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California Employment Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I was fired from my job for lowering my face mask to get fresh air

I was outdoors walking from one building to another at my job and I was having difficulty breathing so I slightly lowered my face mask to get a breather. I have never refused to wear a face mask covering and it is not an issue for me to follow company policy. One of the lead mangers confronted me... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Dec 4, 2020

You are an at will employee in California and can be terminated without notice or reason, EXCEPT you cannot be terminated for an illegal reason such as discriminating against you because you have a physical disability. Get a certificate from an MD stating you have respiratory issued and need to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Personal Injury and Civil Rights for California on
Q: Need Help With PI/Employment Pleading Deadline to File is Dec 10, 2020

I would be representing myself Pro Se in court for an employment/personal injury related matter because an attorney dropped my case middle of last month telling me that due to covid, his law firm does not have the capacity to take on my case. I have drafted a pleading to protect the limitation... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Dec 3, 2020

Unfortunately you are not going to find an attorney to volunteer to do this work. Too much liability can attach once an attorney gets so involved.

Financial constraints should not be a problem. Attorneys who do PI and employment law work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay...
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3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law, Personal Injury and Civil Rights for California on
Q: Must I attach exhibits when filing a pleading in California court?
William John Light
William John Light answered on Dec 2, 2020

If it's an exhibit, that means that some pleading refers to it for some evidentiary purpose. If you don't attach it - to the pleading, declararation, etc., - how will the court see the exhibit to which you are referring?

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I want to know my rights as a student intern. I'm an international student.

I'm a student and I've been interning at a company for a few months. My semester ends mid-December, but my company wants me to work until December 31 (even though I'm returning in January). Jan-May is my last semester before I graduate and I wanted to take my winter break, but they... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Dec 2, 2020

No one here can tell you, of course, what the terms of your internship program says, so no guidance here can relate to that. However, as a paid intern you are considered to be an at will employee unless you have an agreement to the contrary with the employer. That means you can quit at any time... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Should I be paid overtime?

My employer has me working a set schedule each week. They have differing 24-hour period workdays defined for different shifts. I am scheduled to cover a graveyard shift that straddles my regular days off. This has me working 7 consecutive days in a workweek, but they claim that since the 24-hour... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 24, 2020

First, for purposes of answering this question I am going to assume that you are not a salaried exempt employee because those employees do not get paid overtime, ever.

Second, I am going to assume you are not a government employee, because the rules are different for government employees....
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can I sue my past employment due to false drug screen report and false 2nd drug test on my background check?

I had gone through the process of a new employment screening with a background check, when I recived my background copy I noticed that my supervisor from my past employment had added that I had failed a 2nd drug test with a date that never existed nor did I ever have 2nd failed drug test. I was... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 24, 2020

If you can prove that your prior supervisor provided knowingly false information to your new prospective employer with an intent to injure you, and that you suffered injury as a result, you would have the right to sue that supervisor, and maybe the prior employer. More would need to be known to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Hi, I am paid on a salary and my building was closed as it was deemed unsafe to work for two days should I still be paid

my building was deemed unsafe to work but we worked 3 out of the 5 days in the week and my pay was reduced without any warning. Is this normal? I have an agreed monthly salary should I still not get this amount? Also there is holidays next week for two days so will I get paid less again

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 23, 2020

The employer of a salaried employee does not have to pay the employee for any day the employee performs no work. Although the salary is stated on a monthly basis, whether or not the employee is paid is determined on a daily basis. If you work any part of a day, you are to be paid for that day.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can a employer extend a probationary period because of Covid?

I originally had a 6 month probation and 5 months in my employer wanted to add another 3 months. Not because of performance issues but because we worked a "staggered schedule" (Two days on, two days off for about three months). It is with a union and I have been paying union dues since 7/1/2020,

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 19, 2020

Unless your union has negotiated something different, there is nothing unlawful about an employer changing the period of time you are on probation.

Good luck to you.

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can an employer reduce the dollar value of pto already earned after reducing salary?

I had accured over 120 hours of pto at my previous wage but after covid the company reduced our salary and stated that all pto earned at the previous salary will be valued at the reduced salary rate.

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

Once wages are earned the employer cannot take them back or require the employee to agree to a reduction. There are specific statutes in the Labor Code that prohibit this. Your PTO is considered a part of your wages, therefore, the dollar value is as of the date it is earned, not the date they... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Civil Rights and Employment Law for California on
Q: As an independent contractor (truck driver) delivering loads for Amazon, I was banned by Amazon's Security firm

Amazon is not my employer. the trucking Co. I work under is only contracted by Amazon (example: USPS & Amazon.). I think it's wrong for The manager in charge of the Security Company to ban me from all amazon fullfilment centers after she turned around and yelled at me to 'step... Read more »

Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi answered on Nov 19, 2020

So I wonder what your reply was that got you banned. You haven't indicated whether you think this was unlawful on her part. There just isn't enough information provided to advise you what you should do next. You can always contact a labor lawyer to help you figure things out. You could... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I filed for EDD in CA 22 months after laid off, I was withdrawing from 401K during that time. Am I eligible for EDD?

