We represent clients on a wide range of employment law issues. We've listed them below for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. If you believe your employer has treated you unfairly but you're not sure if legal action is appropriate, contact us to schedule a free consultation.
& Hostile Work Environment
California law prohibits employers from treating employees differently because of the employee’s race, color, religion, gender, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, genetic information, marital status, or military/veteran status. Discrimination or harassment based on any of the above categories against anyone in California is unlawful in the workplace. Most workplace discrimination is subtle. Contacts us to learn whether your specific circumstances require legal action.
California law prohibits sexual harassment of all types and requires employers to train supervisors on how to prevent and handle sexual harassment complaints. Sexual harassment in the workplace takes two forms: quid pro quo (literally, “something in exchange for something”) and hostile work environment (harasser engages in unwelcome conduct and the employee feels there was no choice but to “consent” to the offensive conduct in the workplace for fear of losing employment).
Retaliation cases occur when an employee is terminated, demoted, harassed, singled out, berated, or otherwise subjected to a negative employment action for reporting their co-worker’s, supervisor’s or employer’s discrimination or harassment against individuals belonging to a protected class, in violation of the California Labor Code and/or other laws. California law also prohibits employers from terminating an employee for exercising a legal right, refusing to commit an illegal act, or complaining about workplace illegality. An employee may also be “constructively” terminated when an employer makes the working conditions so intolerable that an employee is forced to quit for engaging in a protected activity.
Generally, a “whistleblower” is an employee who discloses otherwise confidential information obtained in the course of employment where the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of a state or federal statute, noncompliance with a local, state or federal rule or regulation, or with reference to employee safety or health, unsafe working conditions or work practices in the employee’s employment or place of employment. The information is typically disclosed to a government or law enforcement agency, person with authority over the employee, or to another employee with authority to investigate, discover, or correct a violation or noncompliance.
All employees in California must be paid the minimum wage for every hour they work. As of January 1, 2019, employers with 25 employees or less must pay their employees a minimum of $11.00/hour, and employers with 25 or more employees must pay their employees a minimum of $12.00/hour. (State of California, Department of Industrial Relations Schedule for California Minimum Wage Rate 2017-2023).
Overtime Premium Wages
California employers must pay an overtime premium of one and one-half times a nonexempt employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 8 hours in a workday, over 40 hours in a workweek, and for the first 8 hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.
Employment agreements generally determine when a commission is earned. Once the commission is earned, however, California law determines when it must be paid. Contact us to learn as to when you should receive your commission.
& Rest Periods
California law entitles nonexempt employees (hourly, not salaried) to a 30-minute uninterrupted, duty-free meal break if you work more than 5 hours in a workday. You are also entitled to a 10-minute uninterrupted, duty-free rest breaks for every 4 hours you work (or “major fraction” thereof). If your boss doesn’t comply with break law requirements, they are required to pay you one extra hour of regular pay for each day on which a meal break violation occurred, and another extra hour of regular pay for each day on which a rest break violation occurred. If you receive commission pay only, your employer must pay you separately for your rest breaks.
& Severance Agreements
The terms of your employment and separation from a company are the two most important documents you will sign with your employer. You should have an experienced employment attorney review those documents with you to ensure you are receiving everything promised and are fully aware of any rights and claims you are waiving.