YES! CALIFORNIA IS AN “AT WILL “ STATE…YES! YOU CAN STILL SUE YOUR EMPLOYER FOR WRONGFUL TERMINATION…

WHAT DOES AN AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT MEAN?

The general definition of “at-will” employment means that an employee does not have a written employment contract and that the employer has a right to end the employee’s employment for any reason, at any time, with no notice. You can read more about what it means here.

DOES BEING AN AT-WILL EMPLOYEE MEAN THAT YOUR EMPLOYER CAN WRONGFULLY TERMINATE YOU?

No, it does not. While employees may hear their bosses and managers say that they can just fire them for any reason at any time, that is not necessarily true. There are many employee protections in place. First, there are a number of California State and US Federal laws that protect employees, like the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

BEING AN AT-WILL EMPLOYEE DOES NOT MEAN YOUR EMPLOYER CAN FIRE YOU ILLEGALLY

One of the greatest miconceptions about working in California is that your employer can fire you for any reason at all. They can not! Being an at-will employee in California does not mean that your employer can fire you illegally. A California employer can not terminate their employee for an illegal reason. Some of these illegal reasons are…

  • DISCRIMINATION BASED ON YOUR SEX
  • DISCRIMINATION BASED ON YOUR GENDER
  • DISCRIMINATION BASED ON YOUR RELIGIOUS BELIEF
  • DISCRIMINATION BASED ON YOUR SEXUAL ORIENTATION

WHAT ARE SOME REASONS A FIRED EMPLOYEE MAY BE OWED MONEY FROM THEIR EMPLOYER?

If you have been fired and/or quit an employer that treated you unfairly, then you may be owed money. While an employer may fire you for any reason, that does not mean that they can wrongfully terminate employees. Do you believe that you were fired for an illegal reason? If so, then you may be owed money…

  • WERE YOU FORCED TO WORK THROUGH BREAKS?
  • WERE YOU DISCRIMINATED AGAINST AT WORK?
  • WERE YOU FORCED TO WORK OFF-THE-CLOCK?
  • WERE YOU NOT PAID FOR OVERTIME/BREAKS?
  • WERE YOU FIRED FOR BEING PREGNANT?
  • WERE YOU INJURED AT WORK?
  • WERE YOU WRONGFULLY TERMINATED?

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO A FREE CASE REVIEW!

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!

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THE SUPREME COURT JUST !@#%’ED CALIFORNIA WORKERS

Yet again, the little guy, the individual worker, is being robbed of his or her rights.

This time the thief is the highest federal court of the United States, the Supreme Court of the United States.

On May 21st, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled on the Epic Systems Corp v. Lewis case. The 5-4 decision the Court handed down held that the Federal Arbitration Act of 1925) overrules the National Labor Relations Act of 1935).

Let’s look at some recent workers rights class-action lawsuits:

– In 2016, because of labor law violations regarding California fast food workers, McDonald’s paid $3.75 million dollars to settle a labor lawsuit.

– In 2017, female employees of Walmart filed a complaint in federal court, in Florida, related to the company’s pay and promotion practices, alleging years of gender discrimination.

– In 2017, restaurant chain Panera faced a class-action overtime suit claiming employees were not paid overtime wages they say they were owed when they worked as assistant managers.

The above cases were all strengthened because they were filed as class-action lawsuits.

WHAT IS A CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT?

A class-action lawsuit is an “important and valuable part of the legal system because they permit the fair and efficient resolution of legitimate claims of numerous parties by allowing the claims to be aggregated into a single action against a defendant that has allegedly caused harm.”

Class-action lawsuits also empower individual employees to join a “class” of wronged individuals.

WHAT JUST HAPPENED TO IMPACT CALIFORNIA RESTAURANT WORKERS?

With a recent Supreme Court ruling, these class-action cases may be a thing of the past.

WHAT DOES THE RULING MEAN?

The 5-4 decision means that the class-action waivers found in arbitration agreements, as well as other clauses that require employees to arbitrate their claims individually, are enforceable and do not violate the NLRA.

HUH? BUT WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR WORKERS!

It means that the days of employees joining class action lawsuits against an employer may be gone.

It means that arbitration agreements may bar employees – individually or as a class – the access to the court system

If an employer violates wage and hour laws, or other labor laws like discrimination, unsafe work environments, and the like, that employees will only be able to bring claims as individuals, and not as a class.

It means that when California restaurants violate wage or other labor laws, employees will only be able to bring claims up individually, in arbitration, and not as a class.

Already this case is having ramifications as thousands of Chipotle workers could be shut out of wage-theft lawsuit by new supreme court ruling

Many agree that this ruling is an appalling affront of employee rights.

WHY IS THIS A VICTORY FOR EMPLOYERS?

This case is seen as a victory for employers because it could significantly reduce the number of claims brought against them, and because historically, cases in arbitration favor the employer over the employee.

MOST CALIFORNIA EMPLOYEES DO NOT KNOW THEIR RIGHTS!

That’s the unfortunate reality. Most California employees think that just because they work in an “at-will” stare that they have no rights. Nothing could be further from the truth.

WHAT SHOULD EMPLOYEES DO IF THEY HAVE BEEN WRONGFULLY TERMINATED?

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 IG, Medium, or LinkedIn, 

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.

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!