Employment Lawyer in Ukiah, California
Standing up for the rights of California employees
Employment is a key element of the lives of most adults in California and throughout the United States. The employment relationship can be a complicated one, however, and there is often a power imbalance between an employee and employer. For this reason, both the federal and California state governments enforce numerous laws that protect the rights of employees. Both state and federal employment laws address a wide range of employee rights, ranging from minimum wage enforcement to the right to be free from unlawful discrimination and harassment. These laws also provide an avenue for employees whose rights have been violated to seek relief and change. If you think your employer has violated the law, you want the best Ukiah employment lawyers on your side. Contact our office today to request a free case evaluation.
Employers have a lot of power when it comes to deciding what to pay employees, what benefits to offer, how to assign hours, and more. To ensure that employees are not mistreated and forced to work long hours for little pay, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the California Labor Code set out many requirements for employers. Such requirements include, but are not limited to:
- Paying a minimum wage for all hours worked
- Properly calculating and counting all hours worked
- Paying overtime rates for nonexempt workers
- Providing required sick time and paid time off (PTO)
- Providing necessary meal and rest breaks
Some employers make mistakes and fail to correctly calculate what employees are owed. Others might unintentionally misclassify you as exempt or an independent contractor, denying you overtime pay or protection under labor laws in general. In a majority of cases, our lawyers find that employers are willing to rectify their mistakes and resolve the dispute amicably. However, some malicious employers might purposely withhold wages or intentionally misclassify employees to avoid compliance with labor laws. Either way, you want to contact a knowledgeable Ukiah labor attorney who will stand up for your right to proper payment and work conditions.
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Anti-harassment and discrimination
In addition to matters involving time worked and compensation, our employment attorneys also handle issues relating to unlawful harassment and discrimination at work. Workplace harassment is a complicated, yet prevalent, issue in employment laws cases. You should contact a harassment law firm in Ukiah, CA right away if you believe you have been unlawfully harassed at work. Harassment is unlawful when comments or conduct based on certain factors are so pervasive or offensive that it creates a hostile work environment. Sexual harassment is the most commonly reported type of workplace harassment, and it can involve either a hostile work environment or job-related threats or promises by a superior regarding sexual conduct (known as quid pro quo harassment). In addition to sex-based harassment, a hostile work environment can exist due to harassment based on:
- Race or color
- Ancestry or national origin
- Religion or creed
- Mental or physical disability
- Medical conditions
- Genetic information
- Age, for people over 40
- Gender or sex, which includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or any related medical conditions
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation
- Gender expression or identity
- Military or veteran status
In addition to unlawful harassment, discrimination at work is also unlawful if it is based on any of the above protected factors. Discrimination can start at the application process and can take many forms through wrongful termination. Employers should never treat individuals with a protected factor in a discriminatory manner compared to other applicants or employees. If you believe that you experienced unlawful workplace harassment or discrimination, you should not delay in speaking with an experienced employment lawyer.
The law protects an employee’s right to report any unlawful conduct of their employer, such as violations of labor laws, harassment, or discrimination. An employer is not permitted to retaliate against an employee for exercising their legal rights, which includes:
- Complaining of unlawful conduct
- Reporting unlawful conduct to the authorities (whistleblowing)
- Refusing to engage in illegal activities requested by the employer
- Serving jury duty or voting
- Requesting qualified family and medical leave
If an employer takes an adverse employment action against the employee for exercising their rights, the company should be held liable for unlawful retaliation. Adverse actions can include demotions, pay reduction, reduction of hours, undesirable assignments, wrongful termination, and more.
Even though California is an at-will employment state, there are still several reasons for termination that are considered wrongful. These include:
- Unlawful termination
- Unlawful retaliation Whistleblowing
- Breach of an employment contract
- Another reason that violates the law or public policy
If you think your employer fired you for a wrongful reason, you need to speak with a California employment lawyer. Our attorneys can advise you regarding your employment rights under state and federal laws.