lawsuit

Wage Violation Red Flags

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Last year was a record year for wage violations as there were 8,000 lawsuits regarding timekeeping, overtime, and meal breaks.

Some notable red flags to be aware of include:
• Same in/out times for almost every day.
• Same out/in time for meal periods every day. These are clear signs that there could noncompliance with meal periods.
• No out/in times for meal periods.
• Time punches are always at the exact time that the shift begins.
• Time punches for all or most employees are almost the same exact time. An example of this is when one employee is punching in all employees.
• Automatic meal period deductions. Many companies settle this type of litigation because it is hard for employers to prove that employees ate lunch.
• Clocking in early or late. Be sure that rules treat employees equitably.
• Rounding. Make sure you are not always rounding down.
• An employee is paid for fewer hours than shown on his or her time records.
• The overtime pay rate is 1.5 times the employee’s hourly rate, but the pay stub shows the employee was paid a shift differential or bonus.

It is important to be mindful of these employment practices to prevent costly noncompliance lawsuits.

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/

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All You Need to Know About Retaliation

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An employer may not fire, demote, harass or  “retaliate” against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in a discrimination proceeding, or otherwise opposing discrimination.

Retaliation occurs when an employer, employment agency, or labor organization takes an adverse action against a covered individual because he or she engaged in a protected activity.

Protected activity includes opposition to a practice believed to be unlawful discrimination. Opposition is informing an employer that you believe that he/she is engaging in prohibited discrimination.

Examples of protected opposition include complaining to anyone about alleged discrimination against oneself or others, threatening to file a charge of discrimination, picketing in opposition to discrimination, or refusing to obey an order reasonably believed to be discriminatory.

Examples of activities that are NOT protected opposition include actions that interfere with job performance so as to render the employee ineffective, or unlawful activities such as acts or threats of violence.

Protected activity also includes participation in an employment discrimination proceeding. Examples of participation include filing a charge of employment discrimination, cooperating with an internal investigation of alleged discriminatory practices, or serving as a witness in an investigation or litigation.

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 retaliated against 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.

Tips for Ensuring Meal and Rest Break Compliance

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Many California employers face lawsuits for meal and rest break compliance. There’s a lot that can be done to avoid accidentally not providing employees with the meal and rest breaks they’re entitled to. Here are some tips for employers to help ensure that meal and rest breaks are taken appropriately:

– Evaluate systems to ensure that they don’t hinder employees from taking rest and meal breaks. For example, make sure that employees are not being schedule too much.
– Schedule breaks and relief rather than relying on employees to do it without prompting.
– Ensure that employees record the time out and time in for the meal period. Note that in the absence of proof that an employee took a meal period (ie. clocking out), it will be presumed they did not. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure they have the opportunity to take the meal break.
– Have a complaint written “on-duty meal period” agreement on file.
– Set up a system for employees to report violations.
– Track and discipline violations.
– Talk to the employees who miss breaks. The key here is to show the employees that they have a responsibility to take breaks they have been provided and that they cannot just not take it to try to get the premium pay, and doing so will result in disciplinary action.

Taking the above precautions will ensure employers will face less meal and rest break violations.

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 not been given your meal or rest breaks? 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 Sins of Termination – Ways to Prevent Lawsuit

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Since terminations are the source of many lawsuits, it’s valuable to learn how to do them right:

1. Terminating rashly in a fit of anger. There are many factors to consider before terminating. Being disrespectful encourages people to sue.
2. Terminating in public, especially in a humiliating way. Public humiliation is a lawsuit magnet.
3. Terminating without checking with Human Resources. HR needs to be able to evaluate a number of factors, such as contract, appropriateness, consistency, and special circumstances before there is any termination.
4. Termination that looks like retaliation. When a termination closely follows a protected act, such as making complaints, there will be an obvious suggestion of retaliation.
5. Offering a false basis for a termination.
6. Terminating without a reason on the basis of “at-will.” If, as an employer, you’re faced with litigation. you have to defend by providing that yes, your manager fired an employee for no reason. However, then you have to explain why “no reason” is more likely than the illegal reason, such as being fired because of being part of the protected class- that is, race, sex, age, disability, etc. This dilemma is not going to end well.

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.

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.

5 Fundamental Rules to Know About Travel Pay

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Travel pay disputes, including business trips and mandatory off-site training to commuting time, waiting time, and on-call time, are the center of many employment lawsuits.