I was waiting for my US Citizenship to get approved, so I was hesitating to file and become a "Public Charge" as President Trump said he doesn't want those people to become Citizen.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 17, 2020

To determine qualification for unemployment benefits, the EDD looks back a period of time to see if any contributions were made to the fund by you or on your behalf. Waiting 22 months to file probably placed your last contributions long before the look back period, meaning you will probably not... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Am I entitled to extra pay, since my employer does not allow 30 min breaks when I work 6 hours or more?

Several of the employees have worked with no 30 minute breaks for years. Our employer doesn’t want to pay us for that, because it’s too much money.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 16, 2020

If you are not an exempt non-government employee, then your employer has an obligation to provide you with a reasonable opportunity to take a ten-minute, on-the-clock, uninterrupted, duty-free rest period for every four hours (or major portion thereof) that you work. As a non-exempt employee you... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can my employer have a list of symptoms they can force you to go home for and then penalize you for the absence?

We have a point system for attendance, when you miss a day and don't have any sick time available you get a point. If they are forcing me to leave can they give me a point.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 16, 2020

Your question is just too general to give you any real helpful guidance.

Can an employer force you to go home if you have certain symptoms related to Covid-19? Absolutely. In fact CDC and OSHA guidance/regulations require an employer to do so to protect the rest of the workforce....
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Employment Law, Workers' Compensation and Business Law for California on
Q: Special Employment - Joint Responsibility

If I own a bar/night club and I “willfully/negligently contracted with a security company suspended by California Secretary of State and has no worker’s comp insurance to provide me security services, can I be liable or do I implicitly accept liability of the employer of the staff of the... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Nov 14, 2020

If I read between the lines of your question, you have been sued because the bouncer roughed someone up, and they claim that you "willfully/negligently" hired a bad security company. I am not trying to be rude, but you won't find the help that you need here, you need to hire an... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law, Employment Law and Personal Injury for California on
Q: Special Employment - Joint Responsibility

If I own a bar/night club and I “willfully/negligently contracted with a security company suspended by California Secretary of State and has no worker’s comp insurance to provide me security services, can I be liable or does my bar implicitly accept liability of the suspended company in the... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Nov 14, 2020

If you want legal research, you'll have to pay for it. This isn't a place to get free, detailed legal advice. Attorneys volunteer their time to answer questions for consumers in need. Issues of liability, special employment, agency, insurance, are complicated. Those answers... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: My company has travel pay but they withhold an hour of my travel and call it waiting period but I'm still traveling

Am I suppose to be paid as soon as I leave uneven if I stop to get gas first

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 13, 2020

You are to be paid for all time you spend working for the employer, including travel time to and from the regular place of business, unless it is for basic commuting to and from home.

Good luck to you.

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3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can your employer reduce your pay if you decline a promotion due to them not accepting your salary counteroffer?

I live in California. My wife works for a private company with senior citizens as an assistant. She makes $17.36 per hour and works full-time. Last week, she was offered a promotion to work as a full-time manager. They offered her $19.12 per hour, but my wife wants $20 at the minimum like other... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 13, 2020

There is nothing unlawful about an employer punishing an employee who turns down a promotion or who seeks more money. Not all forms of retaliation in the workplace are unlawful. The only kinds of retaliation that are unlawful are acts of retaliation triggered by the employee engaging in legally... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: In california, can an employer count your days off against you when calculating your daily quota of work?

I work in CA doing some sort of customer support. We have daily goals calculated as a monthly average we are expected to hit. So basically I am expected to do X number or cases per day. They then take my total for the month, and divide it the number of working days that month. The issue here is if... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Nov 10, 2020

There is nothing unlawful about your employer setting unreasonable or unattainable goals for you. However, this approach may violate the California Healthy Workplace Families Act, California's paid sick leave law, if it is determined to be a form of retaliation for taking protected medical... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Are the employers in California required to give benefits such as medical, paid vacations etc

For some one who works 20+ hours per week

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Nov 9, 2020

The Law does not require employers to provide medical benefits, retirement plans or paid vacations. Competition with other employers that do provide such things is the only pressure on the employer to do that. If you are a member of a Union with a bargained employment agreement, these things are... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for California on
Q: I want to check whether my company can hire online coaches and classify them as contractors.

Details:

- It's a Delaware C-corp.

- The coaches and clients could be anywhere in the United States. For the coaches, we can control which states to hire them.

- The coaches will coach their clients over Zoom.

If that's possible, I'd like some help to... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Nov 9, 2020

Very difficult in California with new definitions of "employee" from case law and statute. Only 3 factors required for most jobs, and if the work being done is part of the company's business, very strong chance your contractors will be considered to be employees. You really need to... Read more »

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