Font size: bigger | smaller

Workplace Rights

Employment Law Essentials  /   Discrimination Law  /   Wage and Hour Rights

Employment Law Essentials

Photo of Melissa Johnson speakingA Short Summary of California At-will Employment

California employment is most often at-will, per Labor Code section 2922. “At-will” employment allows an employer to do almost anything it wants with respect to employment. It can rearrange, modify, change, eliminate, and add jobs, hours, compensation, benefits, schedules, duties, titles. It can hire, fire, transfer, demote, promote, train, and not train employees...

An Overview of At-Will Employment (all states)

Nearly every state in the United States has a legal doctrine called “at-will employment.” At-will employment allows an employer to do almost anything it wants with respect to employment. It can rearrange, modify, change, eliminate, and add jobs, hours, compensation, benefits, schedules, duties, titles. It can hire, fire, transfer, demote, promote, train, and not train employees...

Independent Contractor or Employee? Federal and California Law

Who controls your work? The general rule is that a person is an independent contractor if the employer has the right to control or direct the RESULTS of the work but not HOW the work is done or even WHAT work is done...

"No Talking" Rules at Work

Some employers are quick to impose rules or policies that make the work day miserable for employees. There is nothing illegal about this. In general, an employer has the legal right to establish formal or informal rules that are unfair, obnoxious, harsh, or make no sense...

Whistleblowers and Their Rights

What is a whistleblower? Whistleblowers are employees who report wrongdoing by the federal, state or local government, or by a private entity, when that wrongdoing harms the public. Usually, but not always, the wrongdoing will benefit the government or private entity that engages in the wrongdoing. The purpose of whistleblower protection laws is to allow employees to report, stop or testify about this kind of wrongdoing...

Summary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

California law and federal law both protect employees from discrimination due to their need to take a leave of absence from work due to s serious medical condition that the employee has, or that an immediate family member has. The two laws are nearly identical, but there are a few important differences, which are noted below. The most significant difference relates to pregnancy leave, and is discussed below...

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Intermittent Leave

An eligible employee is entitled to leave up to a total of 12 weeks “Because of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the position of such employee.” 29 U.S.C. section 2612(a)(1)(D). “FMLA leave may be taken ”intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule“ under certain circumstances. Intermittent leave is FMLA leave taken in separate blocks...

Back to top

Discrimination Law

What Is Unlawful Employment Discrimination under CALIFORNIA LAW

Employment discrimination is against the public policy of California and the United States. Many people misunderstand the meaning of employment discrimination. “Discrimination” does not mean an employer has to be fair, respectful or has to make good decisions. Workplace discrimination means the employer treats one person or group differently from others who are not in the same group, but are similarly situated...

What Is Unlawful Employment Discrimination under FEDERAL LAW?

Employment discrimination is against the public policy of the United States. Many people misunderstand the meaning of employment discrimination. “Discrimination” does not mean an employer has to be fair, respectful or has to make good decisions. Workplace discrimination means the employer treats one person or group differently from others who are not in the same group, but are similarly situated...

Summary of Federal Employees' EEO Discrimination Complaint Process

Federal government employers must follow the same non-discriminationemployment laws that private sector and other public entities must follow. But the entire process is different – so different that there is a need for a guide like this to get you started on the process.

Disability Discrimination in Employment

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. sections 12101 et seq. (ADA) is broad legislation designed to integrate people with disabilities into the mainstream of all aspects of society. The ADA is divided into five sections, called “titles.” Title I covers employment. Titles II, III, IV and V cover public services, public accommodations, telecommunications, and miscellaneous provisions...

Disability Discrimination: Important Differences between the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

This guide summarizes some important differences between the employment-related disability laws in the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, Government Code sections 12900, et seq. (FEHA) and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. sections 12101 et seq. (ADA), as of November 2011...

Medical Information and the ADA: Inquiries and Confidentiality

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employer or potential employer is limited in what questions it can ask related to disability. This includes limiting an employer's ability to conduct medical examinations. The ADA also requires an employer to protect the medical confidentiality of job applicants and employees...

Reasonable Accommodation for People with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires covered employers to make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of qualified individuals with disabilities, unless it results in undue hardship. Undue hardship is defined as something requiring significant difficulty or expense with respect to the employer's size, financial resources, and the nature of its operations...

What Is Sexual Harassment?

Most everyone knows that workplace sexual harassment is against the law. But what exactly is sexual harassment?...

Pregnancy discrimination is unlawful under California and federal law

FEDERAL RIGHTS: In 1978, Congress amended the Civil Right Act of 1964, Title VII 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e–17, by passing the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, "discrimination" means to treat a pregnant employee differently from non-pregnant employees, and adversely...

Do I need an attorney for an EEOC mediation?

In nearly every case, yes, you need your own attorney. The EEOC is not your representative. A mediator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) www.eeoc.gov has one client – the United States of America. Some EEOC mediators are great and will do their best to protect you rights even though they are not your advocate....

Back to top

Wage and Hour Rights

Pay Dates for California Employees

California law requires employers to pay employees according to a pre-determined schedule. These requirements are described in this document.

Should I Be Paid for Standby Time? (California Law)

Whether an employer must pay an employee for standby time depends onwhether the time is "controlled standby" or "uncontrolled standby." In simple terms, this means that if the employee cannot use his or her time for personal reasons, the time is controlled and considered time worked. However, as with most areas of the law, applying the rule to each situation requires analysis.

California’s Flat Rate Auto Workers Still Get Minimum Wage, Overtime, Breaks, and All the Stuff Other Workers Get!

Auto mechanics and technicians, like all other non-exempt employees, are entitled to minimum wage, overtime, rest breaks and meal breaks. California’s Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) establishes wage orders that cover wages, hours and working conditions for all California employees, including employees paid a flat rate, piece rate, or a “per job” rate...

Back to top

Contact Us

Spencer Johnson McCammon LLP
2727 Camino del Rio South
Suite 140
San Diego, CA 92108
Phone: (619) 233-1313

Spencer Johnson McCammon Weekly

Spencer Johnson McCammon Weekly

Topic of the Week

Excuses, Excuses: What Not To Say When You Skip a Day At Work

How should you approach those times when work is really getting in the way of your life?

Read more...

Blog of the Week

Can an employee on FMLA leave from work attend a night concert?

The Northern District of Texas judge shut down the woman’s claim with Beyoncé-like finality. But it raises the legitimate question of whether people on medical leave or family leave are entitled to enjoyment of life or expected to sit at home and recuperate in stoic solitude.

Thought for the Week

"If you tell the boss that you're late for work because you had a flat tire, the next day you'll have a flat tire."

–Anonymous

List of the Week

from Bureau of Labor Statistics

The 24/7 Job Search: We should always be looking.

  • Half of employees over 40 are out of a job in less than two years
  • 69% were out of a job in five years
  • Those over 40 with a Bachelor's degree, or higher, face the same job instability as they did in their mid-thirties  

 

Top Five News Headlines

  1. Here’s what to do if you’ve been sexually harassed at work
  2. Can This Executive Make Uber a Place Women Want to Work?
  3. Will the Supreme Court Unravel Public Employee Unions?
  4. Firm behind ‘Fearless Girl’ statue underpaid female workers: feds
  5. No Class Action: Supreme Court Weighs Whether Workers Must Face Arbitrations Alone