Articles Tagged with California employment attorney

A fair share of California employment lawsuits stem from employers’ failure to pay fair wages – including minimum wage. As a Los Angeles employment lawyer, I can affirm that failure to pay the state’s minimum wage ends up costing employers far more in the long-run. This is why it’s important to point out that California’s minimum wage rates are about to increase. Los Angeles employment attorney minimum wage

As recently confirmed by the California Department of Finance, the state is increasing the minimum wage for all employers by 3.5 percent to 10 percent to keep pace with inflation. that means statewide, minimum wage is going to increase from $15 hourly for employers with 26-or-more employees (which was set January 1st, 2022) to $15.50 hourly, which will become effective January 1st, 2023.

It’s important to note that this is applicable to all employers regardless of size. That’s a notable deviation from previous California minimum wage increases, which had been separated by employers with 26 or more employees and those with 25 or fewer. That means this increase will be particularly impactful for smaller businesses, whose minimum wage was set to $14 hourly at the start of this year. They, just like larger companies, are going to be expected to increase the minimum wages to $15.50. For them, this is a 10 percent wage increase.

It should be noted, however, that with this increase in the state minimum wage also comes a corresponding raise in the minimum salary that is required for a work to be qualified as “exempt” under so-called “white collar exemptions.” (These are especially impactful when it comes time to paying time-and-a-half for overtime. Salaried employees are exempt from this, but as a Los Angeles employment attorney, I have seen far too many cases of employees being wrongly classified as exempt.) In order to be exempt, the employee must:

  • Perform specified duties in a particular manner.
  • Be paid a monthly salary that is no less than two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment.
  • As of Jan. 1, 2023, to qualify for a white collar exemption requires the employee to earn an annual salary of $64,480 (or $1,240 weekly).
  • Employee spends more than 50 percent of their time performing exempt duties.
  • Salary of exempt employees is guaranteed, and cannot be reduced for quality or quantity of work.

The proof burden for establishing that employee should be classified as exempt is on the employer, as established in the 1999 ruling of Ramirez v. Yosemite Water Co. Continue Reading ›

One would think that as workplaces become more progressive and inclusive that pregnancy-based discrimination would increasingly become an issue of the past. Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in California workplaces have continued to rise the past five years. pregnancy discrimination Orange County

The U.S. Department of labor reports 85 percent of women will become mothers while working.

According to analysis by Bloomberg Law, the number of federal pregnancy discrimination lawsuits has been climbing since 2016, with a sharp uptick in 2020 and 2021, the latter potentially setting a new record – despite declining birth rates. As our Orange County pregnancy discrimination lawyers know, there are a few explanations for this. Among them:

  • Economic instability has always created vulnerability for pregnant workers. Employees who need parental leave and make use of employer-supplied health insurance benefits are inevitably going to cost employers more, at least in the short term.
  • When the economy is in flux, it can be tougher to find a new job after you’ve lost you’re old one. If you’re one of those who have lost their job unfairly – and are having a difficult time landing a new one – you may be more motivated to take legal action against your employer, partly because the economic damage suffered is more significant – especially if you now have an additional dependent.
  • In the earliest days of the pandemic, there was heightened concern that pregnant women might be at higher risk of infection and/or having severe reactions. Some adverse employment actions may have been taken with good intentions, but that doesn’t necessarily make them legal. Pregnant women were often among the first laid off at the start of COVID-related shutdowns.
  • When the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission restarted issuing Notices of Right to Sue back in August of 2020, there was a backlog that had to be processed fairly quickly. Individuals have 90 days to sue from the time they receive that green light. That could account for some of the uptick in 2020 cases.

Do I Have the Right to Sue for California Pregnancy Discrimination? 

Pregnancy discrimination cases can arise from failure to hire, demotion, failure to reinstate after pregnancy/childbirth leave, termination, failure to accommodate (including lactation) and more. Discrimination based on pregnancy is often attributed to inaccurate stereotypes, including misguided notions that pregnant women won’t perform their duties as well and mothers won’t fully commit to their jobs because they have kids. Potential employers continue to illegally ask female applicants if they have children or intend to. They may tell wrongly current workers they can’t accommodate them in pregnancy because of the physical nature of the job.

There are both federal and state protections against pregnancy discrimination and retaliation. Continue Reading ›

When a 34-year-old former California correctional officer secured a $1.7 million settlement from her former employer in her pregnancy discrimination lawsuit, she thought that might be the end of it. The agency was accused of failing to accommodate her pregnancy, ultimately resulting in her baby’s stillbirth. But she’s back in court facing them again, this time for a clause in the settlement that required her to resign – and barred her from ever working for the agency again. no rehire clauses

Although she does not want to return to that line of work, her concern is the impact this condition might have on her ability to collect disability retirement. A court hearing has been scheduled to address the issue, but this is something our Los Angeles employment attorneys have found affects many, many workers who have been discriminated and retaliated against.

It’s the driving force for a pending bill that would prohibit “no rehire” clauses like this in employment discrimination settlement agreements. Continue Reading ›

Women who work in tech are known to be at higher risk of gender disparity. Interestingly, in the early days of electronic computing, many of these jobs were strongly associated with women (as it was considered an unimportant, deskilled work). However, once it became clear that computers would be indispensable in almost every corner of industry and government, the female programmers who once held all the requisite skills suddenly were pushed out, boxed out of their jobs, denied promotions and replaced by men (especially when the women in question were married or had children). gender discrimination lawyer

In Silicon Valley, our California employment attorneys know the claims of gender discrimination have been well-documented. While companies insist they are doing their best to address these problems, the reality is progress has been slow and uneven.

