Palm Springs Employment Law Attorneys for Employers
Employers across California must contend with some of the most complicated and robust employee protection laws in the country. Understanding all the regulations, both state and federal, can prove difficult and lead to unintentional mishaps. Employers who find themselves involved in disputes with employees may worry about the impacts of claims on their business, reputation, and relationship with their workers. In many cases, legal issues arise out of misunderstandings or simple oversight, when the employer did not intend any malice or any violation of law. Other times, claims might be made by a vindictive former employee. Regardless of what prompted the complaint, it is vital that employers have skilled attorneys looking out for their best interests.
California’s small and medium-sized businesses are owned by people who put their heart and soul into their work. Not every business can afford an in-house attorney who handles all their legal issues. At the Law Office of Karen J. Sloat, our dedicated employment law attorneys work to provide an in-house counsel experience from the outside for smaller and more moderate-sized Palm Springs businesses.
We have experience helping small businesses in Palm Springs avoid or defend many employment law disputes, including those involving discrimination, harassment, and wage and hour complaints. Our attorneys also help develop training manuals and employee handbooks for businesses that can help establish relationships and set expectations between employers and employees. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, the Law Office of Karen J. Sloat created office standards regarding the pandemic and protections for employees working amid these new risks.
Palm Springs Wage and Hour Disputes
Disputes regarding wages and hours in California can become extremely expensive for employers to litigate. If multiple employees complain about alleged violations of labor laws, employers can face multiple legal actions or class-action lawsuits. Hiring an experienced employment law attorney means that you will have a legal advocate working to protect your business and to develop a successful strategy to fight the allegations. Our attorneys will evaluate your business practices to determine the best methods for defending wage and hour claims. Often, there are alternative avenues for reaching solutions with employees outside of litigation. We frequently represent clients accused of violating the law in the following categories:
- Overtime or other Unpaid Wages
- Meal and Rest Period violations
- Failure to Reimburse Business Expenses
- Unlawful Tip Pooling or allocations
- Noncompliant Timekeeping Policies and Practices
- Retaliation and Wrongful Termination for Wage Complaints
- Breach of Contract
If you are accused of improperly paying your employees for their work, you should not waste time. Contact a Palm Springs employment law attorney right away.
Employment Law Attorneys in Palm Springs
Employees are protected from discrimination and harassment in the workplace. For employers, it can be difficult to monitor or police everything that happens in the workplace. The Law Office of Karen J. Sloat defends employers against these types of allegations and helps employers create documents that protect business interests.
Defending Against Harassment Claims in Palm Springs
Employees can file a claim against their employer for workplace harassment. Most employers are familiar with sexual harassment, but there are various protected classes in California of which employers should be aware. Harassment of an employee based on any of the following could result in a complaint:
- 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 should face harassment complaints head-on and never hesitate to contact an attorney for advice when an employee alleges there is a hostile work environment. Often, the employee’s allegations cannot be proven with admissible evidence, and an experienced attorney can present successful defenses to these claims.
Dealing With Palm Springs Employment Discrimination Claims
Discrimination claims are similar to harassment claims in that they relate to treatment of a worker in a protected class. However, discrimination claims do not require proof of a hostile work environment. Typically, a discrimination complaint arises out of an employer’s decisions that are based on a person’s membership in the above protected categories. For instance, if an employer fires someone because they are pregnant, that employee could bring a successful discrimination claim.
Employers should take discrimination allegations seriously. Contact an experienced Palm Springs employment law attorney to learn how to protect against, and defend, these claims.
Independent Contractor Issues and Worker Misclassification
Employers sometimes misclassify their workers as independent contractors when those workers are serving as employees. It is important to consider carefully the way you utilize a worker’s services and to classify them correctly. Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor is considered a violation of that worker’s rights and can result in severe consequences, including penalties, fines and publication of your violations. If you are accused of wrongfully categorizing an employee, contact an attorney to discuss your options for defending those allegations.
Palm Springs Employment Contracts
Employment contracts are an important aspect of many businesses, because they establish the rules for the relationship between an employer and an employee. Both the employer and the employee must comply with the terms of the contract. At the Law Office of Karen L. Sloat, our attorneys understand how important it is to draft an employment contract that protects employer rights without violating any state or federal labor laws.
Severance agreements establish the terms related to the end of an employer-employee relationship. When it comes to employment contracts, getting the language correct is key. Our attorneys can draft agreements that will protect your rights and avoid future conflict.
Employment Law Mediation, Arbitration and other Dispute Resolution Methods
Litigation can be extremely expensive for employers. There are alternative ways of settling disputes with employees. Mediation is one form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). In a mediation, a mediator will help the disputing parties develop potential solutions to the disputes at hand. The mediator does not have the authority of the judge to make a ruling that is binding on either party. Arbitration is another form of ADR, which differs from mediation because the arbitrator can create a binding award, that can be converted into a court judgment. You and your employee will have to accept the ruling of the arbitrator in most cases. Employers often find this to be a favorable form of dispute resolution, as opposed to litigation. The Law Office of Karen J. Sloat is here to help you navigate these systems and find the best forum in which to resolve a dispute in your particular case.
Civil Litigation and Trial in Palm Springs Labor Law Disputes
Sometimes, litigation may be unavoidable. If you are facing a lawsuit from a current or former employee, you need a skilled and experienced Palm Springs employment law attorney to represent you. Successfully defending a lawsuit takes time, exceptional knowledge of the court systems, and effective strategies. In many cases, it will be possible to work out a settlement before trial, but the best course of action will depend on the parties’ evidence and circumstances. Employers need to reach out to an attorney right away when they are facing the prospect of a lawsuit or are served with a complaint.
Workplace Solutions: Counseling, HR Advice, and Training for Owners, Managers and Other Employer Representation
Avoiding workplace disputes now is preferable to litigating them later. The attorneys at the Law Office of Karen J. Sloat provide workplace solutions to businesses that ensure that your human resources and training practices comply with all aspects of California and federal employment law. Contact us today to learn more about our Palm Springs workplace solutions and how they can help you.
Palm Springs Workplace Investigations
Investigations of your workplace conditions or of particular employees are sometimes necessary as a defense to employee claims. Anxiety over workplace disputes is common even among employers who know that they have done nothing wrong. Contacting an attorney for help with your investigations or to resolve internal workplace disputes will ensure that your interests and rights are protected.
Palm Springs Employers, Call the Law Office of Karen J. Sloat Today
The Law Office of Karen J. Sloat has decades of experience representing employers in employment law disputes in Palm Springs and throughout the Coachella Valley in Riverside County. Call us today at 760-779-1313 to learn what we can do for you and your business.