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California Employment Law Blog

Speaking up about illegal matters shouldn't cost you your job

You know that your employer is doing something illegal. Now, you have to decide what you are going to do about that knowledge. You might be at a loss for what you are going to do because you don't want to make your employer upset but you also don't want the illegal activity to continue.

If you are worried about what your employer might do if you file a factual complaint about something illegal that is going on, you don't have to worry too much. Even though California is an at-will employment state, employers can't terminate your employment or take any retaliatory measures because of whistleblowing or filing complaints about illegal actions.

Lactating mothers should know their rights for pumping at work

New mothers who are breastfeeding a baby shouldn't have to choose between feeding their baby and going back to work. Fortunately, workers in California have special laws that protect them from having to make this choice.

In 2001, a law passed here that requires employers to provide breastfeeding mothers with time and space to pump breast milk. A federal law stipulates that lactating mothers should have the accommodations and breaks for up to one year after the baby is born.

Salaried employees must think about all pay docks

Salaried employees work hard for their paychecks. They count on the amount to remain consistent so that they can pay their bills and get things taken care of. When salaried employees find out that their pay is being docked, they might question whether this is legal or not.

There are several things to consider when trying to determine the legality. One is whether or not employers can just dock your pay for no reason at all. Instead, they can only dock your pay for a reason that is considered permissible under the law.

Family caregivers carry heavy loads at home and at work

The latest statistics reveal that 60 percent of employees in California and across the country are also caring for a loved one in some capacity. Most of them are working full-time jobs and are experiencing health issues of their own, either because of age or the stress of their burdens.

If you are among those caregivers, you know firsthand how difficult it is to balance the needs of your ailing loved one with your job, your family and your personal well-being. Unfortunately, many in your circumstances find that their employers are not always compassionate toward their situations, and some face outright discrimination because of their position as caregivers.

Just say no to sexual harassment without fear of retaliation

Sexual harassment in the workplace is forbidden by law. There aren't escape clauses in those laws that make these apprehensible actions acceptable. With this in mind, you should feel free to alert your employer that the sexual harassment occurred. Unfortunately, some people don't feel free to make these reports because they fear that they will be retaliated against.

Retaliation is a problem that is also against the law. As long as the complaint that you make regarding the sexual harassment is truthful, there isn't any reason why you should have to suffer because of that report. In fact, the law strictly forbids employers from retaliating against employees who make factual complaints about illegal matters.

2 Wells Fargo executives allege they were wrongfully terminated

A husband and wife pair, both long term employees of Wells Fargo, filed a joint wrongful termination lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles on Thursday, August 31. In their lawsuit, the spouses acknowledge that their superiors have accused them of engaging in using unethical sales techniques prior to their firings. They, however, allege that their terminations came as a result of accusing their supervisors of impropriety.

The pair both were employed as regional presidents over Southern California branch operations at the time of their firings. The husband had worked for the bank since 2000 and his wife had since 1994. Their terminations happened in March, just a few weeks after some of their superiors had been fired by the company for setting up sham accounts.

Denied your protected family leave? Hold them accountable

The state of California grants its workers a great deal of rights, some of which are duplicated by or in conflict with existing federal laws. Two Acts that commonly are invoked by employees seeking leaves of absence from work are the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Provisions of both mandate that covered workers at qualified business must be allowed time off work due to illness, either their own or a family member's, as well as after the adoption or birth of a child.

Did your employer have the right to fire you?

If you've recently been fired, you may be wondering if your employer really had the right to do so -- especially if the reason seemed unfair or outright ridiculous.

The reality is that most employees in the country are considered "at-will" employees. That essentially means that they can walk away from a job whenever, for any reason. It also means that their employer can usually fire them whenever, for any reason.

A difficult pregnancy shouldn't affect your employment status

Not everyone has an easy pregnancy, but even a normal pregnancy will affect your employment in some ways. However, the way in which it can't affect your job is your boss's reaction. Your employer can't discriminate against you in any fashion because of your pregnancy.

Your employer may even be required to provide you with certain accommodations during your pregnancy. This could even involve moving you into a different position temporarily. However, you should return to your original position when you return to work after the birth. If you are having a particularly difficult pregnancy, you may need to take time off work in order to deal with the issue. You are entitled to take that time.

Know your rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act

Finding out that you will need to take time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is something that might seem a bit unsettling. You do have specific rights under this act that you should know about before you take your time off.

One thing that you should remember is that the FMLA guarantees you unpaid leave. There are some instances in which you will be able to get paid leave if you have accrued some; however, you will need to find out if this is the case for you so that you can know what to expect.

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