Christopher B. Dolan

California’s employment discrimination laws have been updated in the last two years to strengthen protections for transgender employees from harassment around their gender identity. (Jessica Christian/2017 S.F. Examiner)

Protections against gender identity harassment

This week’s question comes from Lindsay in San Francisco, who writes: Q:…

California’s employment discrimination laws have been updated in the last two years to strengthen protections for transgender employees from harassment around their gender identity. (Jessica Christian/2017 S.F. Examiner)
A Muni bus crashed into a building on Lombard Street on Sept. 10. (Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez/S.F. Examiner)

Liability in Lombard Muni crash

This week’s question comes from Phyllis, who asks: Q: “Yesterday, a Muni…

A Muni bus crashed into a building on Lombard Street on Sept. 10. (Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez/S.F. Examiner)
The government has created a number of statues that limit liability for injuries obtained on federal property. (Courtesy photo)

Decoding injury liability

This week’s question comes from Jane in Portola Valley, who writes: Q:”We…

The government has created a number of statues that limit liability for injuries obtained on federal property. (Courtesy photo)
A trial by a jury of your peers is a constitutional right. (Courtesy photo)

Jury duty is a civic responsibility

This week, I would like to republish an article first published in…

A trial by a jury of your peers is a constitutional right. (Courtesy photo)
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, which applies to any business with more than one employee, makes harassment based on sex, gender, gender identification, sexual orientation unlawful. (Courtesy photo)

Building a case for sexual harassment

Today’s question comes from Marsha G. in San Francisco who writes: Q:…

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, which applies to any business with more than one employee, makes harassment based on sex, gender, gender identification, sexual orientation unlawful. (Courtesy photo)
Unfortunately, no employment discrimination statute directly addresses informal components of the “glass ceiling,” like socializing after work. (Courtesy photo)

The gray area of workplace discrimination

This week’s question comes from Kate in San Mateo. Q: Working in…

Unfortunately, no employment discrimination statute directly addresses informal components of the “glass ceiling,” like socializing after work. (Courtesy photo)
Syed Abid Muzaffar, a former Uber driver from Union City, was found guilty of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in connection with the death of Sophia Liu. (Courtesy SFPD)

Out of tragedy comes change

This week’s article will focus on the trial and conviction of former…

Syed Abid Muzaffar, a former Uber driver from Union City, was found guilty of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in connection with the death of Sophia Liu. (Courtesy SFPD)
Each municipality establishes orders governing local practices regarding emergency driving. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

Limits for police vehicles may skirt traffic laws, but not disregard safety

This week’s question comes from Nate in Oakland, who writes: Q: I…

Each municipality establishes orders governing local practices regarding emergency driving. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)
The Supreme Court recently ruled that employers can use arbitration agreements to prevent employees from forming groups to pursue class action claims. (Dreamstime/TNS)

Supreme Court ruling bolsters harmful arbitration clauses

This week’s question comes from Tom from Mill Valley: Q: I heard…

The Supreme Court recently ruled that employers can use arbitration agreements to prevent employees from forming groups to pursue class action claims. (Dreamstime/TNS)
The tragic case of Jahi McMath — who was declared brain dead in Oakland on Dec. 12, 2013 and died of bleeding caused by liver failure on June 22, 2018 in New Jersey — has spurred ongoing debate about brain death. (Courtesy photo)

Jahi McMath and the ongoing legal battle around brain death

Usually, I use this column to answer questions. Today, I will discuss…

The tragic case of Jahi McMath — who was declared brain dead in Oakland on Dec. 12, 2013 and died of bleeding caused by liver failure on June 22, 2018 in New Jersey — has spurred ongoing debate about brain death. (Courtesy photo)
PG&E, making efforts to offload liability for the October 2017 North Bay fires,  will likely pass some of its costs to customers. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

PG&E customers may see fee hike in light of North Bay fires

This week’s column expands on last week’s discussion of the implications of…

PG&E, making efforts to offload liability for the October 2017 North Bay fires,  will likely pass some of its costs to customers. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has released two investigative reports into PG&E's responsibility for the October fires that ravaged more than 245,000 acres of land across the North Bay. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

What CalFire reports mean to those impacted by North Bay fires

This week’s question comes from Alexis in Napa county, who writes: Q:…

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has released two investigative reports into PG&E's responsibility for the October fires that ravaged more than 245,000 acres of land across the North Bay. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)
As of Jan. 1, 2018, the state legislature has updated the Swimming Pool Safety Act in the hopes of further reducing home pool drownings. (Courtesy photo)

State strengthens safety regulations for home swimming pools

Summer is upon us and each year it’s important to revisit safety…

As of Jan. 1, 2018, the state legislature has updated the Swimming Pool Safety Act in the hopes of further reducing home pool drownings. (Courtesy photo)
Any unpermitted standing or unattended scooter, is now deemed a public nuisance subject to abatement and removal pursuant to Public Works Code. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Legislation reduces risk of e-scooters

Today’s column continues where last week’s left off regarding legal responsibility for…

Any unpermitted standing or unattended scooter, is now deemed a public nuisance subject to abatement and removal pursuant to Public Works Code. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
A strong argument can be made that electric scooters also meet the California Vehicle Code definition of an “Electrically Motorized Board.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Hoverboard laws may apply to renegade e-scooters

This week’s question comes from Tricia P. in South of Market, who…

A strong argument can be made that electric scooters also meet the California Vehicle Code definition of an “Electrically Motorized Board.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Door-to-door food delivery services may classify their workers as independent contractors. The “ABC test” is a new standard to determine whether a worker is an employee or contractor. (Courtesy photo)

The difference between employees and independent contractors

This week’s question comes from C.J., who writes: Q: “I am a…

Door-to-door food delivery services may classify their workers as independent contractors. The “ABC test” is a new standard to determine whether a worker is an employee or contractor. (Courtesy photo)
Both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the California Family Rights Act offer protections, in differing ways, for an employee who is unable to attend work. (Courtesy photo)

Employee protections against wrongful termination

This week’s question comes from Kate, who asks: Q: “I have a…

Both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the California Family Rights Act offer protections, in differing ways, for an employee who is unable to attend work. (Courtesy photo)
Generally, when an employee is injured in the workplace, the California Labor Code workers’ compensation law governs their rights. (Courtesy photo)

Workers injured in production facilities a tale as old as time

This week’s question comes from Tracey F. in Hayward, who writes: Q:…

Generally, when an employee is injured in the workplace, the California Labor Code workers’ compensation law governs their rights. (Courtesy photo)
In San Francisco, residents can enact laws through the initiative process in the form of a ballot measure. (Mira Laing/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Making the most of the initiative process

This week’s question comes from PZ, who asks: Q: “I discovered that…

In San Francisco, residents can enact laws through the initiative process in the form of a ballot measure. (Mira Laing/Special to S.F. Examiner)
A decedent’s property subject to probate in California will pass either pursuant to a decedent’s duly admitted will or, if decedent dies without a will, by the rules of “intestate succession.” (Courtesy photo)

What happens when someone dies without a will?

This week’s question comes from Nathan P. in San Carlos, who asks:…

A decedent’s property subject to probate in California will pass either pursuant to a decedent’s duly admitted will or, if decedent dies without a will, by the rules of “intestate succession.” (Courtesy photo)