It happens every day and in every line of work. Violations of California’s complex and ever-changing wage and hour laws are a regular occurrence. Employers either underpay their employees intentionally, or by not diligently researching the California Labor Code. An underpayment of wages consists of unpaid time, unpaid commission, lack of meal period premiums, and/or lack of paid rest periods.
Not every termination is legal. Although California is an at-will state, employees still have protections against wrongful termination. Most wrongful terminations stem from retaliation, or when an employer takes an adverse employment action against an employee for speaking out or helping in an investigatory matter. If your company is being sued, you have every right to help in the investigation without being fired or demoted.
Employees always have a right to be free from discrimination and harassment in the workplace. California holds more protection than federal law when it comes to workplace harassment, especially sexual harassment. Unlike federal law, co-workers who are not supervisors can be sued and held personally responsible for unlawful workplace harassment.
The workplace is an area where disputes of various types are commonplace. Most disputes aren’t actionable. However, sometimes these disputes can form the basis of a legal complaint. For example, if an employee is retaliated against for complaining about activities she believes are illegal then there may be a claim for retaliation. Employees are sometimes subjected to adverse employment decisions because they have taken leave for a pregnancy or disability and these too can give rise to a legal claim.