A Riverside wage and hour lawsuit alleges an employer failed to properly calculate overtime or compensate him for time spent each shift undergoing mandatory temperature screenings. Riverside wage theft attorney

In the case of Solis v. The Merchant of Tennis, plaintiff further alleges non-exempt employees weren’t given the opportunity to take duty-free rest breaks, which is required pursuant to Wage Order No. 7 of the California Labor Code. Lastly, plaintiff asserts the company failed to fully and promptly compensate him all due wages when his employment was terminated.

These violations, plaintiff alleges, also amounted to violations under the California Unfair Competition statute. Plaintiff is seeking class action or collective status.

As our Riverside employment attorneys can verify, wage and hour disputes aren’t uncommon. Labor law violations in California in fact occur with some regularity. The question is what we can prove and how many violators are held accountable. Continue Reading ›

The State of California can begin enforcing a labor law geared to combat employee misclassification that trucking companies say will force them to eliminate the use of independent owner-operators. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a judge in San Diego was wrong to hand down an injunction barring the state’s labor commissioner from enforcing the 2019 Assembly Bill 5.Los Angeles employee misclassification lawyer

The statute codified the 2018 ruling in Dynamex Operations W. v. Superior Ct. by the California Supreme Court, formalizing the so-called “ABC Test” of ascertaining when a person is an employee or an independent contractor.

As our Los Angeles employment attorneys can explain, employee misclassification has long been a serious problem in California, with companies intentionally classifying workers wrongly as independent contractors rather than employees to avoid responsibility for things like minimum wage, required breaks, workers’ compensation insurance coverage and more. Continue Reading ›

In the State of California, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or applicants who are of a protected class. Common forms of workplace discrimination include those on the basis of race, religion, age, pregnancy, gender and medical conditions/disability. Employees or applicants who have been discriminated against in any aspect of employment can pursue a lawsuit against their employer for damages. workplace discrimination lawyer Los Angeles

As Los Angeles workplace discrimination lawyers, we don’t expect potential clients to be familiar with the process. In all likelihood, this is the first time you’ve ever even considered taking such action. Our dedicated, compassionate legal team is here to answer your questions and guide you through the process.

Here, we’re offering some general insight into how it works. Continue Reading ›

It may be long after the worst waves of the COVID-19 pandemic that some California workers will be left wondering whether their “long-haul” symptoms entitle them to any employment law protections. Our Los Angeles disability discrimination attorneys believe we’re going to see this as the basis for a growing number of California wrongful termination claims in the coming months. disability discrimination lawyer

Case-in-point: Last month, a Central California hospital lab employee who is a long-haul COVID-19 sufferer sued her former employer for disability discrimination, retaliation violating medical leave laws and wrongful termination. According to the Fresno Bee, the worker first became sick with coronavirus in April of last year. Her doctor placed her on six weeks medical leave. She came back to work in June, but her symptoms persisted. Combined with her pre-existing conditions (diabetes, cardio-pulmonary disease and traumatic brain injury), she was unable to work for intermittent periods. Her doctor recommended periodic medical leave. However, she said when she asked her boss for the paperwork to file the request, she was reportedly told that “she better not.”

Over months, plaintiff was absent several times due to lingering viral effects. She claims though her absence was due to her medical condition, her employer disciplined and ultimately fired her for violation of the health center’s employee attendance policy.

If her allegations prove true (a spokesperson for the employer would not comment on pending litigation), it’s possible she’ll prevail. California statute grants employees up to three months (12 weeks) of leave in one year for serious medical ailments. Furthermore, it’s unlawful for employers to retaliate against workers for asking for or taking that leave.

As longtime L.A. wrongful termination lawyers, we’re concerned about a potential increase in cases like these. We’d caution employers against disciplining or especially firing workers as a first resort for simply exceeding medical leave – whether it’s for long-haul coronavirus symptoms or some other condition. It may be much more productive for all involved to simply have a conversation about how much more time off is needed.

In the Fresno case, the plaintiff is seeking not only her job back, but also lost wages, special damages and punitive damages.

Continue Reading ›

Getting fired is never fun. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s illegal. As our L.A. employment attorneys can explain, certain elements need to exist in order to prove your termination was illegal, as opposed to just unpleasant. Los Angeles wrongful discrimination lawyer

Let’s start by explaining just broadly that a mix of federal and California laws prohibit employers from firing workers for a number of specific reasons, including disability, age (if over 40), use of family or medical leave, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, race or religion. Laws like the California Fair Housing and Employment Act (FEHA), the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Title VII and others are designed to protect workers from being fired on the basis of things that are mostly beyond their control. Other provisions of law are designed to protect workers who are whistleblowers or who file complaints for things like sexual harassment, discrimination or other wrongdoing.

What can complicate some would-be wrongful termination claims is the fact that California (like most other states) practices something called at-will employment. This means that employers are allowed to take adverse employment action (cut pay, reduce paid time off, end benefits or even fire workers) at any time and for any reason – except one that is illegal. At the same time, employees are generally free to quit anytime they want without incurring any legal liability.

If you aren’t sure whether your firing was lawful, it’s best to share your concerns in confidence with an experienced wrongful termination lawyer who can explain how the law may be applicable in your case. That said, here are some examples of when your firing may be unlawful. Continue Reading ›

Nearly a dozen women are suing the Walt Disney Company for California gender discrimination, saying the corporation systemically denies fair pay to its female employees and that pay secrecy is integral to that inequality. gender discrimination lawyer Los Angeles

As our Los Angeles gender discrimination lawyers can explain, pay secrecy is a policy long used by employers that prohibits employee discussions about how much they earn. While silence over salaries tends to be the societal norm, it’s not the law. What’s more, it’s been shown to perpetuate gender pay disparity against women because it deprives female employees of the information they need to demand equal pay.

