Los Angeles Employment Lawyer
When our clients win - we win
The Los Angeles employment lawyers at Sempers Law Firm have a proven track record in representing employees in labor disputes. We are committed to providing the legal assistance you require during these challenging times.
As a hardworking employee, it’s important to know your rights and ensure that your employer is complying with mandatory employment laws to protect your well-being and financial stability.
Unfortunately, many employers in Los Angeles and across the United States commit labor violations, such as misclassifying workers or wrongfully terminating them, leaving employees vulnerable and needing legal assistance.
In fact, a report from the Labor Commissioner’s Office showed that about 30,000 workers file wage claims each year. This represents about 1 in 600 workers statewide.
This is where our employment law firm comes in. We have seen countless cases of workplace disputes, so we understand how important it is for employees to understand their rights and remedies.
Employment law is a broad area that encompasses a wide range of issues. Here, we will explain what employment law is, how it protects workers in Los Angeles, and when you may need the services of an employment attorney, among other essential information.
What’s Employment Law?
It’s a legal field that deals with the rights and obligations of workers and employers. It covers workplace issues, including:
- Wage and hour laws
- Workplace safety
- Employee benefits
- Wrongful termination
- Whistleblower protection
It also includes regulations and guidelines that employers must comply with when hiring, firing, promoting, and managing employees. These laws are designed to protect workers from unfair treatment and ensure that they are paid and treated fairly.
According to a federal report, during the first six months of the fiscal year 2023, unfair labor practice charges filed across the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) offices have increased to 16%, continuing last year’s surge in cases. This means that now, more than ever, legal assistance and guidance from trusted and experienced employment lawyers are becoming a necessity.
Common Workplace Issues and Relevant Laws
Los Angeles is home to a diverse and dynamic workforce, with millions of employees working in various industries.
To ensure that workers are treated fairly and with dignity, California has implemented several laws and regulations that protect their rights. Employers who violate these laws may face severe penalties, including fines, back pay, and even criminal charges.
We understand the challenges that workers face in the current job market. And so, we are committed to helping them assert their legal rights and hold employers accountable for the following common labor violations:
Wrongful termination happens when an employer fires an employee for illegal reasons. In California, these include discrimination based on race, gender, age, or disability, as well as retaliation for reporting harassment or other illegal activities.
The state has laws that protect workers from being wrongfully terminated, such as the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the Labor Code, and the Industrial Welfare Commission's Wage Orders.
If you were terminated from your job because of harassment or discrimination, a violation of your employment agreement, refusing to participate in or report illegal activities, or unsafe working conditions during COVID-19, you may have grounds for a wrongful termination case.
Aside from wrongful termination, there’s also the case of unpaid wages. In the state, there’s a penalty for not paying workers on time.
Labor Code section 210 creates a penalty for employers who do not pay their workers on time, with amounts ranging from $100 for an initial violation to $200 for every subsequent charge.
Plus, there’s an additional penalty of 25% of the amount unlawfully withheld for subsequent or willful, or intentional offenses. These may involve:
- Minimum wage
- Unpaid overtime
- Unpaid commissions
- Unpaid bonuses
- Off-the-clock work
- Denied rest breaks and lunch breaks
- Untaken vacation time or paid-time-off
- Unreimbursed expenses
- Travel time for work-related assignments
- Unpaid double-time
- Paying a fee to cash your paycheck or use your pay card
- When your paycheck bounces
- When your paycheck is late
Joining the list of common workplace violations is harassment. This can involve intentionally targeting someone else with behavior that is meant to alarm, annoy, humiliate, torment or terrorize them.
It could also be any repeated or continuing uninvited contact that serves no useful purpose beyond creating alarm, annoyance, or emotional distress.
It can come in many different forms. Sometimes, different types of harassment can even happen all at once. Some examples of harassment at work include discrimination based on race, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation, age, and even sexual advances in exchange for a privilege or favor.
However, it’s important to note that not all ‘petty annoyances’ count as harassment. If you are unsure whether you have a legal claim against someone who’s causing problems, it's best to speak with an employment lawyer.
Another constantly reported misconduct is discrimination. Under California’s labor laws, this happens when someone is treated unfairly or prejudicially in the workplace based on unjustified distinctions about their group or category. Additionally, this prohibited conduct can either be direct or indirect.
Direct discrimination happens when someone is treated unfairly because of their protected characteristics like race, gender, or age. For instance, if someone is denied a promotion solely based on these qualities.
