California Workplace Advocates

We fight to enforce employment laws and protect your rights, and to make sure you are compensated when they are violated

For most of us, work is a significant part of life, taking up most of our waking time and providing the means to support ourselves and our families and provide for our futures.

It’s difficult enough putting in a full day of work without your employer denying you the basic rights you are entitled to under the law: Properly calculated overtime, meal and rest breaks at specifically designated periods, the right to sit down when needed, understandable paystubs, sick pay, payment of earned vacation upon termination, freedom from unlawful harassment and discrimination and many other benefits you may not be aware of.

The following is a short discussion of common employment law issues that the experienced trial attorneys of the Law Offices of Mark Yablonovich are skilled in handling.

Wage and Hour

State and federal laws protect employees against wage loss and guarantee employees’ rights to take breaks and work in a safe and healthy environment.

Employers commonly take advantage of employees—whether intentionally or not—by not paying employees properly or by not following all the laws that protect employees.

Employers frequently fail to pay employees all overtime wages, fail to pay all wages owed, fail to provide meal periods and rest breaks, fail to permit employees to sit or provide suitable seating, and fail to do much more as required by law.

Unpaid Overtime

Federal law, and many state laws, require employers to pay their employees for overtime hours worked at the rate of one and a half times their normal hourly rate, although there are some exceptions. Have you been paid all of your overtime wages? To learn more about the remedies available to you if you did not get paid all the overtime wages you think you deserved, contact our team today.

Unpaid wages and minimum wages

Employers must pay employees for all the time that employees work. Every single minute should be paid. This includes all the time that employees work for an employer while not “clocked-in.” So, for example, when an employee works even a few minutes before their shift such as donning and doffing uniforms, filling out a Covid-19 questionnaire, or after their shift such as going through security checks, or during their meal period, the employer has to the employee for that work. Have you been paid for every minute you have worked? Have you been paid at least minimum wage for all the time that you have worked?

Meal period and rest break violations

Non-exempt (hourly) employees have a legal right to receive meal periods and rest periods. In fact, employers must provide employees with meal breaks and rest breaks during every qualifying shift (with some exceptions). These breaks are critical for employees to rest or to take care of personal matters. During breaks, employers have to relieve employees of all duties and all work responsibilities. For example, employers cannot require you to carry a radio during breaks or require you to stay on the premises. Rest periods should be at least a net 10 minutes in duration and meal periods should be at least a full 30 minutes without any interruptions or work requirements.

Employees can be entitled to three or more rest breaks and two or more meal periods per shift. Have you missed breaks or had to take breaks late? Have your breaks been cut short? Has your employer interrupted you while on your break? It is a serious violation of your rights as a worker to be denied breaks by your employer, and you may be entitled to legal remedies.

Suitable Seating

The law requires many employers to allow their employees to sit and to provide suitable seating during breaks and even while working. For example, in California, most employers must provide workers with suitable seating when some, or all, of their work can be performed while seated. Also, when there is a lull or employees are not engaged in active duty, many employers are required to place seats within a reasonable proximity to the work area and must permit employees to sit. Have you been told not to sit while working or sit during lulls? Have you had to stand even though you could have completed a task while seated? Has your employer failed to provide you with suitable seating?

And, there are many more possible violations. If you believe your current or former employer has not followed the law, contact us today for a free confidential consultation.

Employee Misclassification as an Independent Contractor or Exempt Employee

As an employee, you receive many benefits that independent contractors do not enjoy.

As an employee you have access to benefits like healthcare, retirement plans, social security, worker's compensation, business reimbursements, and overtime pay. However, independent contractors do have increased flexibility when it comes to their work schedules.

Unfortunately, many employers choose to improperly classify employees as independent contractors in order to save money. Those savings to the employer translate to monetary losses by the misclassified employee. If you believe you have been misclassified, contact us today for a free confidential consultation

Unfortunately, many employers choose to improperly classify employees as independent contractors in order to save money. Those savings to the employer translate to monetary losses by the misclassified employee. If you believe you have been misclassified, contact us today for a free confidential consultation.

Workplace Sexual Harassment

In California, hostile work environments are one of the most widespread problems.

Moreover, sexual harassment is among the most challenging situations to deal with for employers as well as employees. Sexual harassment may be brushed off by some employers as a joke or just weird behavior. As a result, employees may face unfair and degrading interactions every day. Sexual harassment can have life-altering effects, especially if your employer refuses to listen to you.

An employer can be held legally responsible for sexual harassment whether they knew about it or not. You should not let your claim go unheard if you are experiencing harassment at work. You can count on us to investigate the details and help you build a solid case. If you are dealing with a hostile work environment, our lawyers can help you determine what your next steps should be. You can rely on our team of professionals to gather evidence, call witnesses, and examine arguments against your claim. You have a right to work in a safe and fair environment and we will fight to protect that right.

Wrongful Termination

California employers have the ability to fire an employee for many legal reasons.

California is an “at-will” state, where both the employer and the employee can end the working relationship at any time and without notice. However, when an employer fires an employee for the wrong reasons – illegal reasons- the employee may have the right to file a wrongful termination claim.

If you believe you’ve been wrongfully terminated, the skilled and dedicated attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Yablonovich can help. Call us today for a free confidential consultation.

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