Employment Law Attorneys

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California Employment Attorneys

Employees: Seek Help from a Dedicated California Employment Law Attorney with offices in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Los Angeles area.

Employers have a lot of authority over their employees. Because of the disparity in power, victims of discrimination, harassment or wrongful termination often feel powerless to challenge or confront their employer. However, employees are protected by the law and employers should never abuse their inherent power. When they do, wronged employees should speak to a California employment lawyer at Harrison Kristopher, LLP who can help make things right.

At Harrison Kristopher LLP, our attorneys have found that when an employee has a dispute with his or her employer, that employee often wants to speak out but fears retaliation. Too many times, employees think they simply must live with unfair working conditions because they do not want to lose their jobs.

It is important that all employees know that they do have the right to speak out if they are being treated unfairly at work. In many instances, employees can take legal action to stop the unfair treatment and still keep their jobs. A California employment lawyer can help employees take that action and make things right.

“In many instances, employees can take legal action to stop the unfair treatment and still keep their jobs.”
-Bryan Harrison, Attorney at Law

Wrongful Termination

California is an at will employment state for most employees. This means that an employer can hire or fire an employee at any time, for any reason. Likewise, employees can also leave a job at any time, regardless of their reason for doing so. There are times though, when at-will employment does not apply. Under certain circumstances, employers are not always protected by the concept of at-will employment.

So, how do you know if you were wrongfully terminated, or if your employer was simply exercising their rights? Firings are considered wrongful terminations when one or more of the following applies:

  • There is a written employment contract in place
  • There is not a written employment contract, but the employee fired was a long-term employee with an implied employment contract
    The employer fired an employee as retaliation for reporting sexual harassment, a wage and hour dispute, or another violation by the employer
  • The firing was based on discriminatory practices

Employees have many rights, including the right to not face wrongful termination. When those rights are violated, employees should speak to an employment lawyer at Harrison Kristopher who can help restore those rights.

Employment Discrimination

Although California is an at-will employment state, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees. This means they cannot fire someone or treat someone unjustly based on these protected classes:

  • Gender, including gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Race
  • Disability, whether an actual disability or one perceived by the employer
  • Pregnancy, including time off requested under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Age
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Military service

Employees with these characteristics are considered a part of a protected group. This means that under state and federal law, employers cannot discriminate against them. Employees who have been discriminated against may file lawsuits against their employers.

Wage Claims

While the federal minimum wage is set at $7.25 per hour, California allows its workers a significantly higher minimum wage of $10.50 per hour. Due to legislation that was passed in March of 2016, this rate will increase to $15 per hour in 2023. By law, employers must follow the higher amount set by state or federal law and workers cannot agree to work for a lower wage. There are exceptions to this law, but they are few. An employer can only provide less than the minimum wage if:

  • The worker is an outside salesperson
  • The worker is a parent, spouse, or child of the employer
  • The worker is an apprentice
  • The worker is a trainee

When a worker is a trainee, he or she is exempt from minimum wage laws only for the first 160 hours of employment. During this time, the worker still must receive 85% of the minimum wage. This means that in California, these employees must still receive $8.92 per hour.

Due to the fact that federal law outlines a different minimum wage for tipped employees, many people think California has these same laws. There are no laws on tipped employees in The Golden State. Tipped employees must still receive the $10.50 per hour, same as any other employee. When an employee does not receive the fair wage dictated by state law, he or she can file a lawsuit to seek compensation for those lost wages.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal in California and under federal law. Both the United States’ Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 cover sexual harassment. The Civil Rights Act defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances or conduct of a sexual nature. The EEOC defines sexual harassment in the workplace as unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors that interfere with the employee’s job performance by creating an offensive work environment.

California sexual harassment laws state that the inappropriate behavior does not need to be motivated by sexual desire. When harassment is based on an employee’s actual or perceived sex or gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy or childbirth, or a medical condition, it is considered sexual harassment.

When employees are the victim of sexual harassment, they should speak to an employment lawyer right away. An attorney can help employees hold their employers responsible for their actions and advise on whether or not the employee should report the incident to the police.

