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Questions Answered by Neil Pedersen
1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Employment Law and Arbitration / Mediation Law for California on
Q: Can I sue a freelancer on upwork or just upwork?

Going through arbitration on Upwork for work not delivered by a freelancer. Just wondering, if the arbitration team decides to take the side of the freelancer - can I sue? Since that's supposed to be the final decision. I don't know the decision yet but I have substantiative proof that... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Feb 2, 2023

No one can advise you about whether you can appeal the arbitration decision or otherwise sue without looking at the contract. However the best that can be done is say that usually arbitration agreements preclude any other form of legal action, and even appealing an arbitration award is very... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for California on
Q: Contract states that I have to pay back relocation if I "leave" within 12 months. Does this apply to getting fired?

This is the sentence referring to my relocation fee is this:

"You will receive a $***** relocation bonus. In the event that you leave <Company> within 12 months of your hire date, you will be responsible for reimbursing the company for the entire bonus."

The... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Jan 30, 2023

Contract interpretation is not as simple as you might think. Attorneys learn from early on that contract interpretation cannot be done in a vacuum. Not only should the entire contract be read and understood - not just a single provision - but the circumstances of the making of the agreement... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: I want to start a band and I was wondering if bars would have to hire me sue to discrimination?

A lot of people in my experience don’t want to hire me for anything at all and I’ve also seen some horrible bands play, others just have a stage going to waste. I really would be a musician if I can get hired. Your thoughts on how to get hired por favor?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Jan 30, 2023

Being treated differently from others is discrimination, but that discrimination only becomes unlawful if the reason for the difference in treatment is your membership in a protected class of people, such as your race, national origin, religion, etc. Suing a bar because it does not hire you would... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Im a housekeeper at a independent senior living company and a resident sold me her car on payments.she has passed and my

Boss is still trying to collect the money can she do that?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Jan 25, 2023

The answer to your question depends on many facts not included in your post. An attorney would have to be allowed to understand the precise terms of the agreement including what payment terms had been negotiated.

Good luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: My company is a large international firm with 25k employees and many in Cal. Not knowing the law shouldn't be an excuse.

They still have not paid my bonus. During my last bonus cycle in the Fall, they removed money for something that was not part of my metrics. They also deducted money from my final checks for my fleet vehicle, which they had already picked up. In addition, today, January 25th, I still have not... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Jan 25, 2023

I agree not knowing the law should not be an excuse. Nonetheless, you will have the burden to prove the withholding the final paycheck was willful.

Whether or not you are entitled to a bonus will require review of any documents setting forth the terms of the bonus plan.

To attempt...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: I am in California and my employer took 2 weeks to pay my final check and has yet to pay my bonus three weeks later.

I work in California and my employer is headquarted in North Carolina. They did not give my final pay upon termination, but ran it through their next scheduled pay period, making it late. My last day was December 31, they terminated my whole team. I recieved my final pay January 13. They still have... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Jan 25, 2023

If you worked for a non-governmental employer, your employer was legally required to pay all earned wages on the day you were terminated. Because this company is not based in California it likely is not aware of the very protective laws for employees here. Nonetheless, if you can prove that the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: A lawyer that can sue school district for wrongful termination
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Jan 25, 2023

You are looking for an employment law attorney. Unfortunately, this site is not a place to solicit attorneys to work for you. You are going to have to find one or more attorneys in that practice area and inquire as to their interest in taking your case. At this point it would therefore be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can employer extend the last chance agreement because I was out on pregnancy disability

I have a LCA on file that has an end date of 1/19/23. I went out on pregnancy disability for 4 of those months and my manager wants to extend the LCA even though acknowledging that I have completed all the terms of the LCA. Is this legal?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Jan 24, 2023

The answer to your question requires review of the agreement. If the agreement gives the employer the right to extend the agreement, and is not acting because of your pregnancy, then there would be nothing unlawful.

You need to locate and discuss this with an attorney who can review the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Would waiting period for final wages in California apply in this situation?

I had my paycheck levied by the State of CA for a tax bill. It was withheld from 2 separate paychecks. A few months later I resigned from the company and took another job. Shortly after, I get a notice that I still had a balance due for state taxes. After contacting the Franchise Tax Board I... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Jan 24, 2023

Levied pay are still wages. The fact that a government levy grabbed that money does not convert it into something other than wages.

To establish the willfulness component of the Waiting Time Penalty you need to prove that there was no mistake or misunderstanding. Whether a judge would...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts, Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: I need a lawyer who specializes in Federal Unlawful Termination cases. I was unlawfully terminated from a federal Agency

Are you prepared to represent me if I have an appeal denial from Office of Federal Operations, and my former federal employer did not abide by OPM RIF Guidelines? My Formal Complaint is for Age Discrimination, Contract Breach, and Numerous WARN Act violations. I was a 79 yr. old 10 pt. Disabled Vet... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Jan 24, 2023

I am sorry but you misunderstand the nature of this Q&A board. This is not a place to ask an attorney to work for you. It would be inappropriate for any attorney to respond to your post with a desire to work for you.

