Los Angeles California Litigation Blog

What is an exempt employee in California?

Employees in California may think they are entitled to all the federally-related benefits such as minimum wage and overtime pay. However, employees are classified as either an exempt or non-exempt employee, and this determines what types of advantages they are allowed.

According to the California Chamber of Commerce, an exempt employee is not entitled to overtime pay or minimum pay requirements. This status is determined based on a number of different factors and situations. Salary is one of them. An exempt employee must earn at least twice the amount of minimum wage for full-time work, but salary alone does not determine status. Salaried exempt workers may not have money deducted out of their paycheck except for a few limited reasons.

How to determine if workplace bullying violates the law

It would be nice if every California workplace were a safe, peaceful and productive environment where each worker can carry out his or her normal course of duties without stress or personal problems ever occurring. While it's highly unlikely that such a Utopian work atmosphere exists in this or any other state, you do have the right to reasonably expect that your employer has fulfilled the obligation to keep you as safe as possible on the job and to pay you fair and just wages for your work.   

Having to work alongside someone you don't get along well with at all can make going to work seem more like a chore than something you look forward to each day. While it's not uncommon for personality clashes to arise in the average workplace, there's a major difference between opposing opinions and bullying or harassment. In fact, there are actually legal differences between the latter two issues. Understanding those definitions may be crucial to resolving a serious workplace problem. It's also good to know where to seek crisis support.  

Staying silent over wage violations

We have gone over different examples of wage violations on this blog, from those which violate the rights of minors to denied breaks and denied overtime. Unfortunately, there are times in which people choose to stay silent even though they know that their employer has broken the law. There are different reasons why a worker may believe that silence is the best course of action, but any employer who breaks the law should be held accountable for their behavior. Regrettably, these violations take place too frequently and the lack of accountability remains a problem in workplaces across the state of California.

So, why would an employee keep their mouth shut even though they know that their rights have been violated? First of all, many worry that speaking out will result in the loss of their job. In a challenging job market, some may fear that their current job is the best position they will be able to find and the consequences associated with being terminated, such as financial problems and irreparable damage to their career, outweigh the benefits of speaking out. At the same time, there are also many employees who simply do not realize that their rights were violated and the mistreatment continues.

When minimum wage laws are ignored

We have gone over many facets of employment law on this blog, from sexual harassment to denied overtime and other employee rights violations. Having said that, employees should bear in mind that there are many more ways in which their rights may be violated in the workplace. For example, someone may be paid less than minimum wage by an employer who shows no regard for the law. Unfortunately, people take advantage of their workers this way far too often, especially workers who might be vulnerable due to their age or for some other reason. Our law office firmly believes that wage violations in California must be addressed immediately.

An employer may fail to pay all of their workers minimum wage, or they could single out one employee and pay them below minimum wage. There are some workers, such as those who wait tables, who may be paid less on an hourly rate because they depend on tips. However, there are many workers in various fields whose minimum wage rights have been denied. Sometimes, workers are not aware that their employer has broken the law by failing to pay them properly. In other situations, an employee may be afraid to do anything about the illegal amount they are being paid because they worry that they will not be able to find another job.

Pedestrian accidents in the workplace

There are a wide variety of work-related hazards that can prove fatal or leave an injured employee with debilitating injuries and an inability to return to their profession. From wet floors to dangerous machinery, a long list of risks can be dangerous on a job site. Moreover, traffic accidents can present a risk for employees, including pedestrian accidents. Sadly, some workplace injuries and fatalities are the result of an employee being struck or run over by a vehicle.

A pedestrian accident involving an employee may occur in a variety of ways. For example, perhaps someone’s job responsibilities involve standing or walking alongside the road and they are struck by a vehicle that veered off the road. Or, perhaps an employee is asked to cross the street in order to run an errand and is struck by a reckless driver who was supposed to come to a complete stop. In fact, pedestrians may even be hit by a lift truck or a company vehicle being operated by one of their co-workers. For example, someone on a road construction crew could be hit by a large truck driven by a fellow worker while they are performing their job duties.