Here are 5 basic rules to understanding travel pay:

1. Commuting time from an employee’s regular place of work each day is not work time, so employers do not have to pay employees for this time.
2. If an employee spend time traveling to a location for a special assignment, or spends significant travel time for an emergency outside normal work hours, that time spent traveling during regular work hours is considered part of principal job duties. Travel in these circumstances or outside of normal work hours is compensable work time.
3. If an employee reports to a central location to pick up equipment before proceeding to his or her assigned worksite, the time spent traveling to the central location is not work time. The time spent traveling to the assigned worksite is work time.
4. Overnight travel or travel away from home is always work time under California law. Under federal law, it is work time only when it cuts across the employee’s normal workday and/or requires the employee to work on weekends or days when he or she would not otherwise be required to work.
5. Regular meal periods and time spent sleeping or in other leisure activities while traveling is not work time, and the employer does not have to pay the employee for this time.

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/

Minimum wage will be increased to $9.00 tomorrow

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Minimum wage will be increased to $9.00 tomorrow.

Certain types of employees such as outside salespersons, apprentices, and learners may be exempt from minimum wage requirements, but in general, the requirements apply regardless of whether employees are paid on an hourly, commission, or salaried basis.

Paying employees less than the applicable minimum wage is unlawful, and an agreement between an employer and an employee to do so is unenforceable. California’s Labor Code establishes penalties for minimum wage violations.

In addition to increases at the state level, some cities have passed their own minimum wages that top the state’s rate. For example, San Francisco and San Jose have set local minimum wages at $10.74 and $10.16 per hour, respectively.

Are you happy about the increase in minimum wage? Let us know!

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/

What Should You Do If You’re Attacked by a Dog

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If you are attacked by a dog, the dog’s owner is likely to be legally liable for your injury. The following is an important list of what you should do if you’re attacked by a dog:

1. Get the names and phone numbers of the dog’s owner and witnesses. Even if you don’t think you’ll be asking for any liability, get the dog owner’s name and address. You may change your mind the next day, when latent injury may show up.
2. Get any witnesses’ names. You may need them to back up your version of what happened if you and the dog’s owner later disagree.
3. Get medical attention if you need it. If your injury is serious enough to require medical attention, seek one immediately. Keep records of doctor’s office or hospital visits and copies of bills. The more thorough you are with your documentation, the more likely the chance of getting reimbursed for your medical expenses.
4. Report the incident to animal control authorities. This is especially important if the dog wasn’t wearing a license tag and you don’t know who owns it.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in personal injury cases.

Are you or anyone you know been attacked by a dog? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://payablaw.com/

California Is The Riskiest State for Employee Lawsuits

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According to a new study released by Hixcox detailing the best and worst areas for employee lawsuits in the United States, California is the riskiest state for employee lawsuits. Businesses in California face substantially higher risk of being sued by their employees compared to the national average.

California has a 42% higher chance than the national average of being sued by an employee. District of Columbia (32%), Illinois (26%), Alabama (25%), and Mississippi (19%).

In California, our state laws allow, and even encourage employment lawsuits, and these laws greatly increase the risk that any given business will face an employment lawsuit in a given year.

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/

All You Need to Know About Tips

gratuity

“Gratuity” is defined as a tip, gratuity, or money that has been paid or given to or left for an employee by a patron of a business over and above the actual amount due for services rendered or for goods, food, drink, articles sold or served to patrons.

The law states that gratuities are the sole property of the employee or employees to whom they are given. Labor Code Section 351 prohibits employers from sharing in or keeping any portion of a gratuity left for employees by a patron. Furthermore, it is illegal for employers to make wage deductions from gratuities, or from using gratuities as direct or indirect credits against an employee’s wages.

In California, an employer cannot use an employee’s tips as a credit towards its obligation to pay the minimum wage. California law requires that employees receive the minimum wage plus any tips left for them by patrons of the employer’s business. Labor Code Section 351.

If your employer discriminates or retaliates against you in any manner whatsoever, for example, he discharges you because you object to his crediting your tips against your wages, or because you file a claim or threaten to file a claim with the Labor Commissioner, 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.

What is Reasonable Accommodation and How Does the Process Work?

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In a two-part series, we will explain what Reasonable Accommodation is and how the process works.

Part I – What is Reasonable Accommodation?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities. It also requires that those individuals should be given reasonable accommodations to allow them to perform the essential functions of the job, as long as doing so does not create an undue hardship for the employer.

Reasonable accommodation could be any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that allows an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. This includes changes to: the job application process, the work environment, the manner or circumstances under which the job is performed, or other areas that allow an employee with a disability to have equal benefits and privileges as other employees.

In practice, this can mean any number of things and is dependent on the specific situation for each employee. It is up to the employer to discuss options with the applicant or employee to determine what options might work.

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, disability discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.
Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work based on your disability? 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.