Employment law claims include those for unpaid wages, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, and other violations of federal and state leave laws. There are laws which prohibit employment discrimination and harassment. Other laws protect you against the employer withholding wages or for not properly compensating you for overtime and doubletime hours worked.
We have helped other Los Angeles-area workers hold their employers accountable, and we can help you too.
If you have employment law concerns, contact the Law Offices of Joshua Cohen Slatkin to discuss your case. We can analyze your case, advise you of your legal options, and help you take steps to right the wrongs you have suffered. Our case results demonstrate our commitment to advocating for California workers.
Protecting Yourself Against Employment Discrimination
California law is very clear on shielding several protected classes of people from discrimination based on certain legally recognized categories and characteristics. Under state law, employers may not discriminate against employees or prospective employees based on the following characteristics:
- National Origin or ancestry
- Physical Disability
- Mental Disability
- Medical Condition
- Marital status
- Sex (Gender)
- Age (if you are over 40)
- Sexual orientation
Discrimination can take many forms. It may take place early on during job interviews. It can occur when asking for a promotion or an increase in pay. It can occur when you are terminated from your employment. 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 requires 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.
In all these instances, Federal and California laws protect you if you are experiencing discrimination in the workplace. 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. We can help you fight back!
Getting the Medical Leave Time You Are Entitled Under the Law
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA) give employees the right to take time off for their own or a family member’s medical condition(s). These laws grant employees the right to take leave in several situations, which include, but are not limited to:
- Birth of a child
- Adoption or foster placement of a child
- Caring for a family member who is suffering from a serious medical condition (This applies to spouses, children, and parents.)
- Recovering from or receiving treatment for your own serious medical condition
The FMLA gives eligible employees up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave, and CFRA gives an additional four weeks of protected leave which runs concurrently with the 12 weeks of FMLA 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 a 75 miles radius of the location where the employee works
With COVID-19, the FMLA also provides 12 weeks of leave to care for a child whose school or care provider is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19.
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 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 of 12 weeks—or 16 weeks if CRFA is applicable—over a 12-month period.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
Effective April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020, employers with less than 500 employees are required to provide:
- Two Weeks of Emergency Paid Sick Days
- Twelve Weeks of Emergency Paid School and Childcare Closure
The FFCRA can be used under the following circumstances:
- The employee is subject to quarantine or an isolation order
- The employee is advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine
- The employee has symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a diagnosis
- The employee is caring for an individual subject to quarantine or an isolation order or advised to self-quarantine
- The employee is caring for a child whose school or care provider is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19
Employers often violate laws by failing to maintain health coverage or failing to protect the employee’s job during the 12-week leave. Employers who violate these family and medical leave laws are breaking the law and we can help the employee take legal action to recover compensation for his/her losses.
Fighting Against Wage Theft: Is Your Employer Stealing Your Wages?
Employers may take advantage of employees who are unfamiliar with wage and hour laws in an effort to increase profits by effectively stealing their wages.
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 to perform job tasks “off the clock.” This happens when employees start working before clocking in or after clocking out or during their legally mandated meal or rest breaks, which are supposed to be duty-free.
- Failing to pay non-exempt employees overtime wages which is one and one-half times the employee’s regular pay rate or double-time wages which is two times the employee’s regular pay rate.
- Failing to provide legally mandated duty-free meal and rest breaks.
- Not paying employees the California or City minimum wage.
If an employer failed to pay you the wages you have earned, 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.]
You deserve to receive your full wages, and we are fully committed to helping you obtain your owed and earned wages.
Fighting Against Workplace Retaliation
Health and safety laws in California make it unlawful for an employer to:
- Retaliate against a worker for exercising his or her health and safety rights. Cal. Lab. Code section 6310
- Retaliate against a worker for whistleblowing. Cal. Lab. Code section 1102.5
- Terminate a worker for refusing to work in an unsafe work environment. Cal. Lab. Code section 6311
Unfortunately, sexual harassment is still prevalent in workplaces throughout California. Sexual harassment comes in many forms, from inappropriate comments to promises of promotions in exchange for sexual favors. Whether a coworker or supervisor is the perpetrator of sexual harassment, it is still illegal, and victims can file claims to recover compensation for their emotional distress in addition to other forms of economic and non-economic damages. We can investigate your situation to find evidence of harassment so we can build your case, stop the harassing behavior, and reach a fair settlement or judgment.
Has Your Employer Violated Your 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 when you believe your employer violated your rights.
- Communicate in writing with your coworkers and supervisors (e.g., via email and letters), so there is proof of your communications and keep a copy of those communications for your records.
- Consult your employee handbook and follow the policies and procedures of your organization regarding handling conflicts and making complaints. Make the necessary complaints in writing regarding the unlawful employment practices.
- Do not communicate with your potential employment lawyer through a work email or phone. Only use private communications that are not monitored.
- Discuss your case with an employment lawyer from the Law Offices of Joshua Cohen Slatkin.
Request our free e-book, Your Employment Law Guide: 10 Things You Should Know About an Employment Law Case, to learn about your rights.
We are familiar with federal and state employment laws and will analyze your case to determine if you have a potential claim against your employer. We can help you identify the best course of action. This might include reporting a labor law violation, filing a retaliation or discrimination complaint, and/or filing a lawsuit against your employer.
Call our office today at 310-923-7839 or complete our contact form to schedule your free initial consultation.