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California Employment Lawyer

What Is Employment Law and What Are Employment Lawyers?

Employment lawyers focus their practice on assisting clients in matters governed by employment law.

California Employment law broadly regulates the rights of employees and the obligations of employers at the federal, state, and local levels.

An employment lawyer can help defend either workers or employers who are parties to a workplace dispute. They also help both workers and employers navigate compliance challenges related to employment law.

IMPORTANT: If an employment law has been violated, an employment lawyer will clarify the legal rights of those who have been harmed. Should the party who has been harmed wish to pursue legal action, an employment lawyer will construct a compelling legal argument to advance the goals of that action.

When your rights have been violated, it’s important to contact an employment lawyer. Employment law in California is complex, and there are very real consequences associated with either failing to act or acting too late.

At Eldessouky Law our attorneys have delivered excellent results repeatedly. We are a full-service litigation law firm and our attorneys are fully prepared to handle all aspects of litigation.

If you have questions about your rights as an employee in California or wish to discuss your case confidentially with one of our experienced employment attorneys, contact our office at 714-409-8991 or fill out one of our contact forms online.

What Types of Cases do Employment Lawyers Handle?

California employment law covers a worker from the job-seeking stage to that of job termination. An experienced California employment lawyer can provide legal representation to a client in a number of different areas. Some of the more common types of cases include:

Even if you do not see your type of case listed above, it does not mean that an employment lawyer cannot help you. The best way to determine if an attorney can help is to talk with an experienced California employment attorney.

Eldessouky Law has delivered great outcomes on a consistent basis. We are a full-service California-based employment law firm that is fully prepared to deal with all aspects of litigation.

If you have questions about your rights as an employee in California or wish to discuss your case confidentially with one of our experienced employment attorneys, contact our office at 714-409-8991 or fill out one of our contact forms online.

Don’t Wait—Learn How a California Employment Lawyer Can Help You Take Back Control of Your Life

Due to the complexities of this area of law, and the potential consequences associated with either acting or failing to act if your rights have been violated, it’s important to contact an employment lawyer if you are facing any of the following workplace challenges:

  • Accommodation Issues
  • Contractual Questions
  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Hostile Work Environment
  • Leave of Absence Challenges
  • Misclassification
  • Retaliation
  • Severance Issues
  • Unsafe Working Conditions or Practices
  • Wage and Hour Law Violations
  • Wrongful Termination

Depending on the specifics of your situation, working with an employment lawyer can result in a significant compensation award, reinstatement, a safer work environment, and/or other consequences designed to hold your employer accountable for their legal violations.

Note: Don’t let concerns about legal fees keep you from contacting an experienced employment lawyer if you’re in need of assistance. Sliding scale fees, contingency fee arrangements, and other common-sense fee structures can help to ensure that you can afford legal guidance regardless of your financial situation. Contact our attorneys today to take the first step on getting your life back on track.

If you’re struggling with any of the employment-related legal issues listed above, please contact an experienced employment law attorney at Eldessouky Law today. Once we learn more about your specific situation, we can advise you of your legal options and provide any legal guidance and support that you may be in need.

What Does An Employment Lawyer Do?

California employment lawyer

An experienced employment attorney checks alleged workplace complaints regarding violations of employment laws; competent identification of broken employment laws requires an employment lawyer experienced to identify complaint violations during this stage of discovery. The workplace attorney then prepares the legal underpinnings of the employment lawsuit argument by juxtaposing violations upon statutorily adequate legal basis.

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An experienced employment attorney creates the motion(s) of a lawsuit’s argument upon thorough research to relate the legal substance of employee’s complaints with current legal precedence. The employment lawyer then files the motion in the court of jurisdiction to request hearings be conducted to attempt to compel a California or Federal court to rule in favor of the employee.

Our experienced employment attorney would then argue for courts to provide relief the employee is legally entitled to in the best effort to right an employer’s wrongdoing.

When Should I Hire an Employment Lawyer if I Am an Employee?

You should schedule a consultation with an experienced employment lawyer any time that you find yourself dealing with any of the following legal challenges. Meeting with a lawyer will allow you to better understand both your rights and how the law applies to your specific circumstances.

