Employees are afforded wide range of protections under Federal and California laws. Absent an employment contract, an employee is considered to be “at-will”. Generally speaking, that means that an “at-will” employee can quit at any time, and an employer can terminate the employment relationship without cause. Employers, however, cannot terminate, demote, or refuse to hire an employee for unlawful reasons, such as an employee’s gender, race or national origin, to give example. Furthermore, employers cannot retaliate against employees by way of termination, demotion or suspension because an employee has engaged in some lawful conduct (i.e., reporting illegal activity of an employer). Similarly, an employee has the right to work in an environment free from harassment by co-workers or supervisors.
The California Labor Code and Industrial Welfare Commission set out specific guidelines for work hours, meal and rest periods, and overtime payment. Most employers fail to follow the law and find themselves in violation of wage and hour laws. Additionally, employers will improperly categorize individuals as independent contractors instead of employees. Sometimes employers are not aware of the difference, while other times employers misclassify in order to avoid employment taxes, unemployment and workers’ compensation benefits, overtime and meal and rest periods. If such a violation is discovered, employers can face penalties, and you can be entitled to back wages.
At Aghaeian Law, we have experience representing employees in the following areas:
- Wrongful Termination
- Violation of CFRA and FMLA
- Wage and Hour
- Breach of Employment Contract