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  • Seek legal advice:
    If you have been a victim of workplace discrimination and are being treated differently because of your pregnancy or related conditions, then you may be able to claim damages against your employer. Speak to our experienced Los Angeles employment attorneys at the Arshakyan Law Firm. We can help you navigate the legal issues and challenges associated with your pregnancy discrimination case and help you explore your legal options. You can get started by contacting us at (818) 650-9985.
  • Can I get fired for being pregnant?
    No, it would be illegal for your employer to fire you because you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. This should be distinguished from a situation where an employer fires you while you are pregnant but for other non-pregnancy-related reasons. Pregnancy harassment is prohibited when it is so pervasive or severe that it results in an employment decision based on pregnancy discrimination (i.e., being fired, laid off, or demoted because you are pregnant). You may be able to prove you were fired based on your pregnancy or related reasons if your employer expresses a remark regarding your pregnancy. However, in many cases, it will not be as clear-cut. For example, if you are unfairly terminated after your employer learns you are pregnant. Additionally, you may be able to prove a pattern of pregnancy discrimination if you have facts to support that your employer has fired employees for the same reason.
  • What workplace actions are prohibited under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act

    The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”) prohibits pregnancy discrimination and requires employers to treat pregnant women and women with pregnancy-related conditions in the same manner as other employees with similar abilities or inabilities to work.

    Pregnancy harassment may include pervasive or severe behavior such as:

    · Hiring or firing based on pregnancy
    · Making offensive or derogatory comments, jokes, gestures, or pictures related to pregnancy
    · Workplace decisions related to pregnancy such as changes to your job assignment, promotions, layoffs, training, benefits (i.e., medical leave and health insurance).

  • Can an employer ask an employee or an applicant if they are pregnant or if they intend to become pregnant soon?

    While employers should avoid this question altogether, employers are not prohibited from asking you whether you are or intend to become pregnant soon. However, it is unlawful under federal and California state law to harass or treat an employee differently due to pregnancy or pregnancy-related reasons. It is important to document such conversations and other behaviors that are discriminatory based on your pregnancy. Such documentation can help to determine whether the behavior is pervasive or serious enough to constitute a pregnancy discrimination case.

  • Is it legal if I was bypassed for promotion because I’m pregnant?

    Being passed up for a promotion due to discrimination is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Specifically, an employer cannot base work decisions such as work assignments and promotions on stereotypes and assumptions, including those regarding a person’s pregnancy. For example, an employer offering medical leave benefits must equally offer the same medical leave benefits for pregnant employees and employees with pregnancy-related conditions.

  • Seek legal advice:
    If you have been a victim of workplace discrimination, you may be able to claim damages against your employer. Speak to our experienced Los Angeles employment attorneys at the Arshakyan Law Firm. We can help you navigate the legal issues and challenges surrounding your sexual harassment case. We can help you understand your legal options based on the specific facts and circumstances of your sexual harassment case. You can get started by contacting us at (818) 650-9985.
  • What is the time limit to file a sexual harassment claim?
    While the federal law has a 180-day limitations period for filing sexual harassment, California’s time limit is 300 days under the state’s anti-discrimination and sexual harassment laws. An experienced Los Angeles employment law attorney can help you ensure that you file a timely case and explore your legal options if you are beyond the limitations period.
  • Does sexual harassment have to involve sex or other physical contacts?
    No. Sexual harassment does not need to be based on or related to sex or sexual, such as sexual advances or other visual, verbal, or physical conduct. Sexual harassment broadly includes many types of offensive behavior based on an employee’s sex, creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. This includes gender harassment and sexual orientation harassment based on actual and perceived gender or sexual orientation (regardless of the harasser’s sexual orientation or gender identity).
  • Can I get fired for reporting sexual harassment to my employer?

    Your right to complain about and report harassment is protected under the law.

    This means that you cannot be punished or face retaliation for:

    · Making a harassment complaint, investigation, or lawsuit
    · Acting as a witness in regard to a complaint, investigation, or lawsuit
    · Communicating with a supervisor or manager about employment harassment Examples of retaliation include being demoted, fired, reassigned to a different job, or shift or subject to disciplinary action.

  • What should I do if I am sexually harassed at work?