According to California Labor Code section 232, employers are banned from these types of secrecy policies and cannot discipline workers on the basis of wage disclosures. It hasn’t been a commonly litigated provision historically (it’s been a state law since 1985), but there has been somewhat of an uptick in these sorts of claims over the last several years. California law stipulates that employers cannot require employees to refrain from disclosing wages, require employees to waive this right or take averse employment action against workers who do. Employers who violate this provision (usually in conjunction with some other type of employment discrimination claim) can be compelled to pay substantial damages, including for lost wages and benefits, emotional distress and punitive damages.

There is also the California Fair Pay Act, which goes even further to shield employees’ right to discuss their own pay openly with co-workers. Beyond that, the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 prohibits employer retaliation against workers who talk wages with their co-workers.

And yet, some employers persist with policies like these. Continue Reading ›

Pregnant workers have long faced discrimination in the workplace. California has some of the strongest protections for pregnant workers, but our employment discrimination lawyers in L.A. know employees in the rest of the country has not been so fortunate. That could soon change, if a new bill moving through the House is successful.pregnancy discrimination Los Angeles

The bill, called the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, or PWFA, was first introduced in 2012 – and nearly every House session since. In the meantime, pregnancy discrimination lawsuits across the U.S. have numbered in the thousands – including one that made it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Now, it seems the latest effort has real promise. When H.R. 1065 was first introduced several months ago, it got 225 sponsors and included representative from both sides of the political aisle, increasing optimism about its prospects.

What Would the PWFA Do? 

The main thing the PWFA could do for pregnant workers across the country is to both clarify and strengthen the decades-old Pregnancy Discrimination Act. This law made it unlawful for employers to use pregnancy as a determining factor when deciding who to hire, fire, promote, etc.

The PDA has some great intent and important protections. But as our Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination lawyers know, it doesn’t go far enough for many workers. It was passed as an amendment to the 1964 Civil Rights Act some four decades ago. The original federal law is frankly pretty ambiguous. Critical language is left undefined, and frequently, employee plaintiffs face an almost insurmountable proof burden to establish discrimination. Continue Reading ›

Both California and federal laws protect employees and prospective employees from discrimination on the basis of disability or perceived disability. This was at issue recently in a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, where a prospective police officer’s job offer was rescinded after a mental fitness test in which he revealed his diagnosis of ADHD. disability discrimination

As the court noted in its precedential decision in Gibbs v. City of Pittsburg, government agencies have the right to ensure their police officers are mentally fit. However, they are not allowed to use psychological testing as a cover for disability discrimination.

Our Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyers can explain that California has some of the best employment law protections for workers with disabilities, actual or perceived. Employers are required to evaluate job applicants regardless of their actual or perceived disabilities. They can require medical or psychological exams – but only if they routinely apply them for all prospective hires.

Police departments do routinely test officer candidates for both physical and mental fitness. The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that between 72 percent and 98 percent of police agencies require psychological evaluations of police officer candidates, and many states have statutory and regulatory requirements for psychological testing of public safety job applicants. But it’s imperative that they follow the letter of the law when doing so. Continue Reading ›

Is the use of a single racial epithet enough to support a legal claim of harassment in California workplaces? Two lower courts weighing a discrimination/retaliation case said no, but the California Supreme Court will decide if that was the right call.racial discrimination lawyer

Plaintiff’s employment attorneys are arguing the the highly-offensive slur, directed toward plaintiff by a co-worker, was significant enough to support claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation and failure to prevent discrimination and retaliation under the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Plaintiff worked for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, and the slur was made by a co-worker. Plaintiff alleged this ultimately spurred retaliation by a supervisor.

FEHA, Previous Court Rulings on Racial Discrimination

As our Los Angeles racial discrimination attorneys can explain, the FEHA prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, and harassment is one form of discrimination. Courts have held that the law is violated when someone’s workplace is steeped in a culture of discriminatory intimidation, ridicule and insult that is “sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment and create an abusive working environment.” Harassment can include verbal harassment, which encompasses slurs, derogatory comments or epithets.

To establish a case of a racially hostile work environment just on first impression (prima facie), the worker needs to show that:

  • He/she belonged to a protected class/
  • He/she was subjected to unwanted racial harassment.
  • The harassment was based on race.
  • The harassment unreasonably interfered with plaintiff’s work performance.
  • The employer is liable for the harassment.

Continue Reading ›

Now that there is a vaccine for COVID-19, an increasingly common question our Los Angeles employment lawyers are getting is whether employers can make employees get one. Los Angeles employment lawyer

The short answer is: Yes (probably). However, there are some caveats, and not all the relevant legal issues are clear-cut in this situation. What’s more, whether workplaces will actually fire workers who refuse probably depends on the employee’s industry, specific job, etc.

Guidance released by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stated that employers can set forth a policy of mandatory vaccination if the need is job-related or if being unvaccinated would pose a direct risk to workers, customers or themselves. That’s an argument a whole lot of employers – from health care providers to grocery stores – could fairly make.

Still, there are likely two bases on which employees could object:

  • Potential exacerbation of an established medical condition or disability.
  • It goes against their sincerely-held religious beliefs.

Continue Reading ›

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