Los Angeles California Litigation Blog

Sexual harassment can be hazardous to your health

When you started your job, you probably never thought that you would end up a victim of sexual harassment. It may have started with small gestures, but quickly accelerated to the point where you had a hard time performing your job duties.

You may have attempted to complain to your employer, but it only made things worse. You may have experienced depression, anger and anxiety, along with post-traumatic stress disorder, but those are not the only affects you could experience. Sexual harassment can damage your physical health as well.

Unemployment after a traffic collision

When a wreck happens, the consequences may shatter the lives of those involved in a number of ways. Emotional pain, physical pain, long-term injuries, and the loss of life are some of the hardships that victims of these collisions and those they love have to deal with. However, other complications may arise when a traffic collision takes place. For example, an entire family might struggle because their loved one’s unemployment was denied following injuries sustained in a crash. Sometimes, these accidents even occur while people are on the job.

If you were hurt in a motor vehicle collision, the injuries might have affected you in different ways. Not only might you be having trouble with medical costs, but injury may have significantly disrupted your life by leaving you unable to perform your job duties. For example, you might be unable to walk, use your arm, or even concentrate due to suffering a traumatic brain injury after hitting your head. All of these injuries can be problematic and unfortunately, a host of problems might arise when you stop working.

The consequences of denied breaks

We have covered various legal issues related to employment law on this blog, such as unpaid overtime and discrimination, but many more violations occur in the workplace. For example, an employee may be denied breaks that he or she is entitled to according to the law. To some people, denied breaks may seem like a minor issue, but this is a serious problem in workplaces throughout California. In Los Angeles and elsewhere in the state, those who are denied breaks may face consequences beyond the frustration of being taken advantage of. In fact, when an employee is not given breaks it can be dangerous.

After a certain amount of time, breaks are required regardless of the field an employee works in. Not only are employers obligated to offer breaks after an employee has worked for a period of time, but they should also realize why breaks are so crucial. In some fields, such as those which require constant movement, working outdoors, repetitive motions, or standing for an extended amount of time, failing to take breaks can have health consequences. For example, a worker may become very tired, causing them to pass out and hit their head. Or, an employee may be more likely to make a mistake that can leave someone injured or worse.

Taking action against denied overtime

As an employee, there may be various instances where your rights have been violated over the years. You may have noticed that you were subjected to discrimination at some point in the past, or you might be upset about the termination of your position which you believe was unlawful. However, there are many other types of employee rights violations that occur far too often in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California, such as the denial of overtime that an employee is owed. Unfortunately, many of these violations go under the radar and employers are able to get away with this behavior.

If you are an employee who has worked for more than a certain number of hours in one day (eight) or one week (40), you are entitled to overtime pay. Unfortunately, some employers tell their employees that they are not eligible for such pay, even though they have worked overtime. Or, an employer might try to make a worker feel guilty and ask for the overtime pay to be turned down, which is also illegal. Some employees do not know that they are eligible for overtime pay and continue working excessive hours without being compensated propely, while others fear that if they try to stand up for themselves they will be punished, such as being fired for filing a complaint. It should be noted that retaliation in such a manner is also illegal.

Worker misclassification and its penalties

Workers in California are typically considered to be employees or independent contractors. There are specific differences that identify which category the worker falls in, but sometimes an employer will call someone an independent contractor (or consultant) to get out of some of their employer obligations even though they treat the person as an employee. If it can be proven the employer did this intentionally, they may be faced with a variety of penalties.

FindLaw identifies some of the key differences between the two classifications. Some of the benefits of being a consultant are they work fairly independently. This means they make their own hours, work where they choose and can decide how tasks are accomplished. There are given a 1099 after year-end, which means no taxes are taken out of their paycheck throughout the year. Some of the downfalls of being an IC is they incur job costs, do not have employment benefits, pay self-employment taxes and are not protected by workplace safety and anti-discrimination laws.

What are some examples of retaliation?

In the workplace, the rights of employees are ignored and violated in a variety of ways, from incidents involving discrimination to wrongful termination. Unfortunately, some employees are afraid to speak out when they experience these violations of the law, whether they are worried they will lose their job or be demoted. It is against the law for an employer to retaliate against an employee in such a manner because they filed a claim due to sexual harassment, discrimination, or another prohibited practice. There are different examples of retaliation and it might be helpful for you to review some of them.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there are a number of protected activities, such as filing a discrimination complaint, which employers cannot use as the grounds to retaliate against workers. Unlawful retaliation occurs in various ways, from physical and verbal abuse to terminating an employee's position or reassigning them to a position that is less desirable. In fact, even slandering an employee's name and scrutinizing an employee more are considered examples of retaliation.

Are you a victim of age discrimination?

If retirement age for most companies in California and elsewhere is around 65 years of age, why is it that employees who are in their 40s-plus struggle to get promotions, achieve fair pay raises and are some of the first to go when a company needs to downsize? Age discrimination is very real, and the news often reports on it. What can you do if you believe you are a victim of discrimination in the workplace due to your age?

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against a person due to his or her age. How is age discrimination defined?

High levels of stress and work accidents

We know that things can go wrong at work for all sorts of reasons, from an incompetent coworker or manager to bad weather and a host of other problems. Sometimes, workers suffer from extremely high levels of stress, which can also increase the chances that they will be involved in a work-related accident. If you feel very stressed out on a regular basis, it is important to take a careful look at your circumstances, understand any potential dangers you may face, and consider how you can aim to lower the amount of stress in your daily life.

Stress can lead to a workplace accident in many ways. Someone who is suffering from extreme stress may have difficulty concentrating or paying attention to important tasks, which can increase the chances of a significant mistake. Moreover, stress can have a physical impact on workers as well and may make them more likely to trip and fall down, drop something, or find themselves involved in an accident in another way. As we have discussed on this blog, the consequences of work accidents are staggering and can shatter lives in all sorts of ways. Not only do these incidents frequently throw the lives of workers off track, but their family members may also be affected by the problems these injuries cause (emotional hardships, financial problems, etc.).

When the employee rights of a minor are violated

Employees from all walks of life are treated unfairly in the workplace in countless ways, from discrimination to unpaid overtime. Unfortunately, some people are particularly vulnerable to being taken advantage of or having an employer violate their legal rights. For example, some younger people who may be working at their first job or unsure of their rights as an employee may be subjected to various types of wage and hour violations. In Los Angeles, and cities around the rest of California, it is pivotal for people who have experienced this to speak up for their rights.

Sometimes, minors may not be very familiar with the different violations that occur in the workplace or they may be afraid to speak out. For example, a young person might be worried that taking action against an employer who has failed to respect their rights could result in the loss of their job or have a negative impact on their career moving forward. That said, employers who subject their workers to unlawful treatment should never be able to get away with their actions.

The defamation of former employees

We have gone over many employee rights matters on this blog, such as discrimination and unpaid wages. These are very serious issues of course, but there are many others for workers to keep in mind, which may also hurt your chances of securing a job in the future or damage your career in other ways. Unfortunately, some employees' rights are violated when their former employer causes damage by making false statements about the employee. Also known as defamation, our law office knows how devestating this often is for workers in Los Angeles and across all parts of California.

There are different ways that defamation occurs. For example, an employer may provide information that was intentionally misleading or false in a letter of recommendation. Or, an emplyoyer may lie about his or her former employee during a phone call when they are asked about the person's performance. Either way, defamation is unfair and can seriously hinder a person's ability to move forward with their career. On a daily basis, defamation occurs far too often and it is crucial for those who have had opportunities cut apart or suffered damage to their career to take action if they have proof that unlawful defamation occurred.

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