Month: April 2014

All You Need to Know About Minimum Wage

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Currently, California’s minimum wage is $8.00 per hour. However, California’s minimum wage will be raised to $9.00 per hour on July 1, 2014 and to $10.00 on January 1, 2016.

Some facts to know about minimum wage:
• Minimum wage is an obligation of the employer and cannot be waived by any agreement, including collective bargaining agreements.
• Minimum wage is the same for both adult and minor employees.
• The employer may NOT use your tips as a credit toward its obligation to pay the minimum wage.
• If your employer discriminates or retaliates against you in any manner whatsoever, for example, he fires you because you asked him why you weren’t being paid the minimum wage, or because you file a claim or threaten to file a claim with the Labor Commissioner, you can file a discrimination/retaliation complaint.

What can you do if your employer does not pay you at least the minimum wage? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

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California is among the riskiest states for employee lawsuits

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According to a new study by international specialist insurer Hiscox, California, Illinois, Alabama, Mississippi, and the District of Columbia are the top five riskiest areas in the United States for employee lawsuits. Businesses in these states face a substantially higher risk of being sued by their employees compared to the national average.

According to the study, on average, a US-based business with at least 10 employees has a 12.5% chance of having an employment liability suit filed against them. However, California has the most frequent incidences of charges in the country, with a 42% higher chance of being sued by an employee over the national average.

State laws can have a significant impact on risk. For example, the employee-friendly nature of California law in the area of disability discrimination may contribute to the high charge frequency in the state.

Read More: http://goo.gl/tqy7Ko

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

6 Common Interview Questions That Are Actually Illegal

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Did you know that during job interviews, any questions that reveal your age, race, national origin, gender, religion, marital status, or sexual orientations are off-limits?

Any question that asks a candidate to reveal information about such topics without the question having a job related basis will violate state and federal discrimination laws. However, if the employer asks questions so that they directly relate to specific occupational qualifications, then the questions may be legitimate.

The following is a list of questions that are illegal for job interviewers to ask:
1. Have you ever been arrested? An employer can’t actually legally ask you about your arrest record, but they can ask if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime.
2. What country are you from? This question is illegal because it involves your national origin. Employers can’t legally inquire about your nationality, but they can ask if you’re authorized to work in a certain country.
3. Is English your first language? However, in order to find out language proficiency, employers can ask you what other languages you read, speak, or write fluently.
4. Are you married? This is illegal because it reveals your marital status and can also reveal your sexual orientation.
5. What religious holidays do you practice? This question reveals your religion and that’s illegal.
6. Do you have children? It is unlawful to deny someone employment if they have children or if they are planning on having children in the future. However, the employer may ask, “What hours can you work?” or “Do you have responsibilities other than work that will interfere with specific job requirements such as traveling?”

PRACTICAL ADVISE: If you are asked any inappropriate questions, politely decline to answer.

Read More: http://goo.gl/2hmvDZ

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

Under what bases are employees protected under State or Federal law?

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State and Federal law prohibits harassment and discrimination in employment because of the following categories:

• Age
• Civil union/domestic partners
• Citizenship
• Disability/handicap (physical or mental)
• Family status
• Gender identity
• Genetic information
• Marital status
• National origin/ancestry
• Pregnancy
• Protected complaints/activity
• Protected leave
• Race/color
• Religion/creed
• Sex/gender
• Sexual orientation
• Veteran status/military status

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

If you or anyone you know has been discriminated or harassed based on these protected statuses, contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/

Sexual Harassment Outside of Work

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Sexual harassment is not only prohibited at work but it also applies outside of work. Illegal sexual harassment can occur outside of work or at social events. Sexual harassment is also prohibited via written, oral, electronic, and all other forms of communication, including social networking. Further, nonemployees, such as customers, clients, patients, contractors, vendors, and suppliers may be liable for sexual harassment. Also, employers could be held liable for sexual harassment if it is done by a third party, i.e., vendors, clients, against their employees if they are placed on notice and if they fail to stop it.

Read More: http://goo.gl/F1qRgH

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

The 5 Sins of Wage and Hour Management

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The 5 most commons sins managers and supervisors commit in paying, or not paying, employees what they are owed:

