Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
California Employment Law Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Employment Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: Can I sue for drug test mix up? If so, who gets sued, the clinic or lab?

I needed to do a drug test for a new company that was going to employ me and when I went to the urgent care to do so, my employer calls me 2 days later to tell me that my urine was mixed up with someone else. I want to take legal action but not if I have a case or not.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jul 30, 2021

It is not likely that you could so anyone.

Just go back and do another test. It is that simple.

The law does not provide valid legal claims for mere inconvenience.

Good luck to you.

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: To be clear, a hostile work environment, wrongful termination, harassment, and/or retaliation are NOT illegal ?

Are not illegal if an employee is not in a protected class; Not right, but not illegal, correct?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jul 30, 2021

Correct.

Unless the harassment or discrimination was based on a protected class, it is not unlawful.

Unless the retaliation was triggered by legally protected conduct, it is not unlawful.

The phrase "hostile work environment" is often misunderstood to mean any work...
Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I was terminated a few days after receiving an email from my employer showing his concern that I was going to sue them

Is it legal to fire someone when there is documentation that employer is concerned the employee will sue because of his abusive outburst and name calling? 6+ years with annual raises/bonuses, including a month prior to being fired. I was told ‘It just isn’t working out.’

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jul 30, 2021

Unfortunately, complaining about a boss being a jerk and bullying an employee is not legally protected conduct, which means it is lawful for the employer to retaliate against the employee for making that complaint. In the absence of legal protection, an employer can terminate an employee for any... Read more »

View More Answers

Q: I was fired on my birthday, during my third week of employment. Possible hostile work environment. Where do I start?

I was referred to as "Lawrence Olivier" by my boss. He was famous for blackface.

I am black.

Other jokes about green cards were made...I applied for a job as assistant manager. They made me a receptionist instead, saying if I proved myself I could become an assistant.... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jul 26, 2021

Absent an unlawful motive, it is not unlawful for an employer to act as you have noted. It would only be considered unlawful if you can prove that the motivation for the employer's conduct is race (or national origin if the green card comments were related thereto). Proof will be the issue.... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: In the state of California, are employers able to have a candidate perform a working interview for a day?

One- two day working interview for a bookkeeper candidate to ensure they have the skills needed in Quickbooks and other accounting software. If a working interview is permitted, is there a required hourly rate?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jul 26, 2021

An employer is allowed to have a working interview as long as the candidate is paid at least the minimum wage for all hours involved in the work.

Good luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: In California, as an employer, would I have to pay benefits to part time employees?
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jul 25, 2021

It depends on what benefits you are talking about.

California employer must provide paid sick leave for part time employees.

Under federal Affordable Care Act, federal law does not require employers to offer health insurance to part-time employees. The Affordable Care Act’s...
Read more »

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 »

View More Answers

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 »

View More Answers

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 »

View More Answers

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.

View More Answers

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...
Read more »

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...
Read more »

View More Answers

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 »

View More Answers

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 »

View More Answers

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...
Read more »

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 »

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.