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California Employment Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Gov & Administrative Law for California on
Q: Employee with a lot less time received a full-time promotion. Just found out he's related to another e

Recently, my employer had an internal opening for a full-time position.

Five part-time employees applied. Myself and another employee have over 18 months with the company.

I initially asked the direct supervisor of that department if this position was to replace a person retiring... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jul 1, 2020

I am sorry you did not get the position. However, nepotism is not unlawful. It is perfectly legal to treat friends and family more favorably than other employees in the company. Now, if the reason you did not get the position was your race, or religion, or some other legally protected... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I’m an ambulance employee and for the last few months have repeatedly been denied break periods for up to 14 hours
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 29, 2020

Under the labor code you are entitled to rest breaks of a net 10 minutes every 4 hours. And you are to have meal breaks of a net 30 minutes every 8 hour shift or part thereof; 2 meal breaks if you work beyond 10 hours. Rest breaks are on the clock and meal breaks are off the clock. There is an... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: My wife is the General Manager of a business that is shorthanded. Can I work for her without pay on a temporary basis?

Hello! My wife’s work is currently understaffed due to COVID. They just recently reopened and she’s hired over a half dozen people, but she is still short for this upcoming July 4th weekend (she works in a largely tourism-based business and so is much busier on holidays). I’d like to help her... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 29, 2020

Well, no. Private employers are not supposed to have "volunteers" that are unpaid. You won't be covered by Worker's Comp iif you get injured. You are legally entitled to minimum wage. In theory, the company could be in trouble. As a practical matter, if you go there as your... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: Last day at job 2-26. Employer has my property. I have asked them two times by email. I have their laptop, phone, keys.

We had bad issues at work so I gave one week notice to quit. They told me not to come back in until 3-5 @2:00pm. On final day-3-5-20 I also had a phone interview with the corporate office HR at 1:00pm. I waited at home for his call but he stood me up for my exit interview. I did not have the... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 29, 2020

Sorry you are having this problem, particularly with Attorney employers. Under the Labor Code, the employer does not have the right to retain your property, and likewise, you are obligated to return theirs. It sounds more like you need a mediator or go- between. You might contact the local bar... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Why a DFR for a recognized misclassifed employee as non member by local exclusive union. By law would be member

Calif PERB case challenging ruling of board local exclusive union has no duty to non memeber regardless if they know is misclassfied and placed outside union. I have us supreme court 1944 steele and Vaca but they still ruled no duty of fair rep DFR. Challenging in superior, now denied, and now... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 27, 2020

Employees in a union shop come under the Federal Labor Management Relations Act, which is an extremely complex body of law. DFR means Duty of Fair Representation, and it is very difficult to show that a union breached such a duty, even though you may hear of cases that find this. You might want... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Consumer Law for California on
Q: Is it legal to work for a U.S. citizen to work for a company in a foreign country?

A foreign company (from Hong Kong) e-mailed me saying that they saw my resume online. They wanted me (U.S. Citizen) to represent them to contact clients in North America to collect outstanding payments. They said that it is not a full time job. However, they will pay me a fix amount every month... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 27, 2020

This is a very common scam. Do not fall into this trap. People who have lost a great deal of money.

Good luck to you.

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Consumer Law for California on
Q: Is it legal to work for a U.S. citizen to work for a company in a foreign country?

A foreign company (from Hong Kong) e-mailed me saying that they saw my resume online. They wanted me (U.S. Citizen) to represent them to contact clients in North America to collect outstanding payments. They said that it is not a full time job. However, they will pay me a fix amount every month... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 27, 2020

This may be a scam. You will know the moment they ask you to send them money to set up your employment relationship, or ask for your SSN or other personal ID information (DOB, etc). Do not send your mother's maiden name or your place of birth. In California, and most of the US, it is illegal... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Civil Litigation for California on
Q: Can my hours worked be converted into 40 hour week periods for the purposes of the payout in a class action settlement?

I was an hourly, non-exempt employee in California. My former employer is currently settling a class action settlement on the basis of FLSA and California Labor Code violations. I received a notice calculating my weeks worked for a five-year period, but the total number of weeks seems quite low... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 26, 2020

This is a question you need to address to the attorney representing the class. How damages are calculated can often be a negotiated term of settlement. You need to know what the negotiated term was, if any.

As a class member, you have the right to either object to the settlement or,...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: Does it matter if I “quit” or I am “terminated” after being furloughed due to corona virus? My company wants me to quit

I was laid off due to coronavirus in feb and got a better job during the time off. I was given my estimated start date but I am not going to Return to my original job. My employer is telling employees to resign/quit if they do not want to return. Is either in my best interest? I am enrolled in... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 23, 2020

If you have a new job lined up and do not have to worry about immediately qualifying for unemployment insurance benefits, then the main thing for you to consider is what you want future employers to know about how your employment ended. Quitting to move on to a better job is usually a good thing... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: My company offers one hour of sick time for every 30 hours that I work. I have accrued 22 hours of of sick time.

