EMPLOYMENT LAW – Unlawful Termination
In general, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary, an employer can terminate a worker’s employment at any time. The exception to this rule is that an employer cannot terminate an employment if the reason for the termination is unlawful and discriminatory.
How to determine an unlawful discrimination as a cause for wrongful termination?
There are both Federal and California laws that provide protection to individuals against wrongful termination. In California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) provides protection to individuals who work for covered employers against unlawful discrimination and harassment at the work place. If you think that a substantially motivating factor for your termination was due to your race, religion, national origin, color, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, gender identity, age, sexual orientation or genetic information, then your termination may be unlawful under FEHA. In such a situation you can claim monetary and emotional damages from the employer.
What is the time limit for filing a pursuing legal action?
To pursue and action under FEHA, the first step is to file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. You must file this complaint within one year from the date of the occurrence of the alleged discriminatory action.
What remedies are available to a person who files complaint for employment discrimination?
Some of the remedies that may be available for employment discrimination include hiring, promotion, reinstatement, back pay, front pay, training, policy changes, affirmative relief, punitive damages. You can obtain more information here: www.dfeh.ca.gov or Call Playa Law Firm at 888-975-2925 for a Free Consultation.
Workers can file wage file claims for such wage related issues like nonpayment of wages, overtime, or vacation pay, pursuant to California Labor Code.
How to determine if you are being paid adequately or not?
You can seek the assistance of an attorney to determine whether you are actually exempt as per the official wage orders that also set out exemptions and other important information regarding wages.
If you are not an exempt employee under the law, save some exceptions, these rates apply:
- Your wage should be one and a half times that of your regular hourly rate if you work more than 8 hours during a workday;
- Your wage should be two times your regular hourly rate if you work more than 12 hours during a workday;
- For every seventh consecutive day that you work, your wage should be one and a half times that of your regular wage for the first 8 hours that you work and two times that of your regular wage for time worked after the first 8 hours.
What is worker misclassification?
Misclassification can occur in two ways: 1) an employer misclassifies a non-exempt employee as an exempt employee; or 2) an employer misclassifies an employee as an independent contractor.
In either scenario, misclassified employees can be deprived of rights that they are otherwise entitled to such as employee benefits, minimum wage, overtime wages, employer-provided health insurance coverage and pension plans etc.
What can you do if you are a misclassified worker?
Workers who are deprived of minimum wages, overtime pay, or pay for meals and breaks because their employer has misclassified them as an independent contractor or an exempt employee can obtain more information here: http://www.dir.ca.gov/DLSE/dlse.html
In addition, you can also contact Playa Law Firm at 888-975-2925 for a Free Consultation.
EXAMPLES OF PROHIBITED POLICIES/PRACTICES
What are some of the prohibited employment policies and practices?
- It is illegal to retaliate against someone who has complained about any type of discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.
- It is illegal for an employer to publish a job advertisement indicating clear preference for a job because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age disability or genetic information without a business necessity.
- If an employer requires job applicants to take a test, it must be necessary and related to the job and no person may be excluded on the basis of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disabilities.
- As a general rule all pre-employment Inquiries should be limited to only essentials for determining if a person is qualified for the job and no other irrelevant information must be sought for such determination.