Experienced Employment Attorney in Los Angeles
From the construction site to the cubicle, we are a legal team in your corner.
We are an experienced employment attorney in Los Angeles. Our attorneys litigate labor and workplace law cases, ranging from wrongful termination and the abuse of employee rights to discrimination and sexual harrassment cases. For a free consultation with our attorneys to discuss your case, call us at (213) 568-4000.
Blair & Ramirez LLP represents clients in employment law cases.
Understanding Your Rights In California
California is an “at-will” state, which essentially means that employers can fire an employee without advance notice at their discretion. However, there are some limitations. First, employers cannot fire someone as either a means of discrimination (race, color, sex, gender identity, or citizenship) or retaliation. Wrongful termination also occurs if the employee was fired for refusing to do something illegal, or if the employee acted as a whistleblower to illegal activity. Wrongful termination can take many different forms, and California grants employees significant rights in this area. If you believe yours have been violated, call Blair & Ramirez LLP for a free consultation from our wrongful termination lawyers in California.
Contracts & Employer Obligations
Many public and private employees work under contract with their employers. These contracts may provide special provisions for when, how, or why the employee can be fired or otherwise let go. Employment contracts or employer obligations can be either explicit (such as a formal arrangement signed by all parties) or implied (such as published company policies that govern how employees can be terminated). In such scenarios, wrongful termination occurs when the employer breaks the terms of the contract. A common case of this involves clauses that state the employee can only be fired with “good cause.” As a wrongful termination lawyer in Los Angeles, the Blair & Ramirez LLP team can help you navigate your case. Call us at (213) 568-4000 for a free consultation.
Under California law, all employees are entitled to a safe, harassment-free workplace. Sexual harassment can include either unwelcome sexual advances, intimidation, or discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, or a relevant medical condition (such as pregnancy). All harassment is illegal, and an employer cannot retaliate or terminate an employee for filing a sexual harassment claim. Your employer may be liable for sexual harassment you experience from a peer if they either knew or should have known about the harassment. In the event your harasser was in a supervisory or managerial role, your employer is strictly liable. If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, take action by calling Blair & Ramirez LLP at (213) 568-4000 for a free consultation. As an experienced sexual harassment lawyer In Los Angeles, we can advise you on your case and your next steps.
Both federal and state law prohibit workplace discrimination based on someone’s race, color, sex, age, disability, religion, national origin, or citizenship status. California offers additional protections for ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, AIDS/HIV, political affiliation, veterans, medical conditions, and domestic violence victims. Under California law, it is illegal to hire, terminate, promote, demote, compensate, or discipline employees based on any of the factors listed above. Favoring one class of employees over another is also illegal, as is putting policies in place that disproportionately impact one class over another. As a discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles, Blair & Ramirez LLP helps employees assert their right to a discrimination-free workplace. For a free consultation, call us at (213) 568-4000.
California law is clear: employers can not discriminate against an employee due to a physical or mental disability. As long as the employee is able to perform essential job-related functions, employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for that employee. Further, disability discrimination is illegal in the context of hiring, firing, promotion, demotion, compensation, or disciplinary decisions. Disability discrimination can also include workplace harassment, such as peers mocking a disability or otherwise contributing to a hostile work environment for that employee. As an experienced disability discrimination attorney in Los Angeles, Blair & Ramirez LLP can help you navigate the discrimination complaint system and—if necessary—take legal action to stop the behavior. Call us today for a free consultation.
Your FEHA Rights
The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) of California offers several key legal protections to both public and private employees in the state. First, FEHA makes it illegal for employers with five employees or more to discriminate against either current employees or prospective employees on the basis of being in a protected category. These protected categories include, but are not limited to: race, color, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, marital status, and others. Under FEHA, harassment against an employee or applicant on the basis of a protected category is also illegal for employers of all sizes. Asserting your rights under FEHA can start with filing an official complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). However, you also have the right to bypass the DFEH complaint process and file suit against an employer. Your attorney will need to obtain a Right-To-Sue notice to move forward with this action.
California grants significant rights to its public and private employees. Here are some of the most important (and most-often breached) employee protections that lead to unpaid wages. If you believe your rights as an employee have been violated, call Blair & Ramirez LLP, a labor law attorney in Los Angeles, for a free consultation.
Vacation Day Theft
Meals & Rest Breaks
Under California law, employers must grant employees who they pay by-the-hour an unpaid, 30-minute meal break, plus a paid 10-minute break for every additional 4 hours of work beyond that. If the employee is working more than 10 hours, the employer must grant them a second 30-minute meal break. The most common violations of this law occur when the employer makes these legally mandated rest periods difficult or impossible for their employees to take.
Some employers attempt to skirt labor laws, legal protections, and taxes by labeling employees as “independent contractors.” This is illegal, and employees can recover compensation for being misclassified by their employer.
A key difference between an “independent contractor” and an “employee” is hinted at by name of the former. Independent contractors operate autonomously from company operations, and the employer can not dictate how they do their job, where they do it, or when they do it.
Another common area of misclassification is between exempt and non-exempt employees. The difference between the two is far from just academic: non-exempt employees must be paid for overtime work and provided with the appropriate meal and rest breaks for the hours they have worked—even if they are not hourly employees. Being a salaried employee is not the equivalent of being exempt; to meet that classification, the employee must be in a managerial, supervisory, or administrative role, and typically be making more than $30,000 per-year.
This type of misclassification and violations of state law typically occurs when an employer uses exempt status as a means of denying their employees overtime pay.
Non-exempt workers are entitled to overtime pay in situations where they work more than 8 hours-a-day or 40 hours-per-week. In California, this increased rate is 1.5 times the employee’s normal pay. This further scales up to 2 times normal pay when employees work more than 12 hours-per-day.
As outlined above, employers do not pay exempt employees for overtime work. However, California has guidelines that limit who qualifies as an exempt employee. Many overtime pay violations occur because of employee misclassification.
Minimum Wage Infringements
As of 2019, California’s minimum wage is $12/hour ($11/hour for businesses with fewer than 26 employees). Several cities in the Los Angeles area—including Los Angeles itself—have a higher minimum wage at $13.25/hour for businesses with more than 26 employees.
Many minimum wage violations occur when employers pay their employees a set amount for a certain job, knowing that the hours that job takes to complete will result in an overall per-hour pay rate below state or municipal minimum wage.
Experienced Labor Attorney In Los Angeles
The Blair & Ramirez LLP team has years of experience litigating labor, workplace, and employment law cases. We have represented both individuals and class action groups of employees in a wide variety of cases, ranging from illegal wages to sexual harassment and discrimination. We’re the premier labor lawyer in Los Angeles. Call us for a free consultation.
We Are Dedicated To Your Case
The attorneys at Blair & Ramirez LLP believe that each and every case deserves our full attention. We limit our total caseload so that our team has time to research your case and provide personalized attention to you. This also means we are willing to go to trial if necessary. Our results speak for themselves: we have recovered millions in compensation for our clients.
Call for your free consultation.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation. Call us for a confidential consultation with our attorneys about your case. We can advise you on how to best move forward.
How Class-Action Suits Work
Filing As A Group
Filing As An Individual
Class action litigation can also be brought by one employee on behalf of all the employees at a company. Others can then join onto the class action if they are part of the injured party. For a free consultation with our class action lawyers in Los Angeles, call Blair & Ramirez LLP at (213) 568-4000.