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June 27, 2023

California’s Ban-the-Box Law: Fair Employment Practices for Individuals with Criminal Records

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the need to provide fair employment opportunities for individuals with criminal records. In response, California implemented the Ban-the-Box Law, also known as Assembly Bill 1008 (AB 1008), to remove barriers to employment faced by individuals with prior convictions.

Understanding the Ban-the-Box Law

Under California’s Ban-the-Box Law, employers are prohibited from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history on job applications or during the initial hiring process. This means that employers cannot include a checkbox or ask questions about an applicant’s criminal record until a conditional offer of employment has been made.

The law also imposes additional requirements on employers if they deny employment based on an applicant’s criminal history. Employers must conduct an individualized assessment, considering factors such as the nature and gravity of the offense, the time that has passed since the conviction, and the relationship between the conviction and the job duties. They must also provide the applicant with written notice of the decision and allow them an opportunity to respond.

Promoting Fair Employment Opportunities

The Ban-the-Box Law is a significant step toward fair employment practices in California. It helps ensure that individuals with criminal records are not automatically excluded from job opportunities based solely on their convictions. Employers can evaluate an individual’s qualifications and skills by delaying inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history before considering their criminal background.

This law benefits individuals seeking employment and promotes the reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals into society. By providing fair employment opportunities, it reduces the likelihood of recidivism and supports the successful rehabilitation and reintegration of individuals with criminal records.

Employers who fail to comply with the Ban-the-Box Law can face legal consequences, including fines and potential lawsuits. Employers must review and revise their hiring practices to align with the requirements of the law.

Taking Advantage of Fair Employment Opportunities

If you have a criminal record seeking employment in California, it is crucial to be aware of your rights under the Ban-the-Box Law. You have the right to fair consideration and a fair chance to demonstrate your qualifications and abilities.

Employers also have an opportunity to embrace diversity, inclusivity, and the potential for talent within this population. By giving individuals with criminal records a fair chance, employers can tap into a pool of skilled and motivated workers who can contribute to their organizations’ success.

If you have questions about California’s Ban-the-Box Law or if you believe your rights have been violated during the hiring process, it is essential to consult with an experienced California employment lawyer. They can provide guidance, advocate on your behalf, and ensure your rights are protected throughout employment.

Remember, everyone deserves a second chance. California’s Ban-the-Box Law is a positive step toward creating fair employment opportunities and giving individuals with criminal records a chance to rebuild their lives.

June 20, 2023

Workplace Retaliation: Know Your Protections under California Law

Workplace retaliation is a severe concern that employees in California need to be aware of. Retaliation occurs when an employer takes adverse action against an employee for engaging in protected activities, such as reporting illegal activities, filing a complaint, or participating in an investigation.

Under California law, employees are protected from retaliation in various situations. For example, if you report workplace discrimination, harassment, or violations of labor laws, your employer cannot retaliate against you. Additionally, if you exercise your rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or request reasonable accommodations for a disability, your employer cannot retaliate.

How does retaliation look like?

Retaliation can take many forms, including termination, demotion, pay reduction, or a hostile work environment. If you believe you have experienced retaliation, it’s crucial to take action. Start by documenting all incidents, including the retaliatory actions’ dates, times, and details. Consult with an experienced California employment lawyer who can evaluate your case, inform you of your rights, and guide you through the legal process.

The claim

You must establish a causal connection between your protected activity and the adverse action taken against you to prove retaliation. This can be challenging, but with the help of a skilled attorney, you can gather evidence, interview witnesses, and build a strong case.

If a retaliation claim succeeds, you may be entitled to various remedies, including reinstatement, back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, and attorneys’ fees. Remember, retaliation is illegal, and California law protects employees to exercise their rights without fear of adverse consequences.

To protect yourself from retaliation, it’s essential to understand your rights, report any retaliatory actions promptly, and consult with an attorney who specializes in employment law. They can guide you through the process, advocate on your behalf, and work to hold the employer accountable for their unlawful actions.

Remember, you have the right to a safe and fair work environment, and no one should face retaliation for standing up for their rights. By knowing your protections under California law and seeking legal guidance, you can take appropriate steps to address and rectify instances of workplace retaliation.

June 13, 2023

Understanding Non-Compete Agreements in California: Enforceability and Limitations

Non-compete agreements, also known as restrictive covenants, are contractual provisions that prohibit employees from competing with their employer after the termination of their employment. While these agreements are standard in many states, California takes a unique approach to non-competes.

In California, non-compete agreements are generally unenforceable and deemed void under the Business and Professions Code section 16600. The state’s firm public policy favors employee mobility and competition, promoting innovation and economic growth. However, there are exceptions to this general rule.