Accommodation Issues

Breastfeeding, disability, pregnancy, and religious practices may all necessitate certain accommodations in the workplace. If an employer fails to make reasonable accommodations for their workers as required by law, an employment lawyer can help to hold them accountable for these violations of workers’ rights:

  • Breastfeeding – The Affordable Care Act amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to mandate that employers provide “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has a need to express the milk” and “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.”
  • Disability – The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits workplace discrimination based on an individual’s disabilities. Under this law, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for disabled workers so that they can have equal access to job functions, responsibilities, and opportunities. As long as the requested accommodation doesn’t place an undue burden on the business, it must be granted per the ADA. For the purposes of the ADA, pregnancy is classified as a disability. As a result, pregnant women are afforded the right to accommodations under this statute.
  • Religious Practice – Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on religion. This protection extends to the accommodation of an employee’s “sincerely held religious beliefs or practices.” For example, if a Muslim worker needs a safe space and time to pray according to their sincerely held beliefs and practices, an employer must provide this accommodation unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer’s operations.

Contractual Questions

Employment contracts govern legal issues such as compensation, benefits, whether you’re an “at-will” worker, worker classification, severance, and confidentiality. If you sign a legally enforceable contract and you breach its terms, you could be held accountable for breaking your agreement. Similarly, if your employer breaches your contract, you may be able to hold them accountable for that behavior. Either way, if a contractual dispute has arisen, regarding hiring, non-compete clauses, non-disclosure provisions, severance, or any other employment law issue, an attorney can help you understand your options and protect your rights. For example, if an employer is trying to hold you to the terms of a non-compete clause, an employment attorney can defend your rights under California Business & Professions Code section 16600, which renders non-compete clauses unenforceable in California.

Discrimination and Harassment

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on religion, also prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, and national origin. This law also prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. Additional laws (including the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967) prohibit workplace discrimination based on age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, and genetics. Acts of discrimination in the workplace can be subtle or obvious, single-acts, or institutionalized practices. Regardless of the specifics of your situation, consulting with an experienced attorney can help to protect your right to work free from unlawful discrimination and harassment.

Hostile Work Environment and Retaliation

Although there is no federal law prohibiting a hostile work environment, discriminatory practices, sexual harassment, and/or retaliation can provide the basis for a hostile work environment claim. An experienced attorney can work with you to gather the evidence required to make such a claim, when applicable. Additionally, an attorney can hold employers accountable for unlawful retaliation. The False Claims Act, work safety legislation, the discrimination statutes noted above, and other laws protect workers from retaliation in the workplace. Retaliation is, essentially, punishment for engaging in a legally protected activity such as voting, submitting a work safety complaint, filing for workers’ compensation benefits, or taking a legitimate leave of absence per the Family Medical Leave Act.

Leave of Absence Challenges

There are times when workers may take legally protected absences from work under the law. If an employer refuses to grant a protected leave, fires a worker in retaliation for requesting or taking leave, demotes the worker as a result of the leave, etc. an employment lawyer may hold that employer accountable per the Family Medical Leave Act, California Family Rights Act, and/or other relevant statutes.

Misclassification

If you are an employee and your employer misclassifies you as a contractor, you will be denied the benefits and protections you’re owed under the Fair Labor Standards Act and other employment statutes. An employment attorney can help you to obtain the compensation and benefits you’re entitled to as an employee.

Unsafe Working Conditions or Practices

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and numerous federal, state, and local laws on the subject of worker safety grant American workers the right to enjoy a reasonably safe workspace. Different regulations govern each industry. However, if you’re working in unreasonably unsafe conditions, chances are that your employer is violating existing worker safety laws. An employment attorney can help to clarify your rights and help you submit an anonymous worksite safety inspection request. If you have experienced harm as a result of either submitting a work safety complaint or you’ve been hurt in a workplace accident, a lawyer can help you take legal action accordingly.

Wage and Hour Law Violations

The Fair Labor Standards Act, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and a host of other federal, state, and local laws govern issues related to compensation, benefits, break times, overtime, timely payment, and other wage and hour concerns. When an employer fails to meet their wage and hour obligations under the law, an employer can assist workers with obtaining back pay, overdue wages, and any other compensation they may be entitled to.

Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination can be a form of unlawful discrimination, harassment, breach of contract, or retaliation. Depending on the specifics of your case, an employment lawyer can hold your employer accountable for wrongful termination under relevant laws, including those noted above. If you suspect that you’re being wrongfully terminated, resist the urge to accept a severance agreement or to “voluntarily resign” before speaking with an attorney. Exercising one or both of these options may limit your options for future relief.

How Much Will an Employment Lawyer Cost?

