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Questions Answered by Neil Pedersen
2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: I will be submitting my two week notice to my employer however, I’m currently serving as a juror for jury duty.

Can my employer choose to terminate/release me due to jury duty?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 18, 2020

Your employer may not retaliate against you for serving jury duty. However there is no law that prohibits an employer from terminating your for other reasons while you are jury duty. There is also nothing unlawful about terminating you right away when you give two weeks notice.

Good luck...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: A woman I was having an affair with was forced to resign from a company when they found out. Now that company hired me.

Even though the woman is separated from her husband, I am afraid that if the company finds out we are together, the company will fire me. How can I protect myself from being fired?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 16, 2020

There really isn't anything you can do other than to try to be a great employee they would not want to get rid of.

In California you are considered to be employed at will which means the employer can terminate you at any time for any reason or even no reason at all. There are...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Is the length of term enforceable in an employment contract in California?
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 13, 2020

Your question cannot be answered in a vacuum of facts. Far more would need to be known, but especially the other terms in the contract. For instance, all employment agreements in California are considered to be at will unless otherwise stated in an agreement between employer and employee.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: Can my Employer refuse to accommodate my permanent work restrictions and not pay benefits after filing WC Claim?

I received a copy of the following memo from City employer: WC Claim has been accepted due to Industrial Related Injury, but we are unable to pay for time lost from 3/18/20 and continue while the division is exploring modified work. At this time the division cannot accommodate and employee will... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 10, 2020

The issues raised in your post involve two different but related areas of law and require review by two different kinds of attorneys. A workers compensation attorney should be consulted if the injury or condition is workplace related. However, separate and apart from the Workers Compensation... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Under California law, can an employer make severance pay to a laid-off employee contingent on a non-compete provision?

If a company offers severance to a laid-off employee on a monthly basis over the course of a year, but states that it will stop payments if the employee goes to work for a competitor, is such a provision enforceable?

What if the employee is based in CA but the company is based in another state?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 10, 2020

I am sure you are asking this question because you have read or heard somewhere that non-compete provisions as unenforceable in California. While it would be important to review the provision offered to you before giving solid legal advice, it does not sound like the provision you are being... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: My brother works for a City. He is given a bi-weekly allowance to purchase tools.

His allowance should be $7 bi-weekly, but his work made a mistake when he was hired and has been giving him $20 bi-weekly for the last 4 years. He did not know he was being overpaid. The City wants him to pay back $1,300. Can he fight this?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 7, 2020

An employee has no right to retain money mistakenly given to him by the employer. The law allows the employer to request the money back, and if the employee does not do so, the employee can be fired and then sued for the money, plus interest.

Your brother would be smart to negotiate some...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can I sue my previous employer for lying about me to the EDD so that they didn’t have to pay me?

I just found out that my previous employer lied to the EDD about me and told them that I no longer worked for them due to a violation of Code Section 1256.5(a)(2). It provides in part that a claimant is disqualified from receiving unemployment compensation if: He or she otherwise left his or her... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 6, 2020

No you cannot sue your prior employer for things they told the EDD. Your remedy is to prove the statements to be false in the unemployment insurance process. There are legal privileges that prevent you from suing for things said in the EDD proceedings.

By the way, something many people...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: My employer is bringing me back from furlough on active status. As an exempt employee, can my employer refuse to pay me?

Placed on furlough in April and was informed I would be brought back to active status for 60 days, with the intent to lay me off on December 4th.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 6, 2020

Your employer cannot refuse to pay you for work you perform. Your post is difficult to understand what you are not being paid for.

Good luck to you.

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can I collect unemployment in California after being terminated after being on a "Performance Improvement Plan"?

I was placed on a "Performance Improvement Plan" and given 60 days to improve. I have never had any issues before and even just had a rather good review 3 weeks prior to being placed on this plan. My gut tells me they are not going to keep me around and are going to let me go after or... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 2, 2020

Being terminated for not doing the job well as measured by the employer does not disqualify you from receiving unemployment insurance benefits. However, if you are terminated for misconduct, you can be disqualified, as well as if you quit. Misconduct connotes a willful violation of company rules,... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for California on
Q: Do I need a lawyer to review an employment separation agreement?

