What Type Of Employment Law Cases Does Your Firm Take On?
We handle individual lawsuits on the basis of discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and improper actions against a whistleblower, as well as wage and hour violations cases, such as those involving unpaid overtime or missed meal breaks. We deal with cases related to the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA), which involves representative actions against an employer who has uniform policies that are harmful to employees on issues such as pay and record-keeping.
In addition, we handle class actions in those cases where a class action makes sense. We also handle misclassification cases involving employees who have been misclassified as independent contractors by employers who want to avoid paying wages, and avoid paying into the unemployment insurance fund. Misclassification cases can also involve classifying people as managers or directors who should have been classified as non-management, and paid overtime and greater wages.
What Employee Protections Are Provided By California And The Federal Government?
There are protections that deal with workplace safety, which are primarily instituted by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), which have a counterpart at the federal level. The Equal Employment Opportunity Act is a federal law which provides antidiscrimination protections, and there are many different federal statutes which prohibit discrimination and call for certain kinds of legal remedies to discrimination, such as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
In California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects employees against harassment and discrimination. These protections include mistreatment based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation and some other categories. Many sections of law under the California Labor Code protect employees who are not properly paid, and protect employees against retaliation for making reports to governmental agencies regarding unsafe workplaces or violations of law.
Who Are Covered By California Overtime And Unpaid Wage Rules?
All employees are covered by the California overtime and unpaid wage requirements, regardless of the size of the employer, and the laws concerning these are mostly found in the California Labor Code and in Wage Orders issued by a State agency. For example, a person who performs household chores for one individual would be no less covered by these requirements than someone who works for a large employer alongside hundreds of other employees.
What Steps Should Someone Take If They Are Facing Unlawful Overtime Deficits Or Unpaid Wages?
The first step would be obtaining the records that the employee will need in order to prove that they are being underpaid, such as time records, time cards, and employee handbooks. The next step would be to consult with a lawyer, such as myself, who is knowledgeable and can discuss potential remedies.
Cases that I consider to be fairly small are those involving sums of money less than $5,000, which might be the case if an employee were not paid properly for a couple of weeks. In those cases, the remedies available include going to small claims court or the California Labor Board. There are local labor board hotlines that individuals can call for assistance filing a claim in front of the California Labor Board, which is a reasonably informal process.
What Evidence Does An Employee Need To Prove Unpaid Overtime Or Unpaid Wages?
If the employee is still in the workplace, they should gather information and documents that are available, such as time cards and records which prove that the employee worked particular shifts or signed for a particular shipment while working.
If the employee is no longer in the workplace, which may be the case if they’ve been terminated, then the employee may have very limited access to documents and information. Under such circumstances, the individual could contact current employees in an attempt to obtain corroborating evidence as far as the shifts they worked, and regular patterns of the employer requiring overtime work or work off the clock.
In cases where documents are not available, the legal burden falls on the employer to produce records showing when and how often the employee worked, and how they were paid. In the absence of such records, the court or jury can rely upon the testimony of the employee. I have handled cases against employers who failed to document anything about time the employee worked, and some who had a regular practice of destroying records. In those cases, the judge believed that the employee was telling the truth, and disbelieved the employer.
For more information on Employment Law Cases In The State Of CA, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (310) 477-7767 today.
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