Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman, P.C. FindLaw IM Template 2020-11-19T20:26:28Z WordPress /wp-content/uploads/sites/1100112/2019/12/cropped-site-icon-32x32.jpg On behalf of Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman, P.C. <![CDATA[How can you deal with sexual harassment at work?]]> 2020-11-19T16:19:16Z 2020-11-04T19:17:58Z Women all over California have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. While most forms of sexual harassment are obvious, some forms are more subtle; sexual harassment can be so subtle that the woman might find herself wondering if her manager was hitting on her or just being polite. Here are some of the reasons why sexual harassment can be a challenging issue.

What scenarios make sexual harassment hard to determine?

Society has different expectations for men's and women's behavior, and this can result in a lot of miscommunication. For example, women are taught from a young age to be polite in all situations, even when they feel uncomfortable. Some men misinterpret their friendliness as attraction. As a result, they flirt with female employees and don't understand why it can be considered sexual harassment. Some jobs also have a toxic culture that allows sexual harassment to thrive. Sexually charged jokes might be so common that some employees don't even see it as harassment. In their minds, they're simply joking around. However, none of these situations make sexual harassment acceptable. If a co-worker or supervisor makes an inappropriate comment, there's nothing wrong with telling them that you feel uncomfortable. You can also report the issue if the harassment continues.

What should you do if you've experienced sexual harassment?

Dealing with workplace harassment can have major consequences. You might feel depressed and dread going to work every day. Worse still, you might have to leave and find a new job altogether. An attorney may be able to help you launch a lawsuit against your former employer. Your attorney may help you seek compensation for the damages that you've suffered.]]>
On behalf of Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman, P.C. <![CDATA[Consumer rights to fix credit report errors]]> 2020-11-19T16:49:54Z 2020-10-29T21:04:32Z Many people don't take the time to think about what's listed on their credit report until they're applying for a loan, a mortgage or a new vehicle. However, the information found on a credit report might make doing those things nearly impossible. Consumers in California should be informed of their consumer rights and know-how to identify and correct errors that may be found on their credit reports.

Personal information errors

It is entirely possible for a credit bureau to mix up the information between two people. Perhaps they have similar names, the same date of birth or some other form of identifying information. Regardless of the cause of the confusion, ensuring that the personal information, typically found at the top of the credit report, is correct is the first step to validating the information found on the report.

Incorrect account information

Being informed about the number of open credit accounts that a person has is highly encouraged. Through fraud, identity theft and honest mistakes, it is possible for credit cards and other accounts to be opened under the name of an individual who never requested them. The process of recovering from identity theft is a tedious one, so having that information removed from a credit report may take some time.

Errors in account reporting

The status of an account can also show up incorrectly on a credit report. Out of the items that fall under the umbrella of account reporting, late and missed payments are among the worst. Keeping verifiable records of payments that are made is a solid way to combat this type of credit report error. In the worst-case scenario, it may be necessary to seek an attorney who works in consumer rights when dealing with errors on a credit report. An attorney may take the necessary legal action to have inaccuracies fixed so that their client's credit report is factual.]]>
On behalf of Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman, P.C. <![CDATA[How can an individual prove their sexual harassment case?]]> 2020-11-19T16:00:54Z 2020-10-21T17:48:52Z If an individual in California is subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace, their first instinct might be to file a lawsuit. But before they take the matter to court, they'll need to gather crucial evidence to prove that the harassment took place. Otherwise, their case might be dismissed. Here's what people need to launch a sexual harassment case.

What types of evidence do individuals need to prepare a sexual harassment case?

To prepare their sexual harassment case, the individual should gather any communications between themselves and the offending party to prove that harassment took place. This might include emails, text messages, voicemails and other forms of communication that involved sexual harassment. If witnesses were involved, the individual should be prepared to request a witness testimony. They should also gather the complaints that they made about the harassment as well as the company's response to their claims. To make their case even stronger, they can bring a copy of the employee handbook to prove that the harassment should not have been tolerated by the company in question.

What are some forms of sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment in the workplace can take many forms. One popular form of harassment is "quid pro quo" where an employer asks their employee to perform sexual favors in exchange for rewards like a promotion. Another form of harassment is creating a hostile work involvement by making lewd comments, showing the employee inappropriate images or touching them inappropriately.

How can individuals prepare a sexual harassment case?

To prepare a workplace sexual harassment case, an individual may want to hire an attorney. An attorney may educate their client on the types of sexual harassment and help them determine if wrongdoing took place. The attorney might also help collect evidence and file a lawsuit in court.]]>
On behalf of Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman, P.C. <![CDATA[The difficulty of fixing credit reports]]> 2020-11-19T15:51:40Z 2020-10-08T19:45:17Z One of the biggest hassles facing consumers in California is attempting to fix a mistake on their credit reports. Consumers have complained about error-filled credit reports for years. But credit agencies have not done much to prevent errors or simplify the process for fixing them. Consumer rights advocates point out that the number of errors present in credit reports would not be acceptable in any other industry. One explanation for this is the fact that the consumers are not viewed as customers by these agencies. Credit agencies have more interest in the satisfaction of banks and other financial institutions.

