You have protections under federal and state employment law that prohibits your employer from discriminating against you. When you believe that your employer is discriminating against you or others, it can cause much anger and anxiety over your job security. Fortunately, you have the right to file a complaint under the relevant employment law, and you can hire an attorney who can advise you as you navigate the legal system. Call us today at 213-224-9950 to speak to an experienced employment law attorney at The Rubin Law Corporation at our Century City law office.
Workplace Rights in Long Beach
California employment law is very pro-worker compared to other states in the US. You are entitled to many rights and protections under California employment law and you can recover great penalties if your employer violates any of those rights. Under California employment law, your rights include:
- The right to privacy at work
- The right to work and safe conditions
- The right to be paid a fair wage
- The right to file a complaint without fear of retaliation by your employer
- The right to work an environment free of discrimination and sexual harassment
Reasonable Expectation of Privacy
In general, employers in California have a right to monitor an employee’s use of a company computer. Employers can also use technology to track an employee’s location and activity like time clocks, video surveillance and GPS systems, as long as there is a legitimate reason for doing so. For example, surveillance cameras in bathrooms are strictly prohibited. According to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986, companies are prohibited from unauthorized interception of communications to include specific types of electronic communications.
Where this issue becomes tricky is when employees store personal files on a company computer, and when laws that limit an employer from monitoring an employee’s email and internet use are violated.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the majority of employees in the US are guaranteed the right to minimum wages and overtime pay for the work they do. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits discrimination on basis of sex in the payment of wages by employers.
Illegal Drug Testing
Another violation of California employment law is requiring an employee to submit to a drug test without reasonable suspicion of drug use or intoxication. The only exceptions to this employment law are pre-employment drug tests (as long as all new hires are tested) and when an employee works in a position where security and safety are a top priority, like an engineer at a power plant or a member of the military.
If you have blown the whistle on abuse, corruption, or fraud in your company and were fired shortly thereafter, or if you reported sexual harassment and were terminated within days, then you may have a valid wrongful termination case. Whistleblowers are protected under the law from retaliation by employers who received a complaint or became aware of a complaint. In order to be successful in these types of cases, you can use past performance reviews, if they were positive, and proof that the illegal firing occurred within days of the complaint to show causation.
Illegal Requirement To Disclose Medical Information
According to state employment law, you do not need to disclose any medications you are taking or release your medical records to your employer for any reason. That is an invasion of your privacy. The only exceptions to this employment law are in cases where the health and fitness of the employee are critical in performing their job duties, but these exceptions are rare. In fact, you may be required not to disclose confidential information about your health and medical background or to submit to a medical exam.
Does California enforce choice of law provisions?
Choice-of-law provisions are not strictly enforced in California. This provision in contracts dictates that the labor laws of the employee’s home state govern the employment relationship, but these are often found invalid in court.
Common Employment Lawsuits in Long Beach
The most common types of employment lawsuits in Long Beach are
- Wrongful termination
- Sexual harassment
- Workplace discrimination, such as age discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, racial discrimination or gender discrimination
- Wage and hour disputes
- Rest, break or meal period violations
- Retaliation against a whistleblower
- Workplace harassment
Workplace harassment is a persistent problem. One-third of almost 90,000 charges filed with the EEOC in the fiscal year of 2015 involved an allegation of workplace harassment, such as charges of unlawful harassment on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, race, disability, age, ethnicity/national origin, color and religion.
Examples of sexual harassment include pressuring an employee for sexual favors, sexually suggestive gestures or jokes, making a promotion dependent on sexual favors, request for sexual favors, attempts to kiss or fondle, unwelcome touching or pinching, and pressure to date or have a sexual encounter.
California is an at-will employment state, which means that, in general, your employment can be terminated at any time. The exception to this employment law is in the cases when firing is illegal, such as being fired for being a whistleblower, violating an implied contract, turning down a romantic date with a coworker, or on the basis of a protected category, like your gender or your political affiliation.
If you believe that you were fired for an illegal reason, then call us now to speak to one of our employment lawyers. The damages in a wrongful discharge lawsuit include lost wages, back pay, punitive damages to punish the intentional wrongdoing by the company, attorney’s fees, and compensation for emotional distress.
Important CA Labor Laws
While many labor laws are federal laws, some that may be relevant in your case are the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and The Civil Rights Act of 1991.
Steps for Filing an Employment Lawsuit
The first step in filing a lawsuit under federal law alleging workplace discrimination or any violation of employment law, you must file a charge with the EEOC. Once you have filed your charge, you can access it on the EEOC Public Portal, where you can upload documents to support your charge and a letter of representation from your attorney.
Within 10 days of filing your charge, the EEOC will send a notice of the charges to your employer. The EEOC may suggest mediation between you and your employer. If mediation does not lead to a resolution of the charge, then the employer is asked to provide a written answer to your charges, called the Respondent’s Position Statement.
You will receive Notice of Right to Sue when the EEOC closes its investigation, or you can request one if you want to file your lawsuit before the investigation is finished. Once you receive your Notice of Right to Sue, you have 90 days to file your lawsuit. If you’re planning on filing an age discrimination lawsuit, however, you can file anytime after 60 days since you filed your charge but no later than 90 days after you receive notification that the EEOC has concluded their investigation.
Our employment lawyers can help you understand the steps and legal process to filing your claim. If you are considering filing a lawsuit, then contact the Rubin Law Corporation now.
Long Beach Workplace Discrimination
Under federal and state employment law, no person can benefit or be discriminated against on the basis of their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status or age.
How Our Attorneys Can Help You
The Rubin Law Corporation is an employment law firm that aggressively represents employees who have faced discrimination, a hostile work environment or sexual harassment. We clearly explain your case to you and we regularly communicate with you. We fight hard to win the settlement beyond what you deserve. There is no substitute for the experience we have after representing clients in California for decades. Call 213-224-9950 now.