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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.

New Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination Released

pregnancy-discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued an enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination. The new guidance includes significant developments in the law during the past 30 years.

The guidance sets out the fundamental requirement that an employer may not discriminate against an employee on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions and that women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions must be treated the same as other employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work. The guidance requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations “to the known limitations of otherwise qualified employees and applicants for employment.”

Also, the guidance explains how the definition of “disability” could apply to workers with impairments related to pregnancy. Although pregnancy itself is not a disability, impairments related to pregnancy can be disabilities if they “substantially limit one or more major life activities.”

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

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in pregnancy 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 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/

What rights do I have pertaining to my personnel files and records at work?

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California law provides that current and former employees (or a representative) have the right to inspect and receive a copy of the personnel files and records that relate to the employee’s performance or to any grievance concerning the employee. Inspections must not be later than 30 days from the date the employer receives a written request. Upon a written request, the employer needs to provide a copy of the personal records, at a charge not more than the actual cost of reproduction.

To facilitate inspection, employer must do all of the following:
1. Maintain a copy of each employee’s personnel records for no less than 3 years.
2. Make a current/former employee’s personnel records available, and if requested, provide a copy at the place where the employee reports to work or at another location agreeable to the employer and the requester.

However, by law, the right to inspect does NOT apply to: records relating to the investigation of a possible criminal offense, letters of reference, and ratings, reports, or records that were obtained prior to employment or obtained in connection with a promotional examination.

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/

3 Employment Law Trends Employers Need to Know

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Below are descriptions of 3 employment law trends and several suggestions on how to manage them effectively.

1. Litigation issues are on the rise. There has been a rising tide of wage and hour litigation in the United States. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor recovered $225 million in back wages for employees, up 28 percent from 2010. It is important that employers consistently review their company policies and procedures to avoid litigation.

2. Workers want their time off. The American with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical and Leave Act, and other state and federal laws have outlined specific rules that relate to employees taking time off for vacation, sickness, and other qualifying situations. It would be ideal for employers to be mindful of what their policies paid time off policies are, and if they are in line with federal and state law guidelines.

3. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have been stringently enforcing its plan in: protecting immigrants, migrant and other vulnerable workers, enforcing equal pay laws, eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, prevent harassment in the workplace, and preserving access to the legal system. In order to avoid these situations, it is advisable for employers to review and update their employee handbook regularly and consult with legal professionals to ensure that their company policies comply with state and federal law.

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

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? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://www.payablaw.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 Constructive Discharge and Why Is It Important?

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Constructive discharge is when an employee is forced to quit because the employer has made working conditions unbearable. Unbearable conditions include harassment or discrimination, or receiving a negative change in pay or work for reasons that are not work-related. An example is when Bob believes he was constructively discharged when he felt compelled to quit after his supervisor decreased his pay and benefits for no performance-related reason.

While employees who voluntarily quit are typically not expected to receive unemployment benefits and lose the right to sue the company for wrongful termination, constructive discharge is an exception. If an employee feels he or she was forced to leave a job because the employer made the job so unbearable, he or she can file a wrongful termination suit against the former employer. In this case, being compelled to quit is legally similar to being unfairly discharged.

If you believe your termination was wrongful and you have been constructively discharged or you have not been treated according to the law or company policy, you can get help.

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 working in an unbearable working condition? 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.