Knowledge is empowering

The burden for correcting inaccurate credit reports belongs to the consumer. The first step in the process is to obtain a copy of the credit report. Studies show that slightly more than one in three consumers viewed their credit report within the past year. This fact is true even though federal regulations require that consumers enjoy free access to one credit report a year.

Attention to detail is crucial

Consumers should review their reports carefully and prepare themselves to file a dispute with the appropriate credit bureau if they discover an error. Simple problems like incorrect account numbers, outdated addresses, and misspelled will not require much time to fix. Credit bureaus are also required by law to block fraudulent activity within four days when evidence of identity theft is detected. Dispute filings can take place online or through the mail. Consumers should include records of bill payments, account statements, and other evidence that support error claims. Consumers should also open a dispute with the creditor or financial institution that is the source of the incorrect information on their credit report. The rules and regulations regarding credit reporting and disputes can become complicated for someone not experienced with the process. Individuals with questions regarding a credit dispute may find the answers they need by speaking with an attorney.]]>
On behalf of Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman, P.C. <![CDATA[Common credit report mistakes to watch for]]> 2020-11-19T15:35:53Z 2020-09-10T16:44:32Z According to a Federal Trade Commission study, roughly 20% of Americans have errors on their credit reports. An error on your credit report may result in a lower credit score, which could make it harder to convince California lenders to approve a loan application. Take a look at the errors that tend to show up the most often on a credit report.

The status of an account may not be accurate

It isn't uncommon for credit reports to claim that you are a primary credit card account owner when you are merely an authorized user of the account. Furthermore, it is not uncommon to see that an account is listed as delinquent even though you are current with your payments. You may also see accounts listed as open even though they are actually closed.

There may be accounts that you don't recognize

If you see accounts on your credit report that you don't recognize, it could be because someone has opened them in your name without your permission. However, there is also a chance that the account belongs to someone who you share a name with and was listed on your report by mistake.

Accounts may be listed more than once

Data management issues may result in an account being listed multiple times on your credit report. There is also a possibility that information that was removed in the past is inserted again by mistake. You can contact a credit agency directly to dispute an error on your credit report. A consumer rights attorney may be able to assist you in fixing errors on your credit report. The attorney may be able to prove that you are improperly listed as an account owner or that an account was opened in your name without prior approval.]]>
On behalf of Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman, P.C. <![CDATA[What about price gouging during the pandemic?]]> 2020-11-19T15:30:22Z 2020-08-31T14:04:25Z In March and April, when the coronavirus really began spreading throughout the United States, many Californians rushed to the store to stock up on essentials: hand sanitizer, hand soap, paper towels and toilet paper. N95 masks were nearly impossible to find for those who really needed or wanted them. While supplies were low, however, California retailers legally couldn¡¯t hike up prices drastically. Price gouging during an emergency in California is illegal. In fact, retailers can¡¯t raise the price of goods or services more than 10% after the president, governor or city mayor declares an emergency. The emergency declaration usually lasts 30 days, but government officials can extend it (as has been the case during the coronavirus pandemic).

What¡¯s covered under California¡¯s anti-price gouging statute?

The goods and services covered by California¡¯s anti-price gouging law include the following:
  • Food and drink (including food and drink for animals)
  • Lodging (including apartment rentals)
  • Water
  • Flashlights
  • Radios
  • Soap
  • Diapers
  • Medical supplies
  • Prescription and nonprescription medication
  • Antibacterial products
  • Building materials
  • Transportation
  • Freight
  • Storage services
  • Gasoline
  • Repair and reconstruction services
The consequences of violating the price gouging law are a one-year prison sentence or a $10,000 fine.

What if I¡¯m a victim of price gouging?

If you feel you have been a victim of price gouging during the current health crisis, contact an experienced attorney. An attorney can review your claim to see if price gouging occurred and formulate a plan to protect your consumer rights.]]>
On behalf of Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman, P.C. <![CDATA[Workplace safety amid COVID-19]]> 2020-11-19T15:25:51Z 2020-08-31T12:40:31Z With many nonessential businesses now closed in California, many office employees have yet to return to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At some point, when offices do reopen, work life still will be different. What can employees expect once they need to return to the office? Will you have to return if you have a health condition that puts you more at risk? Or you have children at home participating in virtual learning?

Safety measures

Some of the coronavirus workplace safety measures employees should expect when offices reopen include the following:
  • Workstation setups that allow for social distancing
  • Transparent plastic shields where distancing employees from visitors isn¡¯t possible
  • Hand sanitizing stations and the opportunity to disinfect your workspace more often
  • No community coffee pots or bulk snacks
  • Disabled water fountains (unless they have no-touch activation)
  • Increased ventilation and natural ventilation (open windows) if possible
  • Staggered start times and break times, to limit the number of people in communal areas
  • Self-reporting of any symptoms of COVID-19 and perhaps daily temperature checks before beginning work
  • Online video meetings or meetings held outside

