Expert Glendale Employment Lawyer: Your Advocate for Workplace Justice

Glendale employment lawyer

No matter the industry or role, conflict with coworkers or supervisors is impossible to avoid. Personality clashes and disagreements in management styles are typical in work environments.

Sometimes, workplace conflicts cross the line from unpleasant to illegal. Knowing your rights and legal options for protecting yourself and your livelihood is essential when this happens. Contact a Glendale employment lawyer immediately if you’re facing abuse or intimidation in your workplace. 

Too often, illegal behavior in the workplace goes unreported because employees aren’t aware of the extent of their rights. At Starpoint Law, our Glendale employment lawyers empower employees in Glendale to stand up and get the justice they deserve for illegal mistreatment.

If you’re concerned about misconduct in your workplace, contact our office to schedule a free consultation with one of our advocates today.

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Employee Protections in California

California employees get the benefits of both federal and state labor protections. At the federal level, employees enjoy rights under laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and more.

California employees also have the bonus protection of statewide labor laws, such as the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). These and other regulations in the California Labor Code can offer employees additional rights not included at the national level. 

Some fundamental rights employees have under the combination of federal and state laws include:

  • The right to compensation for every hour worked,
  • The right to work in a safe environment,
  • The right to timely pay,
  • The right to work free of discrimination, and
  • The right to report wrongdoing without being punished by your employer. 

Many Californians are aware that they have these rights, in theory. However, identifying when something crosses the line in practice can be a little more complicated. 

Let’s examine some of the most common forms of illegal misconduct that California employees face.

Employment Discrimination

Workplace discrimination can happen to job candidates, new hires, and current employees. Discrimination occurs when an employer makes job decisions—e.g., hiring, pay, advancement—based on protected identity characteristics. The identity characteristics protected under California law include:

  • Race,
  • Gender,
  • National origin,
  • Sexual orientation,
  • Religion,
  • Age (if over 40),
  • Disability,
  • Marital status,
  • Pregnancy status, 
  • Veteran status, and
  • Citizenship status.

Illegal and discriminatory treatment can take many different forms, some of which are more obvious than others. Some examples of behavior that can qualify as discrimination include:

  • Verbal abuse—slurs, insults, or degrading language directed at an employee’s gender, ability, or sexual orientation;
  • Unfair promotion practices—consistently passing over qualified minority employees for advancement or training;
  • Limitation of opportunities—patterns in which employees work with specific clients, receive favorable shifts, or take part in important meetings;
  • Unequal pay and benefits—regularly offering male job applicants higher salaries or better benefits than their female counterparts; 
  • Refusing legal accommodations—denying requests for reasonable accommodations for pregnant or disabled workers;
  • Illegal interview questions—asking job candidates about their marital status or sexual orientation; and
  • Other unequal treatment—targeting older workers for layoffs or repeatedly refusing reasonable requests for leave on religious holidays.

When an employer holds employees to different standards just because of their race, disability, or gender, they could be participating in illegal discrimination.

Wrongful Termination

In California, most employees are considered “at will.” You can be fired anytime and for almost any reason without breaking the law. However, California law prohibits employers from firing employees for several specific reasons, including:

  • Their gender, race, disability, national origin, or other protected characteristic;
  • Requesting family or medical leave;
  • Reporting unsafe working conditions;
  • Getting time off for jury duty;
  • Reasons that break an employment contract;
  • Applying for workers’ compensation;
  • Complaining about sexual harassment; and
  • Blowing the whistle on illegal activity in the workplace.

When employers dismiss employees for unlawful reasons, it’s called wrongful termination. An employee illegally fired can hold their employer accountable for violating their rights under California or federal law.

With the help of a Glendale employment law attorney, employees with successful claims can recover compensation for lost income and other damages caused by their employer’s wrongdoing. 

Aidin Ghavimi

Aidin Ghavimi - Employment Lawyer Helping Those in Glendale

Mr. Ghavimi received his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from USC, with Honors. He received his Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. While at Loyola, Mr. Ghavimi Externed with the Hon. Chief Judge George H. King in the United States District Court, Central District of California.

Learn More About Aidin Ghavimi

Wage Theft and Labor Law Violations

Employers commit wage theft when they unlawfully withhold any earned compensation or benefits from employees. Failing to pay nonexempt hourly employees the state minimum wage is a clear example of wage theft. Employers also risk legal penalties for wage theft when they:

  • Don’t pay employees promptly for their work,
  • Make unauthorized deductions from employee paychecks,
  • Pay qualified overtime hours at the regular hourly rate,
  • Denying employees the sick leave they’re entitled to, and
  • Fail to pay required premiums for promised healthcare coverage.

California’s Labor Code includes other rules to keep employees safe and healthy. For example, employees must generally receive a 30-minute unpaid meal break for working more than 5 hours. They’re also entitled to a 10-minute rest break after every 4 hours. 

Sometimes, employees intentionally misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid paying them minimum wage, overtime, or other benefits. If you’re an independent contractor required to perform job duties like an employee, seek the advice of an attorney.

Employer Retaliation

California law protects employees who face punishment for exercising their legal rights. It’s illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for:

  • Complaining about sexual harassment,
  • Reporting hazardous working conditions,
  • Asking about overtime pay,
  • Applying for workers’ compensation, and
  • Participating in investigations into workplace misconduct.

Employer retaliation can take many forms, including harassment, demotion, pay cuts, threats, and termination. If you’re facing backlash after engaging in a protected activity, it’s wise to contact an employment attorney as soon as possible.

How to Find a Glendale Employment Lawyer 

Don’t settle for generic legal advice regarding workplace legal disputes. A lawyer with in-depth experience with federal and California labor law is the best resource to evaluate your situation and determine any violation of your rights. Because employment law changes frequently, it’s essential to find an attorney who’s up-to-date on the latest legislation that could apply to your case.

Look for attorneys with a history of successful results in the specific type of dispute you’re facing (e.g., discrimination, wage violation, etc.). Pay attention to a law firm’s reputation and its history of positive client outcomes. You can also look online on the California State Bar website to see if a lawyer has a record of any disciplinary actions.

Before hiring an attorney, it's crucial to meet in person for an initial consultation to ensure they’re a good fit for your case. Do you feel comfortable with them? Are they good listeners and communicators? Are they upfront about fees and potential outcomes in your case? 

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Starpoint Law: Dedicated Glendale Employment Attorneys 

Getting help with an employment dispute can be incredibly intimidating. Many employees are afraid of facing backlash for speaking out about wrongdoing. Other employees assume they can’t afford the expense of legal support.

The Glendale employment attorneys at Starpoint Law have seen firsthand how challenging it is for employees to try to resolve legal issues alone. Our firm’s founding principle is to make high-quality, effective legal representation accessible for all employees—regardless of income level.

As a small firm, we pride ourselves on our ability to give clients personalized and knowledgeable representation that’s often reserved for their employers. We’ve helped our employee clients recover hundreds of thousands of dollars over our years in service. If you’re concerned about misconduct in your workplace, contact our office today to speak with an advocate about how we can help you.

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