First, non-compete agreements can be enforceable if they fall within certain statutory exceptions, such as the sale of a business or the dissolution of a partnership. The agreement must be reasonable in scope, duration, and geographic area in these situations.

Second, California recognizes and enforces non-solicitation agreements, prohibiting employees from soliciting their former employer’s customers or employees. These agreements are generally more limited in scope and duration than traditional non-compete agreements.
Employees need to understand their rights and limitations regarding non-compete agreements in California. Employers may attempt to include such provisions in employment contracts, but employees should be cautious and seek legal advice before signing any agreement restricting their future employment opportunities.

If you find yourself bound by a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement, consulting with an experienced employment lawyer is crucial. They can review the terms of the deal, assess its enforceability, and guide you on how to protect your interests.

Additionally, employers should be mindful of California’s strict stance on non-compete agreements. Attempting to enforce an unenforceable deal can result in legal consequences, including liability for damages and attorney’s fees.

In summary, while non-compete agreements are generally unenforceable in California, exceptions exist in limited circumstances. Employees should know their rights and seek legal advice when confronted with such contracts. Employers should understand non-compete agreements’ legal limitations to avoid potential legal pitfalls.

Remember, employment laws can be complex, and each situation is unique. Consulting with an experienced California employment lawyer will provide the guidance and support you need to navigate non-compete agreements effectively.

June 6, 2023

Independent Contractor or Employee? Determining Your Employment Status

Determining your employment status as an independent contractor or an employee is crucial as it impacts your rights, benefits, and legal protections. For example, in California, the classification of workers has significant implications under state labor laws, including wage and hour regulations, workers’ compensation coverage, and eligibility for employee benefits.

To determine your employment status, it’s essential to consider several factors. One key consideration is the level of control exercised by the employer over your work. For example, you may be classified as an employee if the employer controls how, when, and where you perform your tasks and provides you with the necessary tools and training. On the other hand, if you have more autonomy and control over your work and operate as a separate business entity, you may be considered an independent contractor.

Other factors include:

  • The type of work performed.
  • The duration of the working relationship.
  • The method of payment.
  • The presence of a written agreement.

While the existence of a contract is not determinative, it can help establish the intentions of the parties involved.

Misclassification as an independent contractor when you should be considered an employee can result in denying essential benefits and protections. Employees are entitled to minimum wage, overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, and other benefits. Workers’ compensation also covers them in case of work-related injuries. On the other hand, independent contractors are responsible for their own taxes, insurance, and other expenses.

If you believe you have been misclassified, consulting with an employment lawyer can help assess your situation and assert your rights. An attorney experienced in employment law can evaluate the factors relevant to your case and determine whether you should be classified as an employee. They can also guide you through filing a complaint with the appropriate agency or pursuing legal action to seek reclassification and any owed wages or benefits.

Understanding your employment status is essential for protecting your rights and ensuring fair treatment in the workplace. Consulting with an employment lawyer can provide the guidance and advocacy you need to navigate the complexities of employment classification and assert your rights as an independent contractor or employee.

May 23, 2023

Unfair Terminations in California

Losing a job is a challenging and stressful experience, especially when the termination feels unfair or unjust. In California, robust employment laws protect employees from unfair terminations and provide avenues for recourse in such situations. Understanding your rights and options is crucial to effectively navigate an unfair termination’s aftermath.

Under California law, employers are prohibited from terminating employees for reasons that are discriminatory, retaliatory, or in violation of public policy. Discriminatory terminations based on factors such as race, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation are strictly prohibited. Employers cannot retaliate against employees for exercising their rights, such as reporting workplace violations or participating in legal proceedings.

If you believe you have been unfairly terminated, there are several steps you can take to protect your rights and seek justice.

First and foremost, gather and preserve any evidence related to the termination, including emails, performance evaluations, witness statements, or any other documentation that supports your claim. This evidence can be crucial in building a solid case against your employer.

Next, consult with an experienced employment lawyer who specializes in unfair terminations. They will assess the circumstances of your case, review the evidence, and guide you on the best course of action. Depending on the situation, your lawyer may recommend filing a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner, pursuing a wrongful termination lawsuit, or negotiating a settlement with your employer.

When pursuing a legal claim for unfair termination, knowing the statute of limitations is essential. In California, you generally have a limited time frame to file a claim, so it’s crucial to take prompt action. An employment lawyer will file all necessary paperwork within the prescribed time limits.