Accommodations for those with health issues or children

If you have a health condition that makes you more at risk to contract COVID-19, you need to inform your manager and your human resources department. You may need to ask to continue teleworking for the foreseeable future. If you have children who are participating in virtual learning this year, you also will need to check with your employer to see if they will allow you to continue to telework. Employers don¡¯t have to allow more telework once they reopen, but many will have employees who need to. If you feel you are being treated unfairly by employer about returning to the office or your employer isn¡¯t following CDC safety protocols, you should contact an employment law attorney to see what your options are. The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented situation, and California is a employee-friendly labor law state, which may help in getting any workplace safety issues resolved.]]>
On behalf of Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman, P.C. <![CDATA[What California residents should know about discrimination]]> 2020-11-19T15:21:40Z 2020-08-26T20:09:02Z Following a lawsuit from a former Pinterest COO who alleged workplace discrimination and wrongful termination, Pinterest employees are planning to stage a digital walkout. The employees aim to call attention to the racial and gender-based discrimination that women have faced in the Pinterest workplace. According to the former COO, the company is mainly led by men who silence and marginalize female executives. Pinterest has denied the claim and hired their own legal counsel. However, representatives said in a statement that they are reviewing the complaint and want all Pinterest employees to feel safe and included in the workplace. If the former COO's lawsuit is successful, Pinterest might be charged with breaking employment law. Employees plan to hold a virtual workout by sharing messages about the protest. They also invite fellow employees to sign a petition that demands an end to Pinterest's alleged workplace discrimination. Multiple female employees have come forward with allegations of racism and sexism by company executives.

How to proceed if an employer breaks the law

An employment law violation covers a wide range of offenses, including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, withholding wages, retaliation against employees who file complaints and more. Discriminating against an employee on the basis of sex, race, age, religion or another protected factor is also illegal under employment law. If an employee suspects that they've been a victim of workplace discrimination, they might wish to speak with an attorney. An attorney may help them evaluate the situation and figure out if a lawsuit is viable. If so, the attorney might help them present the case in court so that they can receive a fair compensation from their former employer. Instances of discrimination might include unfair wages, wrongful termination, denied promotions and more.]]>
On behalf of Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman, P.C. <![CDATA[Taking a look at forced retirement and possible discrimination]]> 2020-11-19T15:14:26Z 2020-08-14T02:45:46Z Commercial pilots, FBI members and air traffic controllers face mandatory retirement ages. This was not true for the medical field. Physicians had the ability to retire when they chose to do so in California. Today, Late Career Practitioner Policies are being instituted by hospitals and medical staffs. While those policies do not impose mandatory retirement ages, they do institute processes used to detect if the physician is beginning to wane in physical, psychological and cognitive abilities. These policies are coming into question and may violate several anti-discriminatory acts and statutes. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is responsible for enforcing federal laws that prevent discrimination in hiring practices. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prevents employers from discriminating against an individual based on age in terms of pay and privileges of employment. Employees cannot be segregated by age either. The Americans with Disabilities Act prevents employers from examining a potential employee in order to find out if a disability is true when the exam leads to evidence that is not relevant to the job and its tasks. Instead of basing the new policies in the medical fields on age, there are groups who are suggesting alternatives. Code of conduct and behavior policies are an example. Physician wellness committees can be formed as well as taking non-disciplinary remedial measures. Physicians can be evaluated, but the suggestion is to do so on a neutral basis. Physicians who believe that they are being discriminated against because of their age can bring their case to court. Discrimination is not accepted for physicians. It is not accepted for any other individual in the workplace either. A good way to approach the situation is to seek advice from a lawyer who has experience dealing with these kinds of cases. A legal professional may be able to map out the best road to take.]]> On behalf of Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman, P.C. <![CDATA[Sexual harassment allegations against NFL team revealed]]> 2020-10-06T11:38:33Z 2020-08-04T02:37:45Z Sexual harassment and other workplace violations have recently come under the microscope in California and across the U.S. That scrutiny is believed to have emboldened people to speak out if they've been victimized. Still, it occurs frequently and many remain reluctant to take the necessary steps to address these concerns. Recently, the Washington Redskins were confronted with allegations that female employees were sexually harassed. These accusations have been revealed as the organization is dealing with publicity about its name. In the report, 15 female employees said they were harassed in various ways, including inappropriate comments about their appearance and requests that they dress provocatively. This occurred from 2006 to 2019. Only one of the women revealed her identity. The other 14 feared repercussions from having signed non-disclosure agreements. The identified woman, 31, had started working for the club in 2014 in its marketing department. She asserts that she and other women accepted the sexual harassment because they were fearful of losing their jobs. Since the allegations emerged, several male employees have been fired or resigned. That includes two prominent members of the football personnel department and a radio broadcaster. Team owner Daniel Snyder was not named, nor was the former president of the team, but victims think they must have known about it. The team is investigating the incidents. Despite increased attention to sexual harassment, this is an example of the longstanding roadblocks faced by those who were harassed. Fear that nothing will be done to the alleged harassers and the possibility of workplace sanctions such as demotions, failure to advance, dismissal and more are a challenge. That's why someone who has been mistreated should think about their rights. A legal firm with experience in helping people with their employment cases may be able to assist with a claim for compensation.]]>