Riverside County & Coachella Valley Employment Lawyer For Employers
At the Law Office of Karen J. Sloat, our attorneys have decades of experience representing businesses in employment-related matters. Our highly-trained Workplace Solutions staff are familiar with common personnel situations and challenges, and help guide employers by providing documents and other support.
Our Riverside County & Coachella Valley employment lawyers are available to help you create effective and compliant policies and procedures to preserve your valuable employee-employer relationships. As some examples, we draft tailored handbooks and personnel policies, training manuals and notices, and written plans so you can operate your business in compliance with COVID-19 related regulations and other best practices.
California Employment Laws
California has some of the country’s strictest employment-related laws. The state’s effort to protect employees has resulted in complicated regulations with which employers must contend. Also, as an employer in California, you are subject to both state and federal employment-related laws and regulations, which are difficult for busy business owners to track and understand. An employer can easily make a mistake that will result in a violation of a labor law. While large companies often have attorneys working in-house to provide oversight of all company policies and practices, most moderate and smaller businesses cannot justify the cost of an in-house attorney. Still, it is important that all businesses work with a dedicated employment attorney who helps protect their business interests.
At the Law Office of Karen J. Sloat, our attorneys have decades of experience representing businesses in employment-related matters. Our highly-trained Workplace Solutions staff are familiar with common personnel situations and challenges, and help guide employers by providing documents and other support. We are available to help you create effective and compliant policies and procedures to preserve your valuable employee-employer relationships. As some examples, we draft tailored handbooks and personnel policies, training manuals and notices, and written plans so you can operate your business in compliance with COVID-19 related regulations and other best practices.
Drafting Documents and Office Training
The first step to avoid disputes with employees and claims against your company is ensuring that your business establishes proper terms for the employment relationship. For instance, if you enter into employment contracts with employees, you must ensure that the contract complies with California and federal law and that all provisions of that document work to protect the company’s interests. Sometimes employers benefit from entering into severance agreements with separating employees as well. A well-written severance agreement can insulate a company from many types of legal claims that employees could file when they separate from the company.
It is also important that employers understand whether to categorize workers as employees or independent contractors and what accommodations, benefits, and support the company must provide to workers, based on their status. Wrongfully classifying an employee as an independent contractor can have severe consequences for an employer and lead to devastating losses.
The Law Office of Karen J. Sloat helps businesses handle human resource issues before and during employee conflicts. We are here to provide training, documents, advice and consultations for our clients, and to provide a strong and effective defense for our business clients when employee claims or lawsuits occur. Contact the Law Office of Karen J. Sloat today to speak to a Coachella, California employment law attorney.
Defending Against Employee Allegations
Common employee complaints against employers include discrimination claims, harassment claims, and wage and hour violation claims.
Discrimination claims arise from situations where an employee believes that they were negatively impacted in their employment status based on membership in a protected class. For instance, if your employee believes you terminated them because of their age, did not hire them based on their race, or overlooked them for a promotion because of a pregnancy, you might face a discrimination claim. Under employment discrimination laws in California, protected classes include:
- 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
Sometimes discrimination claims are not backed up by reality. Employees may misunderstand the reason for your employment-related decisions. Regardless of the reason the employee filed the claim or made the complaint, it is important to protect your business by speaking to an attorney and responding appropriately.
Harassment claims involve treatment allegedly related to any of the above protected classes as well.
Many employers are familiar with sexual harassment in the workplace but may not realize that these other classes are also protected groups under employment discrimination laws. If you are facing a harassment claim, contact an attorney who can help you understand your rights and options for defending those allegations.
Wage and hour disputes occur when an employee believes that they are not properly compensated for their work or when they cannot take breaks during the workday. Not every employee in every industry is governed by the same set of rules. There are exceptions and exemptions to wage and hour regulations. However, California employers must pay at least minimum wage for all hours worked and are required to pay overtime and double time rates to certain employees, when applicable. Failing to comply with hour and wage regulations will often expose an employer to employee complaints, claims or charges filed with government agencies, or lawsuits in the courts. Sometimes, multiple employees may complain about your wage and hour practices, leading to a class-action lawsuit or Private Attorneys General Act litigation against your company. Defending against these claims can quickly become expensive. It is a good idea to address any wage and hour allegations promptly by getting attorney advice on how to address the employee complaints and, if necessary, remedy the violations.
If you are facing any type of employment-related legal claim, contact a Coachella, California employment law attorney today at the Law Office of Karen J. Sloat.
Resolving Employment-Related Disputes
Litigating employment disputes is expensive and burdensome for employers, but in some instances, you will not have any other reasonable options. If you are defending a lawsuit filed by an employee, you will need an employment law attorney who can develop a strategy for protecting you and defending those claims vigorously.
Employers may also have options for arbitrating or mediating complaints outside of the court system. Alternative dispute resolution, or ADR, is often a more cost-effective way of resolving an employee’s claim. To learn more about your legal options, contact our Coachella, California employment law attorneys.
Contact Our Experienced Riverside County & Coachella Valley Employment Lawyers Today
Our Southern California employment lawyers have decades of experience representing businesses in employment-related matters, contact our firm today.