About 1.6 million people work in Orange County, California. Due to the state’s work-friendly labor laws, these employees enjoy strong protections from employer wrongdoing. In spite of that, employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation still happen.
Fortunately, Orange County employees can take legal action against employers who violate their rights. Keep reading to find out more about how The Dominguez Firm’s employment law attorneys can help you. If you or a loved one believe an employer acted against you illegally, call us at 800-818-1818 for a FREE consultation.
Orange County employment statistics
The 10 largest employers in Orange County for 2019-2020 were:
- The Walt Disney Company – 30,000
- University of California, Irvine – 23,884
- County of Orange – 17,271
- St. Joseph Health – 14,000
- Kaiser Permanente – 8,178
- Albertsons – 7,670
- Target Corp. – 6,300
- Walmart Inc. – 6,200
- Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian – 6,100
- The Boeing Company – 6,000
The five largest employers in 2018 by job sector were:
- Health Care and Social Assistance
- Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
- Accommodation and Food Services
What types of California employment claims does The Dominguez Firm handle?
The employment law attorneys at The Dominguez Firm have been successfully helping employees obtain justice for over 30 years. During that time, we have handled cases involving harassment, wrongful termination, wage and hour violations, misclassification and whistleblower retaliation, to name a few. Below you’ll find more information on some of the most common types of employment law cases we handle.
There are specific laws governing what constitutes workplace sexual harassment. Some of the most common examples are:
- Requests for sexual favors in exchange for certain work privileges, also known as quid pro quo (this for that).
- Unwanted sexual advances from a co-worker, supervisor or outside party your employer does business with.
- Sexual conduct that is physical or verbal. Examples include constantly being asked out on dates and unwanted touching.
Workplace sexual harassment is not always between supervisors and subordinates. It can be a co-worker of equal status or even be an outsider, such as a vendor.
A hostile work environment can also constitute sexual harassment. An example would be an office where employees tell crude jokes and openly display pornography or other sexual content. Even if it is not directed at you, it can offend, embarrass and upset you.
If you find yourself in a situation like this, it’s important to go to human resources to report it. Even if the jokes and remarks weren’t targeting you, they are inappropriate and would constitute a hostile work environment. If the employer was informed about any inappropriate conduct but did nothing to remedy the situation, you would have a sexual harassment lawsuit.
You can be fired without cause in California because we are an at-will state. That means your employer doesn’t really need a reason to let you go. However, if you belong to any of the protected classes listed here, you could potentially have a wrongful termination lawsuit against your employer.
- Gender Identity
- Sexual orientation
One note, if there are layoffs at your Orange County job and you are one of the people let go, being a member of one of the protected classes listed above may not be grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit. However, if there is a clear pattern of discrimination as to who was laid off, like only Latina women, then you might have a wrongful termination lawsuit.
You also can’t be fired if you had to take time off because you had COVID-19 or had to care for a loved one with the disease.
If you quit because your employer made your work environment unbearable in the hope you would quit without them having to fire you, that is considered a wrongful termination in California.
Wage and Hour Violations
In Orange County, all non-exempt employees have the right to a minimum wage ($14 in 2021), correct payment for overtime hours worked, and meal and rest breaks.
Employers may try to get around these laws several ways:
- Asking employees to run personal errands during their downtime, such as lunch, and not paying them for it. An employee is entitled to an uninterrupted lunch break. This would be a wage and hour violation, even if the employer insists the employee was happy to run the errand.
- Paying below the minimum wage.
- Delaying or not providing an employee with their final paycheck. If the employee is terminated, they should be given a check that same day. If the employee resigns, they should be given their check on their last day if they gave at least 72 hours of notice. If they did not give notice, they should receive their check no later than 72 hours later. If an employer does not provide the employee with their last paycheck as a form of retaliation, the employee would have two possible claims, one for retaliation and one for unpaid wages.
If any of these wage and hour violations have happened to you, call an Orange County employment lawyer at The Dominguez Firm right away for a free consultation. We are here to answer your questions and fight for your right to be compensated fairly.
Independent Contractor Misclassification
Orange County employers sometimes misclassify their employees. It can be on purpose to avoid paying overtime, a minimum wage, or paid vacation and sick days. Sometimes the misclassification is unintentional. Either way, if you were misclassified, you can take legal action against your employer.
Keep in mind, the laws on employee misclassification are constantly evolving, so what qualified as a misclassification in 2020 might not in 2021. The Orange County employment attorneys at The Dominguez Firm are always keeping up with the latest developments regarding this complex issue.
This link provides the current standard for who is considered an independent contractor in throughout California.
If you believe you have been misclassified, call The Dominguez Firm for a free and confidential consultation.
I Was Fired for Pointing Out Dangerous Conditions at Work. Can I Take Legal Action Against My Former Employer?
Yes. You are considered a whistleblower and are protected under California law. If your employer fired you for reporting unsafe work conditions, you could possibly have two claims, one for retaliation and another one for wrongful termination.
If this has happened to you, do not hesitate to contact our Orange County employment law attorneys here at The Dominguez Firm. The sooner we can get started on your case, the better.
Need Help with an Employment Matter?
If your attempts to try and resolve your problems at work through your HR Department or a workplace supervisor have failed, it’s time to take legal action. Do not try to go up against your employer or their insurance company by yourself. They may tell you involving an employment lawyer will only complicate things. They are only trying to stop you from exercising your rights in an effort to pay you the least amount possible or nothing if they can.
Instead, you should speak to the Orange County employment attorneys at The Dominguez Firm right away.
Why Choose The Dominguez Firm for Your Orange County Employment Law Claim
The Dominguez Firm is a full-service law firm. We have our own in-house attorneys specializing in employment law ready to help you and defend employee rights. We are not a referral service, nor will we pass your case off to another law firm.
With over 30 years of experience, The Dominguez Firm is a recognized name in personal injury and employment law. Defense attorneys and insurance companies know that if we can’t come to an agreement on a fair compensation offer, we are not afraid to go to court. That gives us, and by extension, our clients the kind of leverage many other law firms can’t offer.
The Dominguez Firm also understands that in addition to having problems at your job, this may also be a stressful time for you financially. That’s why we work on a contingency basis. When you sign a client representation agreement with us, you’ll clearly see our terms of payment. There are no upfront fees, out-of-pocket expenses, or hidden costs. Instead, we receive a percentage of your final settlement or verdict as payment. That percentage will be clearly stated in that client representation agreement. And it is fixed, it won’t change according to the amount of your final compensation.
Finally, if we can’t obtain any compensation for you, which is highly unlikely, you owe us nothing. In other words, if there is no recovery, there is no fee! So call us today at 800-818-1818 for a FREE and confidential consultation.