Meanwhile, indirect discrimination occurs when a workplace policy applies to everyone but puts some people at a disadvantage. An example of this could be a company policy that doesn't consider the needs of pregnant employees or those who celebrate religious holidays.
Recent data from the California State Department of Fair Employment and Housing has revealed that there are almost 28,000 complaints of employment discrimination in the state.
And before diving into what this type of employer misconduct is about and how it can affect you, you need to know some protected activities under the state’s Labor Code:
- Filing or threatening to file a claim or complaint with the Labor Commissioner
- Taking time off from work to serve on a jury or appear as a witness in court
- Disclosing or discussing your wages
- Using or attempting to use sick leave to attend to the illness of a child, parent, spouse, domestic partner, or child of the domestic partner of the employee
- Engaging in political activity of your choice
- For complaining about safety or health conditions or practices
And if your employer punishes you for participating in any of these, it's called retaliation. This can include giving a negative performance review, being denied a raise, having reduced hours or pay, receiving different treatment from colleagues with similar responsibilities, or having limited access to resources or training.
Sometimes, it can also mean being excluded from projects, having an unfair workload, being assigned to undesirable shifts, or being transferred to a distant location without any valid reason.
According to the latest available data from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), out of all their recent discrimination cases, 54 percent involved retaliation from employers.
What Does An Employment Attorney Do?
When confronted with employment concerns, a legal maxim comes to mind: “Equity aids the vigilant, not those who slumber on their rights.” This is because dealing with workplace issues is a delicate balance. It can have serious consequences when an action is filed too early, too late or not at all.
And so, employment attorneys are extremely valuable in your dilemma since they can navigate the overwhelming process of workplace disputes. The remedies that are available to you can be time-sensitive, so they keep track of appropriate remedies relevant for every step, guiding you to the best possible outcome.
They also support businesses and their staff to strictly comply with California’s labor legislation, providing advice and guidance on hiring practices, employee handbooks, and workplace policies.
There is more than simply right and wrong in employment law. It concerns both the stability of your family's finances and comfort, your opportunities, and even your whole future. An employment lawyer on your side would greatly ease the burdens and uncertainties of your situation.
Why Would You Need An Employment Lawyer?
Every year, $15 billion in wages are stolen from workers across the country. And according to the California Department of Industrial Relations, over 7,000 wage theft claims were filed in the Bay Area alone in 2020.
But no matter how high and tedious the numbers may seem, the reality is that there are still a lot of unreported and undocumented labor violations.
There could be many reasons an employer’s misconduct goes unseen, ranging from intimidation, bullying, or aggression against the worker.
And so, this is where an employment lawyer’s assistance is warranted – you need someone to rally your cause without fear or hesitation.
How To Choose The Best Employment Attorney
When it comes to finding the right employment attorney to fight for your labor rights, never settle. Your case deserves an experienced and respected attorney who can help you navigate the legal complexities of employment law. That's why we recommend doing your research and carefully weighing your options.
One thing to keep in mind is location – if you're based in Los Angeles, it's a good idea to seek out a local employment law firm with a proven track record of success. Remember, the right attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your case!
When hiring, it’s best to consider the following factors:
- Experience: Look for an attorney who has experience handling cases similar to yours.
- Reputation: Research about the lawyer’s reputation online and ask for referrals from friends or colleagues who might have had the same issue.
- Communication: Choose someone who communicates clearly and consistently with you throughout the legal process. It’s best to have someone who is available to cater to your questions and concerns rather than leaving you clueless and in the dark.
- Cost: Find an attorney who offers transparent and reasonable fees. Someone who wouldn’t take advantage of the urgency or sensitivity of your case.
- Compassion: You deserve a lawyer who sees you as more than just a paycheck or a statistic on a report. When it comes to employment-related issues, you need someone who understands the real impact it can have on your life – both emotionally and financially. Look for an attorney who has empathy and can truly connect with your situation. This way, you can build a strong working relationship based on trust and mutual understanding.
What you can expect
And if you decide to hire an employment lawyer, it’s essential to understand what to expect throughout the legal process so that you can be more confident in transacting with your chosen advocate.
Your attorney will investigate your case, gather evidence, and negotiate with the opposing party to reach a settlement. If a settlement can’t be reached, they will represent you in court.
They will also keep you informed of any developments in your case and provide guidance on how to proceed. It’s crucial to maintain open communication with your lawyer and be honest about your expectations and goals.
Hire An Employment Lawyer From Sempers Law Firm
At Sempers Law Firm, we understand that employment issues can be incredibly stressful and life-altering. Our team of skilled, compassionate and experienced lawyers is here to guide you through the process and fight for your rights.
