Like it or not, a lot of our lives are spent clocking into our jobs and furthering our careers. And when we aren’t being treated fairly and with respect in the workplace, life can become pretty miserable.
Fortunately, California has laws in place to protect employees. They are due certain rights and safeguards. When those legal requirements aren’t met, workers can seek justice by filing claims with government departments and also by suing their employers.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Employment Attorney Serving California Victims
Maison Law exists to help California employees seek justice for violations of wage and hour laws, harassment offenses, wrongful termination, and other abuses of power.
We help victims recover what is legally owed to them. Contact us for a free consultation and we will listen to your case, explain your full range of legal options, and help you decide whether or not your case is worth pursuing with the help of an attorney.
The consultation is completely confidential and you are under no obligation to work with us. Even if we don’t represent your employment case, we will be happy to point you in the right direction.
Types of California Labor Law Claims We Litigate
Experiencing harassment in the workplace or being told you won’t receive what you worked hard to earn can make you feel powerless. It’s not surprising that many people have a difficult time deciding to speak out about injustices committed by a large corporation or even by a local business. Victims can fear losing the income they need to put food on the table or that they may experience retaliation for taking action.
California law protects those who speak up about workplace violations. California employment law attorneys make sure those laws are enforced against companies that use intimidation or threats to try to keep employees silent.
At Maison Law, we accept cases involving many labor violations for our clients and take personal responsibility for their financial wellbeing. We seek back pay for our clients as well as demand penalties be levied against employers who purposely take advantage of the workforce. Maison Law Employment Lawyers then ensure our clients receive their share of those penalties.
Below are just a few of the types of cases we commonly carry forward for our clients.
California Wage and Hour Violations
Wage theft describes many different wage and hour infractions. This is when employers do not pay you wages or benefits you are owed. They may also violate the law when they ask you to work off the clock without pay.
California’s Department of Industrial Relations lists several potential violations of state labor laws involving wage and hour statutes. They include:
- Failure to provide minimum wage.
- Failure to pay overtime to non-exempt employees.
- Failure to reimburse business expenses.
- Failure to provide breaks and meal periods.
- Failure to provide itemized wage statements.
- Failure to provide Workers’ Compensation Insurance.
Companies can owe you damages or back pay for the dollar amounts they didn’t rightfully pay you. In California minimum wage cases, employers could also owe you liquidated damages. These damages are penalties that add additional money to the settlement you would collect.
You should speak with a California employment attorney to find out how to best handle your case so you recover the most in compensation possible. Your attorney assists you in filing a strong wage violation claim with the Department of Industrial Relations. Your attorney would also stand ready to file a lawsuit against your company if things aren’t resolved to your satisfaction.
A California labor attorney also provides important safeguards in case your employer breaks the law again by trying to retaliate against you for reporting a violation or filing a lawsuit. State law prohibits retaliation but that doesn’t mean a company would not engage in this unfair behavior. Your lawyer would file a lawsuit on your behalf if you received harsh treatment or were terminated.
For additional information on what to do if you are robbed of the wages you were promised, visit Maison Law’s page on California Wage and Hour Disputes.
California Workplace Harassment Protection
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a violation everyone is probably aware of, but there are many other forms of harassment that California employees are protected from. Harassment can come from coworkers, managers, owners, and others allowed onto a work site or into an office.
When you experience harassment over protected factors in the workplace, you should speak with a California Labor and Employment Lawyer immediately. Do not stay in such an unfit environment and don’t worry about your job status.
Allow a skilled Employment attorney to handle your case. Your lawyer will face those that have violated your rights so you don’t have to face them again. Your lawyer also protects your financial wellbeing while you are able to stay far away from a hostile environment.
You are likely protected under federal and state laws in California. The United States has its own list of prohibited discriminatory actions in the workplace, but California also offers specific protections for several more characteristics.
The NOLO Legal Guide lists these factors:
Federal law illegal discrimination:
- national origin
- sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions)
- age (40 and older)
- citizenship status, and
- genetic information.
California state law additional illegal discrimination:
- disability: physical or mental
- genetic information
- marital status
- sexual orientation
- gender identity and gender expression
- medical condition
- political activities or affiliations
- military or veteran status, and
- status as a victim of domestic violence, assault, or stalking.
NOLO also points out that several U.S. cities have enacted their own protected categories. For example, San Francisco law treats height and weight as protected classes.
