Long Beach Employment Lawyer

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Long Beach Employment Attorney

Employment law encompasses a wide range of protections for workers. If you live in Long Beach, California, and experience a wage violation or any form of discrimination, a Long Beach employment lawyer can fight to protect your rights. In many cases, the at-fault colleague or employer can be compelled to compensate you for lost wages or any other form of harm that resulted from an unlawful act.

Best Long Beach Employment Lawyer

When Might I Need a Long Beach Employment Lawyer?

Any time your state or federal rights are violated, you have the right to take legal action to protect them. For instance, California sets minimum wage guidelines that every employer has to comply with. Anyone who is paid below the state minimum wage can hire an attorney to demand back pay and other legal remedies.

The state of California also enforces overtime for workers who put in more than eight hours a day or 40 hours per week. California laws also protect workers from discrimination. Everyone must be afforded equal pay and rights under the law. Harassment of individuals based upon a protected characteristic such as race, religion, sex/gender, or sexual orientation, is illegal in California.

Federal laws also protect workers. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes overtime protections, child labor standards, and other defenses. Under OSHA and CAL/OSHA, Workers have the right to work in a safe environment that is free from dangerous chemicals and other potential causes of health problems. This is regulated at the state and federal levels.

Without legal action, your rights are not guaranteed. If you have experienced wage theft or workplace discrimination, one of the first steps you should take is to hire an experienced employment lawyer. The at-fault party may opt to settle the matter without the need for a trial.

Common Types of Workplace Discrimination

At Hennig Kramer Ruiz & Singh, LLP, our lawyers have helped hundreds of clients once they decided to file an employment discrimination claim. Most cases resulted in favorable settlements, while others went to trial, where a judge or jury may award our clients monetary compensation. While the list of employment law violations is extensive, here are some of the more common violations we have handled.

Age Harassment and Discrimination

Sometimes, an older worker is encouraged to retire before they are ready to. Others may be teased about their age in the workplace. Age discrimination is a serious violation of state and federal laws.

An employer cannot hire someone younger simply because they prefer a younger worker. An employer cannot deny employment, demote, or terminate someone based on their age if they are over 40. These rights extend to promotions, employee privileges, and other benefits. Employees over 40 enjoy additional benefits under the federal Older Workers Benefit Protection Act.

Discrimination Based on a Disability

The California Civil Rights Department prohibits employment discrimination based on a worker’s disability, whether perceived or actual. Similar protections exist under federal law. Anyone who has a current disability, a history of disabilities, or a relation to someone with disabilities must be treated fairly and without discrimination. Even if someone does not have a disability but is perceived to have one, that worker is protected under the law from mistreatment.

Employers and supervisors are obligated to engage with the employee to determine what reasonable accommodations are needed. Those accommodations must be provided unless those provisions would constitute an undue hardship for the business. Any failure to take reasonable steps to accommodate a disability would be a violation of both federal and California disability discrimination laws.

Gender Discrimination

California was one of the first states to pass legislation protecting equal pay. The Equal Pay Act of 1949 focused on equal pay based on gender, and subsequent legislation in the Golden State has expanded worker rights to include a wide range of workplace protections.

Gender discrimination is banned in the workplace. These protections exist at the state and federal levels. Depending on the offense, your lawyer may cite the California Fair Pay Act, California Equal Pay Act of 1949, or California Fair Employment and Housing Act when making legal arguments against the at-fault party.

Sex or gender cannot be used as the basis for refusing to hire someone. The sex or gender of an employee cannot be used as grounds for terminating an employee or refusing to select them for a training program. Workers of different sexes/genders who have similar backgrounds and work experience should be paid on the same level.

Discrimination and Harassment Based on Sexual Orientation

Jurisdictions in California were among the first to recognize same-sex marriage, and the state continues to be at the forefront of providing equal rights to the LGBTQ+ community. No colleague, supervisor, or employer can discriminate against an employee due to their perceived sexual orientation or gender expression. If a worker wishes to identify as a different gender, for example, no one in the workplace can harass, intimidate, or retaliate against them for those personal choices.

Whistleblower Retaliation

Workers have a right to notify government agencies about unsafe workplace conditions. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, for example, commonly fields complaints about unsafe work conditions. If an employer retaliates against or fires a worker for notifying a government agency, or an internal person with the authority to correct issues, about legitimate concerns, that employer could be held liable in court. Whistleblowers enjoy wide protections under state and federal law.

Another form of retaliation could come once an employee reports or decides to take legal action against their employer for a violation of an employment law. If you sue your employer for discrimination, for example, your employer cannot take retaliatory actions. This means that they cannot do things like cut your hours, cut your pay, exclude you from meetings, or deny you promotions or transfers. Any actions they might take that could be seen as retaliation could be grounds for further claims.

If you are planning on seeking legal services due to the actions of an employer in Long Beach, your employment attorney can protect against any adverse actions taken by the at-fault party that are intended to harm you or make you want to quit.

