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Tax_Counsel last won the day on August 8

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  1. There is no class action available here. There are only 5 employees and the facts of each of their cases will be different. this is not the sort of thing that is amenable to the class action rule. If there are enough facts in common the five employees might be able to sue the employer jointly, however.
  2. You would lose. The judge is not liable for the extra cost you incur because of his death. Judges change all the time for a variety of reasons (promotion, retirement, disability, or whatever), and those departures do not impose upon the judge any duty to pay the litigants for extra costs that may result from that change. This is just a part of litigation that parties have to deal with.
  3. The testimony of the alleged victim as to what she saw your friend do is good evidence and if believed credible by the police certainly could be good enough to support arresting him. Moreover, if believed by the court he could be found in violation of parole and perhaps found guilty of additional offenses, like assault, weapon possession charges, etc. Unless you were there you likely don’t know if your friend’s claims of innocence are true. But true or not, your friend needs a good lawyer.
  4. I never said there might not be situations where that would occur. If an employer wants to set it up that way, no U.S. law would prohibit the employer from doing it. But the point of my post was that the law does not compel an employer to do that for the very reason I mentioned: most people in this country are still uncomfortable in intimate settings with the opposite sex. So an employer in the situation you had might well be able to say that it does not want men as sales people. The store would be free to allow that if it wanted, it is not required to do that.
  5. Almost certainly it will. Unless your friend knows the rules of procedure and evidence that apply to that hearing he will be at a disadvantage in that hearing if he handles it himself.
  6. Actually, the police officer appears to have been wrong on that. Police officers are not lawyers and do not always know the law well. The South Carolina blackmail statute states: S.C. Code Ann. § 16-17-640. That said, however, if the police and prosecutor aren’t interested in pursuing it you cannot force them to charge anyone. And I could see why in this instance the case would not be all that attractive to prosecute. There is no recourse here against your employer for wrongful termination based on the facts you provided. Even if the allegations were untrue, it is still not wrongful termination. In the U.S., with the exception of one state (and that state is not SC) an employer does not need good cause to terminate an employee. Rather, wrongful termination means that the employer terminated the employee for some reason prohibited by law. No federal or SC law prohibits terminating an employee for an allegation of sexual harassment (whether or not the allegation was true) or because the employee was having an affair with another co-worker. One of the reasons companies frown on sexual/romantic relationships between co-workers is exactly what happened here: the employer ends up confronted with having to deal with sexual harassment claims. Thus employers may well want to rid themselves of someone who can’t keep intra company relationships professional because that puts the company at risk.
  7. BTW, the term you are looking for here is “file size” not “weight”, e.g. “the size of the PDF file was 100kb.”
  8. The information you presented does not conflict with what I said. You will note that it starts out stating the general rule: it is on the disabled employee to request an accommodation if he/she needs one. And I made the same point. I noted there are some exceptions, as did the article you posted. But as the article you yourself quoted says, those tend to be in “circumstances where the employee’s disability is obvious and it is clear that the disability is interfering with the employer’s performance expectations.” The problem, as I explained earlier, is that the employee’s mental disability is almost certainly NOT obvious, nor is it likely that it is clear that the disability is interfering with the ability to do the job. And even if that might have been apparent, it would not likely have been the case that the employer would know what accommodation to provide. It is these problems that make dealing with mental disabilities more challenging than with some other disabilities. And it is these problems which make it more important that employee speak up and ask for the help. The employer can’t be expected to know there was a disability, the extent of it, how it was affecting the employee’s ability to do the job, or what accommodation is needed on its own. The employee needs to provide that information. Certainly the employee may wish to consult an attorney who litigates ADA cases for employees for an evaluation of his case. Perhaps additional facts that he/she has not shared would make a difference.
  9. They could say the same thing. But sex and race are different. It is legal in U.S. law, for example, to have different restrooms for men and women but not legal to have separate restrooms for white customers and black customers. Why is it legal to have different restrooms for men and women but not to have separate bathrooms based on race? Because the bodies of men and women are different we accept that when it comes to sex some things can be separate or different. Men and women may feel discomfort having someone of the opposite sex in the restroom with them and potentially seeing intimate parts of their bodies. That has been the case for hundreds of years at least and the laws regarding illegal discrimination based on sex were not intended to make those sorts of distinctions illegal. A lingerie store deals with something that involves a certain degree of intimacy — most women don't go parading around in public in their lingerie because being seen in lingerie is considered an intimate thing. So the lingerie store situation is much different than the restaurant one that you posed. It may well be that BC law would draw that same distinction that U.S. law does. However, I am not expert in Canadian law so, as I suggested before, you might want to ask a Canadian solicitor who practices in the area of employment law or the BC Human Rights Clinic about it.
