Rancho Mirage Employment Lawyer For Employers
California maintains some of the most stringent employment laws in the country. The state goes to great lengths to protect employees from perceived wrongs at the hands of their employers. For business owners, the maze of state and federal labor laws can create confusion and lead to conflicts between employers and employees. Disputes with employees can be expensive and have negative impacts on the reputation of a business.
Most employers also want to have a positive relationship with their employees. Misunderstandings and simple mistakes can sometimes lead to employee complaints. Of course, there are also times when an employee may file a baseless claim against an employer. Regardless of the reason for the complaint, employers need to have legal counsel representing them. While most large corporations maintain in-house attorneys who handle many of the business’s legal concerns, it is often not feasible for smaller or moderately sized businesses to retain their own in-house attorneys. The Law Office of Karen Sloat works to provide legal counsel to these businesses and strives to provide companies with a strong and dedicated legal advocate on their side.
If you are facing an employment-related legal dispute in Rancho Mirage, including claims of discrimination, harassment, or violations of wage and hour laws, contact us today to discuss your case.
The Law Office of Karen J. Sloat also works to establish workplace processes and standards, as well as legal guidelines, for local businesses. We can help you develop training manuals and employee handbooks that will protect your interests and define the company’s procedures and expectations for your employees. We also work with businesses that want to protect their employees, premises and operations during the COVID-19 outbreak. Office standards changed because of the pandemic, and we are working aggressively to ensure that our clients are well-prepared to handle these challenging times.
Wage and Hour Disputes in Rancho Mirage
California laws regulate the minimum wage and other wage and hour requirements for employees across the state. If you have an employee who is complaining that you violated the state’s wage and hour laws, it is important to take such allegations seriously. We defend businesses accused of the following wage and hour violations:
- 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
Our attorneys can evaluate your business practices to determine the best way to defend you against these and other alleged violations. It is important to understand that wage and hour complaints can lead to class action lawsuits against an employer by a group of employees. Our attorneys regularly defend employers in litigation as well. Contact us today to discuss your labor law issues with a Rancho Mirage employment law attorney.
Employment Law Attorneys in Rancho Mirage
California’s harassment and discrimination laws can be complex and difficult to navigate; however, lawsuits asserting harassment claims are increasing dramatically. The attorneys at the Law Office of Karen J. Sloat are ready to defend these lawsuits and counsel our clients on the best ways to resolve disputes with employees who express grievances.
Defending Harassment Claims in Rancho Mirage
Harassment claims involving sex are the most publicized. However, California law establishes employee protections from various other forms of work-related harassment and from a “hostile work environment” related to those protected categories. An employee in California can pursue a harassment claim based on their membership in any of the following categories:
- 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
Only experienced labor law attorneys can successfully defend harassment allegations. If you are facing claims of workplace harassment, contact a Rancho Mirage employment law attorney to develop a strategy that will protect you and your business.
Defending Discrimination Claims in Rancho Mirage
If an employer decides not to hire a person, to fire a person, or changes a person’s employment status in a negative way because that individual is part of one of the above protected categories, the employer could face a discrimination claim from the aggrieved employee.
If any employee has complained about discrimination in your workplace, tackle the issue head-on by contacting an experienced Rancho Mirage employment law attorney today.
Misclassification of Workers in Rancho Mirage
Employees and independent contractors are different in more than just titles. California law classifies a worker as an employee by default, and contractors must meet certain established criteria. Employees often are paid by the hour, are carefully supervised by their employer, receive training from their employer, are provided with tools and equipment from the company to do their work, are an integral part of the company’s business, and work more or less exclusively for that employer. On the other hand, independent contractors are often paid by the job, not by the hour, set their own hours, provide their own equipment, have multiple clients, pay their own business expenses, and generally operate as their own business. Employees are entitled to certain benefits from their employer, such as retirement benefits (Social Security), medical and sick leave, workers’ compensation insurance, and other basic rights. True independent contractors receive none of those benefits and fewer rights.
The distinction between an employee and an independent contractor is an important one. If an employer unlawfully misclassifies an employee as an independent contractor, that decision violates the employee’s rights and can lead to a lawsuit or other proceeding, with potential penalties, fines and other costs. It is important to understand the differences and to make decisions regarding hiring employees versus independent contractors with a complete understanding of applicable law. If you use independent contractors, contact a Rancho Mirage employment law attorney today to get legal advice.
Employment Contracts and Severance Agreements in Rancho Mirage
The Law Office of Karen J. Sloat works to develop employment contracts and severance agreements that protect the interests of our clients. A well-drafted contract can help you and your business avoid future disputes with your employees.
Alternative Dispute Resolution and Litigation in Rancho Mirage
Employers may benefit from resolving disputes outside of the court system. One method of alternative dispute resolution is mediation. A mediator can help employees and employers come up with creative solutions to their disputes. However, mediators do not have the authority to make a binding ruling on a claim. Arbitration is another form of alternative dispute resolution, and an arbitrator, unlike a mediator, can make binding decisions for your case. However, sometimes the only course of action is to defend yourself or your business in a court of law. Your attorney can help you determine the best options, given the circumstances you are facing.
Rancho Mirage Workplace Investigations
If your workplace is being investigated, you must understand your rights and the best way to protect yourself throughout this stressful process. Having an attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you are treated fairly by investigators. Also, internal investigations of workplace issues are often required by law. Our office staff helps business owners discern when to conduct their own investigations, when to hire outside investigators, and whether unlawful conduct has occurred in the workplace.
Rancho Mirage Employers, Contact the Law Office of Karen J. Sloat Today
The Law Office of Karen J. Sloat is dedicated to representing employers in Rancho Mirage, California. Call us at 760-779-1313 to discuss your business and learn more about what our attorneys can do for you.