Discrimination and harassment in the workplace can come in many forms, and although such misconduct can sometimes be overt, it can be subtle or even concealed. If you feel you are being treated differently from other employees at work because of your age, race, gender, religion, pregnancy, disability or medical condition, you may be a victim of workplace discrimination.
Some of the most common types of discrimination include:
- Age Discrimination
- Racial Discrimination
- Pregnancy Discrimination
- Gender Discrimination and equal pay
- Sexual Preference Discrimination
- Disability or Handicap Discrimination
- Religion or belief discrimination
- AIDS and HIV discrimination
- Medical Condition (Cancer)
Workplace discrimination can take many different forms, both subtle and more direct. Gender discrimination is one of the most pervasive forms, but age discrimination and race discrimination still exist in the workplace today. People can also be harassed because of their religion or their national origin. These claims may be equally viable under state and federal laws.
If you feel that you have been the victim of discrimination, contact The Rizzo Law Firm for help. Call today for a free initial consultation and an honest and accurate case assessment.
Discrimination and harassment in the workplace can come in many forms, and although such misconduct can sometimes be overt, it can be subtle or even concealed. If you feel your employer or its agents have created a hostile work environment, which has been defined as a pervasive atmosphere of severe or unwelcome working conditions that interfere with an employee’s work performance or create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment, you may be a victim of workplace harassment.
Some of the most common types of harassment claims are based on:
- Sexual Orientation/Gender Identification
- Religion/National origin
- Marital Status
- Veteran Status
Many people may believe that sexual harassment is the one and only type of harassment that can happen to employees. In reality, sexual harassment is perhaps one of the most common forms of harassing behavior, but it is by far not the only one. In fact, many federal, state, and local government anti-discrimination laws have very specific provisions prohibiting harassment for what are sometimes very unique classes of individuals.
If you feel that you have been harassed in the workplace, contact The Rizzo Law Firm for help. Call today for a free initial consultation and an honest and accurate case assessment.
Have you been terminated or fired and believe the termination was wrongful? If the answer is “yes,” then you should contact an attorney immediately.
Californiacourts have held that an employer’s general right to terminate an “at-will” employee is subject to limits imposed by public policy. UnderCalifornialaw, a wrongful discharge case usually falls under one of the following categories:
- Violation of employment contract
- Discrimination cases
- Hostile work environment
- Whistleblower/Public policy cases
People rarely believe they are rightfully terminated, and unfair treatment does not necessarily equate into unlawful treatment, or a claim. That is why it is critical that you consult an attorney as soon as possible if you think you have an employment law claim.
If you believe that you have been a victim of wrongful discharge, contact The Rizzo Law Firm for help. Call today for a free initial consultation and an honest and accurate case assessment.
WAGE AND HOUR
Federal and state laws set out in detail the minimum wage every worker is entitled to receive. These laws also identify which workers are entitled to receive overtime pay for working longer hours. Unfortunately, and often unintentionally, some employers fail to comply with these legal requirements. Common violations of the law related to employment wages include:
- Not paying the correct minimum wage.
- Paying the lower “training wage” or “youth minimum wage” to workers who should be paid more.
- Not paying overtime or improperly classified exempt employees.
- Making employees work “off-the-clock,” and not paying them for it.
- Deducting too much for tips.
- Deducting for wages paid in goods, such as meals or food.
The wage and hour laws are meant to protect employees, and to ensure that their employers treat them with fairness in terms of payment for work done.
If you are an employee who seeks experienced assistance concerning issues of missed meal breaks, lack of overtime pay and other unfair employment law practices. Employees often are forced to work hours in excess of eight hours, or off-the-clock, and forgo overtime pay as conditions of continuing employment.
California employees whose employers have violated the wage laws may seek to recover those wages, as well as other damages and penalties under certain circumstances either by filing an action in court (legal relief) or by pursuing an action through the Division of Labor Standards and Enforcement (“DLSE”) (administrative relief).
If you believe your employer has improperly paid you, contact The Rizzo Law Firm for help. Call today for a free initial consultation and an honest and accurate case assessment.
LABOR COMMISSIONER CLAIMS AND HEARINGS
Do you have a pending Labor Commissioner Claim, or think you might need representation for an employment dispute? In California, an employee can file wage dispute claims for minimum wage, overtime pay, expense reimbursement, meal and rest periods, and other claims for violations of other California labor laws with the Office of the Labor Commissioner of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).
