In addition to traditional labor work, our labor litigation department has extensive experience in all aspects of employment litigation. This includes trial work for cases that fall under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the WARN Act, and other federal and state laws regulating the workplace. At Siegal & Richardson, we are here to protect your employee rights.
Specific Services Related to Labor & Employment Litigation
As an age discrimination attorney, I have experience in defending clients that have been harassed or discriminated against based on their age. Any harassment or discrimination based on age is illegal. I also offer labor and employment law counseling to management clients and businesses to ensure employment law compliance.
Over the years in employment litigation, I have found that discrimination comes in many forms. Whether you’ve been fired, assigned undesirable duties or denied training based on age or even if you’ve been the butt of jokes because of your age, you may have a case against your employer. Due to the fact that employers will not be quick to admit any wrongdoing, uncovering the details of age discrimination cases can be tricky. This is why it is vital that you have an experienced age discrimination attorney on your side that knows what to look for and can put the pieces together.
If you’re over 40 and you believe you’ve been targeted – particularly if you feel your company is positioning itself to fire you – determine if your company has a system in place for reporting discrimination and follow through with the reporting procedure. This is the first step you must take and you will be asked about it in a consultation. In general, employment discrimination cases have a one-year statue of limitations, so it’s best to act earlier than later in all employment cases.
The federal Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against disabled employees. The ADA covers all aspects of employment: the application process; hiring, advancement, and discharge; and compensation, training, and other benefits. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) serves the same purpose as the ADA while defining a qualified disability more broadly. The FEHA considers a disability to be any physical or mental impairment that limits one or more major life activities, such as caring for oneself, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, reading, and eating. The disability can be obvious (e.g., walking with a cane) or not readily apparent (e.g., depression). It’s also important to note that if an employer discriminates against you because he or she thinks you have a disability — even if you don’t — it is a violation of the law.
If these law were clear-cut, easy to understand, and guaranteed to be followed, of course, there would be no need for lawyers. Unfortunately, here in the real world, that’s not always the case. If you have requested a reasonable accommodation from your employer and are involved in the required good-faith interactive process of meeting and discussing potential accommodations, now is a good time to call me. You need someone who can help you navigate this process in a way that retains your right to any future recovery and helps you understand your employer’s legal requirements. If you find yourself in this unfortunate position, I can help. Please call me so we can get started.
If you are providing services to an employer under a contract, you are protected under the Fair Employment and Housing Act of California in the same way employees are. That is, it’s illegal for the employer to discriminate against you based on race, age, sexual orientation and other protected classes. An employer is also barred from harassing its independent contractors and, of course, from breaching the contract. If you believe your employer has treated you unfairly with regard to your pay or your hours, or you have been harassed or discriminated against as an independent contractor, you may have a claim. I hope you’ll call me. I can help.
Participating in the political process in the United States can be one of the most rewarding things a citizen can do. We are all free to express our hope for the future of the country through financial donations, membership in political organizations, running for office, and other political activities. And we each have a choice about which political organizations and movements we support. In California, it is illegal for an employer to use threats of job loss in an attempt to coerce or influence its employees’ political activities. For example, your employer can’t force you to make a political donation you don’t want make or stop you from running for political office. If you think you’ve been the target of this kind of discrimination, please call me. I can help you sort through the issues and ensure that you are compensated for any injustice.
If you are pregnant, there are many ways you are protected from harassment and discrimination under the law. Although the law is clear, it is not always followed. So you may find yourself needing help to determine what course of action to take and what rights you actually have under any of these circumstances: a co-worker calls you a name or makes an offensive comment based on your pregnancy, you’ve been demoted or fired (or denied a job in the first place) because of your pregnancy, you have been denied a reasonable accommodation deemed necessary by your doctor as a result of your pregnancy, or you’ve been refused maternity leave. If you believe you’ve been harassed or discriminated against because you are pregnant or may become pregnant, I can help you figure it all out. Call me for a free evaluation of your circumstances.
Racial / National Origin Discrimination
It’s illegal for an employer to harass or discriminate against employees because of their race or national origin. Harassment comes in many forms: name-calling, displaying offensive cartoons, assigning undesirable duties, or even wrongful termination. If any of this seems familiar to you, the first thing you should do is look into your employer’s harassment and discrimination reporting policies. Typical reporting policies require an employee alleging harassment to notify his or her boss and the human resources department in writing. In order to retain all your rights in any lawsuit, it’s important that you follow your employer’s policy. How you handle the situation is also affected by who is making the conditions of your employment more difficult.
It is illegal under both federal and state laws for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on the employee’s religious beliefs or practices (e.g., observing the Sabbath or wearing clothing prescribed by religion). These laws cover all aspects of employment, including the application process; hiring, advancement, and discharge; compensation, training, and other benefits; and reasonable accommodations to observe religious days. Sometimes religious discrimination is exacerbated by discrimination based on race or national origin. And believe it or not, religious discrimination can also be a problem for atheists.
As in the case of disability discrimination, employers are not required to make reasonable accommodations for a person’s religious beliefs or practices if doing so would create an undue hardship. Under most circumstances, however, accommodations for an employee’s religious beliefs do not create an undue hardship. If you believe you have been harassed or discriminated against based on your religion (or your lack of religious belief), please call me so we can determine how the law can help you.
Sexual Orientation Discrimination
It is illegal in California for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on the employee’s sexual orientation. This law protects individuals who identify themselves as heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or transsexual. It’s also important to note that an an employer may not discriminate against an employee based on a perception of the employee’s sexual orientation. That is, if an employer discriminates against you because he or she thinks you’re gay, even if you’re not, it is a violation of the law.
Requirements related to wages and hours are covered under both federal and state laws. In fact, California’s wage and hour laws are some of the strongest in the country. Examples of situations that would prompt a wage claim include not being paid minimum wage, not being paid in a timely manner, not being provided with meal and rest breaks, being required to work off the clock, having money owed to the employer deducted from a paycheck, and not being paid for all hours worked plus unused and unpaid vacation hours upon termination of employment. If you believe your employer has treated you unfairly with regard to your pay or your hours, please call me. I’ll help you determine if you have a case against your employer.
In California, all employment relationships are “at will.” This means that either an employer or an employee can terminate the relationship at any time with or without cause. There is, however, an important exception: an employer is not allowed to fire an employee if the firing is illegally motivated. Examples of illegal motivations include discrimination based on race, age, sexual orientation and religion. Furthermore, an employer may not fire you as retaliation for complaining about harassment, refusing to enter an unsafe workplace, whistle-blowing, or other reasons. If you think your employer is positioning itself to fire you for an illegal reason, it’s important for you to attempt to work with your employer to solve the problem and to document these attempts. Being in this type of situation can be extremely frustrating and stressful. A lawyer who understands the issues and can help you work toward a resolution is invaluable, so please call me.
If you believe your rights rights as an employee have been violated, Siegal & Richardson have extensive experience in employment litigation.
Age Discrimination, Disability Discrimination, Independent Contractor, Political Discrimination, Pregnancy Discrimination, Racial Discrimination, Racial and National Origin Discrimination, Religious Discrimination, Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Wage Claims, Wrongful Termination …