In some cases, resolving the issue through negotiation or mediation may be possible. A skilled employment lawyer can advocate on your behalf, working towards a fair resolution that may include reinstatement, compensation for lost wages, benefits, emotional distress, and any other appropriate remedies.

Remember, you do not have to face an unfair termination alone. Instead, seek support from professionals well-versed in California employment laws and have a track record of successfully representing employees in similar situations.

In conclusion, unfair terminations can significantly impact your career, finances, and overall well-being. Fortunately, California’s employment laws provide important protections for employees. By understanding your rights, gathering evidence, and seeking legal advice, you can assert your rights and explore your options for recourse. Don’t hesitate to contact us. We can guide you through this challenging process and help you seek the justice you deserve.

May 16, 2023

Navigating Wrongful Termination: Your Rights and Options in California

Losing your job is a devastating experience, especially if you believe it is unjust. In California, employees have certain rights and protections against wrongful termination. Understanding these rights and your options can help you navigate this challenging situation.

Wrongful termination happens when an employer fires someone, violating state or federal laws. In California, employment is generally considered “at-will,” meaning that employers are able to terminate employees for any reason as long as it doesn’t violate specific laws. Some common grounds for wrongful termination include discrimination, retaliation, breach of employment contract, and violation of public policy.

To protect your rights and seek appropriate recourse, it’s essential to take the following steps:

  1. Document everything: Record any incidents, conversations, or actions relevant to your case. This includes emails, memos, performance evaluations, and witness statements. Documentation will serve as evidence if you decide to pursue legal action.
  2. Review your contract: If you have one, carefully review its terms and conditions. It may contain provisions that limit the circumstances under which you can be terminated or require specific procedures to be followed.
  3. Know the applicable laws: Familiarize yourself with California’s employment laws, such as those related to discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and public policy. Understanding your rights under these laws will help you determine if your termination was wrongful.
  4. Consult an employment lawyer: Seeking legal advice from an experienced California employment lawyer is crucial in wrongful termination cases. They can assess the facts of your situation, check the strength of your claim, and guide you on the best course of action.

Potential legal remedies for wrongful termination in California include:

  • Filing a complaint: You can file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They will investigate your case and may take legal action on your behalf.
  • Pursuing a lawsuit: If mediation or administrative remedies are unsuccessful, you may consider filing a lawsuit against your former employer. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and seek compensation for lost wages, emotional distress, and other damages.

Wrongful termination cases can be complex, requiring a thorough understanding of employment laws and legal procedures. Therefore, seeking professional legal guidance is crucial to maximize your chances of a successful outcome.

May 9, 2023

Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnant Employees: Know Your Options

Pregnancy discrimination is a form of workplace discrimination that affects many women. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits discrimination against pregnant employees, including discrimination in hiring, promotions, and layoffs. California law goes further, providing additional protections for pregnant employees under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

One of the most important protections available to pregnant employees is the right to reasonable accommodations. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees who need them in order to perform their job duties. Reasonable accommodations can include things like modified work schedules, additional breaks, or the ability to work from home.

To request a reasonable accommodation, pregnant employees should notify their employer of their pregnancy and the need for an accommodation. Employers are then required to engage in an interactive process with the employee to determine what accommodations can be provided.

It is important for pregnant employees to know that they are not required to disclose their pregnancy to their employer if they do not want to. However, if they wish to receive reasonable accommodations, they will need to provide some information about their pregnancy.

Employers are not allowed to retaliate against employees for requesting reasonable accommodations or taking pregnancy leave. If an employer does retaliate, the employee has the right to file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

It is important for pregnant employees to know their rights and to be aware of the options available to them. If you are pregnant and believe that your employer has violated your rights, it is important to consult with an experienced California employment lawyer. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and options and can assist you in taking appropriate action to protect your rights and seek the compensation you deserve.

In conclusion, pregnant employees in California have the right to reasonable accommodations in the workplace, including modified work schedules, additional breaks, or the ability to work from home. Employers are required to engage in an interactive process with the employee to determine what accommodations can be provided. If you believe that your employer has violated your rights, it is important to consult with an experienced California employment lawyer to understand your options and take appropriate action.

May 2, 2023

How to File a Complaint with the California Labor Commissioner for Unpaid Wages

As an employee, knowing your rights is important when receiving fair compensation for your work. You are able to file a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner if you’re not receiving the wages you’re entitled to.

The California Labor Commissioner is responsible for enforcing labor laws, including those related to minimum wage, overtime pay, and other forms of compensation. If you believe your employer has failed to pay you correctly, you can file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Office to seek your unpaid wages.

