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California Employment Law Blog

Your employer must follow the law

Employment law is a complex area of the law. In many cases, there are specific qualifications and conditions that must be met in order for a law to come into the picture. This can make it difficult for employees to know when an employer is breaking the law. We are here to help you learn if your employer's actions violated the law.

One area that is very complicated is the entertainment industry, particularly when it comes to the movie industry. Companies and workers in this area have some laws that are much different from other areas. This means that it is often even more difficult for someone in this industry to find out about violations. We can help all employees, including those in the entertainment industry, who think that they might have an employment law violation case.

What's the Family and Medical Leave Act and who qualifies for it?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was crafted by lawmakers as a way to ensure that employees who missed as much as 12 weeks from work due to illness wouldn't face losing their jobs. Although employers aren't required to pay employees while they're out on FMLA leave, they are required by law to continue providing them with medical insurance.

All public sector employers are required to offer FMLA to their employees. Private employers that have at least 50 workers on staff either at their facility or within 75 miles during at least a 20 week period are required by law to offer FMLA leave as well.

Know the overtime pay rules employers must follow

When you work, you might want to get as many hours as you can. Some employers might balk at this and might even limit the amount of hours you can work. This is partially because of the overtime laws that require employers to pay employees more when they work more than 40 hours per week.

Overtime pay is important for employees because it compensates them at a rate of 1.5 times their normal hourly pay for the extra time they are away from home. There are a few different circumstances in which employees are eligible for overtime pay, so understanding these is imperative for anyone who is in the workforce.

Wage and hour disputes must be taken seriously

People who have a job rely on their income to make ends meet. When they aren't given the money they are due, it can make life difficult to live in the same manner in which you are accustomed to living. This is where wage and hour laws come into effect.

Workers can count on these laws to help keep them protected. If you are a worker who has worked and haven't gotten paid for that work, you need to take steps to get the money that is due to you. Wage and hour disputes must be taken seriously. We can help you explore the options that you have to get what is due to you.

Have your honest wages been dishonestly withheld by employers?

You are likely among the many people who want to do their jobs right and to the best of their abilities. Because you certainly know that working hard could lead you to more successes, opportunities and income, you likely want to ensure that you do not give your employer reason to believe you have slacked off. However, you may feel concerned when you receive one paycheck -- or more -- that is lower than you anticipated.

Unfortunately, wage theft is a real concern in many areas of employment. Even worse, many workers do not realize that they have had their rightfully earned wages taken or withheld from them. Some employers may try to hide behind misclassifications or policies that do not adhere to employment law and due to a lack of knowledge on the subject, you and many others may not realize you have been unfairly compensated.

Keep your wits about you when you are fired

Being fired from work, especially if it is unexpected, can be a shock. You might be tempted to fly off the handle and act out in a negative manner. This isn't usually a good idea, so you have to make sure that you are keeping your wits about you if you are let go.

One of the first things to do if you are fired is to find out why. Make sure that you listen carefully to the reasoning. If you think there is something amiss and you were fired for an illegal reason, such as for reporting discriminatory behavior, you might be able to take legal action.

Evaluate the circumstances surrounding your termination

There really isn't ever a good time to be let go from a job, but when you think the termination is due to illegal grounds, you might need to take a long look at what is truly going on. California is an at-will employment state. While this means that employers can let you go at any time, there are some limitations for the reasons they can terminate you.

Employers can't fire you because of any protected status. These include your race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity and similar factors. They can't let you go because you file a complaint about harassment, a hostile work environment, or discrimination. They can't terminate your employment because you filed a report about illegal activities in the workplace.

Sexual harassment comes in various forms

Sexual harassment is an atrocity for anyone to have to deal with. When you are sexually harassed by someone, you need to stand up for your rights and take steps to make the harassment stop.

What many people don't realize is that there are different types of sexual harassment that you might encounter. It is imperative that you realize that all of these types exist so that you can nip things in the bud if it happens.

Immediate action is necessary if you are sexually harassed

In today's world, employees can't be too careful when it comes to combating sexual harassment. It seems like there is always news of some type of sexual abuse or harassment scandal. Many people are standing up to let these alleged harassers know that behavior like that is unacceptable. More importantly, the question should be what employers are doing to prevent this time of atrocious behavior.

Employees have the right to work in spaces that are free of harassment in all forms. Sexual harassment, be it inappropriately crude comments or physical touches, isn't ever suitable. If you are a victim of sexual harassment, you need to take action right away. Doing so can help you end the harassment. This strategy is only effective when your employer is willing to take action, too.

Has your California employer asked you to sign a severance deal?

The day your boss called you into the office to discuss your current employment started out to be a workday like any other. It definitely didn't finish that way, however. As you drove home, you could hardly believe you could now count yourself among hundreds of other California workers who showed up for work only to learn their employers were eliminating their positions or that their services were simply no longer needed. Such unexpected news can come as a blow and can be challenging to rise above.

Whether you'd been working for the same company for decades or were there less than a year, you always understood that no job is perfect and no one's position is 100 percent secure, but you really didn't think you had to worry about an untimely termination. If things became even more complicated when your boss slid a document in front of you during your meeting and asked you to sign a severance agreement, you are definitely not the first employee to encounter such a request.

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