Riverside County is home to over 2.4 million residents, many of whom are employed across multiple sectors throughout Southern California. While most of these employees go about their days without incident, others face issues at work. Whether it’s sexual harassment, wrongful termination or retaliation, Riverside County employees have rights and can fight back against illegal actions by their employers.
The good news is California has some of the strongest employment laws in the country. If you’ve faced problems at work, call the Riverside employment law attorneys at The Dominguez Firm for a free and completely confidential consultation at 800-818-1818. Below we describe some of the most common Riverside employment law violations and what you can do if you encounter any of these on the job.
Employment statistics for Riverside County
A little over 1 million Riverside, CA county residents are in the workforce. Together, they have a median household income of $66,964. Within the county, the top ten employers are:
|County of Riverside||Government Offices||22,000|
|University of California, Riverside||Education||8,735|
|March Air Force Reserve||Military,||7,000|
|Riverside Unified School District||Education||4,313|
|City of Riverside||Government Offices||2,485|
|Riverside Community Hospital||Healthcare||2,200|
|Riverside Community College District||Education||2,100|
|Alvord Unified School District||Education||1,898|
|Cal Baptist University||Education||1,442|
Of these 1 million plus employees, many also work in surrounding counties such as San Bernardino, Orange and Los Angeles. California’s labor law is the same for all of these counties.
What is the legal definition of sexual harassment?
According to the United States' Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment is defined as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” The harassment can be directed towards either sex and can also be directed towards a member of the same sex. Harassment can come from a supervisor, equal or subordinate. It may even come from a third party, such as a client or outside vendor.
A work environment that is hostile may also be considered a form of sexual harassment, especially if the employer does nothing to correct it. If you’ve been sexually harassed at work, call our employment law attorneys right away to discuss your situation.
Can I be fired without reason in Riverside County?
California is an at will state. That means you can be fired without reason at any time. It can be something as simple as your employer thinking you are just not a good fit, or letting you go because they want a family member to replace you.
However, you cannot be fired based on any of the following:
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity
Also, you cannot be fired for being a whistleblower and reporting any illegal activity by your employer. In that case you could potentially have two lawsuits, one for a wrongful termination and another for retaliation.
Other instances where you cannot be fired are for taking time off for jury duty or taking family or medical leave.
A more subtle example of a wrongful termination is when an employer makes the work environment unbearable for an employee hoping the employee will quit. If the person quit and wasn’t fired, it is still considered a wrongful termination under California’s labor law.
Does my employer have to provide me with breaks if I work an 8 hour workday?
Yes, under California employment law, if you are a non-exempt employee your employer must provide you with two ten-minute breaks for every four hours you work. If you work more than five hours in a day, they must provide you with a half-hour meal break.
Not adhering to this is a violation of the wage and hour law and you probably have grounds for a lawsuit against your employer, especially if they violate these laws on a regular basis.
What are some common wage and hour violations?
Employers must pay employees for all hours worked on the clock. Sometimes, however, employers try to take advantage in several ways. All of the examples listed below are wage and hour violations:
- Asking an employee to work through lunch.
- Not paying for overtime or not paying for overtime properly.
- Asking an employee to complete work off the clock and not paying them for it. As an example, asking an employee to drop off a package at the post office after work and not paying them for the extra time.
- Not paying the minimum wage, which will be $14 an hour in 2021.
If any of these wage and hour violations have happened to you, call the Riverside employment lawyers 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.
I reported safety violations at my place of employment and was fired for it. Do I have any legal options?
That is a prime example of employer retaliation and it is illegal. If you report workplace safety violations or any illegal activity at your job, you cannot be fired for doing so. If you are fired, you would potentially have grounds for two lawsuits, one for wrongful termination and one for retaliation.
What compensation could I be entitled to for my Riverside employment law claim?
The damages (legal term for the compensation you could be entitled to) you could receive for your employment law claim may include any of the following, depending on your individual claim:
- Lost wages and benefits – If you were wrongfully terminated, any income and lost benefits you were reasonably expected to earn.
- Emotional Distress – This is meant to reimburse you for the distress, anxiety and suffering associated with losing your job in such a traumatic way.
- Attorney Fees – On occasion, you can collect attorney fees from your employer.
- Punitive Damages – If your employer’s behavior was particularly malicious or reckless, the court may award punitive damages. This is done more to punish your employer, make them an example and discourage similar behavior in the future.
Each case is different, so you may not be entitled to all of these damages. However, you may have the right to other damages not listed here.
Call The Dominguez Firm employment lawyers
If you are a Riverside County employee who has had their workplace rights violated, call the Riverside employment attorneys at The Dominguez Firm right away for a free and completely confidential consultation at 800-818-1818 today. We have been helping Riverside employees fight for their rights for over 30 years while holding their employers accountable. And remember, you don’t have to worry about any up front or hidden legal fees. Plus, you win, or you don’t pay, so call us today!