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California Employment Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: my employer placed me on an investigator suspension. The reason given was violation of company policy.

Is that a valid reason or do they have to state the policy i am being investigated for violating, also no one from HR has contacted me or given my union rep an information about the violation.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 29, 2020

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 discipline and even terminate the employee for any reason or even no reason at all. There is no law that requires the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Contract emergency closer extra pay employer stating doesn't count.

CA school district. My district is stating that the contract doesn't count and they won't pay extra for employees required to work. "Emergency Minimum Days: all Bargaining Unit Members may be required to remain at the site in order to handle and/or control an emergency situation. Compensation for... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 29, 2020

You have asked no question. It is difficult to know what you want to learn.

Bottom line is that this is a collective bargaining agreement issue so it must be resolved through your union. See your union rep.

Good luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can I sue my job if they are telling me that if I do not work during this covid situation, it is considered resignation?

I did my research for California. Its a non essential job. I work for a hotel but they are not housing victims and homeless as the state says needed to comply as essential. They furloughed lots of other positions, but told me that I have to be there. We are only housing 9 to 11 rooms per night in a... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 28, 2020

We are involved in times and events that are unprecedented. Given the Governor's Stay at Home Order employers and employees are left with little to guide them with regarding how to interpret it. What does and does not fall into one of the 16 essential services may be clear for some industries and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Hello, my question is, can an employer force their employees to be on standby on their day's off?

Because of this virus, they sent all employees home expect for us Loss Prevention employees, so we had to be at the store

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 27, 2020

Yes there is nothing unlawful about that practice. Good luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: My wife is a paralegal, and her boss is making them work. If they get sick what can we do? Sue?

My wife is a paralegal at a firm dealing in civil medical lawsuits. The courts here are closed but the clerk's office is accepting filings. Her boss asked for volunteers and when no one did they scheduled them anyway. People with kids were allowed to stay home. If my wife or others there get sick... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 26, 2020

If they get sick, they go on medical leave. It is that simple. While she might try to file a workers compensation claim, there is great debate whether an employee can prove workplace causation so there is no guarantee she could prevail on that claim. Much remains to be seen about how the law... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: Hello i got layed-off and cut hours on march 20th over a text message and on march 23th i received my last check

I still didn't receive any paperwork

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 26, 2020

You have not asked a question so it is hard to know what you seek. I am sorry to hear you have lost your job. That is always difficult. However there are many positives for you at this time. First, the waiting period for unemployment insurance claims has been waived so you can immediately... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Business Law for California on
Q: I'm owed money for equipment in Cali and they're saying they can't cut checks because of Stay at Home, is that true?

A company that rents my film gear in California is saying they can't send out checks because of the Stay at Home ordinance happening. We are out of jobs and relying on that money owed to us. Is this true? Can companies not cut checks right now?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 26, 2020

Legally it is not true. Our banking systems are one of the essential services that are not effected by the stay at home order.

Whether practically it is true or not depends on the specific circumstances of the situation. The problem is that you have no real way to force immediate payment....
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: what Happens if I leave my company when I signed a contract that they will pay for my school but I have to stay for 2yrs

They paid for two semester of school. I got a job offer that pays way more. The contract says I can leave but I have to pay the tuition fee. I want to pay it for but I can’t pay in full I have to pay installments. What happens then? Can they sue me for paying installments?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 26, 2020

The answer to your question will depend on the terms of the contract you signed. Unless the contract allows for repayment in installments, you can be sued for the full amount and collection efforts can be then effected against you whereby the former employer can seize assets and even part of your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Employer asks me to apologize and do not document conversations

I am an immigrant and I am working for an employer who has 20 staff. I recently declared my disability (Diabetes). I have worked for around 4 months here. There is one manager (I do not report to him, and I have never worked with him on a task) and he constantly singles me out with harassing... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 25, 2020

I am sorry you are facing this. Unfortunately there is nothing unlawful about employers allowing yelling, bullying and demeaning comments to be directed at employees unless you can prove the reason for that conduct is your membership in a protected class of people or because you have engaged in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Hello, Dose reporting time pay still apply during the coronavirus?

If your employer is cutting hours and sends you home after you have reported to work dose reporting time pay still apply, during the pandemic that's going on?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 25, 2020

There are exceptions available to the employer to the obligation to pay Reporting Time Pay. The exceptions include:

1. When operations cannot begin or continue due to threats to employees or property, or when civil authorities recommend that work not begin or continue; or

2. When...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: My employer (a school district) is mandating that I sign a "request to work from home during student dismissal period".

