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California Employment Law Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: Is there a law stating the max attorney fees for workers comp cases in CA? I've read 15% one lawyer is asking 18%
Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on Jul 19, 2021

The Labor Code just says 'reasonable' which is as clear as mud. The FEE DISCLOSURE FORM you signed at the outset says 9-12%. The WCAB Judges regularly award 15%. The judges in MARINA DEL REY award 18% because the rent is so much higher around that region. But it's just... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Something has to give?

The owner of the motel I work at refuses to hire real employees instead he finds homeless people who will work and jump when he says to stay in room for free they have no I.d filled out no paperwork and expect the real employees to train and work with them and give them keys and let them in... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jul 18, 2021

What this owner is doing is unlawful but not in a way that you can benefit from it. These other employees have rights if they wish to enforce them. You still have to do what your employer requires of you, including working alongside them and training them. There is no "hostile work... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Non employees

The owner of the motel I work at refuses to hire real employees instead he finds homeless people who will work and jump when he says to stay in room for free they have no I.d filled out no paperwork and expect the real employees to train and work with them and give them keys and let them in... Read more »

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane answered on Jul 18, 2021

Your employer can fire you if you refuse to train the other employees, even if they are not on the books. You can report your employer to the Labor Commissioner for the illegal employment practices. While your employer cannot legally retaliate against you for making the report, you will need to be... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: Job title changed now we are trying to force me to change back

I work for a motel in California I was hired at the house I got promoted the front desk and now because the owner doesn’t want to hire a new housekeeper and wants to get someone in front desk off the books he’s trying to force me to do housekeeping again and I don’t want to is that legal?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jul 18, 2021

Perfectly legal. You are employed at will unless you have an agreement to the contrary with your employer about that status. The employer of an at will employee can change the terms and conditions of employment, including job title and job responsibilities, at any time and for any reason or even... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Is HR able to make me work 12 hours without a second lunch if there isn't coverage for it at a retail location in CA

I worked 12 hours at a certain large auto parts retailer due to people calling out. It ended up being just me, manager, and another coworker, another manager, working for the last 6 hours of the stores operation. I skipped lunch because I didn't want to leave my coworker by themselves. I asked... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jul 15, 2021

Yes, it is legal as long as they pay you the wage penalty associated with not receiving a proper meal break. You are entitled to one hour of pay for each day you are denied at least one of your required meal periods.

Good luck to you.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I was forced to resign a job after being ignored from my employer. Employer forced me to give up my benefits

I gave a 6 week notice for a vacation. When i returned on Monday to my position i emailed my job on my start date and they ignored my emails.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jul 10, 2021

In California you are considered to be employed at will unless you have an agreement to the contrary about that status with your employer. The employer of an at will employee can terminate that employee, or change the terms and conditions of employment, at any time and for any reason or even no... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: If I tell my boss that I am no longer willing to work until she finds my replacement, does that mean that I am quitting?

Hello! My boss told me that they are letting me go and she will be searching for my replacement. She then asked me if I am willing to work until she finds a replacement. I agreed. However, the reason she is letting me go is because I have no feasible mode of transportation to commute to work this... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jul 7, 2021

Sure it does. If you refuse to work when the employer wants you there, and you say you cannot and will not be able to be there, you are essentially quitting. Your employer has no legal duty to accommodate your transportation schedule.

I could see an argument that you are being terminated...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can an employer require you to sign a retroactive arbitration agreement?

Employer recently changed 90% of "exempt" staff who did not meet the wage requirements to hourly because of a pending lawsuit by a former employee and is now amending the handbook with an arbitration agreement. Will the agreement cover retroactively even though they were in violation of... Read more »

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane answered on Jul 7, 2021

Yes. If you sign the arbitration agreement, then it will probably cover all disputes between you and your employer, except for Private Attorney General Act claims.

If you refuse to sign the arbitration agreement, your employer can terminate your employment.

Finally, some arbitration...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: being framed for violating protected act(CA) against a female employee

HR pulled me on a casual conversation bw co-worker and me that occurred 10 weeks back. during it she mentioned she stays with her parents in a latino family, I shared that I lived in a latino neighborhood and people were very nice and made / shared food with us, and cali has good latino pop, all... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jul 5, 2021

You have not asked a question, only provided a set of facts. It is therefore hard to know what you seek from the Q&A board.

First, this board is not a place to solicit an attorney to work for you. If you believe you have a legal claim your need to seek out and then contact attorneys...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: CA company asks existing employee to sign a mandatory arbitration agreement. If the employee refuse can they fire him?
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jul 4, 2021

Yes, at this point in time, you can be fired for refusing to agree to a new arbitration provision.

The California legislature passed a law that made arbitration clauses as a condition of employment unlawful. However, just after it became effective, a federal court enjoined enforcement of...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Appeals / Appellate Law for California on
Q: I try to open a new claim for SDI. MY PREVIOUS CLAIM EXHAUSTED. HAVE 19000 FROM WORKING FOR THIS PERIOD. TO OPEN A NEW

CLAIM THEY SAY THIS IS A CONTINUATION OF PREVIOUS CLAIM I CANT OPEN A NEW CLAIM

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jul 3, 2021

You have not asked a question. This Q&A board is not a place where you can ask an attorney to work for you, and it would be inappropriate for anyone to respond to your post with an offer to work for you.