Racial Harassment and Discrimination

Under California law, protection against harassment and discrimination based upon race even extends to the perception of race. This means that anyone who is dark-skinned, for example, and experiences racism or harassment at work, even if the assumptions about the person’s race are wrong, could have legal grounds for suing the at-fault party.

Any form of racist behavior, whether it be talk behind your back or comments that may have been intended as a joke, could be grounds for legal action. This is especially true when those actions are brought to the attention of a supervisor or HR, and no steps are taken to address the harassing or discriminatory actions.

When Can I File for Sexual Harassment in Long Beach?

Sexual harassment remains a prevalent employment law violation. The perpetrators of sexual harassment are not the only ones who could be held liable for those acts. Employers have a responsibility to protect workers and provide a safe environment. Employers also have an obligation to take swift action if sexual harassment is ever reported.

Employees often fear retaliation or termination if they report sexual harassment. In other cases, the victims may not realize that the actions of a co-worker or employer can rise to the level of sexual harassment that violates state law.

Sexual harassment can occur even if the at-fault party is not seeking a romantic relationship with the victim. It can occur to an employee regardless of their gender identification or sex. Even if someone is not directly targeted by a sexual harasser, they could suffer harm that leads to the need for legal action. It is important for employees to report sexual harassment to management or Human Resources as soon as possible.

What Happens During a Workplace Discrimination Claim?

No two cases are exactly the same. Most types of workplace claims require that you file a complaint with a government agency. Having an experienced employment attorney can help you with these complaints and can also lower the risk of retaliation because your co-workers and employer will know that you have legal representation.

Some claims can be settled by sending a demand letter. Your lawyer can draft a document that outlines certain demands, which could include a change in the work environment, monetary compensation from the at-fault party, or another remedy to resolve the workplace violation.

If the matter cannot be settled with a demand letter, your lawyer can file a claim on your behalf that cites applicable laws and details of the offenses. What follows is a period of litigation and possible negotiation where the at-fault party may choose to settle rather than go to trial.

If both parties cannot agree on a settlement, the case will go to trial. Our lawyers have vast experience litigating in the courtroom. During the trial, your employment lawyer can use evidence and testimony to convince a judge or jury that the defendant violated state or federal law and that you suffered as a result of those violations.

FAQs for Long Beach Employment Lawyers

Q: What Is Unique About California Employment Law?

A: California has one of the highest minimum wages in the country. Overtime protections are strictly enforced in California and are based on the greater of daily or weekly overtime. The Golden State also has some of the strongest and most robust protections for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Unlike many states, California has a strong paid family leave policy that applies to most workers. Eligible parents can receive 60 to 70 percent of their weekly wages for months following the birth of a child.

Q: What Are Common California Labor Law Violations?

A: Common California labor law violations include failure to pay overtime, failure to accommodate disabilities, harassment based upon protected characteristics, retaliation, and various forms of workplace discrimination. Our lawyers have represented clients who were demoted, harassed, or terminated simply due to their age, gender, race, and religion. Any form of workplace discrimination should never be tolerated, and our lawyers take pride in helping victims of workplace discrimination seek justice.

Q: What Is Wrongful Termination of Employment in California?

A: Anyone who was terminated in violation of state or federal law could be said to have been terminated wrongfully. California provides a wide range of protections that pertain to wages, overtime, safety, and discrimination. Any violation of the law could provide grounds for the injured party to file a complaint or even take direct legal action against the at-fault party.

Q: What Does an Employment Attorney Charge?

A: Attorneys either work on a billable-hour basis or on contingency. Under the billable hour model, the lawyer is paid a lump sum by the client, called a retainer, and then pays for each hour of work on a periodic (usually monthly) basis. Lawyers working on contingency are paid a percentage of any settlement or final judgment award. At Hennig Kramer Ruiz & Singh, LLP, most of our cases are taken on a contingency basis, meaning our attorneys only get paid if you do.

Q: Can I Sue My Employer for Firing Me in California?

A: Yes. You can sue your employer for firing you if that employer did so for an unlawful reason. You cannot be terminated or retaliated against for engaging in protected actions, like filing a whistleblower complaint or complaining of harassment or discrimination. Your employer also cannot fire you because of your age, race, sexual orientation, or any other protected characteristic. If you were fired for reasons other than job performance, contact an employment lawyer to learn if you have options for taking legal action.

Schedule Your Long Beach Employment Lawyer Consultation Today

Workplace discrimination is unfortunately far too common in Long Beach and the surrounding communities in California. When a violation of employment protections occurs, the attorneys of Hennig Kramer Ruiz & Singh, LLP, are here to protect your rights. We can litigate on your behalf to compel the at-fault party to pay compensation for your wage losses and even for any pain and suffering that you may have endured at work. To schedule your consultation, contact our office today to learn how we can serve you.


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