Workplace Retaliation

There are instances in which an employer may rightfully demote an employee, or discipline an employee in another way. However, state and federal employment law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees in certain situations. These include:

  • When an employee complains, reports, or starts an investigation of workplace harassment or employment discrimination
  • When an employee requests reasonable accommodations for a disability or religious belief
  • When an employee files a qui tam, or whistleblower, lawsuit
  • When an employee requests, or takes rightful leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act
  • When an employee files a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner

Employer retaliation is often very subtle and therefore, difficult to spot. Some retaliation tactics employers use include:

  • Giving negative performance reviews when past reviews were positive
  • Increasing an employee’s workload without an explanation
  • Suddenly assigning less desirable shifts without an explanation
  • Excluding employees from meetings or correspondence in such a manner that it interferes with an employee’s work performance
  • Denying employees promotions or raises when they have earned them
  • Taking disciplinary actions on inadequate grounds
  • Denying access to resources that would help an employee in their his or her performance

When an employer is unlawfully retaliating against an employee, the employee can file a workplace retaliation lawsuit. These lawsuits can provide compensation for lost wages, damage to the employee’s reputation, and more.

A California Employment Lawyer at Harrison Kristopher, LLP can Help with Your Workplace Legal Issues

Employers have a lot of authority over their employees, and they should never abuse that power. When they do, wronged employees should speak to a California employment lawyer. With offices in both the San Francisco Bay Area and the Los Angeles area, Harrison Kristopher’s attorneys can help with employment disputes in both Northern and Southern California.

If you feel as though you have been treated unfairly by your employer, and that your rights have been violated, call Harrison Kristopher, LLP at (866) 529-6155. We will hold your employer accountable for their actions, restore your rights, and help you get the full amount of compensation you deserve. Call us today or fill out our online form for a free consultation.

WHAT IS MY CASE WORTH?






California Employment Attorneys

Employees: Seek Help from a Dedicated California Employment Law Attorney with offices in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Los Angeles area.

Employers have a lot of authority over their employees. Because of the disparity in power, victims of discrimination, harassment or wrongful termination often feel powerless to challenge or confront their employer. However, employees are protected by the law and employers should never abuse their inherent power. When they do, wronged employees should speak to a California employment lawyer at Harrison Kristopher, LLP who can help make things right.

At Harrison Kristopher LLP, our attorneys have found that when an employee has a dispute with his or her employer, that employee often wants to speak out but fears retaliation. Too many times, employees think they simply must live with unfair working conditions because they do not want to lose their jobs.

It is important that all employees know that they do have the right to speak out if they are being treated unfairly at work. In many instances, employees can take legal action to stop the unfair treatment and still keep their jobs. A California employment lawyer can help employees take that action and make things right.

“In many instances, employees can take legal action to stop the unfair treatment and still keep their jobs.”
-Bryan Harrison, Attorney at Law

Wrongful Termination

California is an at will employment state for most employees. This means that an employer can hire or fire an employee at any time, for any reason. Likewise, employees can also leave a job at any time, regardless of their reason for doing so. There are times though, when at-will employment does not apply. Under certain circumstances, employers are not always protected by the concept of at-will employment.

So, how do you know if you were wrongfully terminated, or if your employer was simply exercising their rights? Firings are considered wrongful terminations when one or more of the following applies:

  • There is a written employment contract in place
  • There is not a written employment contract, but the employee fired was a long-term employee with an implied employment contract
    The employer fired an employee as retaliation for reporting sexual harassment, a wage and hour dispute, or another violation by the employer
  • The firing was based on discriminatory practices

Employees have many rights, including the right to not face wrongful termination. When those rights are violated, employees should speak to an employment lawyer at Harrison Kristopher who can help restore those rights.

Employment Discrimination

Although California is an at-will employment state, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees. This means they cannot fire someone or treat someone unjustly based on these protected classes:

  • Gender, including gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Race
  • Disability, whether an actual disability or one perceived by the employer
  • Pregnancy, including time off requested under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Age
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Military service

Employees with these characteristics are considered a part of a protected group. This means that under state and federal law, employers cannot discriminate against them. Employees who have been discriminated against may file lawsuits against their employers.