    If you have experienced sexual harassment at the workplace, be sure to keep detailed documentation of all that transpires, including names, dates, and times.

    In addition to filing a claim at work based on your respective workplace policy, you can also file a federal and/or state complaint. If you wish to file a suit under federal law, you can file a discrimination complaint through the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). On the other hand, if you are only interested in filing a California state claim, then you can do so under the DFEH only.

  • What qualifies as sexual harassment at work?

    Sexual harassment occurs when someone conditions a work benefit (i.e., a job or a promotion) on your submission to sexual advances or other sexual conduct. Sexual harassment also includes a hostile work environment which is characterized by unwelcome sexual comments or conduct that unreasonably interferes with your work or creates a work environment that is intimidating, hostile, or offensive. Importantly, sexual harassment may even occur where the inappropriate conduct is not directed at you (i.e., a sexual discussion or photographs).

    Specifically, the behaviors that constitute sexual harassment must be severe and/or pervasive and may include (but are not limited to the following):

    · Unwelcome sexual advances
    · Promotion or denial of one based on willingness to exchange sexual favors
    · Visual conduct such as leering, making sexual gestures, or displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons, or posters
    · Derogatory remarks, slurs, or jokes
    · Sexually graphic/degrading comments and words, or suggestive or obscene messages or invites
    · Physical touch
    · Physical assault

  • How do I report sexual harassment at work?
    To understand how to report sexual harassment at your specific workplace, be sure to read your employer’s sexual harassment policy carefully. The workplace policy will provide information on how to make a complaint at work. It may put your mind at ease to know that California law requires employers to institute a policy on sexual harassment and ensure employees like you are informed of the policy which describes the harassment complaint or reporting process.
  • Who do I tell when I feel I am being sexually harassed at work?
    You should inform your employer if you feel you are being sexually harassed at work. Specifically, it is important to confide in a trusted workplace supervisor. This supervisor may be the person you report to directly or a supervisor of the person harassing you or any supervisor at your workplace.
  • Do I need an attorney to help with estate planning?

    It is very risky to attempt estate planning on your own without the help of a knowledgeable and experienced professional. If you make a mistake, you could end up with an unintended result. Even

    worse, some arrangements that you were relying on may be legally invalid in the first place. When you invest in an attorney for your estate planning, you give your family more peace of mind that the plan that you have will actually protect them when the time comes. There is no legal obligation to have an attorney, but it is a smart thing to do for your family’s well-being. You have worked a lifetime to protect your family, and a comprehensive estate plan allows you to continue protecting them for years to come.

  • Is estate planning just about assets?

    No. There are a number of things besides assets that may be covered in an estate plan. One of the most important aspects of any estate plan is a power of attorney. This document is a binding legal designation that becomes effective when it is necessary. A power of attorney gives someone the ability to make decisions on your behalf according to the terms of the document. For example, you could give specific power of attorney over financial or health matters, or you can give a broader general power of attorney that would give general decision-making Authority.

    In addition, an estate plan could also designate a guardian for your minor children and specify how they are to be raised if you are no longer here. Without these instructions in place, a court would need to appoint a guardian, and your wishes would not be known. An experienced estate planning attorney will discuss all the possibilities, so you are aware of them when you are making your estate plan.

  • Are all of my assets subject to a will?

    No. Some accounts rely on beneficiary designations. For example, your retirement account and your life insurance policy require that you designate one or more beneficiaries to receive the proceeds after you die. These accounts are transferred when you provide the custodian proof of the account owner’s death, and they do not go through the probate process, nor are they a part of a will. The beneficiary designations on these accounts are binding, so you need to review them periodically to ensure that they still reflect your current wishes. Otherwise, you may have an undesired result after you die. Even if you are divorced, you must still physically change the beneficiary on the account.

  • What happens if I die without a will or trust?

    On the bright side, your property would still go to your heirs, and it would not be surrendered to the state. However, there would likely be a significant legal hassle if you died intestate. The court would need to appoint an administrator for your estate. Then, your assets would be divided according to the formula specified in California Intestate law. You would lose all ability to have any say in what happens after you die. The same holds true for both your property and any minor children. In the meantime, your loved ones would go through additional stress that they otherwise would not have had to encounter if you had a will and/or trust in place when you die.

