2018 CALIFORNIA EMPLOYEE RIGHTS WORKSHEET

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HAVE YOU BEEN FIRED? HAVE YOU QUIT? ARE YOU OWED MONEY?Lawyers for Employee and Consumer Rights (LFECR) is a leading California employment law firm. With 40+ remote attorneys, LFECR is able to work on behalf of clients anywhere in California. Fired unfairly? Your free consult awaits! Call 888-625-0959. IM our Facebook page. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Medium, LinkedIn, our blog and check out our YouTube videos! Have a great day!

SIGNS YOU MAY HAVE BEEN FIRED ILLEGALLY IN CALIFORNIA

There are many, many things that California employers can do to intentionally or unintentionally illegally fire employees. In doing so, they not only treat employees unfairly, they also may expose themselves to a wrongful termination lawsuit.

MOST CALIFORNIA EMPLOYEES HAVE NO IDEA THEY WERE WRONGFULLY TERMINATED…UNTIL IT’S TOO LATE

– When a California fast-food worker gets fired for complaining about being forced to work through meal and rest breaks, he may have been wrongful terminated.

– When a California administrative assistant gets fired for being four months pregnant, she may have been wrongful terminated.

– When a California truck driver gets fired for having a legal medical marijuana prescription, he may have been wrongful terminated.

– When a California warehouse worker quits after being harassed and demeaned by a boss, she may have been wrongful terminated.

Do you know what it’s like to be “wrongfully terminated”…?

If you do, you are way ahead of other California employees.

Most people who do get fired or quit have no idea that they have rights. And, that their termination from that employer may have been wrongful or illegal.

SOME SIGNS THAT YOU MAY HAVE BEEN FIRED ILLEGALLY…

Did your employer/workplace violate the law? If your employer violated any applicable California state employment law, federal labor laws, or even local/municipal laws, then you may be owed money.

Can you answer yes to any of these questions:

  • Were you fired because of the color of your skin?
  • Were you fired because of your age?
  • Were you fired because of your sex?
  • Were you fired because of your national origin
  • Were you fired because of your ethnic group?
  • Were you fired because of your religious affiliation?
  • Were you fired because of your sexual preference?
  • Were you fired because your employer violated public policy?
  • Were you fired because your employer retaliated against you?
  • Were you fired because your employer committed fraud?
  • Were you fired because of your gender identity or expression of gender identity (whether real or perceived?
  • Were you fired because of your military or former military status?
  • Were you fired because of your marital status (whether real or perceived)?
  • Were you fired because you requested past payroll records for review and analysis?
  • Were you fired because of your off-duty political activity?
  • Were you fired and your employer is withholding of payment, bonuses, or commissions?
  • Were you fired because you complained about wrongful treatment?
  • Were you fired due to retaliation for failing to perform illegal acts?
  • Were you fired because your pregnant?
  • Were you fired because you are taking (or you took) leave under the Family Medical Leave Act?
  • Were you fired because you asked for an accommodation for a medical condition or disability?
  • Were you fired because you were on jury duty?
  • Were you fired because you made a claim for Worker’s Compensation benefits?
  • Were you fired and owed money you have actually earned?

DID YOU ANSWER YES TO ANY OF THOSE QUESTIONS?

Learn more about your employee rights. Lawyers for Employee and Consumer Rights (LFECR) is a leading California employment law firm. With 40+ remote attorneys, LFECR is able to work on behalf of clients anywhere in California. Fired unfairly? Your free consult awaits! Call 888-625-0959. IM our Facebook page. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Medium, or LinkedIn, or our blog.

Have a great day!

“SUPREME COURT DECISION DELIVERS BLOW TO WORKERS’ RIGHTS” — NPR

U.S. Supreme Court just delivered a major blow to workers!

Supreme Court Decision Delivers Blow To Workers’ Rights

People wait in line to enter the U.S. Supreme Court last month. The court sided with businesses on not allowing class-action lawsuits for federal labor violations.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Updated at 7:08 p.m. ET

In a case involving the rights of tens of millions of private sector employees, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, delivered a major blow to workers, ruling for the first time that workers may not band together to challenge violations of federal labor laws.

Writing for the majority, Justice Neil Gorsuch said that the 1925 Federal Arbitration Act trumps the National Labor Relations Act and that employees who sign employment agreements to arbitrate claims must do so on an individual basis — and may not band together to enforce claims of wage and hour violations.

