Your job is not just a place where you spend 40+ hours a week. Work provides you with a reliable income to support your family and build a future. A job is also something that many Sacramento workers take great pride in. Thus, when employment disputes arise, it can cause a tremendous amount of stress.
The Sacramento employment attorneys at King & Siegel, LLP represent workers in all types of employment litigation. We understand how important your job is and how important it is to be happy at your job. We will do everything possible to right your employer’s unlawful employment practices, so you can go back to focusing on your life. Contact us today.
Workers’ Rights in California
State and federal law provide broad protections to employees. The result is that employees have significant rights, many of which they may not be aware of.
Some of the most common federal employment laws include:
- The Fair Labor Standards Act,
- The Occupational Health and Safety Act,
- The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA),
- The Family Medical Leave Act,
- The Americans with Disabilities Act,
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA),
- The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA),
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), and
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
California takes a different approach, creating an all-inclusive framework for employment rights in the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) covers most discrimination cases. Between state and federal law, employees have the following rights:
- The right to be paid for the work they complete;
- The right to be free from workplace discrimination;
- The right to report an employer’s illegal conduct with fear of retaliation;
- The right to be free from workplace harassment; and
- The right to a safe workplace.
Of course, this is an incomplete list, but it conveys the point—workers have rights, and employers need to respect them.
It is a violation of state and federal law for an employer to discriminate against employees based on certain protected characteristics. California offers broader protection than federal law and protects workers from being discriminated against based on their:
- Ancestry or national origin,
- Gender identity or gender expression,
- Genetic information,
- Marital status,
- Medical conditions,
- Mental or physical disability,
- Military and veteran status,
- Race or ethnicity,
- Sex, or
- Sexual orientation.
Employment discrimination can take many forms. In some cases, an employer’s discrimination is apparent; however, in others, it is more nuanced. The following are some examples of what may be discrimination:
- A supervisor who sexually harasses an employee;
- Management that permits one employee to harass another;
- Paying male and female workers different wages for the same work;
- Denying an employee time off for their pregnancy or pregnancy-related health condition;
- Declining to promote someone based on a perceived disability; and
- Implementing workplace policies that unfairly burden certain religious groups.
Of course, an employer is unlikely to admit discriminatory conduct. Instead, employers often attempt to hide their true motives by offering a seemingly legitimate reason for their actions. With decades of experience, the Sacramento employment lawyers at King & Siegel, LLP can help you prove a case of employment discrimination.
Wage and Hour Violations
Employers must pay employees for the work they perform. This includes paying workers at least the current minimum hourly wage, compensating them for meal and rest breaks, and paying overtime wages, when appropriate. It is also a violation of state employment law to misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid paying them the benefits employees receive.
Often, these cases proceed as class action lawsuits due to the fact that many similarly situated employees suffered the same type of harm. At King & Siegel, LLP, we have an in-depth understanding of state and federal wage and hour laws and can help you fight for the wages your employer owes you.
State and federal employment laws preclude employers from taking action against an employee who exercises their legal rights. This is referred to as workplace retaliation. Some of the protected activities for which an employee cannot be retaliated against include:
- Raising issues of workplace safety;
- Reporting instances of workplace discrimination or harassment;
- Filing an employment lawsuit against an employer;
- Filing a workers’ compensation claim;
- Discussing salary issues with co-workers;
- Taking sick leave to care for a family member; and
- Engaging in political speech.
While these activities are protected, employers may view them unfavorably. An employer may try to retaliate against an employee in various ways, including:
- Demoting an employee;
- Reducing an employee’s pay;
- Wrongfully terminating an employee;
- Denying an employee access to training or job-advancement opportunities;
- Unnecessarily relocating or transferring an employee;
- Issuing unwarranted negative performance reviews;
- Changing a worker’s schedule;
- Excluding an employee from meetings; and
- Excessively monitoring an employee’s work.
These actions are illegal if they are motivated by the employee’s protected complaint of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.
Workplace retaliation claims are complex and require the ability to look beyond an employer’s stated reason for a particular action. At King & Siegel, LLP, we have handled countless employment retaliation cases on behalf of our clients. We know where to look to find signs of retaliatory conduct and what it takes to prove our clients’ claims.
Has Your Employer Committed Employment Law Violations? King & Siegel, LLP Can Help
If you were recently the victim of an employment violation, reach out to King & Siegel, LLP. We’ve assembled a dedicated team of Sacramento employment attorneys who passionately advocate on behalf of workers. Our lawyers graduated from the top five law schools, including Harvard, Columbia, Yale, and New York University, and trained at some of the country’s most well-known litigation firms.
Our Sacramento employment lawyers have handled hundreds of claims on behalf of workers and look forward to seeing how we can help you. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation, contact us today.
Our experienced attorneys handle other types of cases as well, including: