In California, you are presumed to be an at-will employee. What that means is that you can be fired for any reason, or no reason, as long as it isn't for an illegal reason. What this means is that an employer cannot fire you because you are a member of a protected class. Some examples of protected classes include Race, Gender, Religious Beliefs, Pregnancy or pregnancy related conditions, Disability, Age, Sexual Orientation, Sexual Harassment, and National Origin. It is also against the law to fire you because you took a medical leave of absence or a family leave for baby bonding or to care for a family member. It is also illegal to fire you because you reported something unlawful at your workplace or because you complained about discrimination or harassment at your workplace. You may be entitled to receive back pay, damages for future wage loss, damages for emotional distress, and possibly other damages from your employer.
Employment laws can be confusing and complicated. Knowing your rights is important. Finding an attorney that has the sufficient background and experience is also very important and can make the difference in the outcome of your case.
If you believe that you are a victim of wrongful termination, give us a call so that we can evaluate your situation.
Below are some examples of the types of cases that are handled by Kevin Salute and Salute Law:
Disability and Perceived Disability
A disability is a condition that limits a major life activity. Some obvious examples of disabilities are problems with your eyes like retinal degeneration, cataracts, blindness, and other conditions that may affect your vision. If your employer is aware of the condition and treats you differently than your co-workers for a reason other than legitimate safety concerns, you may be a victim of disability discrimination.
Even if you do not even have a condition or you may have had a condition that has since resolved, you may be a victim of disability discrimination based on your employer's perception that you suffer from a condition. For example, your employer refuses to allow you to return back to your job because they believe that you still suffer from an injury even though it has fully resolved.
If you believe that you are a victim of disability discrimination or perceived disability discrimination, call us so that we can evaluate your situation.
Pregnancy & Maternity Leave
Under California Law, you are entitled to a reasonable accommodation like the ability take time off of work due to pregnancy related complications such as extreme morning sickness. You are also entitled to take time off of work for medical appointments. After you have your baby, you are entitled to take time off for so-called "baby bonding" which may be up to a 6 month period of time. There are certain limitations depending on the number of employees in your company, how long you have worked for your company, and other factors. If you are eligible for an accommodation or to take a maternity leave, it is unlawful for your employer to retaliate against you for taking time off.
If you believe that you were terminated or harassed because you are pregnant or took maternity leave, call us so that we can evaluate your situation.
Medical Leave of Absence
No one should be faced with making a choice between their health or their job. Similarly, if an employee has to care for a loved one because of medical condition, they should not have to choose between their job and the health of their loved one. California has laws that protect employees from having to make those choices. You may be entitled to take time off to go to doctor appointments, treatments, and recovery time. Employers may be required to make reasonable accommodations and, if they fail to do that, they may be responsible for damages that you suffered as a result.
If you believe that you have been treated unfairly because you took a leave of absence to care for your own medical condition or to care for a loved one, give us a call so that we can evaluate your situation.
Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination. While many times sexual harassment involves unwanted touching, it does not necessarily have to be physical in nature. It is unlawful for a supervisor or co-worker to create a hostile work environment for you by engaging in some form of conduct that a reasonable person in your situation would find offensive. For example, this could involve sexually suggestive language, jokes, text messages, photographs, or other similar content. Another form of sexual harassment involves a situation where your boss or a supervisor conditions your continued employment on your acceptance of his touching you, sexual advances, or other similar conduct. When you don't comply with their request, you are harassed, demoted, transferred, or fired
If you believe that you are a victim of sexual harassment, call us so that we can evaluate your situation.
There are numerous State and Federal laws that prohibit your employer from firing you or punishing you for reporting violations of the law. These laws prohibit your employer from retaliating against you because you reported abuse or waste of public resource. Additionally, the law provides that you cannot be subjected to retaliation for reporting violations to outside governmental agencies like OSHA or because you stood up for another employee who you believed was being subjected to retaliation. You may be entitled to back pay, damages for emotional distress, and reinstatement to your prior position.
The definition of retaliation is an adverse employment action taken against you because you engaged in one or more protected activities. Adverse employment actions include discipline, unwanted transfers, denial of promotions, demotions, diminished job responsibilities, negative performance evaluations, and termination. There are a number of activities that are considered "protected" activities. Some of the more common types include taking a medical leave of absence, protesting against what you believe is illegal conduct by your employer, participating in a workplace investigation that involves illegal conduct or discrimination, reporting illegal conduct, reporting discrimination, giving testimony or offering to give testimony that pertains to discrimination, demanding to be paid appropriately, demanding to be allowed to take appropriate meal and/or rest breaks.
Salute Law has handled dozens of retaliation cases and has the experience and expertise to get you the results you deserve.
If you believe that you have been a victim of workplace retaliation, give us a call to evaluate your situation.
Hostile Work Environment
Hostile work environment means that you are subjected to unwanted harassing conduct because of your protected status, e.g. your age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or other protected class. It can be verbal harassment, physical harassment, visual harassment, unwanted sexual advances, or other types of harassing conduct. The conduct has to be more than just annoying or trivial. It must be severe or pervasive meaning that the conduct alters the conditions of your employment.
If you believe that you are a victim of a hostile work environment, call us so that we can evaluate your situation.
You are entitled to be paid at least minimum wage for every hour that you work. You may also be entitled to overtime wages if you work more than 8 hours in a day or more than 40 hours in a week. Also, you may be entitled to be paid for on-call or standby time, even if you are never called into work.
Your paychecks are supposed to reflect the proper number of hours that you worked, the rate of pay, the dates works, and other similar information. If you are paid by piece rate, you are entitled to know the number of pieces that you made as well.
If you believe that you are owed wages or if you have not been given proper pay stubs, please call us so that we can evaluate your situation.
Meal & Rest Period Violations
In California, if you are an hourly, non-exempt employee, you are entitled to meal and rest breaks. You are generally entitled to two 10-minute breaks during an 8-hour shift and a meal period of at least 30-minutes. If you work more than 10 hours in a shift, you may be entitled to a second meal period. The determination of whether you are entitled to take meal or rest breaks can be sometimes be difficult to determine and depends on a number of facts. If you were improperly denied meal or rest breaks, you may be entitled to substantial damages.
If you believe that you have not been allowed to take your meal or rest breaks, call us so that we can evaluate your situation.