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Questions Answered by Neil Pedersen
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: I worked at Wells Fargo for 13 years and throughout my time there there was many incidents that I was passed up for

Promotions. Last incident was I was expected to be acting branch manager since we didn’t have one. Perform and run the branch and I applied for the opening and wasn’t even considered for an interview. I worked as acting branch manager for 2 months. I was a service manager and my qualifications... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Dec 2, 2021

I am sorry this has happened to you. It is always disappointing when a company does not reward years of quality work with promotions. However, an employer has the right to promote, not promote, demote, discipline and terminate any employee at any time and for any reason. The only way your facts... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: Do I have a pregnancy discrimination case?

Do I have a case of pregnancy discrimination?

I was supposed to get bonus on December, I left the office on July due to pregnancy related issues. i was in pregnancy disability and paid family leave. I ask for my bonus but my employer said since he only have 3 employees, he does not need me... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Dec 2, 2021

Even if this is pregnancy discrimination, you unfortunately have no viable claim for unlawful discrimination. That is because the California anti-discrimination in employment law - the Fair Employment and Housing Act - only applies to businesses with 5 or more employees. An employer with only 3... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Is it a hippa violation to login to your personal computer to do work at home?

Laptop is password protected and no one else has access. Nothing is saved on the computer just logins to online scheduling, texts and email programs for work. Wondering if it is a hippa violation to use personal computer for this instead of work computer.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 22, 2021

Not necessarily. More would need to be known about the data security in place, including how the data is transferred. There is nothing inherently violative of HIPAA by working on private data on a home computer/laptop.

Good luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: What resources are available to help a teacher/sub if the following scenario happens:

Good morning,

I would like to have your advice about the following:

What resources are available to help a teacher/sub if the following scenario happens:

1 - Does a High School principal have the right to ask a teacher who is just starting to work for the first day the... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 18, 2021

There is nothing inherently unlawful about asking the question. It would be unlawful to engage in harassment or discrimination based on the answer.

By refusing to answer that simple question, you engaged in a form of insubordination. Insubordination will usually justify the action taken....
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: Hello, I have been on work furlough since March 2020 . I have not been called back.

Some peers were called back and even got promoted during this time. I would have been eligible to compete for the position but due to furlough I was never given the opportunity. Is there anything I can contest and how long can I be furloughed. I called to find out my status in July but was given an... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 18, 2021

The general rule is that an employer has no legal obligation to hire back employees who were furloughed. However, a law passed in California requires some employers to give furloughed employees a right to be notified and to receive the job they used to have. However the employers subject to this... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I work for a unionwe were working 4 a large co. I was injured at work right after a concern of unsafe work condition.

Our GF ,told us to get back to work that the company's safety team declared that it was ok to back to work. He said if we refuse go get to work we may not have a job the next day

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 18, 2021

If your concern is an unsafe work condition, your solution lies with the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) That governmental agency creates and enforces regulations employers must comply with, and a failure to do so can result in citations and even the shutting down of a project until... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Please contact me if you can review my Covid religious exemption letter, add legal exemption code and endorsement.
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 15, 2021

Unfortunately, you misunderstand the purpose of this site. It is not one where you can solicit and attorney to work for you. It is a basic question and answer site where you can get legal guidance. If you want an attorney to assist you with this, you are going to have to locate and consult with... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Sexual Harassment for California on
Q: Would any of this be considered retaliation or just a typical judgment call by my employer?

A few years ago, I reported a coworker for harassment and stalking. After a month, the coworker was eventually fired for a separate complaint from another department. My claim, it turns out, was never investigated or recorded. I didn't find this out until after I was no longer assigned to a... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 14, 2021

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits sexual harassment, and retaliation because you made a good faith report of sexual harassment. Your post is not clear whether the initial complaint would fall into the latter category. More would therefore need to be known.

If...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: In CA, my business is going to start a PTO policy, what happens to all of my employees’ accrued sick leave from before?

For California, can my employees start the new PTO policy which includes sick pay & vacation, AND keep their sick leave separately from before?

Or is there a rule that I must convert all previous sick leave into the new PTO policy? Some employees have a lot, so if converted, it becomes... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 14, 2021

As long as you do not take away without replacing the sick leave the employees are entitled to under the California sick pay law, you can take away sick time at any time, or change the company rules about accrual of sick time.

Check out this link for more on the CA law:...
Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: My employment was recently terminated. I was sent a termination agreement which includes a severance. Should I sign it?