We know that your case is not just a legal matter but a personal one. That's why we take the time to listen to your story, understand your unique situation, and provide tailored solutions that fit your needs.
We pride ourselves on building strong relationships with our clients based on trust, empathy, and understanding. We know that employment issues can have a significant impact on your life, and we are here to help you navigate through these challenges.
Call us at 888-762-0297 or send us a message on our secure contact form to set up a no-cost consultation.
Court Approved Settlements
$2,275,000.00 - Employment class action settled against a national staffing company.
$ 700,000.00 - Employment class action settled against a national fast food restaurant chain.
$ 450,000.00 - Employment class action settled against an industrial manufacturing company.
$ 450,000.00 - Employment class action settled against a national staffing company.
$ 400,000.00 - Employment class action settled against a disaster response company.
$ 350,000.00 - Employment class action settled against a nationwide service company.
$ 300,000.00 - Employment class action settled against an international general contracting firm.
$ 225,000.00 - Employment class action settled against a statewide hotel chain.
$ 200,000.00 - Employment class action settled against a regional hotel.
$ 112,500.00 - Employment class action settled against a regional general contracting firm.
Employment Lawyer Explains
California is an "at-will" employment state. In general, "at-will" employment means that an employer can terminate an employee for any reason or no reason, but not for an illegal reason. For example, where an employer's termination of an employee violates a law or statute, or that termination goes against public policy. If you believe your employer terminated you because of your race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, or military status, you should talk to an employment lawyer.
In California, proving retaliation frequently requires showing that a) you engaged in a protected activity, b) your employer took action against you, and c) your employer terminated your job because of these actions.
Protected activity may include – among other things, complaining about sexual harassment, racial discrimination, unsafe or illegal practices, refusing to participate in unlawful activities, or filing a complaint to recover unpaid wages.
Each case is different. The compensation for an employment claim in California depends upon many variables. It includes the nature of your claim, the number of parties involved, and the damages. If you want to know what settlement realistically to expect in your specific case, call us and ask to speak with an employment lawyer.
California's laws require the employees and workers seeking employment to be hired based on their abilities, not their age. This applies to jobseekers and applicants over 40. Certain prohibited questions or practices can come up at any stage of the employment relationship as early as advertising or recruiting for the position. If you think you were discriminated against because of your age, consult with an employment lawyer right away.
If you didn't get paid commissions earned or didn't get paid on time, in California, you have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer. An employment lawyer can evaluate your claim and determine the right remedy to help you get paid. Under the California employment law, once a commission has been earned, the employee has a right to be paid.
Yes. The employment laws of California protect all workers without regard to their immigration status. If you are a foreign national working in California, an employment lawyer can help you collect your unpaid wages.
Knowing other people's settlements may not help you. Each case is different, and your claim could be very different from other people's claims. If you want to know what settlement realistically to expect in your case, you need to speak with an employment lawyer. We invite you to call us.
Yes, but consulting an employment lawyer first is highly recommended. Employment law is constantly changing, and there are specific strict deadlines (statutes of limitations) for filing every employment dispute. An employment lawyer can help you calculate damages and determine the best course of action for your claim.
It is unlawful for California employers to pay different wages for the same or a substantially similar job to discriminate against an employee based on sex, race, or ethnicity. For details or to speak with an employment lawyer, call us at 888-762-0297. We don't charge for consultations.
In California, it is illegal for employers to fire, demote, deny a promotion, decrease pay, or take any other adverse employment actions against an employee for taking paternity leave.
Unpaid wages are a problem in Los Angeles and everywhere else in California. When your employer fails to pay all your wages or pay on time, you have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer. This includes unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, unpaid commissions, compensation for missed rest breaks & missed meal periods, unreimbursed expenses and improper deductions or giving you a check that you cannot cash. If you have worked off-the-clock, you have a right to be paid for those hours. For further information, call our office.
In California, it is illegal to "willfully" misclassify employees as independent contractors. If you have been misclassified as an independent contractor, we can help you recover your unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, unpaid commissions, unreimbursed expenses, outstanding premium wages for missed rest breaks & meal periods, and wages due for hours worked off-the-clock.
Emotional distress as a result of work-related discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or a physical assault is a serious matter. We invite you to call 888-762-0297 to speak to an employment attorney to discuss your options.
We can help clients resolve their sexual harassment claims in Los Angeles and throughout California. If you believe sexual harassment was the reason you did not get hired, caused you to be demoted or passed over for a promotion, or some other unfair result at work, call us at 888-762-0297 to discuss your case.