In order to to file a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner you should follow the next steps:

  1. Gather Evidence: Before filing a complaint, make sure you have evidence of the wages you’re owed. This can include pay stubs, timecards, and other records of your work and pay.
  2. Complete the Complaint Form: The Labor Commissioner’s Office provides a form for filing a wage claim. You can download the form from their website or request a copy by mail.
  3. Submit the Complaint Form: Once you’ve completed the complaint form, you can submit it to the Labor Commissioner’s Office. You can do this in person, by mail, or online.
  4. Attend a Conference: After you’ve submitted your complaint, you’ll be scheduled for a conference with your employer and a deputy labor commissioner. During the conference, you’ll have the opportunity to present your evidence and explain your case.
  5. Receive a Decision: After the conference, the deputy labor commissioner will issue a decision. If the decision is in your favor, your employer will be ordered to pay the wages you’re owed.
  6. Appeal the Decision: If you disagree, you have the right to appeal to the Labor Commissioner’s Office within ten days.

It’s important to note that filing a complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Office is just one option for seeking unpaid wages. You can also file a lawsuit against your employer or seek the help of a California employment lawyer to explore your legal options. At Yeremian we are willing to help.

In conclusion, it’s important to take action if you’re not receiving the wages you’re entitled to as an employee. By following these steps and filing a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner, you can seek the compensation you’re owed and hold your employer accountable for any violations of labor laws.

April 25, 2023

California’s Labor Laws for Independent Contractors: What You Need to Know

In California, the distinction between an employee and an independent contractor is critical and affects several aspects of labor laws. 

Understanding the labor laws for independent contractors is essential to ensure that employers comply with the state’s regulations and that independent contractors receive the necessary protection.

The Basics

Firstly, independent contractors are not entitled to certain employee protections and benefits, such as minimum wage, overtime pay, and workers’ compensation. This is because independent contractors are self-employed and responsible for paying their taxes and providing their insurance.

Secondly, independent contractors have greater flexibility in their work arrangements than employees. They can generally choose when and how they work and are often free to work for multiple clients simultaneously.

Classification and contracts

It is important to know that the classification of a worker as an independent contractor or employee is not solely dependent on the worker’s choice or the employer’s preference. Instead, it is determined by several factors, including the control an employer has over the worker, the worker’s degree of independence, and the worker’s integral relationship to the employer’s business.

For independent contractors, it is essential to negotiate and establish the terms of their contracts carefully. Independent contractors should ensure that their contracts clearly outline their scope of work, payment terms, and project length, among other important details.

Moreover, independent contractors should be aware of the right they have to terminate the contract at any time as long as they provide reasonable notice to the employer. Additionally, independent contractors should ensure that their contracts protect their intellectual property rights and limit the employer’s use of their work product.

In conclusion, understanding California’s labor laws for independent contractors is critical to ensure employers and independent contractors comply with the state’s regulations. Independent contractors should know their rights and negotiate their contracts carefully to ensure they receive the necessary protection and compensation for their work. Likewise, employers should also be aware of their obligations, ensure that they classify workers correctly, and provide their employees with the required protection and benefits. If you have inquiries about your rights as an independent contractor, consult a California employment lawyer to learn more.

April 18, 2023

Retaliation in the Workplace: What It Is and How to Take Legal Action

Retaliation in the workplace occurs when an employer takes adverse action against an employee for engaging in a protected activity. Protected activities include reporting discrimination, harassment, or illegal conduct in the workplace, filing a complaint, or participating in an investigation. Retaliation can take many forms, and it can include termination, demotion, pay reduction, or unfavorable job duties changes.

Employers are prohibited by law from retaliating against employees for engaging in these protected activities. However, if you believe you have been retaliated against, you have legal options to protect your rights.

What to do?

The first step is to document the adverse action and any communication that led to it. This can include emails, memos, or witness statements. It would be best if you also made a note of any changes in your work environment, such as a sudden shift in job duties or a negative performance review.

Next, you should report the retaliation to your employer’s HR department or a supervisor. Suppose your employer does not take action to address the retaliation. In that case, you may need to file a complaint with either the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) or the DFEH (California Department of Fair Employment and Housing).

Getting legal help

An experienced employment lawyer can help guide you through filing a retaliation claim. They will help you understand your rights, gather evidence to support your claim, and negotiate with your employer to resolve.

If necessary, your lawyer can also represent you in court. Retaliation claims can be complex, so it is essential to have a skilled attorney who understands the law and how to advocate for your rights effectively.

If you believe you have been retaliated against in the workplace, acting quickly to protect your legal rights is important. But first, contact an experienced employment lawyer to discuss your options and develop a plan to move forward.