If you suffer sexual harassment, Maison Law stands ready to defend your rights and help remove you from an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation. We can also file a claim for you after you’ve been paid far less than you deserve or have been treated unfairly due to your sex, age, or national origin.
For more information on what to do if you are a victim of workplace discrimination in California visit our page here.
California Employment Discrimination
Employment discrimination in California is defined by many of the guidelines listed above that signify harassment violations. However, this sort of discrimination involves all job-related factors such as unfair treatment in hiring, firing, promoting, and the division of work. Victims may be employees or applicants to companies. Discrimination might also entail different working conditions for different employees, and the separation of employees based on gender or national origin.
Work decisions can’t be made on the many categories above such as age, race, religion, or sex. California’s Civil Rights (CRD) enforces the laws safeguarding workers under The California Fair Employment and Housing Act. They have more information on California employment discrimination on their website.
These are the protected characteristics that employers could violate with acts of employment discrimination:
- Race, color
- Ancestry, national origin
- Religion, creed
- Age (40 and over)
- Disability, mental and physical
- Sex, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions)
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity, gender expression
- Medical condition
- Genetic information
- Marital status
- Military or veteran status
A Maison Law Labor and Employment Attorney is qualified to help victims file claims with the state’s CRD or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Your attorney will investigate your case and gather evidence against your employer. Your attorney will also have a strong case prepared if it is necessary to file a lawsuit against your employer to earn justice.
California Wrongful Termination Protection
Employees may not be terminated for any of the reasons listed above as protected classes. They may not be let go when a signed contract promises continued employment. Employees also can’t be fired for trying to exercise some of the federal and state rights listed in this article. These are all violations of California’s wrongful termination laws.
Employees may not be fired because of their religion, their national origin, or their age. They also can’t be fired for refusing to break the law.
In each case, fired employees could file a legal claim against a company or smaller business and in some cases have their jobs restored and lost wages and benefits reimbursed. They could also seek damages for the emotional trauma they’ve been put through after being fired.
In some cases, punitive damages are possible. A judge assigns punitive damages to punish a company when its actions have been especially reckless and hurtful. It’s a punishment for the company, but the claimant would receive this additional money.
It’s important to trust a California labor attorney with your case so that you don’t forfeit many of the benefits that you may not have known were available to you. Your employer hopes you remain in the dark about things like emotional damages and punitive damages. Don’t allow them to escape taking full responsibility for their actions for yourself and for the next employee they try this on.
California Immigration Employment Protection
Immigrant employees can feel very vulnerable when working for an employer who may or may not care about their welfare and fair treatment. Fortunately, California employment and labor laws protect immigrants who are legally in the country and those who are undocumented.
Businesses, farms, construction companies, and other fields that employ immigrants are not allowed to commit wage violations. Employers are also prohibited from allowing harassing behavior or engaging in employment discrimination. They also must avoid all forms of retaliation against an immigrant worker who speaks out against these violations.
Workers in the United States on the H-1B visa program enjoy these rights too. They are protected when they expose violations committed by employers who sponsor them.
Maison Law is a full-service immigration law firm that represents people in many different types of immigration cases. Contact us today with any immigration legal matter to receive a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
For failure to pay wages violations, California victims have up to 3 years from the date of non-payment to file. For discrimination or harassment cases, victims have one year to file after getting permission to sue from the DFEH or EEOC.
Yes. In most cases, employers may not fire employees who file a lawsuit against them. It’s important to speak with a California employment lawyer so you are aware of all of your options before you file a lawsuit.
Yes. Most California employers must provide leave for parents of a newborn and allow them to retain their jobs. This requirement also applies to sick leave, medical leave, voting leave, and other types of time away.
Contact a California Labor and Employment Lawyer
Maison Law of California offers a free consultation to any worker who feels they’ve received unfair treatment in the workplace. This consultation is completely confidential, and your employer would not know about it. It’s a no-risk way to find out if you have a strong case against your company. It’s also a good chance to learn what you should demand from an employer before their lawyers convince you that your emotional and financial hardships are worth very little.
Our California labor attorneys have extensive knowledge of state and federal employment laws and we use that knowledge to the benefit of our clients. Don’t remain in a hostile work environment for another minute. It’s the employer who should be worried about your actions, not the other way around.
- California Employment and Labor Codes
- Family and Medical Leave
- Employment Contracts
- Immigrant Workers
- Privacy Violations
- Employment Litigation
- Sexual Harassment
- Wage and Hour Disputes
- Wrongful Termination
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- What is the Whistleblower Protection Act?
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