  • Is there any way to avoid the probate process?

    Yes. If you form a trust, it already goes into operation once you execute the documents and move property into the trust. Since a trust is self-executing, there is no need for a legal process to authenticate anything or distribute assets.

    Trusts can offer many advantages for a family. Not only are you able to take care of certain loved ones according to your wishes, but there may also be tax benefits. While you may need to do some work on

    the front end to establish the trust, it could save your family expense and hassle during a difficult time. Trusts can give you more certainty than you otherwise would have.

  • Is there anything that can go wrong during the probate process?

    Yes. Probate may be a time for litigation. If someone is angry about being left out of the will or they object to the inclusion of someone else in the will, they may file a lawsuit. Interested parties may contest the validity of the will. These are expensive and difficult challenges that can cause extreme tension within families.

    In addition, creditors may come forward with claims, and the executor may dispute their validity. Probate can be a highly technical process that requires much paperwork and many steps. It could take time and knowledge of archaic laws to navigate this process.

  • What is the probate process?

    Probate is a formal legal process in which the following happens:

    • The executor opens the probate process by filing a letter with the court
    • The will is identified and authenticated
    • The court appoints the person named in the will as the executor of the estate
    • All interested parties are notified of the probate process by the executor (including beneficiaries, heirs, and creditors)
    • The executor identifies and values all property that should be included in the estate
    • The executor will settle the death of the estate by paying back creditors ( or the executor may deny the claim that is filed by creditors)
    • The assets are either sold and the proceeds distributed to the beneficiaries, or the assets are given directly to those named in the will
    • The estate is closed out
  • Am I entitled to benefits?

    If you’ve been injured on the job, whether at the fault of yourself or someone else, you’re likely entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. Call the Arshakyan Law Firm at 888-851-5005 or visit our website to speak with a Workers’ Compensation attorney today.

  • What is the time limit to file a Workers’ Compensation claim?

    While you have 30 days to notify your employer of a work-related injury, filing a claim in California has a statute of limitations of one year. This means you have one year from the date the injury or disability occurs to file your claim.

  • What type of injuries qualifies for Workers’ Compensation?

    Any injury that is related to your job that happens within the workplace or within the scope of employment qualifies for Workers’ Compensation with the exception of minor injuries, such as those that can be remedied with a first aid kit. Additionally, injuries as a result of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol will not qualify for Workers’ Compensation.

  • Will I be able to keep my job?

    Employees will be entitled to keep their jobs and cannot be fired because of a work-related injury or disability. There are reasons for which you may be released from your position; however, simply being injured on the job is not one of them.

  • What kind of benefits can I receive from Workers’ Compensation?

    Benefits include medical treatment for a work-related injury, permanent disability for the loss of function, temporary disability for the loss of wages, and job displacement benefits for retraining.

  • Can I see my own doctor?

    You may be able to see your own doctor for the initial evaluation after your injury under certain circumstances. If you predesignate, you are permitted to see your own medical provider. Predesignating involves written notice to your employer before your injury informing him or her of your personal doctor. Otherwise, you will be required to see a doctor within the employer’s or insurer’s medical provider network first. After the initial visit, you will be permitted to switch to a personal medical provider.

  • Can I still receive Workers' Compensation benefits if the accident was my fault?

    Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault system. This means that liability does not need to be determined for you to receive benefits. However, grossly negligent employees may not receive benefits. This includes employees who are injured at work as a result of being intoxicated.

  • How long do you have to go to the doctor for Workers’ Compensation?
    If your injuries require emergency medical treatment, you should go to the emergency room as soon as you are injured. However, for those injuries that do not require medical emergency treatment, you should report the injury to a supervisor immediately. From there, you may be
    required to see a specific physician. The important thing is reporting your injury to a supervisor. Waiting longer than 30 days to do so may result in you losing your right to benefits.
  • Can I lose my job while on Workers’ Compensation?

    California law protects employees from being terminated because of injuries or disabilities that are a result of a work-related accident. Your employer cannot terminate you simply for applying for Workers’ Compensation. However, there are several instances in which they can terminate you, including company-wide lay-offs or if your disability makes it impossible to do your job.

  • What does Workers' Compensation not cover?

