wrongful termination

Note to Employers: Terminate with Care

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If a company has to fire an employee, it should do so with care. One of the most important practices for the company is that the employee should be paid his or her final pay by the time of termination. The employment agreement agreement should be reviewed to make sure that all amounts due to the employee are paid on the termination date.

The employee should also be reminded of the obligation to keep the employer’s proprietary information and trade secrets confidential and should be required to return all company proprietary and information before leaving. An exit interview may be used to remind the employee of continuing obligations not to use or disclosure confidential information, collect all company property, and explain exist compensation and benefits issue.

Further, when a high-level or complaining employee is terminated, we recommend entering into a written separation agreement. Generally, severance should not be paid to the employee without obtaining a signed release of all claims as part of the agreement.

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://payablaw.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

What is Required for an Employer to Reasonable Accommodate A Disabled Employee?

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In our last blog, we discussed an employer’s obligations in regards to reasonably accommodating disabling employees. As we discussed, there is a lot of confusion and unclarity regarding what these responsibilities entail and what employers can do to reasonably accommodate disabled employees.

California courts have made it clear that they are looking for evidence of a “cooperative dialogue” and good faith on the part of both parties. Barnett, 228 F.3d. at 1014; Jensen v. Wells Fargo Bank, 85 Cal. App. 4th 245, 266 (200). Further, neither side is allowed to engage in obstructionist conduct. Also, the dialogue between employers and employees includes making reasonable efforts to communicate concerns and making information available to the other party.

For example, if the employee requests a particular accommodation, the employer must give it “due consideration.” If the employer rejects the proposed accommodation, it must “initiate discussion with the employee regarding the alternative accommodations.”

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 based on their disability? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://payablaw.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

Is it against the law for an employer to be open for business on every holiday some of which you have to work?

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No. There is nothing in California law that directs that an employer must close its business on any particular day. It is up to the employer to select which days it chooses to be open or closed for business. If your employer is open on a holiday, like Christmas of New Years, and schedules you to work that day, there is nothing in the law that obligates your employer to pay you anything but your regular pay and any overtime premium for all overtime hours worked.

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.

All You Need to Know About Vacation Time

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In California, there is no legal requirement that an employer must provide its employees with paid or unpaid vacation time. However, if an employer does have an established agreement or policy to provide paid vacation, then there are certain restrictions on the employer on how to provide vacation pay.

Earned vacation time is considered wages, and vacation time is earned as labor is performed. For example, if an employee is entitled to 2 weeks of vacation per year, after 6 months of work he or she will have earned 1 week of vacation. Vacation pay adds up as it is earned and cannot be forfeited regardless of the reason for the termination. Unless otherwise agreed by a collective bargaining agreement, upon termination of employment, all earned and unused vacation must be paid to the employee.

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 deprived of your vacation time? 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.

Employees with Diabetes: What You Need to Know

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Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and an estimated 79 million adults have pre-diabetes. Employees with diabetes are covered by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) which prohibits disability discrimination in the workplace. Diabetes is a physical impairment that limits major life activities, and thus meets the ADA definition of disability.

In fact, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has made it clear that diabetes should be a covered disability under the ADA. Diabetes can limit major life activities, such as caring for oneself, seeing, walking, eating, and standing.

Accommodations for employees with diabetes are usually minimal, easy to accomplish, and require little or no cost to the employer. Reasonable accommodations include: breaks to check blood glucose levels and treat by taking medicating or eating, ability to keep diabetes supplies and food nearby, opportunity to work a modified schedule, and opportunity to leave for treatment of diabetes.

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 because of diabetes? 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 Is Age Discrimination?

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The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects employees who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. The ADEA protection applies to employers with 20 or more employees and applies to both employees and job applicants. The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

Harassment of employees on the basis of age is also unlawful discrimination. Harassment can include offensive remarks about a person’s age. Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that aren’t very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision, such as the victim being fired or demoted.

The harasser can be the employee’s supervisor, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.

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 based on your age? 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.

All You Need to Know About Tips

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“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.

How Does the Reasonable Accommodation Process Work?

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In the second part of a two-part series, we will explain how the Reasonable Accommodation process works.

In general, the reasonable accommodation requirement starts when the employer learns of the employee’s need for a change and that the need is related to a medical condition. The employee does not have to expressly say the words “I need a reasonable accommodation for my disability.” The employee simply needs to make a request for a change that will allow him or her to perform the essential job functions, and it needs to be noted that the request is due to a medical condition.

After an employer gets a request for a reasonable accommodation, the next step is to use an interactive process to determine whether the request will be granted. This process requires an interaction between the employer and employee to determine what reasonable accommodations the employer may be able to provide. This process does not have to be formal or even in writing. However, it may be best for the employer to document the interactions. The interactive process should clarify the individual’s needs and assess what accommodations might meet those needs.

The employer and employee may discuss possibilities of reasonable accommodations. Then the employer assesses which alternative might work best. Of course the employee should have input. However, the employee’s first choice of accommodation does not have to be the final selection if the employer can offer an alternative that still allows the employee to perform the essential functions of the job.

Note, the only reason an employer can deny a reasonable accommodation request is if it would present an undue hardship on the employer. An undue hardship could be financial, or it could mean that it is too disruptive to implement. However, the undue hardship standard is a very high threshold to cross. It takes into account the finances and performance of the company. That said, an employer is not obligated to remove essential job functions either. If the employee is unable to perform essential job functions and no reasonable accommodation exists, that employee may no longer be qualified to perform the job.

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.

Are You Entitled to Unpaid Leave?

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The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave a year, and requires health benefits to be maintained during the leave. Employees are also entitled to return to their same or an equivalent job at the end of their FMLA leave.

In order to be eligible to take leave under the FMLA, an employee must:
– have worked 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of leave
– work at a location where the employer has 50 or more employees within 75 miles, and
– have worked for the employer for 12 months. The 12 months of employment are not required to be consecutive in order for the employee to qualify for FMLA leave.

A covered employer must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12 month period for one or more of the following reasons:
– for the birth of a son or daughter, and to bond with the newborn child,
– for the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care, and to bond with that child,
– to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent – but not a parent “in-law”) with a serious health condition,
– to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition, or
– for qualifying exigencies arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status as a member of the National Guard, Reserves, or Regular Armed Forces.

The FMLA also allows eligible employees to take up to 26 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a “single 12-month period” to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness.

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/