Employment Law Blog

  • Can I Be Fired for Discussing Compensation in the Workplace?

    || 24-Mar-2017

    It’s a common conception that as an employee, you are not allowed to discuss salary or compensation with other employees in the workplace. Many are told that they could be fired for it, and many are even told that it’s illegal – at best, it’s frowned upon. Discussing compensation is not illegal, but may be a violation of a workplace policy – a policy that only in rare ...
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  • Can I Get Fired for Talking about My Boss on Social Media?

    || 7-Feb-2017

    Social media can get you into a lot of trouble these days – especially where the workplace and social media intersect. You may think that you have the freedom of speech to say what you want when you want to say it on whatever medium you wish, but it might not come without some sort of retaliation from your employer. Case Studies In 2011, after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ...
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  • The Difference between Bad Manners & Sexual Harassment

    || 23-Jan-2017

    Let’s face it. The workplace is not always filled with the most polite or considerate of coworkers. In fact, if you’ve been in the workplace for any extended period of time, chances are you have asked yourself if some of your coworker’s or employer’s actions constitute sexual harassment. If they do constitute sexual harassment, you must immediately report the incidents to ...
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  • Do I Get Paid More for Working on Thanksgiving?

    || 23-Nov-2016

    It’s that time of year again. As the holidays begin to come around and employees begin to get antsy, it’s important to understand your rights as they relate to holiday wages in California. Are you entitled to time-and-a-half pay? Do you automatically get time off for holidays? These are common questions that many employees have, especially if they believe that their employer is taking ...
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  • Do My First Amendment Rights Translate to the Workplace?

    || 16-Nov-2016

    To American ears, there is nothing quite so democratic sounding as the freedom of speech. The majority of United States citizens would go so far as to claim that free speech is synonymous with “being American” in the first place. While patriotic and inspiring, this sentiment is, unfortunately, misled within certain contexts, such as the workplace. First Amendment Misunderstandings The ...
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  • 5 Ways to Prove Weight Discrimination

    || 9-Nov-2016

    Around one-third of the American population is considered obese. In fact, adult obesity rates exceed 35 percent in four states and 30 percent in 25 states. All 50 of the United States have obesity rates above 20 percent. With this level of obesity present, it’s only expected that discrimination and other problems would make their way to the workplace. But is there legal recourse for weight ...
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  • Mental Illnesses in the Workplace: To Tell or Not To Tell?

    || 2-Nov-2016

    Although employees are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), many still face negative reactions or consequences after disclosing a mental illness to an employer or coworkers. While the employee may have had stellar reviews and workplace performance, discrimination can change the tune of workplace reviews, job promotions, and more. If you find yourself in a situation like this, ...
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  • Can my Employer Enforce an English-Only Policy?

    || 27-Oct-2016

    Questions concerning English-only policies are very common in places with large immigrant populations such as Los Angeles. Let’s say that several employees are from the same country, employed by a business here in the United States. After overhearing the employees all speaking to one another in their native language, the employer requests that they all speak English, even when there are no ...
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  • Do I Have to Use my Vacation before I Apply for FMLA?

    || 20-Oct-2016

    When employees or their family members are faced with a severe illness or if the employee is pregnant or becoming an adoptive parent, many begin the process of filing for FMLA leave. Unfortunately, those with legitimate, qualifying reasons to apply for leave under the FMLA are often informed by HR that they must use up their vacation or PTO time first. This can negatively impact both the employee ...
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  • Do I Get Paid if a Natural Disaster Closes the Office?

    || 13-Oct-2016

    With recent natural disasters like Hurricane Matthew making the headlines, it’s common for employees to wonder what would happen to their paychecks if they were in a similar situation. While California is certainly not as subject to hurricanes, tornados, or blizzards as other parts of the country, a natural disaster such as an earthquake or fire certainly has the potential to close the ...
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  • If I Quit My Job, What Happens to My Accrued Vacation Days?

    || 6-Oct-2016

    In California, paid vacation benefits are considered wages. Vacation days are earned as labor is performed. Different employer policies may stipulate that time off is earned on a day-by-day basis, on a weekly basis, on a pay-period basis, or other. Let’s say you have earned several days or maybe even a week of paid vacation. You haven’t used these vacation days, but then are suddenly ...
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  • When Can a Whistleblower Get a Reward?

    || 10-Aug-2016

    A whistle blower can get a reward when an employee contacts a government agency and informs the agency that the employer is stealing money from the government or is providing a product or service to the government which is dangerous to the public at large. An employer may be stealing money from the government by charging it for goods or services which have not been supplied. An example is when a ...
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  • So You Want to Sue Your Boss

    || 20-Jul-2016

    If you have experienced sexual harassment, racial discrimination, or other unjust circumstances at work, you may have grounds to sue your employer. Additionally, if you witness workplace corruption, you may want to consider filing a whistleblower claim. Whatever your situation may be, consider a few tips before taking action. Lastly, don’t hesitate to call our Los Angeles employment lawyer ...
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  • What Disability Accommodations Can I Ask For?