I recently just quit my job do they legally have to pay me out the hours that I accrued for sick time?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 23, 2020

Unfortunately, the law does not have the same protections in place for sick leave that it does for vacation pay. Sick leave that is accrued is lost when you leave the company, and you do not have a right to a payout of that time. However company policies can offer you more than the law requires.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: IS a residential address REQUIRED by employer in addition to my US PASSPORT & DRIVERS LICENSE with PO BOX#
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 22, 2020

Your question is so short that it provides no context to understand the situation. I am left to guess that you are asking if your employer can ask you for your residential address. The answer to that question is yes, regardless of whether it also has a copy of your passport and your drivers... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Employer wants to get out of agreed-upon severance agreement (California)

My severance agreement with my employer stated I would receive continued salary payments (representing my severance pay) until the stay-at-home order is lifted in California. Now that they realize this may go on for several more months, my employer has asked me to release them of their obligation... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 22, 2020

It is not a breach to ask you to sign a new agreement. If you sign the new agreement, that will be the agreement that controls your relationship with the former employer.

It would be a breach if the employer simply stopped paying according to the terms of the severance agreement because...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can my (Amazon) employer remove money from my pay check with out my signed consent?

My supervisor approached me wanting me to sign a document giving them approval to remove $225 from my next pay check. I refused because I knew nothing about them. In addition, the document is worded as if I am to blame and I knew about the "debt I accured" as they are calling it. He... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 22, 2020

It is unlawful for an employer to take money out of your pay unless it is for a normal government deduction, like taxes and Social Security, or for agreed for deductions. The employee must agree in writing to allow those other items to be deducted, like insurance premiums or repayment of advances... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Would I qualify for benefits if I choose to stay home from work due to underlying health conditions during COVID-19?

I take two immunosuppressants and have very poor health. I am scared to go back to work, I’m confused, would I qualify for unemployment benefits if I choose to stay home from work due to underlying health conditions and concerns about exposure to the virus?

The EDD FAQ for CA confuses me.... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 20, 2020

The CARES act is limited in time to three months of leave. After that, if you need leave to address a serious medical condition or a disabling condition, and if you get a doctor's note indicating your need for additional leave, your employer would be legally obligated to give you some... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: Can a worker’s compensation claim in CA be open/valid if the employee has not filed or signed anything?

Does a works compensation claim go into effect the moment that I inform my employer of an injury and their paperwork is filed with the insurance company and before I even file my paperwork or sign any sort of documentation? And despite my not having filed a claim form or signing any other documents... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 20, 2020

There is absolutely nothing unlawful about your employer or its workers compensation insurance company and claims administrator immediately starting to investigate a claim of workplace injury once it is reported. If you have concerns about the insurer's actions, your best move is to hire a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Used PTO on 12/24/2019(use it or loose it).Check date was 1/2/2020, so they took that PTO time from my 2020 PTO.

We are given 6 sick/PTO days front loaded every year. I took xmas eve off. I just found out those 8hours were taken out of my 2020 Sick/PTO pool. When I asked why, they told me because the check date was 1/2/2020, Even though the actual date taken was 12/24/19 and the pay through date was... Read more »

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

Actually, it is not a case of your word against theirs, you have the documentation showing when you took the leave and which year's account it should be deducted from. If you cannot get satisfaction through your HR department (expect them to be difficult but they may eventually recognize... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can I get a questioned answered as an employer wanting to validate a PTO policy?

We are headquartered in Ohio, but have 400 workers in California.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 19, 2020

Yes, but you have to ask the question to get an answer here.

Generally I can say that California employees need to be handled according to the California Labor Code, regardless of where the company is located. California does not require an employer to provide PTO generally, except that...
Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: I was laid off due to covid 19 but I never got paid for the sick days I had asked for before the lay off

Never did I received a notice from my employer about my termination. All I got was a phone call from HR telling me that unfortunately they were letting me go. I worked there for 10 years, when covid 19 started I was was only working one or two days a week. On April 29 I got a message from HR saying... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 17, 2020

If you believe you can prove you were terminated because of your nationality then you would have a meritorious case. If you cannot prove that was the reason, then you probably have no legal claim to bring. Seniority over others is not something that gives you protection from layoff. It would be... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Are salesmen always supposed to get Commission

When I first began selling for the company I was told after a month or so when my boss felt I was ready to become a full-time salesman I to get Commission and then a couple years later we had a problem with the employee and him and my boss has got into a legal battle that lasted about six months... Read more »

Daniel A. Thompson
Daniel A. Thompson answered on Jun 15, 2020

In California, all commission agreements are supposed to be in writing so the employee knows how to calculate wages. If you were given a commission agreement, the employer may be liable for breach of contract.

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3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I work a fulltime job & a parttime job. Due to Covid-19, parttime job hours drastically reduced. Do I qualify for UI?

My full-time job hours were not affected. BUT I very much depend on my second part time job to make ends meet. My hours at my second part time job were reduced starting in March and are now down to zero. I live in California.

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

IMO the short answer is yes. Normally, UI is paid to a person who is completely without employment. In your situation, your part time job was reduced but you are still employed at the full time job. This is not being unemployed.

Having said that, there is no harm in filing for UI...
Read more »

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