committed to Helping Workers

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(626) 380-9000

  • pregnant worker contemplating her leave
    On August 7, 2019, Ramit Mizrahi appeared on AirTalk (guest hosted by Libby Denkmann) at KPCC to discuss pregnancy discrimination and retaliation in the workplace. The primary topic was the memo by a former Google manager that has since gone viral; the show also welcomed guest callers to speak about their own experiences.

    The episode can be found here: Another Google Employee Memo Has Gone Viral, This Time Alleging Discrimination Against Pregnant Women. Ramit can be heard starting at 9:33.

  • The July 2019 issue of the California Lawyers Association’s Labor & Employment Law Review featured Ramit Mizrahi’s fifth message as Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section.

    In her column, Ramit shares insights on how attorneys can avoid burnout and thrive while engaging in demanding careers. Click on the below image to read the article in full.

    CLA July Message from the Chair

  • Senate Bill 707 is directed at employers who force employees into arbitration then refuse to pay the fees

    Gavel over currency

    On May 28, 2019, the California Senate passed Senate Bill 707 (“SB 707”), otherwise referred to as the Forced Arbitration Accountability Act. SB 707 seeks to end an abusive tactic that employers use to deny their employees justice—forcing them to arbitrate their legal claims and then suspending the process by refusing to pay the arbitration fees. The bill would pull employees out of this legal limbo by giving them options that allow them to proceed with their cases despite employer non-cooperation. SB 707 also aims to examine the alarming lack of diversity in the arbitration industry. It would require arbitration service providers to collect and share demographic data about the self-reported ethnicity, race, disability, veteran status, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation of all arbitrators, as California judges are required to do.

    1. OVERVIEW OF ARBITRATION

    To understand the potential impact of SB 707, it is helpful to start with an overview of arbitration.

    Arbitration is a form of private dispute resolution that takes place outside of the court system.  In arbitration, an arbitrator—often a retired judge or lawyer—acts as both the judge and jury and renders a decision, which is generally final and binding. Employers are increasingly requiring employees to sign arbitration agreements and waive their right to a jury trial as a condition of employment. According to estimates from the Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Popular Democracy, almost 83% or 95 million of the country’s private, non-unionized employees will be subject to arbitration by 2024. These arbitration agreements are often buried in the fine print of job applications, employment agreements, or employee handbooks, and employees often only learn that they have signed arbitration agreements after-the-fact.

    Arbitration generally favors employers. When employees are forced into arbitration, they are less likely to win their claims, and even when they do, they receive lower awards that employees who had jury trials.

    One reason for this is that employers get to choose the rules governing the proceedings. The rules often make the process less favorable to employees, including by restricting discovery, limiting appeal rights, and prohibiting class actions. Discovery is the process by which each side formally obtains information from the other, including depositions (in which a party’s lawyer can examine witnesses under oath), interrogatories (written questions), requests for admissions, and requests for production of documents. In cases where an employee must prove that an employer acted with wrongful intent or discriminatory bias, the lack of meaningful discovery (for example, being denied the ability to take a sufficient number of depositions) can be fatal to an employee’s claim. (In some states, employers also use the rules to shorten the time that employees have to file their statutory claims (the statute of limitations) and to restrict legal remedies; this is not permissible in California.)

    Another reason that the process favors employers is that . . .

  • The May 2019 issue of the California Lawyers Association’s Labor & Employment Law Review featured Ramit Mizrahi’s fourth message as Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section.

    In her column, Ramit shares her insights on how to make the practice of law (and life) more rewarding. Click on the below image to read the article in full.

  • podium

    On July 19, 2019, Ramit Mizrahi will be moderating a panel at the California Lawyers Association’s 36th Labor & Employment Law Section Annual Meeting.

