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California Employment Law Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law, Elder Law and Nursing Home Abuse for California on
Q: Can I get fired/sued for alleged "conflict of interest" and/or "elderly abuse" for leasing resident's vacant home?

I'm a caregiver in an assisted living facility. Back in July 2020, one of the residents (in her 80's) mentioned about her vacant home and asked me if I wanted to lease it. I answered yes but told her my current lease ends November 30, 2020. She said her friend (her trust administrator)... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 19, 2020

Because of your position as a caregiver, any transaction that you have with one of your charges will have, at least, an "appearance" of impropriety or overreaching by you. This is whether the transaction is in fact, disadvantageous to the charge or not. On the other hand, if you are... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can my employer require me to pay for a canceled airplane ticket?

Earlier this year I was supposed to travel for a training, paid for by my employer. The training and flight were cancelled. No refund was issued, but the airline did give me a non-transferable coupon for the amount of the flight. My employer wants to be paid back for the flight, even though I was... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 18, 2020

Give your employer the coupon, since that is the value you received for the cancelled flight. Since you did not receive money, IMO, you don't have to give him money. It is the employer's obligation to ensure his employees against expenses they incur in performing their duties. The code... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can my employer require me to pay for a canceled airplane ticket?

Earlier this year I was supposed to travel for a training, paid for by my employer. The training and flight were cancelled. No refund was issued, but the airline did give me a non-transferable coupon for the amount of the flight. My employer wants to be paid back for the flight, even though I was... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 17, 2020

If you incurred expense on behalf of your employer then the employer is required to pay that expense. However if you got value for the cancelled flight, that value belongs to your employer.

Good luck to you.

4 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Do I need to have an attorney to reply to a request for payroll records and wage statements by an attorney?

An ex-employee has acquired a lawyer from Lawyers for Employee & Consumer Rights. We received a letter requesting payroll records and wage statements for a potential workplace related claim.

They also want us to sign a Tolling agreement which we don't understand the form.... Read more »

Donald M Barker
Donald M Barker answered on Sep 17, 2020

Labor Code § 1198.5 provides that (with limited exception): “Every current and former employee, or his or her representative, has the right to inspect and receive a copy of the personnel records that the employer maintains relating to the employee’s performance or to any grievance concerning... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Banking for California on
Q: Co worker called and asked to do something that would have violated our ethics policy. I said yes. Can I be fired?

I was off the clock. Co worker called me at home. Asked about breaking the ethics rule. I told him if there was nothing else he could do then go ahead. Can I be fired with him if it comes to that? I did not commit the violation but I basically gave the green light.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 16, 2020

Can you be fired? Maybe. Insufficient information to make a determination since not possible to tell what kind of rule you are talking about, or that you advocated co worker to break. Does not matter if you are on or off the clock if you are advocating breaking the ethics rules. Ethics do not... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I quit my job, but I had to wait for my paycheck for more than 30 days. What can I do?

I was hired by Walmart as an Team Member on July 16, 2020, but had to quit on July 19, 2020 due to being unable to fulfill the given hours because of Summer courses. I had to wait for my paycheck until September 10, 2020. When I opened my paycheck, I realized that I didn't received any waiting... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 15, 2020

The Labor Commissioner can award up to 30 day's wages for a non payment of wages within 72 hours of quitting. You worked either 2 or 3 days. I don't see the LC awarding you a windfall of 30 days pay, but you could get something because the pay was unreasonably delayed. My suggestion is... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Employment Law for California on
Q: What exactly do I list under this question?

I am filling out an application and it stats, “Have you had any pending investigations by any state or federal agencies against you?” I am confused as to what it is asking, is it asking me to list any pending investigations as of right now, or is it telling me to list all convictions against... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 15, 2020

While it is hard to know for sure because you have provided no context, when a question asks for "pending" investigations that means they are asking for any investigations that are presently open, not ones that closed and were already resolved.

Good luck to you.

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: In California, Is a payroll service able to collect "claimed" wage overpayment in violation of Labor Code Sec. 221 ?

Can they threaten the employee? Ask them to sign a bank withdrawal authorization? Attempt multiple bank withdrawals? Harass on line?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 15, 2020

An employer or its agent is allowed to seek repayment of what it believes to be an overpayment of wages, and you will owe that money back to the company if it was money you did not earn. The law does not allow you to keep money paid to you by mistake. Therefore it is certainly acceptable for it... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Public Benefits for California on
Q: I would like to receive the Opinion of the California Supreme Court rendered on July 30, 2020, regarding pensions.

The opinion of the Court resolved the eligibility of former public employees to receive pensions that are based on incomes that include overtime, or increased pay for extra work on the part of the employees. This opinion was rendered on July 30, 2020, and it interpreted legislation that was... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 14, 2020

California Supreme Court opinions are published without charge onto the internet. I think this is the case you seek: https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S247095.PDF

Good luck to you.

