Los Angeles Employee Rights Lawyer

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We spend a lot of our lives at work. As workers, people spend hours working to be productive for an employer and to increase the value of that organization. It’s not too much to ask that, in return for this effort, workers are treated fairly. That isn’t always the case, though, so California law has instituted a variety of ways in which employers in the state are expected to treat their employees fairly. Still, even with the weight of the law as encouragement, employers at times can fail to live up to what they are required to do. If you believe that may have happened to you, then Shirazi Law Firm, PC, can help. We seek to ensure that employee rights are respected in Los Angeles, CA, and we aggressively stand up for our clients when their rights have been violated.

Wage and Hour

One of the often-violated segments of employment law are wage and hour laws. These laws cover things like overtime and breaks from work. All non-exempt employees in California have a right to things like making at least the minimum wage. They also have a right to overtime pay in most circumstances. For instance, overtime pay of one-and-a-half times regular wages is required whenever an employee works:

  • More than 40 hours in a week
  • Between 8 and 12 hours on a single day
  • Works a seventh day in a workweek (1.5x pay for the first 8 hours)

Additionally, double regular wages can be earned whenever an employee works:

  • More than 12 hours in a day
  • More than 8 hours on a seventh day in a workweek

Beyond overtime, employees also have a right to a minimum wage set by the state. They also have a right to both breaks and meals on a schedule that the state defines. If your wage and hour rights have been violated, we may be able to help you get any unpaid wages that you’re owed as well as premiums and penalties.

Misclassification

Wage and hour laws will generally apply to most employees. However, there are two groups to whom they don’t apply:

  • Non-Exempt Employees – These are typically “white collar” workers who perform executive, administrative, or professional duties. They also use their independent judgment in their role and make more than twice the minimum wage for a 40-hour workweek in salary.
  • Independent Contractors – These workers are left with autonomy as to how they perform the work that they are hired to accomplish, operate as their own entity while performing this work, and participate in work that is not the normal work of the employer.

At times, an employer may, unintentionally or intentionally, classify a non-exempt employee as belonging to these categories. If so, they may not pay the wages that are owed or all their breaks as required. When that happens, we may be able to help you with recouping those unpaid wages as well as a fee for missed breaks.

Discrimination and Harassment

Employees have a right to a workplace free from discrimination, which is when an employer considers protected characteristics in making a job decision. They also have the right to a workplace that is free from harassment by the employer or co-workers. That means a workplace that is free from persistent mistreatment that is the result of protected characteristics. Some of the protected characteristics include:

Discrimination and harassment in the workplace are serious offenses. It’s a problem that, even if your employer is not the source, they have a responsibility to address. If you’ve dealt with any discrimination or harassment in the workplace, contact us to help you seek restitution.

Retaliation

One concern that employees often have is that, if they bring a claim, or even participate in someone else’s, against their employer, they may suffer at work because of it. To not be retaliated against is another thing that employees have a right to.

There are several ways in which an employer may attempt to retaliate against an employee for bringing a claim against them. They may wrongfully terminate their job. They could also attempt to make the job so unbearable that the employee quits. There could also be more subtle means of retaliation, such as not promoting the employee, despite their deserving the promotion, or giving them a worse work schedule or greater workload.

Employees have a right to make a protected complaint against their employer without having to face these kinds of treatments. If you think that you’ve been wrongfully retaliated against, Shirazi Law Firm, PC, may be able to help.

FAQs

Q: How Does Overtime Pay Work in California?

A: Overtime pay is required for non-exempt employees in California in certain circumstances. The overtime rate can be one and a half times their regular wages or twice their regular wages, depending on the situation. The times when overtime is required by law are:

  • If more than 40 hours are worked in a week, any additional time is paid at 1.5x wages.
  • When an employee works more than eight hours in a day but less than twelve, they earn 1.5x regular wages.
  • For every hour after 12 hours in a day, 2x wages are paid to the employee.
  • An employee working a seventh consecutive day in a workweek earns 1.5x wages for the first eight hours of the day.
  • Any time beyond eight hours on the 7th consecutive day in a workweek is paid at 2x wages.

Both independent contractors and legitimately exempt employees are not required to receive overtime pay. Additionally, it is possible that overtime rules can be adjusted through unions or collective bargaining agreements.

