Employment is a basic necessity; whether you work because you need to pay the bills, love your job, or both. Sometimes, however, employees are confronted with a hostile work environment, issues with their pay or other problems. As an employee in Long Beach, CA, you have rights. A Long Beach employment lawyer from The Dominguez Firm can help protect you from workplace violations such as discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, and wage disputes.
If you feel that you’ve been mistreated in your place of work, call the experienced Long Beach employment lawyers at The Dominguez Firm today for a free consultation at (800) 818-1818.
Workplace rights in Long Beach
Employment law in California is complex and constantly evolving. Consequently, it can be challenging for many to comprehend, let alone take on by themselves. So, whether you are an employee, job applicant, or even an employer, you need to understand the rights of employees as they apply to you.
First, you should be aware of some of the rights you have as an employee in Long Beach:
- The right to privacy at work. That extends to workers’ possessions like purses, storage lockers, briefcases, etc. However, these rights don’t extend to internet usage and work email messages via the employer’s network and computer.
- The right to work in a safe conditions. It means that the office or any other place should be free from conditions that cause illness, injuries, or death. This is especially important with the current concerns of COVID-19 transmission.
- Workers in Long Beach have the right to be paid a fair wage.
- Employees have the right to work in a discrimination-free environment.
- The employee also has a right to file a complaint without fear of retaliation by the employer or the manager.
Apart from employees, jobs applicants have rights too. While they are not technically employees, they have the right to not be discriminated against based on their race, gender, religion, etc. Also, employers can’t run a credit or a background check on the job applicant unless it is for specific positions such as law enforcement or finance. They must also give the job applicant written notice that they are doing so.
Common Employment Lawsuits in Long Beach
Employees in Long Beach, California have the right to file lawsuits against their employers when their rights have been violated. The good news is, California has some of the most employee-friendly laws in the country that continue to improve with each passing year.
Hourly and Wage Disputes
Employees may note that they are not being compensated correctly for the work they do by their employer. A few common instances of these types of lawsuits include:
- Failure to pay the minimum wage
- A company that refuses to pay an employee when they have been working overtime
- Illegal salary deductions
Sexual harassment in the workplace can occur in many different ways. It could involve a boss or a co-worker who makes unwanted sexual advances, or it could be a workplace where inappropriate behavior is tolerated or ignored. That can also create a hostile work environment.
A common instance of a sexual harassment lawsuit is Quid Pro Quo, which means that one person offers something in return for another thing. With sexual harassment cases, a Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment situation can occur when someone in authority offers something like a bonus or days off in exchange for a sexual favor. Regardless of how sexual harassment occurs, it is illegal, and you need to take action right away.
Break and Lunch Violations
All employees as per the law are entitled to a break which includes lunch during certain times of the day. If an employee is deprived of these brakes, the employee can take legal action. Many employers continue to skirt the law and use intimidation tactics to prevent employees from taking a break or reduce their hours. That’s why this is one of the most common employment lawsuits in Long Beach.
Long Beach Workplace Discrimination
Discrimination can happen in many ways. Some of the ones that most commonly lead to lawsuits include:
- Age Discrimination: California Law strongly cautions employers against discriminating based on employee age. The decision to terminate, train, and promote shouldn’t be based on age.
- Racial Discrimination: If a person is treated inappropriately or differently because of their race, it merits a lawsuit.
- Gender Discrimination: When an employment decision is solely made based on the person’s gender, it’s unlawful, but it also happens to be amongst the most common forms of discrimination.
- Religious Discrimination: Everyone is entitled to their beliefs under the law. However, some employers will discriminate and not hire people of certain religious groups, which is a violation of the law.
Being wrongfully terminated for the wrong reasons, such as discrimination due to sexual preference, race or religious beliefs violates the law. Employees who are dismissed under these types of circumstances should speak to an experienced employment law attorney at The Dominguez Firm immediately. Yes, California is an at-will type employment state, but workers can still dispute their termination if it was done illegally.
Important CA Labor Laws
California’s labor laws offer workers the protection they need. However, they are consistently evolving in a bid to protect workers’ rights. Some of the most notable laws include:
- Minimum wage – For 2020, the minimum wage in Long Beach is set at $12-$13 depending on the type and size of the company. Annual increases are scheduled until the year 2023.
- All working hours must be paid – The law requires that all working hours including overtime, be paid. Overtime is all hours above 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week. During these overtime hours, employees need to get 1.5x of their pay.
- 10-minute breaks – Employees in California are allowed 10 minute breaks for every 4 hours they work, with an unpaid lunch break after 5 hours of work.
Steps for Filing an Employment Lawsuit
If you’re rights as an employee are being violated, you should follow these steps:
Identify who’s to blame – If your issue is with overtime, not being paid your required wage, etc. then it has to do with the employer. However, in other cases, the culprit can be a co-worker, supervisor or even an outside vendor or employee, such as a freelance employee. As per California’s employment law, anyone in the workplace is potentially at fault.
Speak to your employer – Start by meeting with your employer by contacting HR. Most employers will try to work with you to fix the issue. If there is no HR department, speak to another supervisor.
Consult with an attorney – An attorney will inform you of your options and whether or not you have a case. Your attorney may recommend the following actions:
Have documentary evidence of your grievance – You should always collect evidence. Make sure to note important things like the times, dates, and names of witnesses. You will also want to have copies of your official complaints filed, emails, and memos that relate to the case.
Finally, take legal action – If all of the above steps fail, i.e. speaking to your employer, HR and supervisor, then your attorney can move forward with a lawsuit.
We’re Here To Help
As an employee, you have rights. If you suspect that your rights are being violated, call the Long Beach employment lawyers at The Dominguez Firm today for your free consultation at (800) 818-1818. We have helped many clients in Long Beach with employment law problems, and we will fight to obtain justice for you as well.