Wrongful Termination occurs when an employee is terminated for a discriminatory or retaliatory reason. Wrongful termination is unlawful when based on an employee’s race, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, gender, age, disability or medical condition, or religion. It is illegal to terminate an employee in retaliation for the employee reporting discriminatory and/or harassing conduct. In addition, it is unlawful to terminate an employee because he or she is a whistle-blower. A “whistle-blower” is an individual who complains of and/or reports an employer’s illegal business activities, including the unlawful payment of wages, and work-place safety concerns. When an employment termination violates public policy, the termination is wrongful.
“At will” employment does not and will not protect an employer who has engaged in wrongful or unlawful termination. An “at will” employment status does not give an employer the right to disregard an employee’s constitutional and statutory rights in the workplace.
Wage & Hour violations occur when an employer fails to pay an employee proper and timely wages. If an employee believes that they are not being paid at least the statutory minimum wage for up to 8 hours of work each day, and overtime payment for time worked over 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week, the employee may have substantial claims for wage and hour violations. An employee must also be provided with mandated rest and meal breaks each day. Oftentimes, employers misclassify employees as indepedent contractors to prevent paying employment taxes and workers’ compensation insurance, among other things. Your labor law rights are extremely important because they will ultimately determine how you get ahead at work, which as you know, will determine your family’s financial future.
Sexual Harassment in the workplace is unacceptable. Sexual harassment occurs when unwelcome sexual advances, comments, and conduct occurs in the workplace. Sexual harassment takes place in the form of verbal sexually related inappropriate comments, physical touching, and obscene visual sexually related material such as lewd magazines and internet pornography. If you are being referred to by names of sexual nature, or being told obscene jokes or remarks, then it is likely that the employee is being verbally harassed. If any touching, groping, kissing, or unwanted physical contact occurs at work by a co-worker or supervisor, then the employee is likely being physically harassed.
Family Medical Leave: The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA) allows employees to take leaves of absence for their own or immediate family member’s serious health and medical conditions, including for giving birth, attending to the needs of a family member who has a serious health condition, or taking time off in the event a family member is called to active military duty. The FMLA/CFRA leaves of absence are provided for by law and, hence, an employer (employing 50 or more employees) may not deny an employee these leaves.