You are going to have to locate and make contact with attorneys,...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Got my w2 from the last company I Worked for through an old co worker.

I was given my w2 from a company I got fired

They gave it to someone I worked with whom I wasn’t too close with to start with.

They gave him my w2 with no envelop. So all my personal information could be seen. Social security number, address, and earnings. Could all be seen by... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Jan 22, 2023

If you were injured by this disclosure, probably. Without injury, a lawsuit is not viable.

Good luck to you.

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: Can my employer hold wages from me when I’ve been terminated?

I was terminated on 1/18/23 for no real reason and was given a check and then said my other half of my pay would be deposited and I’m yet to see any of my money. And the check is on hold? Is this legal?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Jan 22, 2023

It is not legal for a private (non-governmental) employer to not pay all wages due on the day of termination. A willful failure to do so gives the employee the right to seek Waiting Time Penalties equal to one day of pay for each day the employee is made to wait for the entire final check, up to a... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Am I entitled to California final paycheck waiting period penalties?

Last day of work was May 23 . We are paid twice a month, but my last day of work didn't fall exactly on the pay period date. A month later I realize that I only got paid my regular bimonthly pay and not for the extra 3 days. I reach out to someone in payroll around Jun 25th and they said... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Jan 19, 2023

First, if you worked for a government employer, you do not have the protection of the California Labor Code so no Wait Time Penalties.

Next, you have to prove the employer willfully failed to pay your final wages in a timely manner. What is willful can sometimes be difficult to prove. And...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: How does a default judgement in California courts work? Can defendant provide an answer after filing for entry?

I filed a wage and hourly claim in Santa Clara Courts against my former employer (large tech company with lots of attorneys) pro per. They failed to respond to my complaint within 30 days, so I filed Request for Entry of Default and served it on the defendant. A week later I get in the mail the a... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Jan 19, 2023

It is entirely possible that the response was timely filed and it is not showing up on the Register of Actions because the court is backed up. That happens with some regularity is some courts.

Regardless, it would be a very bad idea to assume that the default would be upheld by a court....
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Hi my name is Bobby I just started working with this company and they just suspended me. Reason being, lack of dt

I had taken drug test before and was offered a start date then they rescheduled and sent me the same offer to do a drug test again but did not because they had already gave me a start date 4 working days in they call me to suspend me for not doing drug test can you help me is this legal?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Jan 18, 2023

Yes this is legal. You are considered to be employed on an at will basis unless you have an agreement to the contrary with your employer about that status. The employer of an at will employee can terminate the employee at any time and for any reason or even for no reason at all. In fact, they... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I made an honest big error at work, issue was resolved. Employr still took keys, thn Itryd2 return2wrk he said no.

He nevr gav me Any propr notice of dissmissal etc. I thn applied for ui benefts. He retaliated provided Edd inaccurate info that i Quit?? Disqualifying me from benefits causin me monetary damages from suddn wage loss. Iwant2 file a Wrongful Term case. I been at job for 2.5yrs. Only missed 1 day... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Jan 17, 2023

Unfortunately you do not have a wrongful termination claim. You are considered to be employed on an at will basis unless you have an agreement to the contrary about that status with your employer. The employer of an at will employee can terminate the employee for any reason or even no reason at... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: My boss only gives me 10 minute notices of shift changes, is that legal

I'm scheduled to work at 4 pm, my boss calls to say he needs me in by 1:30, I look at the clock, it's 1:19 wtf, how can I get to work by the time he needs me

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Jan 17, 2023

The answer to your question will depend on what industry you work in and what County or City your workplace is. Generally, an employer has no legal duty to give you advanced notice of shift changes, and can change your shift whenever it wants to do so. The only limitation is that if you show up... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can I temporarily collect unemployment benefits if I quit my job for mental health reasons?

I recently quit my job and I am currently in treatment with a psychiatrist. We're sorting out a treatment plan and testing medications to get me back on track. I really do want to go back to work but I have to sort out my mental health issues that caused me to quit a dream job I had for 2.5yr.... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Jan 17, 2023

No, but if your doctor certifies that you are temporarily disabled from working you should qualify for California State Disability Insurance benefits, administered by the same agency - the EDD.

Good luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Can my landlord evict me by mouth with a weeks notice since I was in employer provided housing for a nonprofit

Worked as resident manager of a safe parking location( shelter) they provided a trailer for me to live in with my job.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Jan 17, 2023

A residence provided as part of the employment bargain is treated very differently from separately leased premises. An employee provided with a residence as part of the employment can be evicted immediately without advanced notice.

Good luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: How can you prove California residency if you are temporarily relocated in another state?

If I terminate my lease in CA, change my mailing address to another address out of state and temporarily change my location to another state, how can I still prove CA residency?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Jan 11, 2023

You likely cannot. You must be living in the state and have a present intention to remain in the state until you decide otherwise. Terminating a lease seems more than a temporary situation.

It would be wise for you to share all of the relevant information with an attorney who can then...
Read more »

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