There is no single answer to the question “How much does an employment lawyer cost?” because every case is different. Asking an employment lawyer to weigh in on whether the terms of your severance agreement is fair will necessarily be cheaper than litigating a complex discrimination case. Depending on the specifics of your situation, you may encounter any of the following fee structures:

  • Flat fee: Employment law attorneys may charge a flat fee for a specific, straightforward service. For example, if all you need is help submitting an anonymous worker safety complaint to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, you may be charged a one-time flat fee that isn’t billed on an hourly basis. This fee structure is applied in legal situations that are routine.
  • Sliding scale: This fee model allows employment attorneys to charge different rates based on their clients’ income. Workers who earn less income pay less for a given service than those who earn more income.
  • Contingency fee: In a contingency arrangement, the client pays nothing upfront. Instead, the attorney’s fees are collected upon successful resolution of the legal matter at hand. Usually, the lawyer’s rate is calculated as a fixed percentage of the total compensation award that the client receives, however, it is possible that a lawyer will charge a fixed rate contingency fee if doing so makes sense for a specific case.
  • Hourly fee: When employment lawyers bill by the hour, they may do so on a sliding scale or not. They may charge one rate for the hours they personally spend working on your case and one rate if a paralegal or administrative assistant spends time working on your case.

Employment law attorneys charge different rates and fee ranges based on a number of factors. Complex matters that require a significant time investment are usually billed at higher rates, but this is not necessarily the case in sliding scale and low-percentage or rate contingency cases. Similarly, attorneys who have more experience and are based in cities with a higher cost of living tend to charge more than recent law school graduates and rural attorneys do. It is wholly reasonable to ask an employment lawyer why they charge the rates they do and why they structure their fees in a certain way. Additionally, no matter how an employment attorney structures their fees, this fee information should be provided upfront. Workers should never sign an attorney-client agreement until they understand how they will be charged for a lawyer’s services.

Justice, Accountability, and the Compensation You Deserve

One of the questions the legal team at Eldessouky Law hears most often is “how much is my case worth?” or “how much money can I get in my case.” Candidly, the amount of money that might possibly be awarded in a particular case depends on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding a California employment law claim. With that said, there are some more commonplace types of resolutions of employment cases that we seek on behalf of our clients who have been wronged or harmed in the workplace.

Job Reinstatement

We represent clients who have been wrongfully terminated by their employers. We also represent women and men who have been subjected to hostile work environments. The horrible state of affairs at these places of employment have forced some of our clients to leave their jobs. Simply put, a hostile work environment left our clients with no alternatives but to quit.

Eldessouky Law does fight for the rights of clients who want to be reinstated to their positions of employment following some type of unlawful firing or other type of job separation. Technically speaking, under both California and federal employment law this is known as “equitable relief.”

In some cases, our employment law legal team is able to negotiate a settlement with an employer which includes the return of a worker to his or her position of employment. The settlement would also include a promise that any unlawful conduct committed or permitted to occur by an employer will not reoccur going forward into the future. The scope of the resolution and the promises or commitments made by the employer are put into writing in the form of a settlement agreement.

Job Reinstatement and Financial Compensation

Oftentimes in a situation in which a worker seeks reinstatement to a position of employment following some type of wrongful dismissal, termination, or forced departure, that individual is also entitled to at least some degree of financial compensation as well. The basis for financial compensation as well as reinstatement to a position of employment can arise from a number of different reasons that include:

  • Compensation for lost wages during the time period that a wrongfully terminated employee was off the job.
  • Compensation for lost benefits that a worker would have been entitled during the period he or she was not able to work. Examples of lost benefits may include health insurance coverage, otherwise accumulating paid vacation time or sick days, and so forth
  • Compensation for lost opportunities in the workplace during the period of time the worker was not able to perform his or her job because of some type of inappropriate discharge. A prime example of such a lost opportunity is not being able to take advantage of a promotion that otherwise would likely have been presented to a worker had he or she not been terminated or otherwise forced to leave his or her job.

While it is true that some workers do desire to be reinstated to their jobs in the aftermath of some type of unlawful actions perpetrated against them in the workplace, that is not always the advisable course of action. The fact is that returning to a workplace at which a person previously was the subject of some type of improper or unlawful actions can be challenging in the best case and untenable to the other end of the spectrum.

In other words, while a person understandably may want to go back to work, a wise course very well may be to seek comprehensive compensation for the harm caused by unlawful conduct by an employer in the workplace. In a good many cases, the best form of justice and the best way to obtain accountability is to obtain fair, appropriate financial compensation in an employment law matter. We now take up the discussion of compensation in a California employment law case.

Financial Compensation

In most cases involving some type of unlawful conduct by an employer in the workplace that results in harm to a worker, justice and accountability comes in the form of financial compensation. As was mentioned previously, financial compensation in an employment claim depends on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the case.