    Title: The Secret of My Success: Insights from Top Trial Lawyers

    Date and time: Friday, July 19, 2019, 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

    Location: Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90071

    Description: Some plaintiff-side employment attorneys routinely score seven-figure verdicts, while some management attorneys regularly obtain defense verdicts. How do they do it? You’ll find out in this seminar, where four ace trial lawyers will discuss how they work and will share some of the lessons they have learned from experience. This will not be your typical success stories panel, as we hope you will take away ideas that will help you in your next trial.

    Additional information can be found on the CLA website, here.

  • Senate Bill 135 could expand family and medical leave protections to many more California employees

    son and father enjoying family leave

    On January 15, 2019, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson of California’s 19th District introduced Senate Bill 135 (“SB 135”). The bill seeks to significantly expand California workers’ access to job-protected, paid family and medical leave by extending coverage under the California Family Rights Act and California’s Paid Family Leave program. The legislation follows Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent announcement that he is committed to expanding paid family leave.

    Senator Jackson introduced SB 135 with four main goals:

    1. Ensuring that all workers have job protection when they take paid family leave.
    2. Extending the time period workers can take paid family leave to care for an ill family member and so that every newborn can be cared for by a parent or close family member for their first six months of life.
    3. Expanding and harmonizing the definition of family member in our family leave laws to reflect the realities of today’s working families.
    4. Increasing the wage replacement amount to ensure families can afford to take leave.

    1. OVERVIEW OF EXISTING PROTECTIONS

    To understand the potential impact of SB 135, it is helpful to start with an overview of California’s existing family and medical leave laws.

    The Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (“PDLL”) allows employees to take up to four months of unpaid, job-protected leave for pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. The law covers all employees at companies with five or more employees; employees are covered from their first. . .

  • John L. SchwabMizrahi Law is pleased to announce that John L. Schwab has joined the firm as an associate attorney.

    Recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers in 2018 and 2019, John has experience litigating cases from inception through jury trial.

    Prior to joining Mizrahi Law, John completed a prestigious fellowship at a nationally-renowned trial law firm in Los Angeles. He also worked at a boutique plaintiff-side law firm in San Francisco. While in law school, John was named “Law Student of the Year” by the Consumer Attorneys of California.

    John works exclusively on behalf of employees in cases involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination. He serves on the editorial board for the California Labor & Employment Law Review—the official publication of the California Lawyers Association Labor and Employment Law Section—and is an active member of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA).

    His bio can be found here.

  • On March 26, 2019, Ramit Mizrahi appeared on AirTalk (hosted by Larry Mantle) at KPCC to discuss the importance of SB 188, the CROWN Act.

    The CROWN Act will prohibit workplace discrimination against employees who wear their hair in braids, locks, twists, and other protective hairstyles. It will prevent employers from enforcing seemingly “race neutral” grooming policies that prevent people of color from growing their naturally textured or curly hair or wearing it in certain hairstyles.

    The CROWN Act will do so by amending the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (specifically, Government Code § 12926) to add the following definitions:

    (w) “Race” is inclusive of traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.

    (x) “Protective hairstyles” includes, but is not limited to, such hairstyles as braids, locks, and twists.

    The episode can be found here: Braids, locs and twists: new CA bill aims to protect certain hairstyles from workplace discrimination.

  • The March 2019 issue of the California Lawyers Association’s Labor & Employment Law Review featured Ramit Mizrahi’s third message as Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section.

    In her column, Ramit shares the tools and practices she uses to run an efficient law practice. Click on the below image to read the article in full.

  • podium

    On February 7, 2019, Ramit Mizrahi will be presenting at the California Lawyers Association’s Employment Law 101 Conference. The conference is designed to teach fundamentals to lawyers new to employment law. She will be presenting on the leaves of absence compliance panel (10:15-11:45 a.m.).

    Date and time: February 7, 2019, 8:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.

    Location: Southwestern Law School, 3050 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010

    Additional information can be found on the CLA website, here: https://calawyers.org/Sections/Labor-Employment-Law/Education/Employment-Law-101

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