California has some of the strictest employment laws of any state. Our office represents employees and employers in all types of employment cases.
! New COVID-19 Laws
These are unprecedented times. Laws pertaining to the novel coronavirus pandemic are developing at an astonishing rate. Those in the know, and those who prepare, will undoubtedly fare better. Those who don’t know and those who don’t prepare, will almost certainly face legal issues in the near future. Our firm has already provided extensive legal consultation to employers, businesses, and employees who have been affected by the new laws and guidelines. We are here to help you too.
We provide an initial consultation and second opinion. We prepare employee handbooks and guidelines for employers and business owners, and we advise employees of their rights. Please call us today to make arrangements for your consultation.
As a hard-working employee, you are entitled to your legal rights.
On behalf of employees, we have successfully pursued wrongful termination claims, high-level executive compensation claims, retaliation, and sexual harassment claims. We also advise clients on severance issues and assist in the negotiation process.
Wage and Hour Violations
The law protects your time and your pay. A failure by an employer to protect an employee’s time is a violation of your contract. Employers who violate wage and hour laws may be liable for unpaid wages, statutory penalties, interest, and attorney’s fees.
Common violations by employers include:
- Failure to give meal and rest breaks
- Unpaid overtime
- Inaccurate wage statements
- Untimely wage statements
- Failure to reimburse business expenses
- Failure to pay minimum wage
- Misclassification as an independent contractor
- Misclassification as an exempt employee
- Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is terminated or forced to quit for an unlawful reason. Common examples include:
- Violation of anti-retaliation laws
- Violation of anti-discrimination laws
- Violation of an employment agreement
- Violation of harassment laws
- Violation of whistleblower laws
While most employees think it is impossible to be wrongfully terminated when you are an at-will employee, the truth is there are legal solutions to protect retaliatory behavior by an employer. The law provides that you can still be wrongfully terminated, even as an at-will employee.
California and federal law prohibit employers from discriminating. Discrimination based on disability, age, pregnancy, gender, race, and other protected characteristics including religion, sexual orientation, and marital status are against the law.
Employers have a legal duty to inform their employees about company policies that address harassment in the workplace. Federal and California laws, including the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), protect employees from harassment in the workplace. Employees must be vigilant about communicating unwanted sexual advances, favors, and other types of sexual harassment and promptly report these situations to the employer.
Our attorneys have experience handling workplace harassment issues and can advise you of your rights under the law.
In addition to sexual harassment, an employee may also experience harassment in the workplace due to:
- Race or ethnicity
- Sex or gender
- Sexual orientation
Protected Leave of Absence
All employees have the right to various types of protected family and medical leave under California and federal law.
Those rights include protections under:
- The California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
- The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- The Parent Leave Act
- The Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL)
- The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
The CFRA and the FMLA give employees the right to take up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn biological child, a newly adopted child, a seriously ill family member or a serious illness of their own. These family and medical leave laws only apply if:
- You have worked for your employer for at least (1) year;
- You have worked for that employer for at least 1,250 hours in the past year; and
- Your employer has at least fifty (50) employees working within seventy-five (75) miles of your work site.
Protected Leave of Absence for Mothers
If you give birth to a baby, you are also eligible for leave under the PDL. This law provides an additional leave of up to four (4) months for periods when you are incapacitated due to pregnancy or childbirth.
If you have been retaliated against for taking a qualified family, medical or other protected leave, contact our office for a case evaluation.
Maintaining employer/employee relationships are delicate and we value helping clients optimize their workplace.
Our office represents employers of small and midsize companies to resolve issues stemming from employer/employee relationships, such as wage and hour disputes, discrimination claims, harassment claims, and retaliation claims.
Additionally, our attorneys offer custom tailored services for employers, such as:
- Composing employee handbooks
- Company policies and procedures
- Guiding company compliance with state and federal labor laws
- Developing labor standards and workplace investigations for hiring/firing
- Management improvement, especially with preventing sexual harassment claims
- ADA issues
- CFRA, FMLA, or FFCRA issues
Together we set client expectations and timelines to work through litigation issues or take preventative measures before they occur.