THE GENERAL PROCESS
Upon receiving a claim, the office of the Labor Commissioner may investigate the merits of the claim by accessing employer records and other information. The parties may also be required to attend an informal conference with a Deputy Labor Commissioner. During this conference, the parties may agree to settle the matter by reaching an agreement regarding the amount owed the employee.
If an agreement cannot be reached, a hearing may be scheduled. During the hearing, each party is permitted to retain the legal representation of an attorney. However, the presence of an attorney is not required.
Many employees prefer filing a claim with the Labor Commissioner’s office over suing their employers in court. This is because it is sometimes less formal, quicker, and more cost-effective than bringing a lawsuit. However, it is important to note that hearings before the Labor Commissioner do not adhere to the rules of evidence, and employees cannot recover their attorneys’ fees in most cases.
THE APPEALS PROCESS
The Labor Commissioner will issue a ruling after the hearing. Once a decision has been entered by the Labor Commissioner, the parties have 10 days to appeal the decision to the California Superior Court. All appeals from Labor Commissioner decisions are reviewed de novo, which means that a new trial is conducted where each party has the opportunity to present his or her case before a judge. If the parties are represented by attorneys, attorneys’ fees may be awarded to the prevailing party.
PROVIDING LEGAL REPRESENTATION DURING LABOR COMMISSIONER HEARINGS
At The Rizzo Law Firm, we understand the importance of quickly resolving employment claims. We strive to help our clients through Labor Commissioner hearings as efficiently and effectively as possible, to ensure a favorable result. Kristin Rizzo, Esq. has served both employers and employees in the San Diego area through the Labor Commissioner process. If you are facing the possibility of a Labor Commissioner claim or hearing, call The Rizzo Law Firm for assistance.
EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT DISPUTE
Employer-employee relationships may sometimes be based upon complex employment contracts, which often provide certain protections for the employee. When an employer violates the terms of an employment contract, the employee may be able to bring a breach of contract action against the employer. Likewise, if an employee breaches a provision of an employment contract, he or she may be liable to the employer for any damages resulting from that breach of contract.
If an employer breaches the terms of an employment contract, it can be held liable and required to pay damages to the employee. Examples of common breach of contract claims include:
- Termination in breach of the contract
- Failure to honor contract
- Promissory estoppel
- Misrepresentation in violation of California Labor Code
- Violation of a severance agreement
- Failure to pay commission, a bonus, or other compensation
If you are facing a potential breach of contract, it is important to consult with an employment attorney before filing a claim. The Rizzo Law Firm is dedicated to assisting employees who have been wronged by their employers. Contact The Rizzo Law Firm today for a free consultation.
In California it is illegal to fire, demote, refuse to promote, harass, discriminate or retaliate against an employee who is in a protected class, or whose conduct is within a protected category, which includes persons who “blow the whistle” on improper or illegal activities. In short, a “whistleblower” is a person who opposes, makes public, or threatens to make public, illegal actions by an employer or supervisor.
For example, it is illegal for an employer to take adverse action materially affecting the terms or conditions of employment against an employee who reports racial discrimination. It is likewise illegal to take such adverse action against an employee who testifies in a proceeding against the employer for sexual harassment, or who informs the government that a company has been falsifying documents in order to receive payment from the government.
Many more examples of whistleblowing activities exist. Where an employer engages in adverse treatment of a whistleblower, it may be the basis for a lawsuit under numerous state and federal laws.
If you feel that you have been fired, demoted harassed, discriminated or retaliated against because you have blown the whistle on your employer’s improper or illegal conduct, contact The Rizzo Law Firm for help. Call today for a free initial consultation and an honest and accurate case assessment.
The term qui tam derives from a Latin phrase meaning, “who as well for the king as for himself sues in this matter” and generally refers to type of case which is brought by a “relator” under a particular statute which allows the relator to recover penalties from a particular wrongdoer in a civil action, part of which will go to the realtor and part of which will go the government.
The Federal Civil False Claims Act (FCA) is one of the more common qui tam statutes that allows private citizens to file a lawsuit in the name of the U.S. Government charging fraud by government contractors and others who receive or use government funds, and share in any money recovered. Congress created the FCA to allow for more effective prosecution of companies and persons committing acts of fraud against the government and to allow the government to recover lost revenue caused by the fraud. Sometimes these case will result in wrongdoers entering into large settlements without admitting liability; from this settlement the relator may receive a percentage.
If you believe your employer is engaging in illegal activity against the government, contact The Rizzo Law Firm for help. Call today for a free initial consultation and an honest and accurate case assessment.
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