Sounds to me like your answer will have to come from the EDD. I know it is very...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: Can I sue my job for wrongful termination?

Can I sue my job for wrongful termination?

I got fired from my job recently. They basically told me I got fired for “disruptive talk and behavior.” At the place everything you do and say is all audio/video recorded. They won’t give me any information on anything. They also said I got... Read more »

Maya L. Serkova
Maya L. Serkova answered on Jul 2, 2021

You are an at will employee. At will employment essentially describes a working environment in which employers are free to terminate employees at any time, without cause, explanation or prior warning, provided it does not violate state and federal anti-discrimination laws. Specifically, it is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Hello! I have a question about the EDD Unemployment Insurance Benefits.

While I was receiving and continuing to receive the UI Benefits I was out of the USA for medical reasons for 5 months. Now I am back and I didn't know that I should tell them before my leaving. When I came back I was searching some info about the PEUC extention I suddenly came across the... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 30, 2021

If you received benefits that you were legally not entitled to receive, then you will become subject to a reimbursement action unless you resolve it before it comes to that. You need to contact the EDD to correct the information. That is going to be very difficult because it is virtually... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: My wife and I, (named Cross-Defendents in the complaint) have been served a Summons by a Cross-Complainant.

It is in reference to a Labor Dispute complaint filed by a former employee in a hair salon against the salon and it's owner. We (Cross-Defendents) apparently have to "Respond" by this Friday, 6/2. Who/where should the Response be mailed or delivered to ... the... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 27, 2021

You must file the Answer with the court at the filing window in the clerks office. You have to serve a copy of the Answer on all of the attorneys representing parties presently in the case, both the attorney who filed the original complaint, and the attorney who filed and served you with the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Native American Law for California on
Q: Can my employer force me to wear a mask and threaten termination if I have a medical condition?
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 27, 2021

Your employer can require you to wear a mask. If you have a medical note indicating that you cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition, that does not mean you get to take the mask off and work like you did before the pandemic. Rather, the employer as the obligation at that time to determine... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: The employer agrees with the hours worked but won't pay employee because the company says it hasn't received payment.

My sister residing in CA worked remotely transcribing for an Illinois company. They started having financial issues a few years ago and did things like move out scheduled pay dates. They made payroll for a while then started missing those dates. Last year my sister was behind 3 or more paychecks on... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 18, 2021

The good news here is that you are completely incorrect when you say she cannot collect unemployment because she is technically employed. You do not have to be unemployed to get UI benefits. You simply have to establish that you are not working and not getting paid or that you are under employed.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I'm having issue with my unemployment benefits they now say they overpaid me.

Unemployment benefits said I owe them when they specifically put in my financial information and now they want to force me to bring out all my work history contract jobs so they can judge if I will receive Unemployment.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 15, 2021

You have not asked a question. If you are looking to hire an attorney, this Q&A board is not the place that can happen. If you want to know what to do, gather all the information the EDD wants to see and provide it to them. Once a determination is made, if it is against you, be sure to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Immigration Law for California on
Q: What are the options to work and stay in the country apart from H1B Visa?

I am international student and currently on F1 Visa. I have substantial degrees Bachelor's, Post Graduate from India have completed my MS Marketing in the U.S and soon will be conferred with MBA in U.S. I have 20 years of work experience with 3.5 years (OPT/CPT - 40 HOURS) within U.S. I am... Read more »

Kevin L Dixler
Kevin L Dixler answered on Jun 13, 2021

The decision in the 1990s not to make permanent, the 200,000 visa cap pretty much created the professional work visa mess of the 2000s.

Most will find the road to seeking a work visa cost ineffective. There may be other visa options for some, but not for others.

As a result, I...
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1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law and Employment Law for California on
Q: Can the minor child (17) of someone currently on a work visa waiting to receive their green card work legally in the US?

17 year old hopes to find work while her mother is waiting to receive her green card. She has already applied and has been waiting for a while, her daughter wants to get a summer job in the meantime to help support the family. Is the daughter eligible to work if the parent is on a legal sponsored... Read more »

Kevin L Dixler
Kevin L Dixler answered on Jun 12, 2021

Not this summer. The daughter must be a derivative beneficiary. That is, she must be able to qualify for adjustment of status based upon her mom’s current immigrant visa. This requires an understanding of how the current visa bulletin works.

I strongly recommend an appointment with a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: How can I get the California Labor ?Department to actually read my information about my case?

I have proof that I contacted them way before any time statutes past, but they will not even look at it.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 10, 2021

If your right to appeal has passed, there is no practical way to get them to take up your case. Whether you can approach the dispute from a litigation standpoint, i.e., in court, depends on much more information than you have provided here.

Trying to resolve a wage or hour dispute by...
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