In this article, you will learn:
- Protections available for employees who file claims against employers
- What it means to be an at will employee
- When to get an attorney involved and how they can help
We handle a variety of employment law matters such as wrongful termination, overtime wage theft and unlawful pay, family, medical, and disability leave, among many other things.
Laws In Place To Protect Employees At Both The Federal Level And At The State Level In California
We mainly handle matters from the state level, yet violations on the federal level can exist if there is a federal law in place that provides protections for an aggrieved employee.
Explaining An At Will Employee In California
At will employment means that either the employer or the employee may terminate employment at any time with or without cause.
Filing A Claim Against An At-Will Employee
You can absolutely file a claim against an at will employee. It depends on if now the employer is doing something that under the eyes of the law is not allowed. For example, harassment or discrimination of an employee will result in a lawsuit even if an employee is an at-will employee.
How An Employee Who Files A Claim Against An Employer In California May Be Protected From Potential Retaliation
Retaliation can come in many different forms. Retaliation generally is when somebody complains about bad acts by a manager, and as a result of that complaint to, let’s say, a human resources worker, the employee starts to suffer adverse treatment as a result. There is the level of protection, but at the end of the day, what a lot of businesses try to do is cover their tracks and create reasons why that employee was not a good employee. Often, that’s where we come in, is we try to cut through a lot of the cover-ups to establish that a lot of the motivation was based upon the complaints, because that is generally known as retaliation. Employees protected from being retaliated against the reporting of a harassment or improper discrimination under certain protected categories. The general protected categories are ones that are identified through law, and they generally pertain to age, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, pregnancy based sexual harassment etc.
Potential To Be Awarded In A Settlement For A Claim Against An Employer In California
Often, there’s an emotional component to it where people trauma and are in need for therapy to recover from being treated a certain way for a long period of time. For example, if somebody gets picked on all the time because of them being pregnant, and the entire pregnancy they were picked on, sometimes that creates a lot of emotional torture. That’s the pain and suffering side of emotional damages that people sometimes are able to recover in these claims, in addition to the economic damages that people might be entitled to, which as a result of having to be subjected to this treatment, they’re now having to eventually get fired or find a new job because of complaints.
When In Employee’s Situation It May Be A Good Idea To Get An Attorney Involved
People get attorneys involved in different situations, and a lot of times, it’s also confusing for them to know where to turn. Frequently, people come to lawyers at different stages of that process, and a lot of times, people don’t understand that absent something in writing, it’s hard to point a finger on the fact that somebody actually made a complaint about this. There’s a lot of circumstances and a lot of bad acts that are occurring by employers in this day and age, and reaching out to people, making sure that they do things the right way is all important in being able to establish these types of claims.
There are a lot of different laws that apply to employment law claims. For example, there’s the California Fair Employment & Housing Act, which is called FEHA, and then there’s also things that are a little different. For example, there’s the equal pay act, which states that employers have to pay equal amounts to different genders, and protection against harassment and discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, disability, marital or family status, gender identification and orientation. There’s also wrongful termination that relates to people who are making complaints about discrimination or harassment or taking necessary leave who receive retaliatory punishments. It might not be just being laid off, it could be more subtle forms which might be demotions, disciplinary actions, salary reductions, or job or shift reassignments.
It is important to understand what category you’re in, and what rights you have as an employee. For example, California guarantees that employees have a right to overtime pay at a set rate for more than 40 hours a week in a given week, or for eight hours on any given day.
There are consequences for an employer that is not compensating at the regular overtime rate, and that can be something as simple as an employee clocking out for lunch and then being asked to engage in additional work. So, anytime an employee is terminated or laid off, they must be paid all of his or her earned and unpaid wages including unpaid vacation or other paid time-off at the time of termination. Misclassification is also a large problem, and it can make it more difficult to determine what wages and rates the employee is entitled to.
For more information Employment Law in California, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (909) 804-9059 today.
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