1. Failure to pay the minimum wage. “We’ll pay you $5 an hour until you learn the ropes; then you move up to $7 an hour.” This is illegal.
2. Failure to pay for all hours worked. “Be sure to stay close to your phone after work in case that customer calls in from the East Coast.” Employers must pay employees for all hours worked, even if the employee has volunteered to do the work without pay. Some examples include expecting employees to take customer calls off hours or insisting that they answer the phone during an unpaid lunch break.
3. Misclassifying as exempt. “Your title is Assistant manager; you’re exempt.” Companies may classify workers as exempt to avoid paying overtime and/or to avoid paying for extra hours worked. However, an employee’s title does not mean anything and the fact that the person is paid on a salary basis does not mean anything — it’s the job duties that determine whether a worker is exempt.
4. Misclassifying as independent contractors. “You’ll be working alongside our regular employees but you’ll be an independent contractor.” Many employers may classify workers as independent contractors in order to avoid payments that would have been made to employees on their behalf (e.g., Social Security). But many so-called “independent contractors” are actually employees. The more control the employer has over how the person does the job, the more likely that worker is not an independent contractor.
5. Failure to properly calculate and pay overtime. Employers can’t avoid their obligation to pay overtime. Under federal law, the employer is obligated to pay the employee at a rate of 1.5 times the regular rate for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Employees are also entitled to overtime pay for all hours worked over 8 hours a day. Finally, employers must pay employees at a rate of 2 times the regular hourly pay, if the employees works over 12 hours in one day.

Read More: http://goo.gl/EedPDh

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Questions about your rights at the workplace? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/

$21.8 Million Dollar Verdict for Wrongful Termination of Customer Service Rep

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Plaintiff, 32 year-old customer service representative, took a doctor-approved leave of absence because she was suffering from panic attacks. When she was on the leave of absence, Defendant fired her. Plaintiff sued Defendant for disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, failure to engage in interactive process, retaliation, and wrongful termination.

The jury awarded Plaintiff a $21.8 million dollar verdict, including $500,000 in economic damages, $5 million in non-economic damages, and $16 million in punitive damages.

Read More: http://goo.gl/EcDK1a

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in disability discrimination cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

What Constitutes Unacceptable Harassment at Work?

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Here is a list of 16 examples of harassing behavior:

• Unwelcome or inappropriate touch, such as patting, pinching, or brushing against someone
• Mimicking or making fun of someone’s accent, disability, diction, gestures, or manner of speech or religious, racial, or ethnic attire or dress
• Sexual flirtations, bantering, etc.
• Sexually suggestive conversations, comments, questions, stories
• Racial, ethnic, or religious jokes or jokes that belittle or stereotype any other protected group
• Obscene, sexual, or suggestive materials, cartoons, objects, photos, etc.
• Hate symbols, such as a noose, a swastika, or a KKK symbol
• Nicknames that relate to any protected group, such as “Grandpa”
• Linking employment decisions or benefits to a subordinate’s submission or refusal to submit to sexual advances
• Questions or comments about an employee’s actual or perceived sexual orientation
• Asking for sex and other sexual advances or propositions
• Sexual or suggestive jokes
• Sexual or physical assault
• Hate slurs that relate to any protected group, such as the “N” word and the “C” word
• Stereotyping comments, such as “you don’t sound …”
• Other inappropriate or unprofessional conduct that relates to or is directed at a protected group

Who Can Be Held Liable for Harassment at Work?
Not only is the employer liable but also managers and supervisors may be personally liable.

Read More: http://goo.gl/bO5sFj

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in sexual harassment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been sexually harassed at work? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

$1,250,000 Million Dollar Verdict When Shopping Mall Owner Sexually Harasses Manager, Demands Sex

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Plaintiff worked as a mall manager. From the time plaintiff was hired, defendant mall owner subjected her to incidents of sexual harassment. The turning point occurred when the defendant propositioned plaintiff for oral sex in exchange for a raise. Plaintiff refused and the next day defendant threatened to fire her. His conduct escalated, calling her gender-based names, directing vulgar profanity at her, and sending sexually explicit emails. At trial, eight other women, testified as to defendant’s sexual misconduct towards them and plaintiff.

Jury voted in favor of the plaintiff and awarded her $1.25 million dollars, including $1 million in punitive damages and $250K in emotional distress.

Read More: http://goo.gl/QJcQVa

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in sexual harassment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been sexually harassed at work? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/

Cellphone use while driving causes over 1 in 4 car accidents

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A new study by the National Safety Counsel revealed that the use of cellphones causes 26% of the nation’s car accidents. The same study revealed that 5% of cellphone-related crashes occur while texting. The majority of the accidents involve drivers distracted while talking on handheld or hands-free cellphones.

Researchers warn drivers that talking can be more dangerous than texting while operating a vehicle, and the use of talk-to-text applications is not a solution. Studies have shown that driving performance while using a hands-free phone was rarely found to be better than using handheld devices.

If you want to save yourself from a car accident, wait until you reach your destination before you answer your phone.

Read More: http://goo.gl/3FKVMS

With more than 20 years of combined legal experience, personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Payab & Associates in Woodland Hills have successfully employed an assertive, methodical approach to help injured victims recover generous settlements and jury verdicts.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney at the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://www.payablaw.com/