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Labor & Employment Law Attorney In California

There’s no reason anyone should feel threatened or mistreated while they’re at work. Some individuals have been harassed, discriminated against, retaliated against, and more in their place of business. This is inexcusable and a violation of California’s labor regulations. If you’ve been mistreated in the workplace, call our Encino employment law attorney immediately to discuss your situation and learn how we can help you. Haber Law Firm, APC specializes in assisting clients with various employment issues and has the experience you need to successfully file an employment law claim. We understand how stressful it can be to have legal problems at your place of work, that’s why we aim to make the legal process as straightforward as possible for you to work through your employment law problem. The following are some of the most prevalent kinds of employment law problems we see and represent on a frequent basis.

Wage & Hour Violations

California and the federal government have statutes to ensure that employees are compensated fairly for their efforts. The following are some of the most prevalent types of compensation laws in California:

Minimum Wage

Although a state-wide $15 minimum wage for all employers (regardless of size) was intended to go into effect on January 1, 2023, due to significant cost increases, the rate of inflation prompted an earlier timeline. As a result, on May 12, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom predicted that the California minimum wage would rise to $15.50 per hour as of January 1, 2023.

Breaks

In California, any employee who works more than five hours at a time is entitled to a 30-minute meal break. Employees who work ten hours or more are entitled to two 30-minute breaks. These are paid hours if the employee has to remain onsite for this pause, or if they continue doing some of their tasks during it.

Overtime

Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), many employees are entitled to 1.5 times their usual pay for working overtime (“time and a half”) beyond 40 hours per week.

Emergency Leave

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires most employers to grant employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave if they have had or adopted a child, have a serious medical condition, or are caring for a family member who is gravely ill. Under California law, even if they do not have any available paid time off, victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking may take time off to protect themselves and their families.

Unpaid Wages

In California and across the country, numerous businesses falsely characterize their workers as contractors, denying them overtime pay, forcing them to pool tips, and cutting other corners in order to avoid paying people what they are owed. These individuals might be able to seek compensation by way of legal action.

Wrongful Termination

California is an at-will state, which means an employer has the right to fire anybody at any time. However, there are a few exemptions to this rule in the state’s labor laws. If you were wrongfully terminated, it’s highly recommended that you speak with an experienced Encino employment law attorney as soon as possible.

  • If there is an implied or expressed understanding that the employee will not be terminated without cause, the employer may still fire him or her.
  • An employee could not be fired for refusing to participate in unlawful activities, or for reporting these claims. This is often known as whistleblowing.

Furthermore, there are several federal regulations in place to protect California employees from being laid off due to the following reasons:

  • Because of their age, sex, or religion, among other things, they may be denied permission to work in an occupation that is not consistent with their personal beliefs.
  • For filing a workplace complaint
  • For objecting to employment discrimination, or refusing to participate in it
  • For filing a workers’ compensation claim
  • For objecting to unpaid wages
  • For taking leave that they are owed under the FMLA
  • For becoming or being pregnant

Workplace Discrimination

Federal law also prohibits workplace discrimination in the workplace. If you’ve been discriminated against based on the below characteristics, speak with an Encino employment law attorney.

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Color
  • Country of origin
  • Religion
  • Disability
  • Genetic information
  • Parental status

Discrimination can take many forms, including the following:

  • Refusing to hire or promote an employee
  • Passing them over for a raise
  • Denying them equal pay or benefits
  • Denying them needed aid
  • Giving them a different job title than someone else in their position would have
  • Excluding them from serving on boards or committees
  • Terminating their employment

Workplace Harassment/Hostile Work Environment

Workplace harassment occurs when employees are subjected to unwelcome actions or remarks because of their protected characteristics listed above. Employers must take unlawful workplace discrimination into account. Some common forms of workplace harassment include the following:

  • Unwanted or excessive physical contact
  • Telling sexual or vulgar jokes or stories
  • Commenting on an employee’s or coworker’s appearance
  • Using racial, ethnic, religious, or sexual slurs
  • Criticizing an employee or coworker’s religious beliefs
  • Commenting on a coworker’s sexual orientation

Workplace harassment can also take the form of quid pro quo (“this for that”) abuse, in which a person must fulfill a sexual demand in order to obtain a raise, bonus, or another reward. Quid pro quo harassment may also occur when someone’s job is contingent on complying with an identical demand.

Retaliation In The Workplace

Your employer is not permitted to punish or retaliate against you if you are involved in a lawsuit against them. This is improper behavior and may be punished. While the law is on your side, your employer will most likely retaliate. At Haber Law Firm, APC, our Encino employment law attorney will not tolerate this type of abuse. Employers frequently respond in a number of ways, such as:

  • Lowering your salary or wages
  • Having you demoted
  • Assigning you to a lower-ranking position

Veteran Rights In The Workplace

The Military and Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects the employment rights of current and former members of the Armed Forces. Employers may not treat military personnel differently when hiring, firing, rehiring, promotion, or providing benefits under USERRA. Disabled veterans are also protected by USERRA, which states that employers must make reasonable efforts to accommodate veterans’ disabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Sue My Employer And Still Work There?

Yes. Employers may not discharge staff as a form of retaliation. However, before pursuing legal action, employees are advised to contact an Encino employment law attorney. Employees should attempt to exhaust all other possibilities before bringing a claim with the EEOC or DFEH in most situations. Employees should also gather evidence proving their mistreatments, such as emails, text messages, and contact information for potential witnesses.

How Long Do I Have To Sue My Employer In California?

It depends on the claim. And there may be exceptions depending on the case. In general, the statutes of limitations are as follows:

  • Harassment, discrimination, or retaliation: 1 year after the DFEH or EEOC gives the employee a “right to sue” notice
  • Breach of oral contract: 2 years after the breach
  • Failure to pay wages: 3 years after non-payment
  • Breach of a written contract: 4 years after the breach

Can I Get Fired Because Of How I Look?

It depends, and your specific situation must be carefully examined to be sure. Race, color, hairstyles, disability, sex, and age are all prohibited in FEHA. Other local jurisdictions have ordinances that prohibit employment discrimination based on additional criteria such as weight and height. As long as company standards are uniform, they can impose dress codes and grooming requirements. However, if a tattoo or piercing is worn to show religious convictions, according to the law, employees should be protected from being fired for it.

Do Employers Have To Notify Me Before Laying Me Off?

Prior to March 4, 2020, the WARN Act required certain employers to give workers 60 days’ notice before a mass layoff. However, these restrictions have been relaxed during the COVID-19 emergency. Businesses affected by coronavirus now only need to provide as much notification as is practical.

Contact Our Encino Employment Law Attorney Today

Haber Law Firm, APC is relentless in its protection of workplace rights. Our Encino employment law attorney has handled countless discrimination, wrongful termination, and retaliation claims. If you believe your rights have been violated at work, please fill out our case review form for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our skilled employment law attorney in Los Angeles County is eager and ready to assist you. Don’t put it off any longer; get in touch with us right away.

Disclaimer

This website contains attorney advertising.  The information provided herein should not be relied upon as legal advice.  Every legal matter is unique and you should always seek the advice of a retained attorney to answer your legal inquiries.  Haber Law Firm, APC, will not represent you unless an attorney-client relationship is formally created in writing.