    Workers’ Compensation does not cover certain categories of employees. This includes those employed by family members in some cases like domestic employment such as housekeeping. Additionally, those employees who work for aid as opposed to wages are not covered by Workers’ Compensation.

    There are also injuries that are likely not covered by Workers’ Compensation. They include those that can be remedied with a first aid kit and those that occur outside the scope of employment or outside of the workplace. Generally, an injury must be work-related to be covered by Workers’ Compensation.

  • Do I Have to Have Workers' Compensation Insurance?

    Workers’ Compensation insurance is mandatory for all employers, even if the employer only employs one person. Additionally, the law requires the employer to carry insurance even if the company is headquartered in a state other than California.

  • Who Pays for Workers' Compensation Benefits?

    In California, employers are required to provide their employees with Workers’ Compensation benefits by paying for Workers’ Compensation insurance.

  • How Do I File a Workers' Compensation Claim?

    Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in California requires you to take three steps. First, you must report your injury to your employer. Additionally, you should seek medical care as soon as possible. Next, you must file the claim with your employer. Finally, you should file an application for adjudication of claim with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.

  • What is the payout for whiplash?

    Compensation for whiplash can vary depending on the level of injury and the expenses associated with it. A typical whiplash payout can range anywhere from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $10,000. However, there have been cases where damage severely affects the nerves, soft tissue, and vertebrae, leading to settlements and verdicts within the $100,000 range. If you suffered whiplash in an accident, a personal injury lawyer will help you to refuse lowball offers and get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

    Personal injury cases can be extremely complex. Navigating the world of personal injury alone may result in a payout smaller than you deserve where you are not represented. If you’ve been injured through no fault of your own, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to fight for just compensation. Contact the Arshakyan Law Firm to schedule your free consultation today!

  • Who pays for my medical bills?

    The party who is responsible for the accident which caused your injuries will also be responsible for the medical bills that accrue on the road to recovery. However, proving that a party is liable may take time as bills begin to pile up. While you are waiting for your case to settle or go to trial, your options may include private or government insurance. If you do not have health insurance, hospitals are required to work with you to determine a reasonable payment plan. Additionally, medical providers may provide treatment and receive payment once your personal injury case is resolved.

  • How do I maximize my settlement?

    There are many things you can do to maximize your settlement after you are injured in an accident. First, seek medical treatment immediately following your accident. Make sure to keep records of all diagnoses, treatments, and prescriptions. Ensure that you preserve evidence such as photos of the scene of the accident, the clothes you were wearing, and any names and contact information of witnesses you may have gathered. Lastly, hiring a personal injury lawyer will ensure that you are fighting for the maximum settlement. Your lawyer will refuse any inadequate settlement offers and fight for the compensation you deserve.

  • What’s the average settlement for a PI case?

    Settlements in personal injury cases can vary greatly depending on the type of case. Your settlement will also depend on several additional factors such as the extent of your injuries, the cost of your medical care and/or lost wages, and whether you were partially at fault for the accident that caused your injuries.

  • What is the statute of limitations in California?

    The statute of limitations governs the amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim in California after your injury. State law says that you have two years from the date of your injury to file a claim. After that two-year limitation has run, a court will almost always dismiss your case.

  • What can I expect during my case?

    Upon hiring a personal injury lawyer, you should expect her to thoroughly investigate your case. This means that she will review all documents related to the accident and your treatment to determine the extent of the damages you have suffered. This investigation will help your lawyer to determine what compensation you should fight for and the appropriate strategy for negotiating, settling, and, if necessary, litigating.

    You should keep all information such as medical documents and witness lists up to date and expect your attorney and the other side to request this information throughout the discovery process. Additionally, there may be times during which the defense asks you or other witnesses and medical experts questions regarding your injuries under oath during a deposition.

    You may face mediation in which settlement negotiations ensue in an attempt to avoid a long or complex personal injury trial. You may accept a settlement offer or reject one. However, rejecting a settlement offer may lead to a trial during which your lawyer and the defense will argue liability. Once both sides have made their arguments and presented evidence, a jury will decide on liability and damages.

  • How long does the lawsuit take to get a settlement?