“The policy may be debatable but the law is clear: Congress has instructed that arbitration agreements like those before us must be enforced as written,” Gorsuch writes. “While Congress is of course always free to amend this judgment, we see nothing suggesting it did so in the NLRA — much less that it manifested a clear intention to displace the Arbitration Act. Because we can easily read Congress’s statutes to work in harmony, that is where our duty lies.”

Ginsburg dissents

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the four dissenters, called the majority opinion “egregiously wrong.” She said the 1925 arbitration law came well before federal labor laws and should not cover these “arm-twisted,” “take-it-or-leave it” provisions that employers are now insisting on.

She noted that workers’ claims are usually small, and many workers fear retaliation. For these reasons, she said, relatively few workers avail themselves of the arbitration option. On the other hand, these problems are largely by a class-action suit brought in court on behalf of many employees.

The inevitable result of Monday’s decision, she warned, will be huge underenforcement of federal and state laws designed to advance the well-being of vulnerable workers. It is up to Congress, she added, to correct the court’s action.

In his oral announcement, Gorsuch took the unusual step of elaborately rebutting Ginsburg’s dissent, which is five pages longer than the majority’s opinion.

A green light for employers

The ruling came in three cases — potentially involving tens of thousands of nonunion employees — brought against Ernst & Young LLP, Epic Systems Corp. and Murphy Oil USA Inc.

Each required its individual employees, as a condition of employment, to waive their rights to join a class-action suit. In all three cases, employees tried to sue together, maintaining that the amounts they could obtain in individual arbitration were dwarfed by the legal fees they would have to pay. Ginsburg’s dissent noted that a typical Ernst & Young employee would likely have to spend $200,000 to recover only about $1,900 in overtime pay.

The employees contended that their right to collective action is guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act. The employers countered that they are entitled to ban collective legal action under the Federal Arbitration Act, which was enacted in 1925 to reverse the judicial hostility to arbitration at the time.

Employment lawyers were elated. Ron Chapman, who represents management in labor-management disputes, said he expects small and large businesses alike to immediately move to impose these binding arbitration contracts to eliminate the fear of costly class-action verdicts from juries. “It gives employers the green light to eliminate their single largest employment law risk with the stroke of a pen,” he said.

Implications for #MeToo

Labor law experts said Monday’s decision very likely will present increasing problems for the #MeToo movement, and for other civil rights class actions claiming discrimination based on race, gender and religion. There is no transparency in most binding arbitration agreements, and they often include nondisclosure provisions. What’s more, class actions deal with the expense and fear of retaliation problems of solo claims. As Ginsburg put it, “there’s safety in numbers.”

Yale Law professor Judith Resnick observed that the decision applies to all manner of class actions. “What this says is that when you buy something, use something, or work for someone, that entity can require you to waive your right to use public courts,” she noted.

Cornell University labor law professor Angela Cornell expects the number of these litigation waivers to skyrocket now. “What we see is the privatization of our justice system,” she said.

A study by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute shows that 56 percent of nonunion private sector employees are currently subject to mandatory individual arbitration procedures under the 1925 Federal Arbitration Act, which allows employers to bar collective legal actions by employees.

The court’s decision means that tens of millions of private nonunion employees will be barred from suing collectively over the terms of their employment.

WHILE MEAL BREAK MEANS MEAL, DOES REST BREAK MEAN REST?

California’s long-time ambiguity surrounding workers rights on meal and rest breaks.

It should be crystal clear…if you are on a meal or rest break, you don’t have to work.

Right?

Well.

It seems that here in California, with so many hard working employees, there is still some ambiguity regarding what an employer can or cannot require an employee to do during meal and rest breaks.

DID A 2014 CA SUPREME COURT DECISION MAKE IT BETTER OR WORSE?

– If you are on a meal break, and your boss needs you, are you obligated to respond?

– Are you obligated to work?

– Can your employer legally pull you off of a required rest break to work?

In 2014, the California Supreme Court decided that “Employers Must Relieve Employees of All Duty During Meal Periods But Need Not Ensure They Perform No Work.” In this decision, the Court noted that California employees must be “relieved of all duties” during their statutorily required 30-minute meal periods.

The specific questions came from a case called Brinker Restaurant Corporation v. Superior Court. The Brinker case was, at the time, one of many employment law based class action lawsuits pending in California. It centered on employees making the claim that the Brinker Restaurant Corporation had failed to provide the number of, and timing of, both meal breaks and rest periods as required by California state law.

HOWEVER, THE QUESTION REMAINED: DOES AN EMPLOYEE HAVE TO BE AVAILABLE TO WORK WHILE THEY ARE ON A BREAK?