    || 13-Jul-2016

    In my last blog, I covered the bare bones of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a law that protects the rights of people with physical or mental impairments. Specifically, I discussed what qualifies as a disability, and whether your employer was beholden to the ADA or not. You can read the full blog for details, but to recap: Any physical or mental impairment that limits your ability in a ...
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  • Is My Employer Required to Accommodate My Disability?

    || 6-Jul-2016

    In 1990, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to prevent workplace discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The ADA also covers other activities of daily life, such as access to government programs, goods, and services. However, the first section of the ADA (Title I) deals exclusively with employers’ obligation to accommodate each worker’s disability. ...
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  • Military Reemployment Rights

    || 29-Jun-2016

    The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) governs matters of military reemployment. While certain circumstances dictate whether or not a member of the military is entitled to reemployment, in many cases, those looking to reinstitute employment with a former employer are eligible to do so. Employees are granted military reemployment rights if: The employee gave ...
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  • My Spouse Is Home on Military Leave. Am I Entitled to Time Off?

    || 22-Jun-2016

    Under California law, employers with 25 or more employees are obligated to grant employees up to 10 days of unpaid time off if their military spouse is home on leave from deployment. This is only applicable if they are home on leave during military conflict. Employers are to count both full and part time employees to determine whether or not they meet the 25-employee threshold. In order to meet ...
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  • 5 Signs That You're Facing Age Discrimination

    || 13-Jun-2016

    When a workforce begins to age, it becomes more important to protect the rights of older workers. In 1967, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was written to ensure that employees above the age of 40 were given the same rights and considerations as younger ones—especially in matters of benefits, raises, promotions, and compensation. Though Millennials will begin dominating the ...
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  • My Young Coworkers Joke About My Age-What Do I Do?

    || 6-Jun-2016

    We all appreciate a friendly jab every once in awhile—it’s a sign of friendship in a lot of communities. However, when the joking continues for extended periods of time and creates a potentially hostile environment, it becomes harassment. Most people are familiar with sexual harassment, but an aging workforce has also led to another problem: ageism and age harassment. Stop me if this ...
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  • New Overtime Rule Change Extends Overtime Benefits

    || 30-May-2016

    As discussed on this blog before, Los Angeles employers must adhere to two standards of labor laws: the Fair Labor Standards Act (federal law), and the California labor code (state law). Thankfully for Los Angeles employees, California standards are more stringent than federal standards, allowing workers more benefits in this state than many others. In California, employees are not considered ...
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  • Does Answering Emails On My Phone Count as Overtime?

    || 23-May-2016

    In the 21st century, many employees are being “gifted” with free smartphones by their employers, with the expectation that they’ll use the phone to do work more effectively. Instead, there’s a hidden demand to do work for free. More and more workers are being expected to monitor and answer calls and emails well past their normal work hours. Stories about employers like ...
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  • What Can I Do About Unsafe Working Conditions?

    || 18-May-2016

    Each and every employee has the right to a reasonably safe and healthy workplace. While certain industries carry more of an inherent risk than others, employers are obligated to do everything in their power to ensure proper training, to warn employees of potential dangers, and to enforce safety measures. As an employee, it is even within your legal rights to refuse to perform any work that you ...
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  • Am I Eligible For Paid Sick Leave?

    || 27-Apr-2016

    Many employees are not aware of California’s new paid sick leave law. On January 1, 2015, this law went into effect; however, the right to actually accrue and take sick leave did not become effective until July 1, 2015. Before this law was adopted, many employers had sick leave policies already in place. If those policies met the new law’s requirements, no changes were made. Generally ...
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  • Can I Be Paid For Travel Time in California?

    || 22-Apr-2016

    Depending on your circumstances, certain activities such as travel time are considered “working hours” and are eligible for compensation. Travel pay requirements and outlines can be confusing because they hinge on many of different factors, such as whose car is being used and whether the employee is exempt or non-exempt. If your employer is not properly keeping up with state or federal ...
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  • Harassment in the Workplace Is Not Illegal

    || 12-Apr-2016

    This seems like a shocking statement. Harassment may be wrong, but that does not make it illegal. Most companies have a policy against harassment. However, the truth is harassment is a common form of behavior in the workplace. It is condoned by the company in the form of criticism, negative reviews, and termination warnings. These acts certainly create a hostile environment for the ...
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