Here are 10 questions you should ask when interviewing lawyers to handle your wrongful termination or workplace harassment case:
First, know the basic rule: All work performed in excess of 40 hours in one week is considered overtime and must be paid at one and a half times (1.5x) your regular rate or pay. Let's say your pay is $15 an hour and you work 50 hours in one week, you should be paid $22.50 for any work performed over 40 hours in a week. Thus, you would be owed $600 in regular pay (40 hours x 15) and $225 in overtime pay (10 hours x $22.5).
First, know the basic rule, all work performed in excess of 40 hours in one week is considered overtime and must be paid at one and a half times (1.5x) your regular rate or pay. Let's say your pay is $15 an hour and you work 50 hours in one week, you should be paid $22.50 for any work performed over 40 hours in a week. Thus, you would be owed $600 in regular pay (40 hours x 15) and $225 in overtime pay (10 hours x $22.5).
If a California employee wishes to file a discrimination lawsuit against an employer, she/he must first file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH) or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and obtain what's called a "right to sue" letter. This process is also known as "administrative exhaustion". The systems are now highly automated and charges can be filed online. The EEOC permits you to mail in a letter containing the following information:
When an employer directs an employee to engage in illegal activity it puts the employee in an incredibly difficult situation. On one hand, the employee wants to uphold the law, is morally and ethically opposed to what the employer is asking, and naturally would fear the legal consequences of his action. But an equally compelling factor might be the employee's need for the job, the people who depend on him or her to provide a paycheck, and the difficulty of finding gainful employment in this economy. It can seem like a no-win situation.
Just because your employer has given a false reason for your termination does not necessarily mean that you have a case for wrongful termination. The key is whether or not the reason given by the employer is merely an excuse, or pretext, for an illegally motivated termination.
Numerous federal and state statutes protect equal opportunity in the workplace. The analysis applicable under most of these laws derives from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) generally follows this federal law, but features some slight variations that are often advantageous to plaintiffs.
When an employee engages in a protected activity, be it refusing to break the law or reporting unsafe work conditions, he or she should be protected from any adverse action from an employer. This is the basic principle underlying the various anti-retaliation laws in California - an employer can't retaliate against an employee for engaging in a protected activity. In practice, bringing a successful anti-retaliation claim against an employer can be more involved. Sometimes, even when an employee has clearly engaged in a protected activity, he or she may not be successful in bringing a claim. If, for example, an employer had a legitimate reason for firing the employee it is up to the employee to show that the protected activity was a substantial motivating factor in the retaliation.