Do I Have an Employment Law Case in California?

California has some of the strongest employee rights laws in the country. These laws are in addition to numerous federal laws that protect workers. If an employer has terminated your employment, denied you pay, refused to let you take time off for an ill parent, discriminated against you, or makes work unbearable – an experienced California employment lawyer can explain and assert your rights.

Skilled employment lawyers file claims in state and federal courts and before state and federal agencies. The right to file claims is generally base on a federal or state statute or governmental regulation. Workers who do file claims may be required to first take internal steps such as filing a complaint with a supervisor before they can file a lawsuit or a claim before an agency.

What damages can you receive for an employment case?

If you were wrongfully terminated from your job, you can seek job reinstatement.

If you suffered economic losses because of a wrongful firing, discrimination, a violation of any federal or California law – you will normally claim income loss and benefit loss. This includes lost wages and the value of any benefits such as health insurance and retirement pay.

If your case is based on a statute, you may be entitled to statutory damages – a specific sum for each violation.

In some cases you may also be entitled to one or more of the following:

  • Emotional distress
  • Legal fees
  • Punitive damages

In cases brought based on the False Claims Act where you are information the government about employer fraud, you may be entitled to a substantial percentage of any recovery.

Other damage issues may apply depending on your claim.

What are the common types of employment claims in California?

Some of the many employee rights claim our premier California employment lawyers handle includes:

  • Generally, governmental employers and larger private employers cannot discriminate against a worker based on their race, gender, religion, pregnancy status, age (over 40), whether they have a disability, and other factors. Our skilled lawyer file claims based on:
    • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Title VII
    • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
    • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
    • The Americans With Disabilities Act
    • The Equal Pay Act
    • The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.
    • The California Fair Employment and Housing Act
  • Wrongful Termination. Examples of wrongful termination include:
    • Being fired for asserting your legal rights. For example, employers generally can’t fire you for:
      • Filing a federal or state whistleblower action
      • Filing for workers’ compensation
      • Testifying or verifying a claim by another employee or worker
      • Serving on a jury
    • Being discharged due to discrimination based on your race, national origin, gender, religion, age, pregnancy, or other identifying characteristics
    • The creation of a hostile work environment. Employers can’t make it so uncomfortable for you to work at your job that a reasonable person would consider quitting. Examples may include being isolated, not being given the tools for your job, not being trained for your job, and not being given a chance for promotion.
    • Disclosing fraud by the employer. Generally, employee disclosures of fraud are made to the US Department of Justice or the Attorney General of California. Fraud generally refers to bills for payment that the employer submitted – when the bills were dishonest.
    • Family Leave. Both the US government and California have laws that provide employees with the right to unpaid leave – if they qualify and for limited times. These laws include:
      • The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
      • The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) which was recently amended to cover employers with as few as five employees
    • Sexual harassment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Council (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as:
      • Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
        • “Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, or
        • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or
        • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.”
      • There are various disability laws at the federal and state level including California’s own pregnancy disability law, maternity and paternity leave, and regulations for lactation accommodation.
      • Various privacy laws including laws on drug testing
      • Wage and benefits laws and rules including laws for:
        • Vacation and paid time off
        • Access to personal employee files
  • Classification of workers. The rules in California, due to recent cases, have shifted so that, currently, most workers are considered employees (and thus entitled to employee rights and benefits) – as opposed to independent contractors.
  • Severance agreements. Workers should review any severance package offer from any employer to ensure they are not giving up any valuable rights such as the right to file a claim against the employer. It may be possible to negotiate for a more valuable severance package.
  • Non-compete agreements. In California, there is a broad prohibition against requiring an employee to sign a non-compete agreement or enforcing non-compete agreements. Generally, employees are allowed to work where they want and when they want for a California employer.
  • Wage and Hour laws including payment for:
    • Meals and overtime
    • Tips
    • Pay calculations
    • Wage and hour laws

False Claims Act cases

The federal False Claims Act dates back to the administration of Abraham Lincoln. It is used by employees to disclosure fraudulent billing practices involving the defense department, Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, and other government agencies. If disclosures are properly filed, through skilled whistleblower and qui tam lawyers, the employees are entitled to a percentage of the recovery.

Speak with an experienced California employment lawyer today.

At the California Law Offices of Stephen A. Danz and Associates, we have been fighting for employees for nearly 40 years. Our offices work with local independent counsel in many of the major counties across the state. Our experienced caring lawyers explain if you have a legal claim. If you do, we doggedly prepare your case and then aggressively pursue your claim in the correct legal forum. For help with any employee rights concerns, call us at 877-789-9707 or use our online contact form to make an appointment. Se habla espanol.