What are some other examples of sex-based discrimination?

We have covered many of the examples of sex-based discrimination on this blog, but it is important to keep in mind that this unlawful behavior occurs in other ways. The impact of discrimination can have wide-reaching repercussions in an employee's life, leaving them unable to perform their job properly or even too upset to continue working, which can result in financial hardships. Furthermore, discrimination may even be so severe that it involves an employee's position being terminated for no reason than their gender, sexual orientation, or on some other uinlawful grounds. As a result, it is crucial for you to recognize various forms of sex-based discrimination and address them when they occur.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there are many different examples of sex-based discrimination that people should watch out for in the workplace. For example, it is against the law for an employee to be fired because they have decided to undergo a gender transition or turn a worker down for a promotion solely because of his or her sexual orientation. It is also against the law to bar an employee from using a common bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity.

Did your employer discriminate against you due to your religion?

As a person of faith, your religion may play a major role in your daily life. It may impact how you dress, what you eat, how you interact with others and how you use your time. However, you do not consider your religious beliefs a burden and likely actually feel that they enhance your life. Of course, you may have come across many people in your lifetime who do not feel the same.

Though you may think that your religious views should not matter to others, it may not always seem that way. You may have been mistreated or bullied growing up or otherwise treated differently. As an adult, you may have found ways to deal with such behavior, but when you endure unfair treatment at your place of employment, you may feel less sure about what to do.

Is discrimination over sexual orientation against the law?

This blog has gone over a variety of topics related to gender discrimination, such as those who are not treated fairly because of their pregnancy status and the consequences of gender discrimination. However, there are many more issues relevant to this area of law that have a major impact on employees across various fields. For example, someone may experience discrimination as a direct result of their sexual orientation and be unsure of what to do next. If you suspect that your sexual orientation has resulted in discrimination, you should look over your legal rights as well as the details of your situation and act immediately.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that it is against the law for an employee to experience discrimination due to his or her sexual orientation. As with other types of discrimination, this mistreatment can create many problems in an employee's life, from stress and depression to financial consequences that totally upend their lives. For example, when someone is fully qualified for a position but is turned down because of their sexual orientation, or they are demoted or let go on this basis, this constitutes a violation of employment law.

Workplace accidents and severe burns

Many different work-related accidents can shatter the lives of those employed in various fields, from a broken back to head trauma. However, some people become severely burnt as a result of exposure to heat, fire, or even chemicals. If you have been burnt at work when something went wrong, you may have many questions and it is pivotal for you to carefully go over your case. Each incident differs and, in some instances, heading to court may be necessary.

Burns can interfere with your life in many ways. First of all, these injuries can be excruciatingly painful to deal with and may prevent you from participating in hobbies you enjoy or continuing your career. Between missing work due to limited mobility or pain and covering the cost of medical care, you may also face financial hardships due to a severe burn. Moreover, burns can cause depression and anxiety, depending on the location of the burn.

Taking a stand against pregnancy discrimination

People are subjected to a multitude of forms of discrimination, whether they are mistreated as a result of their religious beliefs or their racial background. However, many people also experience discrimination because of their gender or the fact that they are pregnant. Pregnancy discrimination is far too prevalent and can upend the lives of everyone in the family. For example, a pregnant woman who is mistreated at work, not paid properly, or loses her job might encounter various challenges that affect her loved ones as well. If you have been discriminated against on the basis of your pregnancy status, or have a loved one who is going through this, look into taking action at once.

Some employers and managers have no regard for pregnant women or employees who experience discrimination due to other factors, while others are ignorant about employment laws. However, there is no excuse for an employer that fails to respect the rights of his or her workers and subjects them to discrimination because they are pregnant. For pregnant women who experience discrimination, a number of stressors can make the situation particularly upsetting. For example, a pregnant woman may be worried about the financial challenges she will face with a new child and how she will handle these responsibilities in the wake of mistreatment at work or job loss.

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