Employment Law Attorneys for Employees in Palm Springs
Americans spend an average of 90,000 hours of their lives working. Of course, those work hours are what allow us to support ourselves, and often, our loved ones as well. With so much riding on our jobs, it is vital that we understand that we have rights in the workplace. California has some of the country’s best legal protections for workers. Knowing your rights makes you an empowered employee.
If you believe that your employer violated your rights, contact the Law Office of Karen J. Sloat. We have decades of experience fighting for the hard-working people of Palm Springs, California. Call us today at 760-779-1313 for a consultation.
Employment Law in Palm Springs
California’s robust employment laws are designed to ensure that employers respect the rights of their workers. There are many ways in which an employee may face conditions at work that are illegal and violate employee rights. The Law Office of Karen J. Sloat works with individuals who discover employment law violations. We understand how frustrating and frightening it can be to confront an employer’s mistreatment. Hiring an attorney can be empowering and enable the employee to have help fighting against an unlawful or corrupt employer.
The following are some ways in which an employer might violate your rights:
There are a large number of protected classes or categories in California, and discrimination against employees based upon their membership in the following classes is illegal:
- 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
Employers cannot make decisions regarding work conditions, hiring, or firing if the substantial motivating factor for the decision is the employee’s membership in one or more of the above categories. If your employer does discriminate unlawfully, we can guide you through the process of filing a complaint with the appropriate agency or pursuing a lawsuit against your employer.
Workplace harassment is different from discrimination, although in some instances, an employee might experience both. An employer who refuses to hire someone based on a protected category is discriminating. An employer who mocks, chastises, or makes sexual or abusive comments is engaging in harassment. Sexual harassment might be the most well-known form of harassment, but it is not the only kind. In addition, employers or co-workers can create a hostile environment in a Palm Springs workplace by engaging in harassing behavior that targets people because they fall within the above categories.
Employees facing these unacceptable and illegal working conditions can file a claim, and in some cases, take their claim to court. To learn more about your rights and the process of pursuing a claim against a harasser or employer who allows a hostile work environment, call Palm Springs employment attorneys at the Law Office of Karen J. Sloat.
Independent Contractor Versus Employee (Misclassification)
Employers are obligated to provide certain benefits and rights to employees. Independent contractors do not have the same rights and benefits, and sometimes employers can save money by working with an independent contractor rather than hiring an employee. Unfortunately, sometimes Palm Springs employers will incorrectly categorize a person as an independent contractor rather than an employee, as part of an effort to deny that person benefits, such as overtime, workers’ compensation, meals and rest breaks, etc., to which the worker is entitled. Contact a Palm Springs employment law attorney if you believe you are misclassified as a contractor.
Analysis of Severance Agreements
Your employer or their an attorney may create a severance agreement for you to review, as you separate from employment. Often, those severance agreements protect the company’s interests, and not the employee’s interests. You should have representation as well. The Law Office of Karen J. Sloat can analyze and negotiate severance agreement terms to ensure that you are getting fair treatment.
Breach of Employment Contract Claims
Employees often sign employment contracts without putting much thought into the terms or conditions. After all, many employees are excited to get a new job offer and do not believe that they are in a position to negotiate more favorable terms. In any event, if you have an employment contract, you should read the terms and understand that your employer has an obligation to abide by those terms. Some contract terms may involve work conditions, job expectations, grounds for termination, disciplinary standards, and hazard pay provisions. If your Palm Springs employer violates any of these, or other terms, you could have a breach of contract claim.
Employment Law Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods
Litigation can be costly, and employers will often avoid the expense of litigation with their employees by selecting a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which may include mediation or arbitration. Sometimes the employment contract will require arbitration, and other times the parties may agree to a different ADR method. Mediation is less formal, and the mediator may work with the parties to find creative solutions to the dispute. However, the mediator cannot make a binding decision. Arbitration is different in that the arbitrator can make a decision, and the arbitration award is similar to a court judgment. When you are deciding how to resolve a Palm Springs employment dispute, it is important to appreciate fully the type of ADR you will employ and to make sure you have someone on your side to advocate for you.
Civil Litigation in Labor Law Disputes
Sometimes employees must seek dispute resolution through litigation. A civil lawsuit starts when the aggrieved party files a complaint with the court. In some cases, the result will eventually be decided in court but, most of the time, the parties will reach a settlement. Lawsuits can be long and drawn out, and involve many technical procedures and complicated strategy. It is vital to have an experienced attorney as your advocate.
If you are an employee in Palm Springs, California, and you are facing any of the above types of mistreatment at work, contact the Law Office of Karen J. Sloat at 760-779-1313 to learn how we can help.
Wage and Hour Violations in Palm Springs
California sets the minimum wage and dictates the required break times for employees. The state also establishes numerous rules for hours of work and overtime pay, as well as other requirements for your pay. If your employer violates those laws, you may have a case against that employer. For instance, most non-exempt employees may work only up to 40 hours a week and only eight hours a day before they are entitled to overtime pay. Employees who work additional hours must receive time and a half for those extra hours, or even two times their hourly wage for double time. Employers that fail to pay proper wages are in violation of the law. The following are some common wage and hour violations:
- Unpaid Minimum Hourly Wage or Overtime pay
- Late Payment of Wages
- Breach of a Contract’s compensation terms
- Denial of Meal/Rest Periods
- Lack of Reimbursement for Business Expenses
If your employer committed any of these violations, contact the Palm Springs employment attorneys at the Law Office of Karen J. Sloat today to learn about your right to file a claim. Remember, your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you for bringing such a claim!
Palm Springs Employees, Call the Law Office of Karen J. Sloat
At the Law Office of Karen J. Sloat, our attorneys have been working to represent Palm Springs employees in employment disputes for decades. We know how to navigate the California legal system, and we will fight to ensure that hard-working Californians get the help they need. Call us at 760-779-1313 for a consultation.