In an effort to resolve ambiguity that arose from this case, and multiple others, the California Supreme Court further concluded that while an employer is required to dismiss an employee of all job responsibilities during a meal period (meal break), the employer does not have to guarantee that no work is done.

Thankfully, it seems that a 2016 decision by the same California Supreme Court MAY have clarified the, “Are employees on-call during a rest break” question…

On December 22, 2016, the California Supreme Court handed down an opinion in the Augustus v. ABM Industries case. Their decision, once and for all, answered this question:

“California law requires employers to relieve their employees of all work-related duties and employer control during 10-minute rest periods. The trial court’s summary adjudication and summary judgment orders were premised on this understanding of the law. Rightly so: Wage Order 4, subdivision 12(A) and section 226.7 prohibit on-duty rest periods. What they require instead is that employers relinquish any control over how employees spend their break time, and relieve their employees of all duties –– including the obligation that an employee remain on call. A rest period, in short, must be a period of rest. We accordingly reverse the Court of Appeal’s judgment on this issue.”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR EMPLOYEES?

It means that all California employees continue to have rights. And most importantly, that all California employees have the right to ask questions about their rights.

QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR RIGHTS?

Employee advocates are standing by.

IF YOU GOT FIRED LIKE THESE PEOPLE, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

MOST California employees either wait too long to contact an attorney. Or, they never do at all. The consequences can be expensive.

OVERWORKED WAREHOUSE WORKER – A 35-year old warehouse worker in central California works so much that he us unable to take his regular scheduled breaks. He has missed work breaks for years. One day, he complains to his boss. The next day he is fired.

PREGNANT SECRETARY – A 30-year old secretary in Southern California is excited about being 3-months pregnant. One day, she comes into work, sits her boss down, and tell him that she is pregnant. The next day she is fired.

UNDERPAID RESTAURANT DISHWASHER – A 40-year old dishwasher at an upscale restaurant in San Fransisco is constantly working overtime. Some weeks he will work as many as 20 hours of overtime…20! He’s a great employee, and his bosses love him, but they never pay him overtime. One day, just like the Warehouse Worker, he complains about this…The next day he is fired.

 

While none of these three people know each other, they may all share one thing in common.

They may have been all fired unfairly.

And… they my be owed money.

In the case of the Warehouse Worker, it’s very likely his employer engaged in what’s called a Wage and Hour Violation by not allowing him to take breaks. With the Pregnant Secretary, she may be owed money because she was fired due to her pregnancy. With our Dishwasher, he may be owed all of that overtime money the restaurant did not pay him.

WERE YOU RECENTLY FIRED? Do you know your employee rights? You’re not alone. Most Californians employees do not know that wrongfully terminated employees may be owed money.

WHAT’S THE GOOD NEWS? The good news is that there is an easy way for Warehouse Workers, Secretaries, Dishwashers, and most every California employee to learn their rights. If you have been wrongfully terminated, fired, or quit, and think you may have a case, feel free to call 888-739-3092 for a FREE CONSULT!

GIG WORKERS JUST GOT SOME SERIOUS LOVE FROM THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT!

A late April California Supreme Court ruling could reclassify contractors (gig workers) as employees. What could this mean? A whole lot!

A case came before the California Supreme Court. It centered on the drivers for a California-based delivery company. Some of their job requirements involved wearing corporate uniforms, putting corporate logos on their vehicles, paying for vehicle maintenance, gas, and other job-related expenses out of their own pockets. They were, per their employer, “contract” or “gig” workers. Not employees.

The drivers contended that their work fell under full-time employee classification, and should not fall under independent contractor classification.

The case moved through the courts, and ultimately wound up in San Francisco, at the California Supreme Court.

Ultimately, in an 85-page ruling, the seven justices decided that California workers can only be classified as independent contractors by a company if they can show that the worker controls their own work, that their duties go beyond what the business normally engages in, and when the same worker “is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring entity.”

WHO MIGHT THIS AFFECT?

Well, first, it could greatly impact any California employer that has used, “we’re unique, and the normal rules don’t apply to us” as an excuse. That may not be a viable rationale anymore. What’s yet to be seen, and could be a real threat to an entire investment model, is how this may affect entire Gig Economy business models.

More importantly, it could greatly affect California employee rights and have a wide-ranging impact on all contract employees in California. Why? Because it may require employers to provide benefit and a minimum wage for gig workers

Stay tuned.

Our employee advocates certainly will.