    After the initial pleadings are filed, the timeline of your claim will depend on several factors. Settlement negotiations are likely happening throughout the entire process, and they may even begin before the claim is officially filed. However, the time it will take to get a settlement may largely depend on the defendant or insurance company you are fighting.

  • What if I’m partially at fault?

    When a plaintiff is partially at fault for the accident that caused his injuries, his damages can be diminished in proportion to his fault. California operates under a “pure comparative negligence system.” This means that recovery is not barred regardless of how at fault you are. In other words, if you are 60% responsible for the accident which causes your injuries, you will recover 40% of the damages you suffered as a result of the accident.

  • Will the case go to trial?

    In the United States, approximately 4%-5% of personal injury cases go to trial. This means that 95%-96% of cases settle at a sum that is agreed upon by both sides. Those that go to trial are usually a result of a failure to settle prior to litigation either because the defendant is serious about going to trial or the plaintiff refuses to accept an offer.

  • What is the personal injury claim process?

    After your free consultation and upon deciding to take your case, your attorney will likely start the process by filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. After the claim is filed, the insurance company will likely make an initial offer that will be a starting point for negotiations. If you accept the insurance company’s offer, you will sign an agreement releasing them from any further liability, and you will receive a check.

    If the insurance company refuses to make an adequate settlement offer, your lawyer will file a complaint that lays out your claim and the facts of your case. The defendant will answer the complaint, and the discovery process will begin. During discovery, your lawyer will work to gather evidence that shows the defendant is responsible for your injuries and should compensate you. Additionally, the defendant will attempt to gather evidence that shows he isn’t liable or that you are partially at fault for your injuries. Personal injury cases often reach a settlement where both sides agree to a sum of money to be paid to you as compensation. However, where a settlement cannot be reached, litigation may ensue.

  • How do I pay for a lawyer in a personal injury case?

    When you call Arshakyan Law, your initial consultation will be free. Our legal team will listen to your story and determine whether you have a viable personal injury claim. You will only pay a contingency fee if we win your case, which means that any legal fees you pay will come directly out of your settlement or award. If we do not win your case, you will not owe us anything.

  • Do I need a lawyer for a personal injury case?

    While you do not need a lawyer to file a personal injury lawsuit, hiring one will increase the likelihood of getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Personal injury cases can be complex, and oftentimes you are fighting insurance companies. These companies use tactics to diminish your claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows the tactics these businesses use and will assist you in getting your life back on track.

  • What if the accident happened on the job?

    In California, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees regardless of how many employees work within the business. Workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits to employees who are injured on the job. Benefits include medical expenses related to the injury and lost wages paid for by the insurance carrier, as well as temporary and permanent disability benefits.

  • How much is my personal injury case worth?

    The amount your case is worth will depend on the significance of the accident and your resulting injuries. It can be difficult to determine how much to claim in damages, but an experienced personal injury attorney will be able to assist. She will use the opinions of outside experts, such as medical professionals, and her legal knowledge to determine what your case is worth and what type of compensation you should fight for.

  • What damages are available in a personal injury case?

    There are different types of damages available in a personal injury case. Compensatory damages are those awarded to a plaintiff to compensate him for his injuries or to “make the plaintiff whole.” In other words, they are awarded to put the plaintiff in the position he was in before his injury. Compensatory damages include payment for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and loss of wages.

    In cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious, the court may award punitive damages. Punitive damages have the purpose of punishing the defendant for his actions and deterring others from engaging in similar conduct in the future.

  • How long do I have to file a personal injury case?

    The statute of limitations for a personal injury case determines how long you have to file a personal injury claim in the State of California. If you’re injured, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a claim against anyone who may be at fault for your injuries. However, it is better to consult with a personal injury lawyer and file your claim as soon as possible to avoid losing evidence or having difficulty in proving your injuries.