Wage Claims

While the federal minimum wage is set at $7.25 per hour, California allows its workers a significantly higher minimum wage of $10.50 per hour. Due to legislation that was passed in March of 2016, this rate will increase to $15 per hour in 2023. By law, employers must follow the higher amount set by state or federal law and workers cannot agree to work for a lower wage. There are exceptions to this law, but they are few. An employer can only provide less than the minimum wage if:

  • The worker is an outside salesperson
  • The worker is a parent, spouse, or child of the employer
  • The worker is an apprentice
  • The worker is a trainee

When a worker is a trainee, he or she is exempt from minimum wage laws only for the first 160 hours of employment. During this time, the worker still must receive 85% of the minimum wage. This means that in California, these employees must still receive $8.92 per hour.

Due to the fact that federal law outlines a different minimum wage for tipped employees, many people think California has these same laws. There are no laws on tipped employees in The Golden State. Tipped employees must still receive the $10.50 per hour, same as any other employee. When an employee does not receive the fair wage dictated by state law, he or she can file a lawsuit to seek compensation for those lost wages.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal in California and under federal law. Both the United States’ Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 cover sexual harassment. The Civil Rights Act defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances or conduct of a sexual nature. The EEOC defines sexual harassment in the workplace as unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors that interfere with the employee’s job performance by creating an offensive work environment.

California sexual harassment laws state that the inappropriate behavior does not need to be motivated by sexual desire. When harassment is based on an employee’s actual or perceived sex or gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy or childbirth, or a medical condition, it is considered sexual harassment.

When employees are the victim of sexual harassment, they should speak to an employment lawyer right away. An attorney can help employees hold their employers responsible for their actions and advise on whether or not the employee should report the incident to the police.

Workplace Retaliation

There are instances in which an employer may rightfully demote an employee, or discipline an employee in another way. However, state and federal employment law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees in certain situations. These include:

  • When an employee complains, reports, or starts an investigation of workplace harassment or employment discrimination
  • When an employee requests reasonable accommodations for a disability or religious belief
  • When an employee files a qui tam, or whistleblower, lawsuit
  • When an employee requests, or takes rightful leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act
  • When an employee files a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner

Employer retaliation is often very subtle and therefore, difficult to spot. Some retaliation tactics employers use include:

  • Giving negative performance reviews when past reviews were positive
  • Increasing an employee’s workload without an explanation
  • Suddenly assigning less desirable shifts without an explanation
  • Excluding employees from meetings or correspondence in such a manner that it interferes with an employee’s work performance
  • Denying employees promotions or raises when they have earned them
  • Taking disciplinary actions on inadequate grounds
  • Denying access to resources that would help an employee in their his or her performance

When an employer is unlawfully retaliating against an employee, the employee can file a workplace retaliation lawsuit. These lawsuits can provide compensation for lost wages, damage to the employee’s reputation, and more.

A California Employment Lawyer at Harrison Kristopher, LLP can Help with Your Workplace Legal Issues

Employers have a lot of authority over their employees, and they should never abuse that power. When they do, wronged employees should speak to a California employment lawyer. With offices in both the San Francisco Bay Area and the Los Angeles area, Harrison Kristopher’s attorneys can help with employment disputes in both Northern and Southern California.

If you feel as though you have been treated unfairly by your employer, and that your rights have been violated, call Harrison Kristopher, LLP at (866) 529-6155. We will hold your employer accountable for their actions, restore your rights, and help you get the full amount of compensation you deserve. Call us today or fill out our online form for a free consultation.

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If you were injured and we accept your case, our firm will pay all costs of investigation and litigation for you. You don't have to pay anything for your legal representation until you win.

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If you are injured and don't have insurance or sufficient insurance, we work with doctors who can help you get back on your feet and only take payment when you win your settlement.

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NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

TEL: (866) 988-4924

FAX: (866) 988-4925

1800 Sutter Street, Ste 320
Concord, CA 94520

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

TEL: (866) 529-6155

FAX: (866) 565-6206

301 E. Colorado Blvd #626
Pasadena, CA 91101