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California Employment Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Employer reduced my pay rate but not others with similar issues.

I have co-workers that had the same roll as me and stepped down/ got demoted and kept their pay but I'm the only one who is getting the pay decrease.

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane answered on Oct 27, 2021

Assuming you are an at will employee, your employer may take adverse employment actions including demoting you and reducing your pay, unless the decision is motivated to by hostility to a protected class, such as race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, military service, disability or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: If my employer did not notify me verbally nor in writing that my pay would be reduced prior to stepping down?

I was not told that my pay would be decreased prior to stepping down from a previous roll until after 2 days of the new roll.

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane answered on Oct 27, 2021

Your employer can only reduce your pay on a forward forward basis after notice. Until notice is given, the old pay rate applies.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can an employer reduce my pay without notice prior to stepping down from a roll?
Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane answered on Oct 27, 2021

Assuming you are an at will employee, your employer can reduce your pay on a prospective basis only, which means the pay reduction can only take effect after you are given oral or written notice.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Immigration Law for California on
Q: Can L1B continue working after receiving H4 receipt, but H4 approval process in transition?
Alexander Ivakhnenko
Alexander Ivakhnenko answered on Oct 26, 2021

What does the company's assigned immigration counsel recommend you do next?

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I quit a job because the work environment wasn’t professional do I get paid my last check and how long do they pay me?

Motel was without toilet paper supply’s I was asked serval time to go to local store to buy toilet paper for our guest the owner accused the manager of stealing $ I left job for being a toxic work place I wasn’t acused

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane answered on Oct 24, 2021

If you quit, you are entitled to be paid all compensation earned within 72 hours. If they fail to do so, then you are entitled to 1 day's pay for each day late up to a maximum of 30 days' pay.

The employer puts itself at risk by making unauthorized deductions from your final...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Do all employers in California need to have their policies in writing for their employees?

My place of employment is a gas station with 5 people on the schedule, and 3 who are not. They have no employee handbook, nor any policies in writing for their employees to follow or use for reference, if needed. I find this quite strange, as policies are used for employee, as well as employer... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 23, 2021

An employer in California is not required to have an employee handbook or to publish written policies and procedures. In fact, many small businesses do not.

There are certain things the need to be posted regarding employee rights under various governmental protective statutes. Other than...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Is it legal to charge a $12.50 "Processing Fee" per paycheck? For the year $275 has been deducted from my paycheck.

I am an hourly employee in California and my paycheck is usually direct deposit so I only check to make sure that the hours are correct. I got a random bonus check that the company sent and I was super grateful for the extra cash but took a minute to look at all the deductions more closely and... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 23, 2021

Your employer is violating the law. It is unlawful for an employer to charge an overhead charge as part of the payroll. You have the right to stop this conduct, and to seek reimbursement of the money you have already paid for the processing charge. If this is happening to many employees at the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Agricultural Law for California on
Q: Is there any law regarding how much off the clock personal time is spent commuting, in a company truck.

I do pest control and i get paid for on the clock hours only. My trips to my first a lnd last jobs are not covered. My company has recently made my commute more then 20-30 miles away and i now spent approximately 2.5-3 plus hours in my day unpaid. I also can not start early (to help me avoid heavy... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 21, 2021

Generally an employer is not required to pay employees for their commute to and from work and home. However some exceptions exist that may mean you should be compensated.

Even if employees use personal vehicles for their commute, they may be entitled to pay for travel time if they are...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I am at risk of termination due to contacting a coworker and talking to an attorney is this legal?

I contacted a coworker during non work hours and asked if he would like to join in a lawsuit against our employer for labor law violations. I did not go through with the suit however my employer found out and now I am being told that the board of directors will decide if I can continue as an... Read more »

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane answered on Oct 21, 2021

The fact that your employer is considering disciplining you over your concerns about whether you are an exempt employee is very troubling. It sounds like retaliation in violation of public policy assuming there is a good faith basis for your concern. In addition, the normal situation is the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: The edd owes me back payments for several months . I need help recovering the money. Thank you.
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 20, 2021

Unfortunately this site is not the place to ask attorneys to work for you. You are going to have to locate and reach out to attorneys to see if they can assist you.

The biggest problem you will have is that unless the money owed to you is quite large, the fight will not be one an attorney...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: How can I protect myself from a hostile abusive co worker? Is it legal in California to carry a small pepper spray?