Laid off 10/2. Reason was reduction in company expenses due to lack of sales from Covid-19. Male, 61 with disabilities. Employment duration 8 years 11 months. All performance reviews have been very good to excellent. Younger less experienced and lower paid employees not affected. Received a... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 2, 2020

A separation agreement is really nothing more than a settlement agreement. The employer is offering to settle any claims you may have against it in exchange for a payment of money. Whether or not you sign the agreement as presented or not will depend whether you have any valuable claims. You may... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: I was tricked by my boss into signing a resignation letter without fully knowing the implications

This was my first time signing a resignation letter and I asked for 2 weeks and they let me go the same day.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 2, 2020

You have not asked a question, so it is very difficult to know what you wish to learn, especially if your question relates to the implications you are referring to. It would be a good idea to perhaps re-post a question but provide some more help to us in understanding what it is you are concerned... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can I win a case against my former employer if I quit while I left on vacation ?

I recently quit my job due to overwhelming stress I was working 56-70 hours a week performing 5 different job titles I suffered from anxiety , and hair loss I have a doctors note which gave me a few days from work which were not taken off due to lack of staff (they did not force me but I felt... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 2, 2020

Generally, you cannot sue your employer for placing you under severe stress. Your only option is filing a workers compensation claim, and some times those kinds of claims will be accepted by that system. You need to immediately consult with a workers compensation attorney to determine if you have... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: My district laid off a groundskeeper and now it wants us - day custodians, to do irrigation system duties

I am a school day custodian. (no union but this is not a charter school. This is a public institution). My district laid off a groundskeeper and now it wants us - day custodians, to do irrigation system duties. However, those duties are not included in our job description. What should we do?... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 29, 2020

Unless you are in a union that requires something more, your employer may assign any new duties is wishes to assign to you, and your option is to do those new duties or leave. If you are in a union, it would be wise for you to consult with your union representative right away.

Good luck to you.

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can my employer discipline me for going to get tested for COVID if I was in contact with someone who tested positive?

I was in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID, when I brought it to my employers attention they told me I could only go if I felt sick. And if I wanted to get tested I’d be disciplined and only if I tested positive I would be able to have that discipline removed.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 28, 2020

If you are disciplined or terminated for wanting to be tested after having been exposed, you may well have a claim for wrongful adverse employment action in violation of public policy. If that happens, locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Government Contracts for California on
Q: I am a staff psychiatrist in one of the state hospitals in California. I want to work as a contractor with another state

hospital. I was told I have to wait 2 years after I resign from my current job in order to apply as a contractor with the state hospital. How is this legal? I am not involved in any negotiations, planning, arrangements or any policy-making relevant to physician contractors. My current job is as a... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 25, 2020

California strongly protects employees' rights to move from one job to another, and prohibits such as a restraint of trade. Any attempt to do what your present employer is trying to do is a violation of Business and Professions Code section 16600.

It would be wise for you to seek out...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: Do I have rights if a former boss and employees are making false statements about a termination

I never was actually fired or signed anything

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 24, 2020

It depends on several things that are not disclosed in your post.

First, it depends on what is being said.

Second, it depends on whether it is causing you non-speculative damage

Third, it depends on who is saying it.

Fourth, it may depend on the motive for the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I feel i was wrongfully terminated

I feel i was wrongfully terminated from my work establishment for having alleged relations with a coworker

my spouse whom I am divorcing called my boss and accused me of having relations with a married coworker despite having no evidence. This in turn cost me my job and my coworker was able... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 22, 2020

The termination might be unfair, or based on untrue facts, or motivated by a jealous or angry ex, but none of those things make the termination unlawful. Wrongful termination only occurs when the termination can be proved to be done in violation of fundamental and long-standing public policy.... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I feel i was wrongfully terminated from my work establishment for having alleged relations with a coworker

my spouse whom I am divorcing called my boss and accused me of having relations with a married coworker despite having no evidence. This in turn cost me my job and my coworker was able to keep his job

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 22, 2020

The termination might be unfair, or based on untrue facts, or motivated by a jealous or angry ex, but none of those things make the termination unlawful. Wrongful termination only occurs when the termination can be proved to be done in violation of fundamental and long-standing public policy. That... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I have several pre-existing conditions. I have requested to telecommute and been denied. What can I do?
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 22, 2020

If you have medical or other physical limitations that restrict your ability to work in the workplace, you should get a doctor's note indicating those restrictions and recommending that you be allowed to work from home. Present that note to your employer. If you work for an employer that... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Sexual Harassment for California on
Q: What charges can I press against a person I used to live with, for harassment?

I have their numbered blocked and they will call my phone multiple times a day, to try to get my attention and try to make me hang out with them for sexual favors, even though I constantly say no, and to leave me alone. I have text messages showing that I'm constantly telling them to leave me... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 22, 2020

If you really have them blocked, you would not be getting calls or texts. Have someone who knows how to do it actually block these calls and texts. If this guy then starts stalking you, call the police or get a restraining order.

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