Q: What Do I Do About Discrimination or Harassment in the Workplace?

A: Discrimination or harassment in the workplace is something that should be taken very seriously. Discrimination occurs when an employer makes a job-related decision based on characteristics that are protected by law. Harassment is persistent mistreatment based on protected characteristics.

To deal with either of these situations, you might first bring them to the attention of your employer. If they fail to remedy the situation, then there are legal steps you may want to take. It’s important to discuss these options with a lawyer.

If you have these kinds of concerns, speak with us at Shirazi Law Firm, PC, and we can help identify what next steps might be appropriate in your situation. Often, taking a complaint to court is seen as a last resort, but if that’s what’s needed, we are ready to fight for your right to a workplace free of discrimination and harassment.

Q: Do I Need a Lawyer for a Workplace Issue?

A: You are not required to have a lawyer for a workplace issue, but it can often be very beneficial to work with one. While California may have a number of beneficial protections for employees, the process of addressing violations of those protections can be challenging.

In general, the state tries to make filing a claim against an employer an option of last resort. They prefer to see the issue resolved and restitution made before it comes to that. This means that there is often an array of government departments that an issue might have to pass through first before you are able to file a claim.

Navigating this process can be challenging and confusing, especially as any errors can lead to waiving your claims and unnecessary delays in trying to get the situation resolved. Working with an experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer means working with someone who understands the process and the ways in which you can expedite things and avoid delays. It’s also important to recognize that employers, in almost every case, will likely also have lawyers working for them. Working with a lawyer yourself takes away a potential advantage for your employer and gives you a stronger chance of winning your case.

Q: Will I Lose My Job If I File a Claim Against My Employer?

A: You should not lose your job if you file a claim against your employer. This would be a form of workplace retaliation and, potentially, wrongful termination. California law offers protection not only from job termination but other forms of retaliation as well, including:

  • Wrongful constructive termination, or making working conditions so intolerable that you quit
  • Denying you a promotion that you would have otherwise received
  • Holding you to different standards than other employees in terms of workload
  • Giving you a worse schedule
  • Unwarranted workplace discipline
  • Soliciting unfavorable information on you

If you suspect that you are being retaliated against, it’s critical that you contact your attorney quickly and document anything related to the situation.

Work With Someone Who Can Fight for Your Workplace Rights

At Shirazi Law Firm, PC, we seek to help workers ensure that their workplace rights are respected. We have a deep understanding of the issues. We know firsthand how employers’ lawyers are likely to approach a case. When we take on a case, we expect to aggressively counter what those lawyers will seek to do. Our investigation of your case is tailored to make the strongest argument we can on your behalf. If your workplace rights aren’t being respected, then contact us for help with your case.

Cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid after you do. Consultations/communications can be virtual if preferred.

“I cannot recommend Mr. Shirazi enough! I was wrongfully terminated from my long term job. I didn’t know where to turn and found Mr. Shirazi. He took the time to talk to me for an hour explaining what legal rights I had. Upon hiring Mr. shirazi he kept me up to date on every step and was honest and upfront with me. He worked miracles and got me a great settlement. Mr Shirazi handles only employment cases and his expertise was invaluable to my case. if you find yourself in need of an employment attorney, Mr. Shirazi is the one to call“

Pregnancy Discrimination
Pregnancy Medical Leave
Providing Reasonable Accomodation
Family Medical Leave
Medical Leave
Harassment

Cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid after you do. Consultations/communications can be virtual if preferred.

“Emanuel Shirazi went above and beyond on my case. My employer treated me so unfairly and I felt like I had no where to turn. I met with Emanuel and he told me: I’ve got your back. This guy is a pit bull who never stops fighting for his clients. So glad he was on my side and not vice versa. Trust me, Emanuel won’t let you down“

SHIRAZI LAW FIRM, P.C.

EMANUEL SHIRAZI

Founder Emanuel Shirazi is an employment lawyer in Los Angeles representing employees who have been legally wronged by their employers. In addition to representing employees, Mr. Shirazi used to defend employers while he worked at the largest employment law firms in the country. Thus, Mr. Shirazi knows the tricks of the trade of the other side and will use that to your advantage in your case. Mr. Shirazi’s experience helps him anticipate your employer’s defense and prepare accordingly.