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Wrongful Termination

I was working as independent contractor where a contract was amended and signed by the company and myself. The position was terminated without notice. Under the contract under Termination for Convenience, I was suppose to receive a 7 day notice prior to being terminated. I did not receive notice... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 14, 2020

You need to take your contract to an attorney for specific, confidential advice. Attorneys are trained from the beginning of law school that you cannot give advice about the terms of a contract without reviewing the entirety of the agreement because a contract is read as a whole of its parts.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can an employer in CA require employees to clock in at job sites at 8am that could be up 10 minutes to 2 hours away

Full time employees, company provides vehicle, jobs can one day or a few weeks daily, we drive van to job site, arrive by 8am, clock in and out from site regardless of commute.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 12, 2020

IMO you are on the clock the minute you pick up the employer's van to drive it to the jobsite. If this is a company wide policy, you are being subjected to Wage Theft, and this should be a class action to cover all the employees in the same situation. You would have a class action if there... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Question regarding employment change from hourly to pay per visit.

I work for a home health company and drive to patients' homes for visits. I have been doing this for 5 years and have been paid hourly by my employer. This includes drive time to each home and mileage.

On Tuesday we were notified that we would be switching to pay per visit in two weeks... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 12, 2020

Your employer is obligated under the Labor Code and Wage Orders to pay you at least minimum wage for every hour "worked". In your case, since travel by car is a part of your job, the drive time is compensable, as is the expense, reimbursable under the IRS guidelines. Can you quit and... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: My employer had another employee forge my contract when I refused to sign & did not agree to a paycut. What can I do?

My job requires two types of paperwork to be completed, Startwork & Deal Memo. My employer wanted to change my pay rate weeks after starting work. I refused and was threatened w my job. A co-worker let me know she was threatened w her job and forced to forge my paperwork. She gave me copies of... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 9, 2020

Yes, sitting on your rights for 5 years will preclude you from bringing any kind of legal claim that you might have had available to you. However, it sounds to me like this was an issue you needed to raise with your union.

Good luck to you.

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1 Answer | Asked in Education Law and Employment Law for California on
Q: Do Minor work permits change because of online schooling? Can we work more than 4 hours on a week day?

Since schools have been moved to online and we are not physically going to school, can a 17 year old work more than 4 hours on a Monday? My boss doesn't know for sure but my school did provide a new work permit providing new hours, but my boss would like to make sure its legal before he takes... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 9, 2020

There have been no changes to the laws related to minors working that have come about as a result of the Covid situation. Therefore, the same limitation on the number of hours a minor can work apply now as before.

Your boss needs to get specific, confidential advice from his attorney, not...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: In California, does an employer have to give an employee an advanced notice of a scheduling change?
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 4, 2020

No. There is no law that requires an employer to give advanced notice of a change to the employee's schedule. It can happen at any time. However, if you show up for work and are sent home at the start of the shift or sometime during the first half of the scheduled shift, the employee is... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Is it legal for a company to furlough employees, then hire new employees the next day?

My company has not reached out to furloughed employees to return to their position, but have instead filled their position with new hires. By hiring these new employees, older employees continue to lose hours or are told they may be furloughed as well.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 4, 2020

It is not very commonly understood, but furloughing and employee and terminating them are pretty much the same thing. There is no duty to return a furloughed employee back to work at any time, and the employer can simply decide to hire someone else in the place of the furloughed employee.... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents, Employment Law and Personal Injury for California on
Q: Do I become liable for an accident in a work vehicle while on the job if I now no longer work there

I was employed with the company at the time and was involved in an accident in a work vehicle while working. It has been almost 2 years and I no longer am with that company but believe the other person involved is attempting to sue am I now personally liable?

William John Light
William John Light answered on Sep 3, 2020

You were always personally liable, but your former employer's insurer has a duty to defend and indemnify you, and the Labor Code also provides that your employer has a direct duty to indemnify you for work related expenses. If you are served with a lawsuit, contact your former HR Department... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: My friend started a job recently at a local well known retail store. She's been there about a month. She

reported to work one day. Upon arrival, they take employees temperatures due to covid. Even though her temperature was normal, she was sent home because she was sweaty. She walked to work on a hot day, hence the sweat. She was told that she would be contacted by HR about her situation and when... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 3, 2020

Your friend needs to consult with a local employment law attorney about her own problems. She should apply for unemployment insurance.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Question Regarding Lost Wage Assistance Program Eligibility

I was Terminated from my job doing administrative work by my last employer in late 2019 due to Work performance unrelated to COVID-19.

I filed regular unemployment back in 2019 Before the COVID 19 pandemic shutdown w/ California EDD.

I am still unemployed because some business... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 2, 2020

The EDD states on its web page (that you cited above, thank you) "To be eligible for LWA payments, you must: 1. Provide, or have provided, a one-time certification indicating that you are unemployed or partially unemployed due to COVID-19. and 2. Have a weekly benefit award of $100 or more. I... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: My employer does not enforce 5th hour meal break penalty. Is this grounds for a lawsuit?

I typically work 8 hour shifts throughout the year except for the last quarter; I begin working 10 - 12 hour shifts 5 days per week. Often times I am unable to take a meal break until well after my 5th hour. On the days when I work the 10-12 hour shifts, I'm given 1 meal break. This is the... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 2, 2020

You are correct that the "premium pay" of 1 hour pay is to be paid by law when the meal period occurs outside the required time after you begin work. In addition, there are penalties that may be available for incorrect statements of earnings, but right now this is a little uncertain. My... Read more »

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