Articles Tagged with employment attorney

A federal appellate court has requested the California Supreme Court clear up confusion about the state’s employee meal break and rest break laws, which often lead to wage theft claims. Employment attorneys in Orange County recognize this decision handed down by the court could have a significant impact on both employers and workers in the Golden State. wage and hour lawsuit

According to court records from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Cole v. CRST Van Expedited, Inc., the primary questions the court seeks to answer are:

  • Whether the lack of a formal workplace policy on rest and meal breaks is a violation of state law.
  • Whether an employer’s failure to maintain records of rest and meal breaks results in the rebuttable presumption that they were not provided.

A rebuttable presumption in civil law is when the court assumes something to be true unless it is proven otherwise. An example of a rebuttable presumption in civil litigation would be that a driver in the rear of a rear-end collision is presumed negligent. (In criminal law, the best-recognized rebuttable presumption is that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty.)

In this employment law case, it would mean it could be presumed that meal breaks were not given (due to the lack of records) unless the employer can prove otherwise. Continue reading

Civil claims based on California employment law can be difficult to prove, particularly when they involve a case of alleged harassment, which often boils down to “he-said-she-said.” But whether we’re talking about harassment, wrongful termination or retaliation, plaintiffs will generally bear the proof burden. This is why for so many cases, witness statements prove critical.workplace harassment

One of the reasons witnesses are so essential is that they are, if not wholly unbiased, at least gaining less from the lawsuit than either of the involved parties. This is important in jury trials and even settlement negotiations, when it’s unclear who really has the stronger case.

For instance, plaintiff could argue that he was fired for making safety violations and that the performance-related reasons the company gave for the termination were nothing more than pretext. However, absent some solid proof, your Los Angeles employment attorney is going to need more than your word alone to prove this.

Similarly a restaurant manager’s sexual harassment of a young female waitress may be difficult to prove on her word alone. However, if co-workers attest to seeing it, that helps to substantially bolster the case. Continue reading

Los Angeles employment lawyers have been carefully watching developments in a California workplace retaliation lawsuit that raises new questions about the scope of protections afforded under federal labor laws. This could potentially endanger these protections – not only here in the Golden State, but across the country – if the National Labor Relations Board sides with the construction company employer in the dispute.workplace retaliation

Many employment law attorneys and scholars agree that a core safety net in all labor statutes – state and federal – is the understanding that litigation is a protected activity. This principle forms the foundation of labor laws that prohibit employers from retaliating against employees for filing a lawsuit for things like unlawful discrimination or wage and hour violations.

Relying on New U.S. Supreme Court Precedent

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This move comes after a legal technicality resulted in the dismissal of a gender inequality class action lawsuit brought by some 1,800 plaintiffs. Our Los Angeles gender discrimination lawyers know that it was not on merit that this case, filed in 2001, was dismissed in 2011.
But for many of those women, justice may never come. Some, including the primary plaintiff, are dead. Others have seen the statute of limitations run out on their claims. Some have been granted exception on those time limits since the case was reversed
The lead plaintiff lawyer in this case represented many of the others.
“We have unfinished business that we are determined to see to the end,” she told Law.com.

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Payroll processing companies can’t be held liable for the errors that employees of other firms claim resulted in their being shortchanged, the California Supreme Court ruled recently, reversing an appellate court’s decision. L.A. wage theft attorney

In a case that originated in Los Angeles Superior Court, employees filed a third-party claim for damages against the payroll company contracted by the worker’s employer. Defendant payroll company attorneys argued California’s Labor Code doesn’t allow employers to assign duty for accuracy in wage statements to third parties. Bloomberg reported in December an estimated there are 1,100 payroll process service companies statewide.

Los Angeles employment lawyers had been watching the case closely, knowing that if the high court ruled in plaintiffs’ favor, it would have meant those firms could be subject to liability in California wage-and-hour employment litigation. Continue reading

You may be unsure about whether a Los Angeles employment lawyer will be willing to take your discrimination case. It’s important to understand what constitutes discrimination (not all unfair treatment will qualify) and whether you have or could acquire the evidence necessary to establish a case. If you do have evidence you were treated unfairly in employment or hiring on the basis of being part of a class that is protected by anti-discrimination laws, then a Los Angeles employment attorney will probably want to speak to you. discrimination attorney

Employment lawyers do offer free initial consultations, so it is usually worth your time to reach out, explain your situation and arrange a meeting. A few things to keep in mind before you arrive.

