The Firm represents employees, former employees, and contractors in all areas involving labor and employment and the employer-employee relationship. The Firm handles these matters in state and federal courts, arbitrations, as well as in hearings with the various governmental agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (E.E.O.C.), Economic Development Department (E.D.D), and Department of Labor. The Firm handles numerous types of employment matters, including but not limited to, matters involving:
If you have experienced discrimination or been harassed because of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation, the WLG can help you. Contrary to what most people believe, discrimination is not only unlawful when it comes to termination; it can also be found in decisions regarding hiring/firing, compensation, discipline, work assignments, benefits, promotion, and other areas.
Family and Medical Leave
State and federal laws provide that under specific circumstances, employees have the right to take a leave of absence. If the employee meets the guidelines to receive leave under these laws, the employee cannot be fired, demoted, or discriminated against for taking the leave permitted by law. If you or your family member is suffering from a serious medical condition or disability, or if you are pregnant and think you may be entitled to leave, contact the Firm.
Pregnancy and Disability Leave
State and Federal law are very clear that it is illegal to discriminate against women based on pregnancy. The law is also clear that women are entitled to receive leave for pregnancy related disabilities (before or after the pregnancy). If your employer is denying you leave or discriminating based on your pregnancy, the Firm can help.
Under State and Federal law, it is illegal to retaliate (discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate) against any person because that person has opposed certain forbidden practices or has made a complaint, testified against, or assisted in certain proceedings. For example, it is unlawful to retaliate against an employee for reporting any discrimination based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation. Similarly, it is unlawful to retaliate against an employee for taking pregnancy and/or FMLA/CFRA leave or needing a reasonable accommodation to perform their duties. An employer also cannot retaliate against employees for complaining about, or reporting the company’s failure to pay proper wages (including overtime), workplace safety problems and violations, and/or reporting illegal practices. Additionally, it is unlawful to retaliate against an employee who refuses to engage in illegal or unsafe activities.
Sexual harassment is generally defined as “unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is severe or pervasive and affects working conditions or creates a hostile work environment.” If you experience discrimination based on your sex or any forms of sexual harassment, the Firm can help.
Examples of inappropriate verbal conduct are inappropriate jokes, derogatory comments, gender specific slurs, sexual advances, sexual propositions, sexual innuendo, explicit discussions about sexual activities/behaviors, comments about someone’s physical attributes, whistling, and/or moaning in a suggestive manner.
Examples of inappropriate visual conduct include displaying sexually suggestive or explicit objects, pictures, cartoons, graffiti, posters, emails, text messages, letters, notes, and/or internet images.
Examples of inappropriate physical conduct are unwelcome touching, kissing, hugging, grabbing, leering, poking, groping, blocking movement, assault, and more.
Wage & Hour
There is a strong public policy in favor of employees and contractors being paid their full and proper compensation in a timely manner, which includes the payment of overtime wages. The laws encompass an employee’s rights to meal and rest breaks, as well as reimbursement for certain work-related expenses. If you have not received your wages, overtime pay, rest periods, or meal breaks, you should contact the Firm immediately about recovering the money owed to you, as well as any possible penalties that you may be entitled to.
Whether you had an employment contract or not, the law does not permit an employer to simply terminate an employee for any reason. Company handbooks and policies may help an employee who was fired or demoted in a manner inconsistent with those policies. If a company makes oral promises that an employee will have continued employment, the employer may be required to show good cause of any termination. Most importantly, public policy prevents employers from terminating employees for illegal reasons, e.g. based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation. Therefore, if a termination violated a California statute or a public policy found in California’s Constitution, the termination may be considered wrongful. Federal laws may also be applicable. Therefore, if you have been terminated and feel it may be unlawful, the Firm can help.