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What Does a Los Angeles Employment Law Attorney Do? 2024

Posted on February 6, 2024 | Employment Law

When you are experiencing adverse effects from your job or employer, you might be hesitant to file a complaint, especially if you’re unsure if any laws were broken. One potential route to take to answer that question is speaking with an employment law attorney. Before taking that step, you may find yourself asking, what can a Los Angeles employment law attorney do for me? Having this knowledge may help you feel more secure approaching an attorney if you have any employment law questions.

What Types of Claims Can an Employment Lawyer Handle?

There are several different categories of employment law, with each covering its own type of legal issues. Employment lawyers typically help with cases like:

  • Wage and Hour: These cases address issues with employee pay, breaks, and compensated leave. Common wage and hour issues include:
    • Employees being incorrectly classified as independent contractors to reduce the amount of benefits and protections they receive
    • Employees being pressured to skip mandated breaks or adding additional stipulations to breaks to prevent complete disengagement from work tasks
    • Disagreements regarding paid leave and time off, including paid sick leave, family leave, bereavement leave, and time off for voting
  • Discrimination: An employee is entitled to work in an environment free from discrimination against their membership in a protected class. Protected classes include:
    • Race or skin color
    • Religion or political affiliation
    • Sex (gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy status, etc.)
    • Age (specifically employees 40 and older)
    • Disabilities, medical conditions, or genetic information
  • Sexual Harassment: If you have been asked to perform sexual favors to either receive positive benefits or to avoid negative consequences, this is a form of quid pro quo sexual harassment. If the harassment is severe enough to affect your job performance and perception of a safe work environment, this is a form of hostile work environment sexual harassment. Both of these types of harassment are illegal under California law.
  • Wrongful Termination: Employers are allowed to fire employees for many different reasons, but not because an employee is a member of a protected group. If an employee is fired due to their membership in a protected class, this is known as wrongful termination.

Why Do I Need an Attorney?

Certain actions employees can take against their employers do not require an attorney, but not consulting one can lead to frustration and missed benefits. Employment lawyers benefit their clients by helping them:

  • Review Their Options: Consulting with an employment attorney can determine whether you have a valid claim in the first place. In some cases, a formal complaint is more effective, while in other cases, a legal case is warranted. An attorney can make sure you are taking the right steps to address your issue.
  • Gather Evidence: Most employment law claims require significant amounts of proof that the actions you are claiming happened and negatively affected you. An employment lawyer can tell you what types of evidence you need and how to obtain it in order to have a better chance of filing a successful claim.
  • File Paperwork: Filing complaints or legal cases can be time-consuming and overwhelming for someone with little to no experience in law. An attorney can make sure you are filling out forms correctly the first time to avoid costly errors and missed deadlines.
  • Represent Themselves: Whether an employee is engaging in mediation, serving a formal complaint, or going to trial with their employer, it is important for the employee to represent themselves positively. An attorney can help prepare you for any upcoming events in your employment law case.

FAQs

Q: How Much Do Employment Lawyers Make in California?

A: As of 2022, most employment lawyers in California make anywhere between $78,000 and $102,000 annually. This figure depends on the lawyer’s specific location, experience level, and the services they provide. For employment claims, lawyers typically take an hourly rate. This rate is normally between $300 and $500, depending on the size of the firm and its track record. For questions on fee details, contact an individual employment lawyer.

Q: What Are the Fair Labor Laws in California?

A: In California, the Fair Labor Standards Act establishes things like:

  • Minimum wage (which is $16 an hour as of 2024)
  • When an employee receives overtime pay and how much they receive
  • What types of records an employee must keep for their employees
  • The breaks employees are entitled to, based on how many hours they have worked consecutively
  • Employer responsibilities regarding workplace harassment and discrimination

Some employee types are exempt from certain provisions in the act, such as overtime pay, so it is important to ensure you are classified correctly.

Q: What Rights Do Workers Have in California?

A: The rights that workers have in Los Angeles depend on their employment classification. If a worker is an independent contractor, then they are not eligible for some of the rights outlined in the California Fair Labor Standards Act. Employees have additional rights like minimum wage requirements, regulations on overtime and breaks, and protection from things like harassment and retaliation.

For more information on your specific rights based on your employment situation, schedule a consultation with a Los Angeles employment lawyer.

Q: Can You Be Fired Without Warning in California?

A: California is an at-will employment state. This means that an employment relationship can be terminated at any time, either by the employer or employee. However, an employer cannot fire an employee specifically for belonging to a protected class, like race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, or marital status. Doing so is an example of employment discrimination.
Other exemptions from at-will employment include:

  • Employees working under employment contracts
  • Employees who were lied to about their job or duties
  • Employees who are fired for refusing to violate public policy.

Solely Serving Employees

An employment lawyer can improve your odds of success if you are considering filing a claim against your employer. They can also provide a detailed plan of action so that you are prepared to receive the compensation you deserve. Nosratilaw, A Professional Law Corporation, is dedicated to providing personalized services to our clients and has over 20 years of practice standing up for them. Schedule a consultation to find out how we can help with your employment law case.

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