  • What’s the difference between being fired and being laid off?
    Being fired and being laid off both result in the termination of your employment. The difference is who was at fault. Firing is an employee’s fault, while layoffs are the company’s fault. For example, an employee who steals can be fired, but if the company must reduce its workforce to cut costs, that would be a layoff. If you are fired, you will not be eligible for unemployment benefits. Firing also makes it more difficult to explain the situation to future employers. These are two critical reasons why it is better to be laid off than fired. Both layoffs and firing can be a pretext for a wrongful termination that is prohibited by law. An employment lawyer can advise you of your legal rights to unemployment benefits and wrongful termination remedies in either situation.
  • What is ADEA?
    The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects employees over the age of forty from being discriminated against in the workplace. Discrimination is any act that affects the terms and conditions of a person’s employment. It includes the decision to hire or fire a worker, but it also includes pay, disciplinary acts, work assignments, and opportunities for advancement. Even harassment can be considered discrimination if it is offensive and pervasive enough to change the conditions of your employment.
  • What is national origin discrimination under Title VII?
    The Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on their country of origin. Discrimination can occur even if the employee is not actually from that country, but the employer believes they are and discriminates against them on that basis. Most employers do not blatantly tell employees they are being treated differently because of the country they came from. Instead, you might be treated differently because of an accent or clothing. You might be subjected to comments or gestures that create an offensive work environment. Any time you suspect you are being treated differently, you should get legal advice about your right to be free from discrimination on the basis of the country you (might have) come from.
  • What do I do if my employer refuses to pay for mileage reimbursement?
    Under federal law, employers are not required to reimburse employees for mileage. California law does, however, require reimbursement anytime an employee is required to use their personal vehicle for work-related activities. An attorney can help you recover the mileage reimbursement that you are owed.
  • What is an “at-will” work state?
    In an “at-will” state, employment is at the will of both the employer and employee. Either party can terminate the employment at any time for nearly any reason. (Employers are, of course, still prohibited from firing employees on the basis of race, religion, gender, disabilities, and other protected categories.) At-will employment makes it easier for employers to fire and lay off their employees, so these laws generally favor employers.
  • What are some examples of age discrimination?
    Employers are usually savvy enough not to tell an employee that he or she is being treated differently because of their age. But this does not mean that age discrimination is not occurring. If you are given fewer opportunities for advancement, or assigned to a lower-paying position, or subjected to unfair discipline, these can all count as age discrimination. Even jokes about your age can become discriminatory (if they are pervasive and offensive enough to actually change the conditions of your employment). There are many ways that age discrimination can occur, so be sure to consult with an employment lawyer about your unique situation.
  • Can my employer forbid me to speak another language at work?
    In general, employees are allowed to speak their native languages at work, so long as it does not interfere with the employer’s normal business operations. For example, customer service representatives might need to speak English with their customers. But this does not mean that you cannot speak another language in the workplace during your breaks. Employers who forbid other languages from being spoken can be liable for discrimination. The law prohibits employment discrimination based on an employee’s country of origin, and an attack on the language of that country can be a prohibited form of national origin discrimination.
  • What do I do if I feel I’m being discriminated against for having an accent?
    Discrimination based on an accent can be a form of prohibited discrimination on the basis of your national origin. There are very few instances where an employer will have a legitimate reason for attacking an accent. For example, an actor might need to give a character a particular accent, and the employer would have a legitimate reason to require the actor not to use his or her usual accent. But other than this, there are very few jobs that cannot be accomplished successfully without attacks on your accent. Consult a lawyer about any possible discrimination you are facing because of the way you speak.
  • What do I do if I can’t take or I’m not allowed to take my breaks?
    Non-exempt employees (which includes most hourly workers) are entitled to a thirty-minute meal break if they work more than five hours a day. These workers are also entitled to a ten-minute rest break for every four hours they work. Consult a lawyer if you have questions about how these breaks are calculated or if you have been prohibited from taking your breaks.
  • What do I do if my employer refuses to pay me overtime?
    If you believe you are not receiving overtime pay that you are owed, it is important to take action sooner rather than later. (The longer an employer gets out of overtime pay, the harder it can be to collect what you are owed.) An employment lawyer can help you determine the best strategy for recovering the overtime pay you are owed. It is critical that you have clear documentation of exactly what hours you should have been paid overtime for. Keep detailed records about all the hours you have worked.
  • What is the California law on overtime pay?