At the outset and before diving deeper into a discussion of compensation, a key fact needs to be noted. A person who desires compensation for some type of workplace wrong optimizes his or her chances for a favorable settlement or lawsuit judgment with the professional assistance of a California employment law lawyer.

Evidence demonstrates that a worker is far more likely to obtain more in the way of financial compensation in an employment case if that individual is represented by legal counsel. This holds true even when the costs of legal representation are taken into consideration.

Despite the unique features of an individual case that drive possible compensation that might be available, Eldessouky Law and its team of employment law lawyers do pursue compensation for certain types of losses in nearly all cases of this nature. This includes:

  • A primary form of compensation in a workplace case is for lost wages. Typically, compensation for lost wages includes those that have already accrued by the time of the settlement or judgment. Compensation for lost wages may also include at least some money going forward for a reasonable period of time into the future. Bear in mind that reasonable future lost wages is not an open license for some type of indefinite compensation because there is no absolute certainty that wages or salary would have been earned for an unknown and completely indefinite period of time.
  • Another type of compensation that is likely to be awarded in an employment case involves a financial payment for lost employment benefits. Just compensation for lost wages can include:
    • Value of lost vacation time
    • Value of lost sick leave
    • Values of lost personal days
    • Health insurance
    • Retirement plan (not particularly common today)
  • Yet another type of compensation a Eldessouky Law attorney might seek in an employment case is for lost opportunities. More often than not, such a claim is founded upon a contention that an employee who inappropriately lost his or her job also lost reasonably foreseeable opportunities for advancement on the job.

Punitive Damages

There is a limited number of cases arising out of some type of violation of California or federal law that may open the door to what are known as punitive damages or exemplary damages. In basic terms, punitive damages represent additional compensation awarded in a trial of some type of employment matter.

Punitive damages can be awarded to a plaintiff in an employment lawsuit when the conduct of the employer is deemed to be particularly reckless or egregious in a case. Money is awarded in the form of punitive damages above and beyond what you might obtain in regard to the other part of a judgment in a case. The other types of payments ordered in an employment law case are for actual losses sustained by a worker. Legally, these types of payments are known as compensatory damages.

Time is of the Essence: Statute of Limitations and Other Deadlines in an Employment Case

You undoubtedly have heard the phrase: “Time is of the essence.” In point of fact, you may have heard this phrase so often that it no longer really registers with you. The stark reality is that in this face-passed world, time seems to be the essence of nearly anything we have going on in our lives. Certainly, things like television and internet commercials certainly lead us to believe that this is the case.

The fact is that many things in which time is said to be essential and highly limited simply are not so time sensitive. There is one significant exception to this idea that things proclaimed to be time sensitive really prove to not be so. That significant exception involves what is known as the statute of limitations. In the grand scheme of things, when the statute of limitations does establish what really is a truly time sensitive deadline in an employment case.

The California statute of limitations, and its federal counterpart, establishes a specific deadline by which an employment lawsuit must be filed in court. The nature of the underlying lawsuit governs how long a person haw to file an employment lawsuit on the state or federal level.

Unlike other areas of the law in which the deadline for the filing of a particular type of lawsuit is relatively straightforward, the same cannot be said when it comes to the statute of limitations or time period within which different types of employment law lawsuits must be filed in court.

Before diving deeper into specific employment law statutes of limitations, we note that there are other types of deadlines that must be met in regard to specific types of claims. For example, certain filings may need to be made with a particular administrative agency before a person is in a position to pursue a lawsuit.

Therefore, what follows not only is an explanation of the different time periods for filing various types of employment lawsuits but also information designed to ensure that you are aware of other deadlines potentially associated with your case.

While we do provide these deadlines, they are provided for informational purposes only. You need to bear in mind that these deadlines can change without notice. In addition, the only way in which you can truly come to understand the statute of limitation and other deadlines is to schedule an initial consultation with a California employment attorney from our firm.