This is happening in a Walmart! Managers are aware and have met with her several times but to no avail, Every day is worse when she’s working! Yelling and throwing things across the room at other people!

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 19, 2021

There is a difference between an angry, moody and agressive co-worker, and a co-worker that has injured others and will likely injure others. The law does not require an employer to discipline or terminate an angry, moody, belligerent employee as none of that is unlawful. However, the employer is... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: supervisor text a message to employee standby phone not to call me but to call everyone else instead. Then delete msg.

To hide evidence and accused me of false accusation about manager after report to Hr. Placed on paid leave to be fired after falsely accused meter tampering but won't provide any proof and after appealing terminate. City manger offers $5000k settlement and would allow me to resign and over... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 19, 2021

Unfortunately, this Q&A board is not the place to solicit an attorney to work for you, pro bono or otherwise. It would be inappropriate for anyone here to respond to you with a desire to take your case. You are going to have to locate attorneys and discuss your matter with them directly.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Family Law for California on
Q: My husband past back in 2018 we got married in 2016. My question is if I can get any money from mother in law

I worked for her without being on payroll ... She sold the mobile home trailer park and she's only giving me a unlivable trailer old trailer that needs a lot of work done..

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 17, 2021

You can do several things to recover money for work performed.

You could hire an attorney to make a demand and negotiate a settlement.

You could file an administrative wage claim with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

You could file a lawsuit, and...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: EDD sent me a letter for $704 to pay in full. They said I was overpaid. What can I do at 74 years young?
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 17, 2021

If you owe it, pay it. Perhaps see if you can negotiate payments over time. If you owe the overpayment, the EDD will proceed to get a judgment against you and start collection efforts. Any tax refunds will be taken. Interest will accrue, and attorney fees will be charged to you and added to the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can an employee be charged for accidentally damaged crop due to a faulty machine?

By crops I mean over 10tons of grapes.

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane answered on Oct 13, 2021

No. Employers must indemnify employees for business expenses and accidental losses. Employees can only be charged for intentional losses caused by things like theft.

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for California on
Q: I was told by an employee that they don't like dealing with people like me. Later they said black people. Do you help?
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 13, 2021

I am sorry you have had to deal with this. Unfortunately, your post does not clearly tell us whether this is an employee of a company you were a customer of, or if this was a co-worker. The answer would be slightly different for each.

If these comments were by a co-worker or supervisor,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can I be interviewed in any language ?

So I’ve worked with a company for 8 years now . I’ve been part time , but I have a full time interview soon . I speak more Spanish , but they’re going to interview me in english . Is there anything I can do , here in California .

Maya L. Serkova
Maya L. Serkova answered on Oct 12, 2021

You may request an interview in Spanish; however, the employer is not obligated to provide you with an interview in Spanish. If it declines, you may not have a recourse unless you know that this employer had extended the same request of interviewing in Spanish to other potential applicants.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: My use of vacation time was change from 10hrs to 12hrs per day.

Recently my manager change our vacation hours from 10hrs to 12hrs per day. Our employee handbook does not specify how many hours we can use per day. All it says is "We encourage employees to take their vacation one week at a time, but vacation may be taken in increments as small as one hour".

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 12, 2021

Vacation is an employee benefit that an employer does not have to provide to employees, and the employer can administer its vacation policy as it wishes with a few exceptions. For instance, the vacation policy cannot treat people of different protected characteristics differently because of that... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I received an email from my workplace regarding my religious exemption from the COVID 19 vaccine. I need advice

I literally received an email from my employer asking me to provide more info about my religious exemption and was told that I must respond within 3 calendar days and included a series of questions that I have to answer regarding my religious affiliation

Eva Zelson
Eva Zelson answered on Oct 14, 2021

Your employer is within their rights to follow up on your request for a religious exemption to verify that it is a truly held religious belief. You should comply with their request for more information if you wish for them to grant you an exemption to their requirement for the Covid-19 vaccine.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Recently I applied for a job at a distribution company. A client of the company has told them not to hire me.

I have been upfront with the distributor and they were willing to hire me. Their client has been making wrongful claims against me. What can I do?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 8, 2021

On a practical level, very little. If you could prove that the claims being made about you are objectively false statements of past or present fact - not opinion - that caused you reputation loss and resulting in damages, then you might have a defamation claim. Not knowing specifically what was... Read more »

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