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Long Beach Employment Law Blog

Are you familiar with California's overtime laws?

Workers in California who are paid hourly have specific protections when it comes to being required to working overtime. Some employees might not realize the specifics of these protections.

You should remember that employers are required to pay overtime for employees who qualify for the pay. Failing to do so can lead to serious legal troubles. Here are some common questions and answers about overtime pay in California:

Wrongful termination isn't a free-for-all for employers

California is an at-will employment state. This means that employers don't need a reason to fire you. They don't have free reign over terminations. There are some limits to what they can terminate an employee for.

Wrongful termination has to do with employers who fire employees based on protected reasons. In the simplest of terms, an employer can't fire you for something that is considered discriminatory.

You can fight back after workers' compensation retaliation

You know that California workers have the right to certain benefits if they suffer injury in a workplace accident or because of occupational illnesses. However, employers may not always respect these rights, and some injured workers may lose their jobs after filing for workers' compensation benefits.

It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against a worker because he or she filed a workers' compensation claim. However, you may be unsure of how or when to fight back after experiencing both a workplace injury and the loss of your income. You do not have to walk through this difficult situation alone, but you may seek help to better understand what you should do to protect your interests.

Sexual harassment claim with a twist puts Chipotle in court again

Chipotle, the Mexican restaurant that started strong and seemed to spring up overnight all over the country, has already seen its share of troubles.

Now, a new claim by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has put the made-to-order fast food chain back in the news -- in a bad way. The EEOC is suing the restaurant chain over charges that one of its general managers has sexually harassed a younger shift member in various ways:

  • The female manager put up a "sex scoreboard" that kept track of her employees' sex lives
  • She openly discussed her own sex life with staff
  • She pestered the younger shift manager, who is male, for sexual favors
  • She asked if she could watch the shift manager and his girlfriend engage in sexual acts
  • She tried to get the shift manager to introduce her to his girlfriend for a "threesome"
  • The general manager physically touched her shift manager's privates without his consent

Has your employer violated your rights when it comes to breaks?

Because working long hours can take a considerable toll on anyone, you certainly appreciate a break now and then. However, you may sometimes feel as if you do not have the ability to take breaks due to the fast-paced nature of your job or due to discouragement from your employer. If you feel uncertain about your ability to take a moment to catch your breath while on the job, you may have an interest in this area of employment law.

In California, you have the ability to take provided breaks, and your employer must provide those breaks when certain stipulations require it. Information on those requirements may help you understand whether your employer violated your employee rights.

Did your employer fire you after you mentioned your pregnancy?

When you learned you were expecting a baby, you likely experienced a whole range of emotions, among which were perhaps nervousness and excitement. If you happen to be among many women in California who waited and hoped to have children of your own a long time before actually becoming pregnant, your cause for celebration may have been all the more joyous when you found out your dreams of becoming a parent were coming true.

In addition to choosing a name for your little one and sharing your news with family and friends, you may have also looked forward to telling your colleagues at work and boss about your pregnancy.

Danger may be lurking near your cubicle

Even if you don't report for work each day on a construction site, at the top of a high scaffold on the outside of a 20-story building or at the scene of a four-alarm fire, it doesn't mean you are free from all safety risks just because you work in an office. In fact, there may be several potentially serious dangers in your vicinity at any given time, and if one catches you by surprise, an otherwise average workday may end with you in the hospital.

Do you think if you familiarize yourself with the most common types of safety hazards in office environments that you might decrease your chances of suffering injury in the workplace? The answer would likely be affirmative.

Women file gender-bias, unequal pay class action against Google

Three women have filed a class action accusing Google of systematically paying women less for the same work as men. They also say the tech giant keeps women largely partitioned into jobs where they are less likely to be promoted, promotes far fewer women than men despite similar qualifications, and moves women up the career ladder more slowly than men.

The U.S. Department of Labor is already investigating Google for discrimination against women in hiring. The DOL's regional director has testified in federal court that the company engages in "systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce."

Workplace eye injuries are preventable

As a child, you may have played a game with friends that involved blindfolding one person who then chased the others around. When it was your turn to wear the blindfold, you may have felt the frustration of being unable to see as your friends laughed and teased you. Despite the fun of the game, you probably felt relieved to remove the blindfold and see the faces of your friends in the light.

If you have suffered an eye injury however, you may wonder if the blindfold will ever come off.

Deciding to join a wage and hour class action lawsuit

As a California worker, you have certain rights. Federal and California laws entitle many employees to overtime pay and also prohibit certain unfair labor practices such as "working off the clock". If you find yourself in this situation, you could have various legal options available to you. In some cases, you may have grounds to join in a wage and hour class action lawsuit.

If you did not receive overtime pay, your employer denied you break time, or you were required to work additional hours off the clock, you may not be alone. It may be possible to join a wage and hour class action lawsuit. Such lawsuits can represent hundreds or thousands of mistreated employees and you could be one of them.

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