What are the pros and cons of signing it?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 9, 2021

Not until you get legal advice. A severance agreement almost always includes provisions where you are giving up your right to make legal claims against the employer for any wrongs that were done to you prior to the signing. It is therefore important that you know what rights you are giving up.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I quit my jobs due to toxic and unprofessional work place I didn’t give a notice I just quit . Oct 23 2021unpayed wages

I texted boss owner letting him know I can’t work in toxic environment he texted me saying how I didn’t know how to use computer and that he didn’t need me I told him if he can please have my check ready and he said to First take a computer class and about learning how to clean pee from... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 3, 2021

When you quit a job, the employer has a legal obligation to provide you with your final paycheck within 72 hours of the date you gave notice. A willful failure to pay on time gives you the right to Waiting Time Penalties equal to one day of pay for each day you are made to wait for the final... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: How to know if I can sign an offer letter and then turn it down later ?
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 3, 2021

There are some limited circumstances where there could be consequences for signing an offer letter and then walkiing away. However the vast majority of time, you are going to be considered an at will employee who can be terminated at any time, even before your first day of work, meaning you also... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: usually how much time lawyer need to file a case to the court after taking the case please ?

after 4 weeks my attorney still did not file my case and he said he is researching .....! is this a right excuse ?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 3, 2021

The answer to your question depends on many things not knowable by us from your post. There can be many very good reasons why your complaint has not been filed after 4 weeks. In some cases it might take my firm a couple of months to get documents from various sources, do the legal research on... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can an employer keep me 'employed' even after my contract has ended and I've stopped working for them?

I worked for an educational org under 2 contracts - an annual full time and an term by term adjunct contract. My full time position was eliminated in July 21 and I continued to work on the adjunct contract that ended on Sept 30, 21. On Sept 28 I was informed that a complaint had been lodged... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 2, 2021

Employment in California is not necessarily contractual. Just because a term employment agreement has concluded, you can still be considered an at will employee especially if they kept paying you. You can communicate your intention to quit and they cannot stop you.

Frankly I do not...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Do all employers in California need to have their policies in writing for their employees?

My place of employment is a gas station with 5 people on the schedule, and 3 who are not. They have no employee handbook, nor any policies in writing for their employees to follow or use for reference, if needed. I find this quite strange, as policies are used for employee, as well as employer... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 23, 2021

An employer in California is not required to have an employee handbook or to publish written policies and procedures. In fact, many small businesses do not.

There are certain things the need to be posted regarding employee rights under various governmental protective statutes. Other than...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Is it legal to charge a $12.50 "Processing Fee" per paycheck? For the year $275 has been deducted from my paycheck.

I am an hourly employee in California and my paycheck is usually direct deposit so I only check to make sure that the hours are correct. I got a random bonus check that the company sent and I was super grateful for the extra cash but took a minute to look at all the deductions more closely and... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 23, 2021

Your employer is violating the law. It is unlawful for an employer to charge an overhead charge as part of the payroll. You have the right to stop this conduct, and to seek reimbursement of the money you have already paid for the processing charge. If this is happening to many employees at the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Agricultural Law for California on
Q: Is there any law regarding how much off the clock personal time is spent commuting, in a company truck.

I do pest control and i get paid for on the clock hours only. My trips to my first a lnd last jobs are not covered. My company has recently made my commute more then 20-30 miles away and i now spent approximately 2.5-3 plus hours in my day unpaid. I also can not start early (to help me avoid heavy... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 21, 2021

Generally an employer is not required to pay employees for their commute to and from work and home. However some exceptions exist that may mean you should be compensated.

Even if employees use personal vehicles for their commute, they may be entitled to pay for travel time if they are...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law and Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: my boss gave me a 2-week suspension, during which, i saw my job on craigslist, and wasn't allowed back to work.

I worked for my (ex)boyfriends family business for over a year and about 2 months after we broke up i started seeing a coworker when my ex found out he punched the coworker and the boss "his dad" said we all 3 had to have a 2-week suspension to cool off. However, during the 2 weeks, I... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 21, 2021

In California you are considered to be an at will employee unless you have an agreement to the contrary with your employer about that status. That means you can be terminated at any time and for any reason or even no reason at all. If the employer views you as being a disruption - whether that is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: The edd owes me back payments for several months . I need help recovering the money. Thank you.
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 20, 2021

Unfortunately this site is not the place to ask attorneys to work for you. You are going to have to locate and reach out to attorneys to see if they can assist you.

The biggest problem you will have is that unless the money owed to you is quite large, the fight will not be one an attorney...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: How can I protect myself from a hostile abusive co worker? Is it legal in California to carry a small pepper spray?

This is happening in a Walmart! Managers are aware and have met with her several times but to no avail, Every day is worse when she’s working! Yelling and throwing things across the room at other people!

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 19, 2021

There is a difference between an angry, moody and agressive co-worker, and a co-worker that has injured others and will likely injure others. The law does not require an employer to discipline or terminate an angry, moody, belligerent employee as none of that is unlawful. However, the employer is... Read more »

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