Understanding Employment Discrimination

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Back in November, the U.S. Department of Labor rescinded the controversial Obama-era 80/20 Rule, dictating how restaurants paid tipped workers, barring employers from taking tip credit from workers who spend more than 20 percent of their time doing non-tipped work. Now, Orange County fair wage attorneys understand a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri rejected the DOL’s guidance, finding it “unpersuasive and unworthy.”restaurant worker tips

The judge further stated that the Labor Department’s issuance of an opinion letter abruptly shifting gears on this issue after 10 years of consistently construing such regulation as limited by the 80/20 rule wouldn’t persuade the court to apply a new interpretation of litigation. Noting the DOL gave zero reasoning or evidence of any in-depth consideration for reversing its position, and it doesn’t stand up to the standard set by the U.S. Supreme Court, and characterized the November rule change as a “sudden surprise” and an “unjustified departure” from the agency’s previous guidance.

Per the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 USC s. 201, employers must pay workers at least $2.13 hourly for their wages, then take a tip credit in order to make up the difference between the worker’s wages and federal minimum wage. The 80/20 rule arose because tipped workers were spending an extensive amount of time carrying out non-tip-generating duties, like rolling silverware or setting tables. The updated guidance from the DOL was that the agency was no longer going to limit the amount of time workers could spend performing those duties.  Continue reading

Employment discrimination can be subtle, but it is described as unequal treatment or attitudes toward one group of employees or against another resulting in unfair, adverse impacts to a protected class of employees or prospective employees. Among the most common questions our Riverside employment discrimination attorneys receive is, “How do I file an employment discrimination lawsuit in California?” One of the first things we need to determine is whether you belong to a protected class, and if so, whether they suffered disparate and negative treatment as at least partially a result of being in that class. Riverside Employment Discrimination Lawyer

The California Fair Employment Practices Act marks its 60th anniversary in 2019. The law prohibits discrimination against employees and/or applicants on the basis of one’s actual or perceived belonging or association with one of the following protected classes:

Gender (this provision also bars sexual harassment);

  • Race and Color
  • Ethnicity
  • Marital Status
  • National Origin or Ancestry
  • Religious Creed
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth or Related Conditions (including lactation)
  • Disability
  • Age (pertains to individuals over the age of 40)

Once our Riverside employment discrimination attorneys examine the facts of the case to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to file a claim, we’ll give you a detailed rundown of your legal options. Unlike other types of civil claims, the process of filing an employment discrimination claim doesn’t always go straight to court. Continue reading

A top-level banking executive for Goldman Sachs is suing the company, as well as one of its managing directors, for what she says was racial discrimination and religious discrimination to prevent her from landing a major client. employment attorney

The lawsuit, filed by the company’s vice president, who is both black and Jewish, alleges the managing director’s prejudices against her specifically blocked this deal, but that she also faced a myriad of discriminatory comments focused on her her skin color and her religion. Specifically, she says comments were made questioning “how Jewish” she is, given the fact that she is African American.

CNBC reports the company has denied the allegations, underscored its commitment to diversity and intends to vigorously fight the claim.  Continue reading

When a police officer resigns from the force shortly after completing training, can he or she be required to reimburse the city for the costs of attending the police academy? The answer is no – an answer the City of Los Angeles learned the hard way. (See In re Acknowledgement Cases, 239 Cal. App. 4d 1498, decided August 12, 2015.)employment lawyer

In the early 1990s the City experienced a high attrition rate amongst officers of the Los Angeles Police Department. In an attempt to mitigate the costs of turnover, the City enacted an administrative code provision that required officers to pay a prorated portion of the cost of their required training at the Los Angeles Police Academy if they voluntarily left the force within sixty months of graduation, and were hired by another law enforcement agency within one year of leaving. New officer recruits were required to sign an acknowledgment of this policy.

The City brought suit against a series of officers for reimbursement of academy training expenses under this provision. With many pending cases on the same issue, the City agreed that the rulings on the enforceability of the acknowledgment for one case would apply to all pending acknowledgment cases. The trial court ruled in the City’s favor, finding the acknowledgements to be enforceable against the officers. The officers appealed.

The Fourth Appellate District examined the administrative reimbursement provision under the California Labor Code, which provides that employers must indemnify employees against the necessary expenditures or losses incurred in the discharge of the employee’s duties. (Cal. Labor Code § 2802(a)). While no cases had directly resolved the issue of whether training was such a necessary expenditure, the appellate court nonetheless determined that it could be. Training required under state law (such as Peace Officer Standards and Training) was not mandated by the employer, and therefore the court found that it was not an expense of employment. The Los Angeles Police Academy, however, had training which exceeded the state requirements of POST. That portion of training was found to be an expense of employment for which the City could not seek reimbursement from recruits.   Continue reading