I do not wish to request to do this, as I am considered an "essential" employee (serving grab n go meals to kids), and I wish to work and have been working...so do I have to sign it? The document states one would use the form if one falls into 1 of 3 categories (over 65; caring for another(FMLA);... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 25, 2020

It would be reckless for anyone to give you advice about whether to sign a document or not without being able to review the entire document and to understand more about the circumstances. However, generally it can be said that it is never a good idea to sign a document that is asking you to state... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: can I demand my employer pay me accumulated sick days and vacation time after being layed off due to stay at home order

Restaurant staff was reduced by 90% with only a few staying for take out orders only. I was not formally fired, just told there’s no work for now due to the stay at home order in California. I asked for my paid sick days and accumulated vacation pay but it was refused.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 25, 2020

There is a difference between losing your job and being furloughed. If you have not been terminated but instead just told not to come in for the time being, the employer has no duty to pay you your accrued vacation pay. And even if you were terminated, there is never a duty to pay out accrued... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law, Immigration Law and Public Benefits for California on
Q: Can illegal immigrants apply for unemployment? If not, what other solution is there?

Due of the corona virus, people are being let off from work, including illegal immigrants. Because of this, can they apply for unemployment? If not, what other solution is there for them to receive money or aid from the government? What can be done when bills and rest must still be paid and food... Read more »

Kevin L Dixler
Kevin L Dixler answered on Mar 24, 2020

You will have to consult with a state unemployment lawyer or the California State forms. Some are disqualified because they use fictitious identities.

Many states treat unemployment insurance as an entitlement. That is, both you and your employer pay into the program. It is a form of...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: Is there a California DFEH provision for this? Title 42 - T CHAPTER 21 - §2000e–5-(e)-1

I'm sorry, this is my first time asking a question here. I am reading NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION v. MORGAN; I wanted to see if the DFEH used the same provision or if California had one of their own. (I had already taken my email out of the question)

Is there a California... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 24, 2020

I am sorry but your post does not make sense. You are citing to a federal statute. The DFEH is a California entity that enforces the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, not federal law.

Also, this Q&A site is not a place to solicit direct communications from attorney to your email...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: I am a New Graduate RN. I was hired and contracts were signed for pay to change and position 4/6/2020. But was not

I am a New Graduate RN. I was hired and contracts were signed for pay to change and position 4/6/2020. They have since changed the date to be 5/11. I have copies of the paperwork signed. Is there anything I can do? I will be in the ER and I feel as this would be a great time to start.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 23, 2020

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

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Health Care Law for California on
Q: Hi I was wondering if my job is allowed to take away paid time off that was already approved due to the virus?

My job gave us 2 paid weeks off and I got it approved both in person and email on Monday. Well on Friday they called everyone and said that now we must come to work if we want to be paid due to it being an essential business. They are now allowing us to stay home the 2nd week but it will not be... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 23, 2020

Paid time off is a discretionary employer provided benefit, and therefore the employer can administer it as it wishes as long as it is not being administered in an unlawfully discriminatory manner. What you describe does not appear to be unlawful.

Good luck to you.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Employment Law, Workers' Compensation and Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: Is it stupid, legal or it makes sense and able to fight for it?

Hello, I'm a unarmed security guard for Allied Universal, I kick out homeless people and loiterers, the area where I work at is big and I happen to work with myself (no coworkers).

Now with a Covid-19 pandemic, when a transient gives me trouble, the police are unable to help me. (That's not... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 22, 2020

Demanding anything from your employer may not be a good idea. Asking for more pay has a better chance of success, but the employer has no legal duty to pay you more. Tread lightly. There are a lot of people unemployed right now.

Good luck to you.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I’m a salon booth renter and I’m wondering if I legally have to pay booth rent when government closed from COVID 19?

Also do I have to legally pay my normal 2 weeks notice if the salon is closed down and I haven’t worked?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 22, 2020

We are involved in times and events that are unprecedented. Given the Governor's Stay at Home Order employers and others are left with little to guide them with regarding how to interpret it. And attorneys advising those employers cannot know for sure how the law will be changed given all of the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: A person is terminated (not temporarily laid off) due to company downsizing because of Covid-19, wrongful termination?

Was also offered a $9k severance package which includes a stipulation that no future actions can be taken regarding any occurrences between parties, including termination. Have been with the company for 20 years +

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 22, 2020

No, terminations occurring because of business needs arising out of the Covid-19 effects on our economy are not legally wrongful. In California an employee is considered to be employed at will unless there is an agreement to the contrary with the employer about that status. The employer of an at... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law, Business Law, Civil Rights and Health Care Law for California on
Q: My company does not comply with the State of California's "Stay at Home" order and is not within the critical businesses

While many of my company's employees have began working from home, a few departments are being required to go into the facility to continue work.

The company is not within any of the critical business sectors outlined within... Read more »

Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi answered on Mar 21, 2020

First, you should comply with the state Stay at Home order as best you can. If you have a critical position within the company, you should discuss the issue with your immediate management or someone in Human Resources, if there is one in your company. Generally, use good common sense for yourself... Read more »

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