  • DiscriminationHarassment, Retaliation under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) (Race, Religion, Gender, Age, Disability, National Origin, Sexual Orientation etc.): Claims must be filed with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) within one year of the wrongdoing. After the DFEH issues a Right to Sue Notice, the claimant has one year to file a lawsuit under FEHA in civil court. [Cal. Gov. Code § 12960(d)].
  • Wrongful Termination in Violation of Public Policy: Claims must be filed in court within two years of the job termination. [Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 335.1].
  • Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: Claims must be filed in court within two years of the wrongful act. [Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 335.1].
  • Breach of Contract: If the contract is written, the lawsuit must be filed within four years of the date of the breach. If the contract is oral, it must be filed within two years. [Cal. Code Civ. Proc. §§ 337, 339].
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Any action must be filed within 2 years of the date of the violation, or within 3 years if the violation was willful. [29 U.S.C. § 2617(c)(1)-(2)].
  • Retaliation in Violation of California Family Rights Act (CFRA: A civil action under FEHA for retaliation in violation of CFRA must be filed within one year from the date of issuance of a “right-to-sue” letter by the DFEH. [Cal. Gov. Code § 12965(b)].
  • Unpaid Wages and Overtime: In general, claims must be filed within three years of the date that the wages were earned. [Cal. Code Civ. § Proc. 338].
  • Unpaid Wages under the Unfair Competition Law (UCL), Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200: Claims for unpaid wages as restitution under the UCL must be filed within four years. [Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17208].
  • Missed Meal and Rest Periods: Claims for payments under Cal. Labor Code § 226.7 for missed meal and rest period violations must be filed within three years. [Cal. Code Civ. § Proc. 338].
  • Waiting Time Penalties Under Labor Code Section 203: A claim for the waiting time penalty under Labor Code section 203 must be filed within three years of termination. [Cal. Labor Code § 203; Pineda v. Bank of America, N.A. (2010) 50 Cal.4th 1389].

Attorney Fees in a California Employment Case

How much will an employment lawyer cost? There is no single answer to the question “How much does an employment lawyer cost?” because every case is different. Asking an employment lawyer to weigh in on whether the terms of your severance agreement is fair will necessarily be cheaper than litigating a complex discrimination case. Depending on the specifics of your situation, you may encounter any of the following fee structures:

  • Flat fee: Employment attorneys may charge a flat fee for a specific, straightforward service. For example, if all you need is help submitting an anonymous worker safety complaint to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, you may be charged a one-time flat fee that isn’t billed on an hourly basis. This fee structure is applied in legal situations that are routine.
  • Sliding scale: This fee model allows employment attorneys to charge different rates based on their clients’ income. Workers who earn less income pay less for a given service than those who earn more income.
  • Contingency fee: In a contingency arrangement, the client pays nothing upfront. Instead, the attorney’s fees are collected upon successful resolution of the legal matter at hand. Usually, the lawyer’s rate is calculated as a fixed percentage of the total compensation award that the client receives, however, it is possible that a lawyer will charge a fixed rate contingency fee if doing so makes sense for a specific case.
  • Hourly fee: When California employment lawyers bill by the hour, they may do so on a sliding scale or not. They may charge one rate for the hours they personally spend working on your case and one rate if a paralegal or administrative assistant spends time working on your case.

Employment law attorneys charge different rates and fee ranges based on a number of factors. Complex matters that require a significant time investment are usually billed at higher rates, but this is not necessarily the case in sliding scale and low-percentage or rate contingency cases. Similarly, attorneys who have more experience and are based in cities with a higher cost of living tend to charge more than recent law school graduates and rural attorneys do. It is wholly reasonable to ask an employment lawyer why they charge the rates they do and why they structure their fees in a certain way. Additionally, no matter how an employment attorney structures their fees, this fee information should be provided upfront. Workers should never sign an attorney-client agreement until they understand how they will be charged for a lawyer’s services.

How to Find an Employment Lawyer Near You

An employment lawyer near you must be licensed in the state your workplace issue occurred in. It is ideal to find an employment attorney near the jurisdiction that your employment complaint occurred within and who is familiar with their court. Employment lawyers that regularly practice in these local jurisdictions have become familiar with the personalities, tendencies, and procedures of those courts and their justices. Our employment lawyer at the Eldessouky law firm regularly works in the courts across these counties in Southern California:

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced California Employment Lawyer

When your rights have been violated, you need an experienced advocate on your side. The employment lawyers at Eldessouky Law are here to help. We have a long track record of success in handling a wide variety of employment law matters, and we are ready to put our experience to work for you.

Mr. Eldessouky takes great pride in representing hardworking clients whose rights have been infringed upon by their employers. He specializes in litigation, which means that he approaches every case with the mindset that it needs to be prepared to win at trial. Although the majority of employment law cases settle out of court, preparing a case for successful litigation means that Mr. Eldessouky leaves no stone unturned. This approach places his clients in the best possible position to receive the maximum amount of compensation to which they’re entitled.

When you schedule a risk-free, confidential consultation with Mr. Eldessouky, you’ll be given the opportunity to have your questions answered and to explore your legal options. Once he learns about your unique circumstances, he’ll explain your rights under the law and provide personalized guidance that will allow you to make an informed decision about taking legal action.

There is no charge for the initial consultation, and you are under no obligation. You can contact our office by either calling 714-409-8991 or by filling out one of our online contact forms.

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