  10. The information I gave you earlier was for U.S. law. The law in Canada is probably different in at least some respects from U.S. law. We don't address Canadian law here. Under U.S. federal law that would be illegal for an employer to do if it had at least 15 employees (and in some states it would be illegal regardless of the number of employees) unless the store had a bona fide business need to hire women only. If this were a candy shop the employer wouldn’t be able to make that case. But for a store that sells very intimate apparel for women they could legally only hire women for sales jobs in the store because many women customers would feel rather uncomfortable trying on and buying lingerie from a man. It appears that the British Columbia law that prohibits illegal discrimination in employment is somewhat similar to U.S. law. It applies to all employers regardless of size and bars discrimination based on certain characteristics, including sex. However, it provides and exception where there is a “a bona fide occupational requirement.” Section 13 of the British Columbia Human Rights Code (HRC). However, I am not an expert in BC law and cannot tell you how that exception might apply in your situation. You might want to ask the BC Human Rights Clinic or a BC solicitor who handles employment law matters for advice. Well, of course it is relevant because only certain characteristics are protected under the law. So, in the U.S. for example, if the employer said they don't hire Black persons that would be illegal because race is a protected characteristics. But if the applicant walked in wearing a swastika on his arm and the employer said "we don't hire Nazis" that would not be illegal because Nazis are not a protected group. That would also be the case in BC, too. Under the BC HRC, the protected characteristics are: “race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, political belief, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or age of that person or because that person has been convicted of a criminal or summary conviction offence that is unrelated to the employment or to the intended employment of that person.” So if an employer discriminates on the basis of one of those characteristics, it violates BC law. But if the employer discriminates on some other basis, like discriminating against Nazis, it does not violate the law. So the reason I and others asked what the demographic was was to see if it was one that is protected by law.
  11. Ok, so if you want the laws of your state changed to make what these people are doing included in the harassment law then contact your state legislators and ask them to amend the law.
  12. cbg is right, but let me offer more explanation to help you understand why. Mental disabilities create some of the most challenging situations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Most mental disabilities are not apparent to others, unlike say a person in a wheelchair or a blind person walking with a white cane. Under the ADA, assuming an employee has a disability presents a set of problems for an employer because treating an employee differently because he or she is perceived by the employer as disabled runs the risk of violating the ADA too. So employers generally are not going to assume that an employee’s poor performance is due to a mental disability even if they suspect it might be. Even when the employer is informed the employee has a disability, the employer cannot simply assume the employee needs or wants any accommodation for that disability. With mental disabilities it is especially hard because even if the employer thinks that some kind of accommodation might help the employee the employer likely has no clue what accommodation might actually work. The employee is usually the best one, as an initial matter, raise the issue of accommodation and to suggest what kind of accommodation may help. For these reasons, with some exceptions, the state of the law is that the employee needs to first tell the employer that he/she has disability (which you finally did) and to ask for help with that before the employer is obligated to provide any sort of accommodation. You do not need to use the exact words “reasonable accommodation” but your request must be clear enough that others would understand you are seeking reasonable accommodation. Also, remember that it is always legal for the employer to fire you if your performance is poor unless the problem is poor performance AFTER a request for reasonable accommodation has been requested AND the employer failed to provide reasonable accommodation. The ADA does not give cover for poor performance; the idea is to provide the disabled help to overcome their disability and have the shot at meeting the job requirements. As for the smoke breaks, well the employer may legally fire you for taking them even though the employer lets more senior employees take them. This would only be a problem if the employer is treating you differently because of some protected characteristic (race, color, national origin, citizenship, sex, religion, age (if age 40 or older), disability, or genetic test information).
  13. A number of courts have held that when a debt collector files a lawsuit to collect a consumer debt beyond the expiration of the statute of limitations it is indeed a violation of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). One of the leading cases in this regard explains the reasoning for that conclusion: Kimber v. Fed. Fin. Corp., 668 F. Supp. 1480, 1487 (M.D. Ala. 1987). Not all federal courts have subscribed to that view and the Supreme Court has not yet heard the issue, so it will matter where the debtor is located as to whether this would amount to a violation of the FDCPA. It appears that at least one California federal court agrees with the Kimber analysis: Masuda v. Thomas Richards & Co., 759 F. Supp. 1456, 1461–62 (C.D. Cal. 1991). As the OP is evidently in California, this could very well be a violation of the FDCPA. You are correct that threatening to file a lawsuit when the collector has no intention to do so is also a violation.
  14. The details matter. When it comes to anti-discrimination laws, only discrimination based on certain characteristics is illegal. Under federal law, it is only illegal for a private employer to discriminate against you based on your race, color, national origin, citizenship, religion, sex, age (if you are age 40 or older), disability, or genetic test information. In addition, these laws only cover employers with at least 15 employers; smaller employers are exempt. Some states protect additional characteristics. But as you did not indicate the state, no one can tell you if your state is one of them and what additional protection it may have. Thus, to give you more specific information, it would help to know in what state this took place, what demographic group is involved, and how large the employer is.
  15. The details matter, and we don’t have those. What exactly is the copyright claim you wish to bring? However, generally speaking claims regarding copyright violations may only be heard in U.S. District Court (federal court), not in state court. 28 U.S.C. § 1228(a). The federal government does not have small claims and copyright cases can be complex. I'd highly recommend you consult a copyright lawyer before attempting to litigate a copyright matter.