Our Attorneys Answer Your California Employment Law FAQs
In Palm Springs and throughout the Coachella Valley, the law firm of Schlecht, Shevlin & Shoenberger assists both plaintiffs and defendants in litigating all types of employment disputes, including wrongful termination and wage and hour claims. The firm has decades-long relationships with the businesses, courts, and people of Riverside County, and provides the following answers to frequently asked questions as a resource for those seeking general information about employment law in California.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Legal Issues in Employment
How do I safely terminate an employee?
Generally, thorough documentation and communication can go a long way toward reducing an employer's exposure to liability for wrongful termination. An employer should keep a detailed record of any and all problems relating to an employee's performance, including dates and times, and communicate the problems and potential remedies to the affected employees. At the time of termination, the employer should meet with the employee and provide a letter stating the reasons for the termination and the date on which it goes into effect.
In California, an employer may not terminate an employee on the basis of age, race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, pregnancy, or sexual orientation. Furthermore, it is unlawful to terminate an employee for refusing to break the law, for taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, or for a reason not contained in the employment contract (if there is one). It is also unlawful to fire an employee in retaliation for filing a discrimination or safety claim. Finally, if the company has a stated policy or procedure with respect to employee disciplinary action or termination, it must not fire someone without following that policy or procedure.
Taking disciplinary action or terminating an employee can be an extremely delicate matter. Consulting with an experienced employment law attorney prior to taking any action can considerably reduce the risk of potential liability.
What do I do if my employer or coworker is harassing me?
Federal and state laws protect employees from harassment. An employee who feels he or she is the subject of workplace sexual harassment or discrimination should seek advice from an experienced employment litigation attorney. A lawyer can evaluate the case and help the employee understand his or her options. In some cases, a lawsuit may be appropriate. In other cases, other legal tactics may be more useful.
In the meantime, employees should keep detailed records of the dates, times, and nature of any harassment they experience in the workplace. Employees should also familiarize themselves with the company's internal employment and harassment policies.
What do I do if my employer is not giving me meal time?
California law entitles employees to allowances for meals and breaks. An employee who feels he or she is not receiving the breaks to which he or she is entitled should seek advice from an experienced employment litigation attorney. A lawyer can evaluate the case and help the employee understand his or her options, which can include filing a lawsuit. Employees considering filing a claim should familiarize themselves with the company's employment policies and keep detailed records of their hours worked and any breaks they receive.
Contact Schlecht, Shevlin & Shoenberger, A Law Corporation
For more information, please contact Schlecht, Shevlin & Shoenberger today to schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced employment lawyer in Riverside County.