California law offers a wide range of protections for employees. From wage and hour laws to laws prohibiting employment discrimination and harassment, California employees have legal recourse when their employers misbehave.
Common employment law claims include those for:
- Unpaid wages
- Wrongful Termination
- Sexual harassment
- Other violations of federal and state leave laws
If you have employment law concerns, contact an employment lawyer in Los Angeles at the Law Office of Joshua Cohen Slatkin. Call us today at 310-923-7839 to schedule a time to discuss your case. We can analyze your case, advise you of your legal options, and help you take the next steps to right the wrongs you suffered.
Employers may take advantage of employees who are unfamiliar with wage and hour laws in an effort to increase profits by effectively stealing earned wages from their employees. Here are a few common examples of wage and hour violations:
- Classifying workers as independent contractors when they do the work of an employee.
- Requiring employees perform job tasks before clocking in or during their meal or rest breaks, which are supposed to be duty-free.
- Failing to pay non-exempt employees overtime wages.
- Not paying employees the California or Los Angeles minimum wage.
If an employer failed to pay you wages you are owed under the law, you can file a claim to recover the compensation you are owed. See our page on unpaid wages claims for more detailed information about these violations and what you can do to exercise your rights.
California law protects several groups of people from discrimination. By state and federal law, employers may not discriminate against employees or prospective employees based on:
- Origin or ancestry
- Medical condition
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation
Discrimination can take many forms. It may take place on job interviews, when asking for a promotion or an increase in pay, or in everyday life on the job. Some employers may pay members of certain groups less than members of other groups. In California, the laws for equal pay were strengthened through the California Fair Pay Act (SB 358) which strengthens the Equal Pay Act by requiring equal pay for employees who perform “substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort and responsibility.” Some employers may also refuse to hire job applicants based on their gender. Others may refuse to promote members of a certain race.
Whatever the case, federal and California law protects you if you experienced discrimination in the workplace. We help you exercise your rights. See our page on employment discrimination for more detailed information and to learn how you can exercise your rights if an employer discriminated against you.
Federal and State Leave Acts
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA) give employees the right to family or medical leave. These laws grant employees the right to take leave for:
- Birth of a child.
- Adoption or foster placement of a child.
- To care for a family member suffering from a serious medical condition. This applies for spouses, children, and parents.
- To recover from or receive treatment for your own serious medical condition.
Eligible employees are entitled to 12 weeks of job-protected leave. Under CFRA, this leave may be up to 16 weeks of job-protected leave which runs concurrently with the 12 weeks FMLA leave (i.e. if you also qualify for FMLA leave, you can get an additional four weeks of protected leave). An employee must meet the following criteria to be eligible for leave under the CFRA:
- Be a full- or part-time employee working in California
- Have worked for the employer for over 12 months (52 weeks)
- Have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12-month period prior to the start of the leave
- Work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles radius of the location where the employee works.
The CFRA applies to any employer that does business in California and employs at least 50 part- or full-time employees. This includes religious and non-profit organizations. The CFRA also applies to the State of California and any of its political and civil subdivisions, and cities and counties, regardless of the number of employees.
This leave is generally unpaid, unless the employee chooses (or an employer requires the employee) to use vacation and other paid time off, other than sick leave. The employer must maintain the employee’s health and/or dental coverage for a maximum 12 weeks or 16 weeks if CRFA is applicable over a 12-month period.
But some employers may fail to maintain health coverage, for example. Or some employers may fail to protect the employee’s job during the 12-week leave, terminating the employee’s employment during his or her protected leave. We help employees victimized by employers who violate these family and medical leave laws take legal action to recover compensation for their losses.
Unfortunately, sexual harassment still happens – and in some cases quite frequently – in workplaces in California. From inappropriate comments to promises of promotions in exchange for sexual favors, sexual harassment comes in many forms.
Whether a coworker or supervisor is the perpetrator of sexual harassment, it is illegal and victims can file claims to recover compensation for their damages. We investigate your case to find evidence of the harassment so we can build your case and reach a fair settlement or judgment.
What should I do if I believe my employer violated my rights?
If you believe your employer violated your rights, take the following actions:
- Do not quit your job.
- Save any records of unpaid wages, discrimination, harassment, or other employment law violations.
- Keep a daily record or journal that you make contemporaneously when you believe your employer violated your rights.
- Communicate in writing with your co-workers and supervisors (e.g. via email, letters, etc.) so there is some type of proof of your communications.
- Follow the policies and procedures of your organization (often these are found in your employee handbook) regarding handling conflicts and making complaints.
- Do not communicate with your potential employment lawyer through a work email or phone. Use private communications which are not monitored.
- Discuss your case with a Los Angeles employment lawyer from the Law Office of Joshua Cohen Slatkin.
We are familiar with the federal and state employment laws and will analyze your case to determine if you have a potential claim against your employer. From there, we can help you identify the best course of action. This might include reporting a labor law violation or filing a retaliation or discrimination complaint, and/or filing a lawsuit against your employer.
Call our office today at 310-923-7839 to schedule your free initial consultation.