    California requires overtime pay for non-exempt employees who work more than eight hours in a day or forty hours in a week. (Exempt employees are not covered by the Industrial Welfare Commission Orders. Salaried employees are usually exempt from overtime pay requirements.) Overtime pay is 1.5 times your regular hourly rate.
  • Can I get fired for taking a medical leave of absence?
    Medical leaves are protected under both the federal Family Medical Leave Act and the state California Family Rights Act. If you take medical leave under the provisions of these laws, you cannot be fired for exercising your rights. Your employer might also offer medical leave or paid time off as part of your employment contract. In this case, you have a contractual right to take leave as set forth in the agreement. But if you do not properly document that your leave is being taken under these laws, your employer may be allowed to fire you for taking an extended leave of absence. Be sure to get legal advice before you take any leaves of absence.
  • Can I get fired for becoming disabled?
    The Americans With Disabilities Act requires employers to make “reasonable accommodations” for employees with disabilities. This has led to a wide range of court cases that consider what, exactly, is “reasonable” to expect an employer to do. Reasonableness is highly dependent on the specific facts of your job. For example: taking extra breaks might be reasonable in an office setting, where you can catch up on work at your own pace. But in a highly structured manufacturing plant, an extra break might cost your employer thousands of dollars in lost productivity. This is less reasonable. So long as you can still perform the “essential functions” of your job (with or without reasonable accommodation), your employer cannot fire you just because you have become disabled.
  • What should I do if I become disabled?
    There are many forms of disability. Some disabilities will prevent you from ever being able to work again. Some will incapacitate you for a time but allow you to return to full-time employment once you have recovered. Other disabilities will allow you to maintain part-time employment. All of these different situations give you different employment rights. It is important to consult with a disability lawyer about your unique situation so that you do not miss out on disability benefits to which you are entitled. You may also be entitled to have “reasonable accommodations” in your workplace under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
  • How is whistleblowing defined?
    There is not one set whistleblower law under state or federal law. Instead, whistleblower protections come from a series of employment statutes. These statutes will set a rule for employers to follow, then give specific protections to employees who report violations of the statute. Whistleblower protections only extend to employees who disclose the right information to the appropriate authorities. For example, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) was passed to ensure financial responsibility in the wake of the Enron scandal. Employees are protected when they report SOX violations to the appropriate financial authorities (for example, the Securities and Exchange Commission). But if an employee were to disclose confidential financial information to the media, this act would not be protected, and the employee could still be fired. This is why it is important to consult with a whistleblower attorney before reporting any illegal activities your employer is engaged in.
  • What is illegal retaliation?
    An employer can take many actions that are considered illegal retaliation. The most obvious is an outright firing. In most situations, it is illegal for an employer to fire an employee for reporting illegal conduct in the workplace to the proper authorities. But terminating employment is not the only way an employee can face retaliation. The employee might face a pay cut or demotion. The employer could assign them tasks or schedule them for a shift that is less desirable. If an employee is subjected to changes in the “terms and conditions” of employment because they made a protected report, they have been subjected to illegal retaliation.
  • Can I get fired for reporting discrimination or harassment?
    In general, employees cannot face retaliation for reporting illegal activities in the workplace to an employer. But employees can be left without legal protection if they report these acts to the media rather than going directly to the employer to rectify the problem. Employees can also face discipline for disclosing trade secrets or proprietary information to outside parties. This is why it is so important to consult with an attorney before reporting any type of illegal activity in the workplace. A lawyer will help you report the right information to the right parties – and ensure that you do not face illegal retaliation for doing so.
  • Can my employer assign me work based on my age?
    Age discrimination in employment is illegal once an employee has reached the age of forty. This means that your employer cannot discriminate against you on the basis of age after your fortieth birthday. Discrimination is defined by a change in the terms and conditions of employment. So if you are assigned different tasks for a single shift, the essential terms and conditions of your employment have likely not changed. But if you are permanently assigned to a less convenient shift, or more physically demanding work, or assigned to a department with fewer opportunities for advancement, these changes could affect the overall terms and conditions of your employment.
  • Can my employers ask about my sexual orientation?
    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sex. Over the years, courts have held that this extends to discrimination based on sexual orientation, as well. This means it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against any employee on the basis of sexual orientation. Discrimination can occur in hiring decisions, work assignments, scheduling, disciplinary action, or firing decisions. The simple act of asking about an employee’s sexual orientation is usually not an act of discrimination in itself, but this information can lead to other discriminatory actions that are illegal. Employees should be very cautious any time an employer begins asking about sexual orientation in the workplace.