La Quinta Employment Law Attorneys for Employees
If you work in California, you are entitled to legal protections established by both California state law and the federal law of the United States. California has some of the strictest laws in place to protect workers’ rights. Often, an employee who suffers mistreatment at the hands of his or her employer can feel as though they are fighting an uphill battle and putting themselves at risk by challenging the business for which they work. After all, your employer signs your paycheck, and you need your income to support yourself and your family. If you believe your employer is violating your rights, contact a La Quinta employment law attorney to learn more about your legal options and how the law works to protect people like you. The Law Office of Karen J. Sloat has decades of experience representing workers in California who suffered mistreatment at the hands of their employers. Call us today at 760-779-1313 to learn how we can help you.
Wage and Hour Disputes in La Quinta, California
Your employer may decide your wages, but only within the parameters set by law. You probably understand that your employer is obligated to pay you at least the minimum wage, but you might not know the exact California minimum wage that applies to your job. Also, unless you are an exempt employee, your employer must pay you overtime rates if you work more than 40 hours a week or over eight hours a day. You are also entitled to certain breaks and mealtimes and other benefits, depending on your job. Employers can face serious consequences for violating California’s wage and hour regulations. If your La Quinta employer failed to pay you properly or is forcing you to work without allowing you to take legally protected breaks, contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.
Discrimination in the Workplace in La Quinta
Employers can make decisions about who to hire and fire, who to promote or demote, and who should get a raise or bonus. However, employers cannot make these decisions based on certain protected attributes of their employees. For instance, your employer cannot fire you because you are pregnant or refuse to offer you a promotion because of your sexual orientation. Also, a potential employer cannot refuse to hire you based on your race.
Below are the categories which the law protects from discrimination in the workplace:
- Age (40 and over)
- Ancestry, national origin (including language)
- Disability (including mental and/or physical, genetic, cancer, HIV/AIDS)
- Domestic Violence Victim Status
- Gender identity, gender expression
- Marital Status
- Medical Conditions (including genetic characteristics/information)
- Military or Veteran Status
- Political Affiliation (when a civil rights violation)
- Race, color
- Religion, creed, ethnicity
- Requests for certain leave
- Sex, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical conditions)
- Sexual orientation
If you believe that an employer discriminated against you based on one of the above attributes, contact a La Quinta, California employment law attorney today.
Harassment in the Workplace in La Quinta
Like discrimination, harassment laws prohibit employers from mistreating employees based on the employee’s membership in the above protected categories. Harassment often involves coworkers or employers who create an environment that makes an employee feel unsafe or uncomfortable. You should not be forced to work in a hostile environment. If you believe you are suffering harassment at work based on any of the above categories, contact an attorney to discuss your rights.
Employee Versus Independent Contractor Misclassification
Independent contractors function essentially as their own businesses. Employees are different, not because their employer says that they are employees, but rather because of the type of work, the type of compensation and contractual rights, and the freedom from supervision which they enjoy. Employees are heavily supervised by their employers and often are paid salaries or hourly wages instead of receiving payments per job or project. The distinction between employees and independent contractors has a significant impact on whether the worker is entitled to employment benefits, including overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, and workers’ compensation protection, for example. Independent contractors do not receive these benefits. Improper classification of an employee as an independent contractor cheats an employee out of certain rights and benefits. If your employer improperly classified you, contact a La Quinta, California employment law attorney today.
La Quinta Breach of Employment Contract Claims
Oftentimes, when you take a job, you will be asked to sign an employment contract. It is important to understand all of the contract requirements to ensure that you do not violate or breach the terms of the agreement. Your employer is also bound by the same contract. If your employer violates the terms of your employment contract, that is considered a breach of contract, and you may be able to file a claim against your employer. Contact a La Quinta, California employment law attorney today to discuss your claim.
Resolving Disputes in La Quinta, California
Litigation is just one of a variety of ways in which employers and employees can settle employment-related disputes. Employers often use alternative forms of dispute resolution, as they are typically less costly than litigation. Mediation is one form of alternative dispute resolution in which a mediator attempts to help the parties come to an agreed-upon solution to their issues. Mediators cannot make binding decisions. Arbitration is different because an arbitrator hears all of the evidence, like a judge in a court, and does have the authority to create a binding decision with which both parties must comply. Courts will typically uphold an arbitrator’s decision, meaning that entering the arbitration process will likely result in a determination that you and your employer both must accept. Your attorney will discuss the implications of each of these forms of dispute resolution with you and help you develop a strategy for pursuing your claim.
La Quinta Employees, Contact the Law Office of Karen J. Sloat Today
If you are facing a dispute with your employer in La Quinta, call the Law Office of Karen J. Sloat to speak to one of our experienced employment law attorneys today. Call 760-779-1313 to learn more about how we can help you pursue your claim.