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California Employment Law Questions & Answers
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...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can an offer be rescinded for not providing I-9 documentation within 3 days even if no work was performed?

If a candidate accepts a verbal offer and sets a start date but does not have I-9 documentation and doesn't not start work on the start date, can an employer rescind the offer or must they hold that offer open?

Jennifer Fu
Jennifer Fu answered on Sep 24, 2020

Generally speaking, California is an at-will employment state. This means an employer can terminate the employment with or without cause at any time, and vice versa. If the employee has not provided I-9 relevant supporting documentation, that would be cause to rescind your offer since he/she... Read more »

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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

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Sep 22, 2020

You may have a case, depending on a number of facts. Was the co-worker also terminated? If not, you may have a gender discrimination/ gender favoritism lawsuit. You should speak with a local attorney (you are in Biloxi, MS?) who will be able to advise you about the law in your state. There are a... 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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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I filed for unemployment in March was approved but still have no payment

Called for motnths to find out I needed to prove identify faxed and uploaded have had no response

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 22, 2020

That is a substantial delay. However there are no practical solutions to your problem other than to (1) continue to make diligent efforts to make actual voice contact with someone at the EDD to express your concerns and get answers and/or (2) continue to be patient. The EDD is overworked and... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I have a case and I forgot to file the FEHA, So what is going to happen to my case and the case I filed 3 years ago.
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 21, 2020

If you failed to exhaust your administrative remedies by not filing an administrative complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing within one year of the event about which you wish to complain, and that one year has passed, you have lost your ability to file a lawsuit against your... Read more »

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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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