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5 Common Legal Issues Employees Face

State and federal laws are set in place to ensure employees are treated fairly. Unfortunately, employers often overlook these laws and treat their employees unjustly. In some cases, employees don’t even recognize when their employers aren’t following state and federal laws. That is why it is important for you to be aware of the most common legal issues employees face so that you can identify legal issues in the workplace.

Protect yourself against your employer’s wrongdoing by contacting our California employment law attorneys today at (888) 796-4010 to schedule a consultation!

#1: Discrimination

Discrimination is a prevalent problem in American workplaces. Discrimination occurs when a person is treated differently or unfairly because of their age, disability, race or color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, or because of their pregnancy.

If you believe that you are being treated unfairly because of any of the reasons listed above, you may be experiencing discrimination in the workplace. If so, you can file a claim against your employer to seek compensation for the promotion, job, or pay you should have received if they didn’t discriminate against you.

#2: Minimum Wage Disputes

Minimum wage disputes are another common employment law issue many California employees face. Employers are required to pay you at least the minimum wage, and it cannot deduct operating costs from your wages (such as uniforms, breakage, and more). Your employer also can’t force you to work for tips without paying you other wages. California employers are also required to pay you meal breaks.

#3: Overtime Disputes

In California, your employer is required to pay you overtime if you work over a certain amount of hours in a day or week. Below are the overtime rates:

  • 8 or more hours in a day: 1.5 times your hourly rate
  • 40 or more hours in a week: 1.5 times your hourly rate
  • 7th consecutive days in one workweek: 1.5 times your hourly rate
  • 12 or more hours per day: 2 times your hourly rate
  • Over 8 hours on the 7th consecutive day in a workweek: 2 times your hourly rate

If your employer isn’t paying you for your overtime work, you can file a claim against your employer to get the payment you are owed.

#3: Harassment

Under California law, employers cannot harass other workers, but unfortunately, it is still one of the most common legal issues employees face. There are two different types of harassment that often occur in California workplaces: hostile work environment harassment and quid pro sexual harassment.

A hostile work environment is often created by a boss or coworker, whose actions make doing your job impossible. In most cases, a hostile work environment is linked to discriminatory cases. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is a type of harassment that involves one person offering some type of benefit in exchange for some form of sexual favor. In Latin, the term quid pro quo means “this for that.”

#4: Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires or lays off a worker for the wrong reasons. For example, if you were let go after filing a sexual harassment claim, you may have a wrongful termination case. Even if your employment contract contains “at-will” employment, which means the employment relationship can be terminated at any time and for any reason, your employer cannot terminate you for the following reasons:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Creed
  • Nationality
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation

#5: Retaliation

Employees cannot retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint of discrimination or harassment. Under California law, it is also illegal for an employer to retaliate against a worker for contacting an employment lawyer. Unfortunately, retaliation occurs often in California workplaces.

If you believe your employer has treated you unfairly, contact our California employment law attorneys today at (888) 796-4010 for a confidential consultation!


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