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EMPLOYMENT LAW

WRONGFUL TERMINATION

Being fired can come as a shock. It can disrupt your life and sense of security. Typically, your employment is at-will in California. This means that an employer has the right to terminate an employee at any time, for any lawful reason, even if that reason is not fair. However, an employer cannot terminate an employee for an unlawful reason. An employer cannot terminate an employee for:

  • a discriminatory reason, such as because of the employee’s gender, race, disability, or because the employee is pregnant.

  • exercising a legal right, such as the right to request reasonable accommodations or the right to take medical leave.

  • reporting the employer’s unlawful conduct.

Your employer may give you a reason that seems unfair or vague, such as claiming you “aren’t a good fit,” or they might not give you a reason at all. But if your employer’s real reason is unlawful, you may have a case for wrongful termination.

The Hall Law Group has obtained millions of dollars on behalf of clients in recent years, winning favorable results in wrongful termination cases against some of California’s largest employers. Something that sets our firm apart is our willingness to take your case to trial if need be. You would be shocked how many senior partners at law firms have little or no trial experience. Most attorneys prefer to settle cases and avoid trial, even if it means accepting less money.

SEXUAL

HARASSMENT

Sexual harassment can take many forms. Some harassment is very overt and egregious, but often it is much more subtle and insidious – suggestive comments said in passing, showing an employee lewd photos as a “joke,” sending out inappropriate emails, touching passed off as “friendly,” etc. While sexual harassment is usually perpetrated by men against women, the fact is any man or woman can be guilty of sexual harassment. If you have experienced sexual harassment at your workplace, you are unfortunately in good company. A December 2017 news survey found that one in five Americans has experienced sexual harassment at work. Harassment of this nature can happen over a long period of time, and cause significant job, psychological, and health-related consequences.

No one deserves this. The Hall Law Group is well versed in sexual harassment lawsuits. Something that sets our firm apart is our willingness to take your case to trial if need be. You would be shocked how many senior partners at law firms have little or no trial experience. Most attorneys prefer to settle cases and avoid trial, even if it means accepting less money. Sometimes, you may want to go to trial because of the injustice you suffered and your desire to hold your harasser responsible for his or her actions. We understand and want to be your advocate.

WAGE & HOUR VIOLATIONS

Your employer is required by state and federal law to pay you in a timely fashion for your wages, overtime, bonuses, and commissions. Unfortunately, wage and hour violations frequently occur, and the employees are the ones who pay the price.

Common ways your employer may commit wage and hour violations:

  • Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor

  • Not paying overtime

  • Not paying for work performed before or after your shift

  • Not paying for promised vacation time

  • Not paying for business expenses, such as car mileage reimbursements

  • Not providing 30 minute, uninterrupted meal periods every five hours of work

  • Not allowing for 10 minute rest periods every four hours

Disputes about overtime, break periods, failure to pay minimum wage, and the misclassification of employees as contractors are all considered wage and hour violations.

RETALIATION

If your employer engages in illegal or abusive activities, it can be hard to speak up for fear of retaliation.

Some common reasons your employer might want to retaliate against you are:

  • You notified your employer of harassment

  • Your complained about discrimination

  • Your reported illegal actions of your employer (also known as whistle blowing)

  • You refused to participate in illegal activities

  • You filed a claim for workers’ compensation

  • You took Family and Medical Leave

Your employer is allowed to be unhappy about any of the above; however, they are not allowed to retaliate against you or any other employee because of it. If they do, that is illegal.

Retaliation can take many forms. You might be disciplined, threatened, transferred to a less desirable position, passed over for a promotion or even demoted, given bad performance reviews, or fired.

California law protects you when your employer engages in retaliatory behaviors. If you feel you are being retaliated against, the Hall Law Group can help determine your legal options. We can go over all the details of your case, answer your questions, and give you an honest opinion of your case. Something that sets our firm apart is our willingness to take your case to trial if need be. You would be shocked how many senior partners at law firms have little or no trial experience. Most attorneys prefer to settle cases and avoid trial, even if it means accepting less money. Sometimes, you may want to go to trial because of the injustice you suffered and your desire to hold your employer responsible for his or her actions.

DISCRIMINATION

A sad reality is that discrimination is still common in the American workplace. Sometimes discrimination can be very overt but usually it is more subtle. Your employer is not likely to say, “You’re fired because you’re gay.” Your employer is likely to make up reasons for firing or failing to promote you, like “poor performance.” In the law, this is known as pretext. Employment discrimination is 100% against the law.  Discrimination in California is illegal if it is based on one or more of the following:

  • Age

  • Ancestry

  • Disability

  • Gender Identity or Expression

  • Ethnicity

  • Marital Status

  • Medical Condition

  • National Origin

  • Physical or Mental Disability

  • Political Activities

  • Pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions of any female employee

  • Race

  • Religion

  • Sex

  • Sexual Orientation

For example, if you are pregnant, your employee can’t skip you over for a promotion because you will be out of the office after you give birth.

This type of behavior is disgusting and your employer should be held accountable for their actions. Contact the Hall Group right away to get an honest assessment of your case. We can go over all the details and answer your questions. Something that sets our firm apart is our willingness to take your case to trial if need be. You would be shocked how many senior partners at law firms have little or no trial experience. Most attorneys prefer to settle cases and avoid trial, even if it means accepting less money. Sometimes, you may want to go to trial because of the injustice you suffered and your desire to hold your employer responsible for their actions.

WHISTLEBLOWING

Your employer is required by state and federal law to pay you in a timely fashion for your wages, overtime, bonuses, and commissions. Unfortunately, wage and hour violations frequently occur, and the employees are the ones who pay the price.

Common ways your employer may commit wage and hour violations:

  • Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor

  • Not paying overtime

  • Not paying for work performed before or after your shift

  • Not paying for promised vacation time

  • Not paying for business expenses, such as car mileage reimbursements

  • Not providing 30 minute, uninterrupted meal periods every five hours of work

  • Not allowing for 10 minute rest periods every four hours

Disputes about overtime, break periods, failure to pay minimum wage, and the misclassification of employees as contractors are all considered wage and hour violations.

MEDICAL AND FAMILY LEAVE

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) ensure that qualified employees can take 12 weeks of unpaid employee leave for:

  • Pregnancy and/or the birth of a child

  • Adoption of a child

  • A serious medical issue of the employee or the employee’s family member

  • A family member’s active duty military status

While you’re on FMLA/CFRA leave, your employer should keep your medical benefits the same as if you were working. When you come back from leave, your employer should give you the same job or an equivalent one.