Recently, another such gender discrimination lawsuit, was filed against tech giant Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, accused of systematic pay disparity that resulted in women consistently being paid less than their male counterparts for the same work – even when they had more experience or more seniority at the firm than their male counterparts. In one case, plaintiff said she was asked to step into the role of a recently-deceased supervisor, for which she was promised a promotion and a raise. Yet it wasn’t until another co-worker in a different department stumbled across financial documents with the firm that she – and others – learned she received far less pay (and no change in title) for taking over her predecessor’s responsibilities. Per The Mercury News, plaintiffs are seeking class action status. Continue Reading ›

Partisan tensions across the U.S. have gone from a long-simmer to near-boiling in recent months. Although most Americans define their politics as somewhere in the middle, an increasing number feel compelled to draw hard lines in the sand and publicly denounce or support certain candidates, policies or ideals. However, doing so could put you at odds with your employer. California employment attorneys have been fielding an uptick in queries on wrongful termination and just how far First Amendment free speech protections shield workers and their right to independent political views and expression.San Bernardino wrongful termination attorney blog

In an out-of-state case making headlines, a former city government employee has filed a discrimination lawsuit alleging he was fired because of his vocal support of the Republican president, which he expressed by wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat to work and in discussions with co-workers. He is asserting violation of his First Amendment free speech and Fourteenth Amendment equal protection rights, as well as discrimination based on age (59) and race (white).

The short of it is that while employment retaliation for a worker’s political activity is not covered under federal anti-discrimination laws, California statute is more stringent. The Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from free speech infringement by the government. It does not extend this protection to the workforce. What’s more, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC means companies can freely endorse and campaign for political candidates and even try to influence a worker’s vote. They cannot, however, demand that you choose a certain candidate. Continue Reading ›

“Gig” employment, also known as the, “sharing economy,” has exploded across the country, with increasingly more services following in the footsteps of the likes of Uber and Grubhub. These businesses often use appsCalifornia Employment Attorney to connect workers with customers for one-time services. These companies amass an eager base of workers who sign up for shifts as able, delivering groceries, transporting passengers, and more.

Many workers view gig employment as a flexible and easy way to earn extra money, while employers view it as a cheap way to staff a robust labor pool.

However this dynamic has led to a growing number of employee misclassification lawsuits as the debate comes to a boil as to whether these workers are independent contactors or employees (with all the rights that employees receive). Continue Reading ›

Nobody enjoys being fired. Although California is not a right-to-work state, employers still have much freedom when it comes to termination of workers. Supporters of right to work laws opine they protect prospective employees who want a job but do not belong to a union.  Although there was certainly a time when it was difficult to get into in a union, that’s generally no longer the case and membership is encouraged.  The truth of the matter is these laws were designed to allow employers the freedom to fire workers for any reason they want and also to avoid having to deal with unions.

OC Employment attorneyThe reason many employers disfavor unions is because workers have strength in numbers. When they join a union, workers are invested with greater power to negotiate collective bargaining agreements that cause employers to give workers more protection than the base requirements afforded by the law.

Workers who seek to unionize may find themselves facing termination. You can discuss your rights with an experienced Los Angeles employment attorney.

Continue Reading ›

It is hard enough to get a job these days even with a perfect record. Applicants with a criminal conviction on their record may find it nearly impossible.  Fortunately, pursuant to a new state law, most California employers in California will not be able to make any inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history.  There is a also a new California employment law that will prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s past salary history.

California employment lawyersAs reported in a recent news article from The National Law Review, there are three new laws in California that once in effect, will require most employers in the state to modify their hiring practices. One of these is Assembly Bill 1008 (AB 1008), which prohibits employers from making inquiries into applicants criminal histories by the human resources department and any employment recruiters prior to an offer of employment. Continue Reading ›

California has long been a pioneer of worker’s rights, and state law protects workers from many types of discrimination beyond those prohibited by federal law (such as religion and gender). The California Labor Code also lists many situations in which an employee is entitled to take time off work without being terminated or retaliated against. Many employees may not know that victims of domestic violence and sexual assault have employment rights under California. Now, a new law expands the duty of employers to advise employees of these rights.employment law attorneys Continue Reading ›

A recent ruling by the California Supreme Court on May 8, 2017, makes it easier for employers to comply with the state’s “day of rest” statute. The enhanced flexibility can benefit both employers working to accommodate their business needs, and employees who desire more flexibility to accommodate their personal activities with their work schedule and responsibilities. employment lawyers

The California “day or rest” statute prohibits employers from causing employees to work more than six in seven days. The San Francisco Business Times reports that, in Mendoza v. Nordstrom, the Court clarified that the day of rest is guaranteed for each work week, rather than any given period of seven days. Previously, it was unclear which measure had to be used for purposes of calculating the day off. Some employers would go to great lengths to accommodate every seven-day period on a rolling basis. Now, they need only to set a defined work week, and ensure that employees have one day off within that week.

The ruling also gave employers the option of scheduling employees for more than seven days in a row if they are given time off equivalent to one day per work week. This, too, allows greater flexibility in scheduling. It also appears to signal the Court’s awareness of the realities of the contemporary American workforce.  Continue Reading ›

Contact Information