California Employment Law

Discrimination and Harassment

If you have been discriminated against or harassed at work because of your sex, race, national origin, physical disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or ancestry, you have important rights under state and federal law. It is also illegal for employers to fire or retaliate against employees who complain of discrimination or harassment. We represent employees in all of these types of cases. Some of the more common violations include:

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Wrongful Termination

State and Federal law prohibit employers from firing employees in a variety of circumstances, even if they are “at-will” employees. For example, it is illegal for an employer to fire an employee for:

  • Acting as a “whistleblower” with regard to corporate wrongdoing
  • Refusing to engage in illegal or unethical activities
  • Complaining about wage and overtime practices
  • Complaining about discrimination or harassment
  • Complaining about accounting irregularities
  • Taking necessary medical leave or participating in jury duty
  • Engaging in lawful conduct outside the workplace
  • Filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits

What is At-Will Employment?

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Retaliation

State and Federal law prohibit employers from retaliating against employees in a variety of circumstances, even if they are “at-will” employees. For example, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for:

  • Acting as a “whistleblower” with regard to corporate wrongdoing
  • Refusing to engage in illegal or unethical activities
  • Complaining about wage and overtime practices
  • Complaining about discrimination or harassment
  • Complaining about accounting irregularities
  • Taking necessary medical leave or participating in jury duty
  • Engaging in lawful conduct outside the workplace
  • Filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits

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Breach of Employment Contract

If you have a written or oral employment contract, your employer is legally obligated to honor that contract. This means, for example, if your employer promises you a specific bonus, your employer must honor that promise. Similarly, if you are guaranteed employment for a specific period of time, your employer may only terminate your employment under very limited circumstances.(back to top)

Overtime, Bonus and Other Wage and Hour Violations

State and Federal law have very strict regulations regarding:

You have the right to challenge an employer who is not complying with these regulations.  (back to top)

Medical or Family Leave

State and Federal law provide important rights and protections to employees who are forced to take a leave of absence to take care of themselves or their family members. If you feel you have been denied a family or medical leave, or have been unfairly treated or discriminated against for requesting or taking a leave, your rights may have been violated.  (back to top)

Other Illegal Employment Practices

In addition to the specific areas listed on our website, California and federal law provide legal rights and protections to employees in a wide variety of circumstances, ranging from laws protecting employees from false and defamatory statements to laws allowing women to wear pants at work. If you believe that your employment rights have been violated, please contact our office for a consultation.  (back to top)