California Employment Law: The Fair Employment & Housing Act and California Labor Codes
California Employment laws are complex and fact specific. Although there may be similarities between one overtime or disability discrimination case with another, no two cases are the same and nobody can predict the outcome. Many factors influence the ultimate outcome including the evidence and the parties involved. However, our #1 priority is that you are fully satisfied and get what you deserve. We want you to walk away knowing every stone was overturned and that the best advice was made available to you. That is why we engage in pre-litigation and litigation work strategically where appropriate and co-counsel with colleagues who have specific skill sets when necessary to ensure you get maximum value for your case without increasing your fee by even a single penny. We are a client based firm and our priority is to you.
Wage & Hour California Labor Codes: Right to a 10 minute duty-free rest break for every 4 hours of work and 30 minute duty-free meal period before 5 hours, overtime after 8 hours in a day OR 40 hours in a week , misclassification, and the Fair Employment & Housing Act (FEHA) protection from sexual harassment, retaliation, age, race, religious beliefs, pregnancy or disability discrimination. If you work for employers with at least 50 employees, you also have rights under FMLA and CFRA. It doesn’t matter if you work in a factory, a large corporation, or small business, the law says you have rights. The law protects undocumented dreamers as well! Although California is an at-will employment state, you have certain rights that the law says cannot be infringed upon. Also, if you are being offered a severance agreement as part of a “reduction in force”, “lay-off”, or “termination”, we are here to review and negotiate those offers for you to ensure you are being treated fairly. Your employer must inform you of your right to seek and give you ample time to consult with independent attorney prior to signing any documents of legal significance. Click here to get started or use the link provided below and also at the bottom of this page.
Operating a business is not easy and the employment laws in California are sometimes difficult to navigate. Good employers sometimes make mistakes or can run into trouble with problem employees. Setting up compliant practices and proper procedures is critical to protect what you have worked so hard to build. Employee handbooks with up to date wage and hour provisions, break rules, codes of conduct, proper disciplining procedures, waivers, and anti-discrimination and harassment policies is key to creating a productive and legally sound work environment. Remember there are new COVID-19 laws as of 2021 that MUST be followed as well including provisions for reporting infected employees and privacy concerns as well as procedures on additional rights that employees now have for leave related to COVID-19. We have successfully worked with dental offices, restaurants, engineering companies, start-ups, internet and software companies, aviation engineering companies, and other small to mid sized employers in implementing compliant procedures and policies as well as defending lawsuits. Give us a call or shoot us an email with questions.
Casstro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, Inc. 246 Cal.App.4th 180 (2016)
The Castro-Ramirez opinion clarified an important segment of California disability law. Mr. Castro-Ramirez worked as a truck driver for Dependable Highway Express, Inc. His son was a candidate for kidney transplant, and required dialysis on a daily basis. Mr. Castro-Ramirez needed to be home by a certain time to administer dialysis to his son. During the last month, a new supervisor gave Mr. Castro-Ramirez a difficult scheduled and repeatedly refused to accommodate. When Castro-Ramirez was unable to perform his schedule, he was terminated on the auspices of “refusal to work.” The Court of Appeal held that employees who are not themselves actually disabled but are associated with persons who are disabled, are nonetheless protected from discharge when the employer is able to reasonably accommodate those employees. Thus, for the first time in California, nondisabled employees are expressly entitled to reasonable accommodations for the disabilities of family members with whom they associate.