Month: December 2017

What to Do If You Were Fired for Whistleblowing or Retaliation?

What to Do If You Were Fired for Whistleblowing or Retaliation

If your employer fired you for reporting illegal behavior or exercising your legal rights, you may be able to sue for wrongful termination.

Retaliation and whistleblowing claims can be legally complicated.

An experienced lawyer can help you determine whether you have a claim based on a specific statute or a violation of public policy.

Prepare for your first meeting by creating a timeline of events: what led up to your complaint or your report, when you complained or tried to exercise your rights, and what happened as a result. To prove retaliation or whistleblowing, you must show that you were fired because of your complaint or report.

Timing is crucial!

The less time between your complaint and your employer’s negative action against you, the stronger your claim is. You’ll also have to show that the person who decided to fire you knew of your protected activities.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com

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What Is Whistleblowing?

What Is Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing occurs when an employee reports illegal conduct at work that is not related to workplace rights.

For example, you are a whistleblower if you report that your company is cooking the books; engaging in shareholder fraud; producing faulty, dangerous, or mislabeled products; or lying on its tax returns.

An employer may not fire an employee for blowing the whistle on certain illegal activity. Some laws that prohibit certain types of unethical or illegal corporate behavior explicitly protect employee whistleblowers.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com

Most Common Laws Protecting Workers from Workplace Retaliation – Part I

Most Common Laws Protecting Workers from Workplace Retaliation

Here are some of the most common laws protecting workers from retaliation:

Workplace harassment and discrimination – You may not be fired for making a complaint about harassment or discrimination in the workplace; for participating in an investigation of these issues; or for exercising your rights under these laws.

Wage and hour laws – Your employer may not fire you for complaining, whether internally or to the Department of Labor, that your employer has failed to pay the minimum wage, failed to pay overtime, denied legally required breaks, or illegally kept a portion of your tips.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com

 

What is Retaliation in California?

What is Retaliation in California

An employer retaliates against an employee when it takes action to punish the employee for exercising his or her workplace rights or for reporting a legal violation of workplace laws.

Many employment laws are enforced by employees who come forward to report a problem, such as harassment, failure to pay overtime, or safety hazards.

Although there are government agencies responsible for enforcing these laws, these agencies typically don’t conduct random workplace audits looking for violations. Instead, they rely on employee complaints to learn of potential violations.

Even then, enforcement agencies almost never sue employers for breaking the law. Although an agency might investigate, impose a fine, or even make a finding that an employer has likely violated the law, the employee must typically bring a lawsuit to vindicate his or her rights.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com

Discipline and Termination Lawsuits in California

Discipline and Termination Lawsuits in California

When you are fired, get laid off, or quit your job, you still have rights.

California state laws require your employer to provide your final paycheck in short order.

You may also be entitled to severance, continued health insurance coverage, and more. You may be eligible for unemployment compensation and/or other forms of government benefits.

And, if you were fired illegally, you might consider a wrongful termination lawsuit.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com

Can my employer pay me a piece rate and not an hourly wage for all hours worked in California?

Can my employer pay me a piece rate and not an hourly wage for all hours worked in California

The question is whether your employer can pay you a piece rate and not an hourly wage for all hours worked in California.

The answer…

Yes, your employer has to pay you for all hours that you’re required to be at work.

In the past, employers used to argue that they could avoid paying minimum wage for all hours worked, as long as the piece rate averaged out to at least minimum wage for all hours worked.

For example, your employer might argue that even on slow days, you’re getting $250-$300, which averages out to well more than minimum wage.

Fortunately, California courts have specifically rejected this argument.

When an employer agrees to pay an employee on a piece rate basis, those payments count only towards the activities for which the piece rate is being paid.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com

Does my employer have to give me time off to enter rehab in California?

Does my employer have to give me time off to enter rehab in California

The questions is whether your employer has to give you time off to enter rehab in California.

The answer…

Yes.

In California, employers with 25 or more employees must give unpaid time off to any employee who wants to enter an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program, unless it would pose an undue hardship (an unreasonable burden on the company).

If your employer has at least 25 employees, it must give you time off, allow you to use your accrued sick leave, and protect your privacy by not telling others about the reason behind your time off.

However, once you return from the program, you must be able to perform the duties of your job and must not pose a safety risk to others.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com

Can my employer require me to pay for an expensive suit to wear to work?

Can my employer require me to pay for an expensive suit to wear to work

The question is whether your employer can require you to pay for an expensive suit to wear to work.

The answer…

Most likely, no.

In California, employers cannot require employees to pay for the cost of uniforms. A uniform is distinct clothing that your employer requires you to wear for your job and that you can’t reuse for another job or incorporate into your everyday wardrobe.

In general, a black suit could be a basic item in your closet that you could wear for other purposes, such as to a wedding or other formal event.

Black suits are also commonly worn by wait staff in fancy restaurants, so you could probably wear the suit in a similar job.

In theory, you could wear a suit that you already owned, or you could pick up a suit on sale that you could wear to other events. But, the more restrictions your employer places on the suits, the more likely they will be considered uniforms.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com

Can my employer only give me rest breaks to use the restroom?

Can my employer only give me rest breaks to use the restroom

The question is whether your employer can only give you rest breaks to use to use the bathroom.

The answer…

No, this is not legal.

In California, employers must follow certain guidelines for meal periods and rest breaks. If you work more than five hours in a shift, your employer must give you at least 30 minutes of time off for a meal period.

But, your employer must also give you at least one ten-minute rest break for every four hours that you work (or major fraction of four hours that you work).

Unlike meal periods, rest breaks must be paid by your employer.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com