Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cheated Out Of Your Paycheck? Here’s What You Should Do

 
It’s time to stop making excuses for your employer. If you’ve been getting the feeling that something’s wrong with your paycheck, maybe it’s time to seek the advice of an employment attorney.
Unfortunately, underpaying workers is a practice that’s frighteningly common. In fact, one out of four low-wage workers in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York turned out to be paid less than minimum wage according to a study.
 
How to Check if You’re Getting Paid Right
 
Getting paid less than what you’ve worked for is, unfortunately, more common than you think, but luckily, there are ways to make sure that you get what you deserve.
You can visit the Interfaith Worker Justice’s project site WageTheft.org and compare the illustration to your own paycheck. Remember that you should be paid for all the hours you spent at work, from preparation time, cleanup, or traveling between job locations.
The US Department of Labor has set the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, but if you live in the District of Columbia and the states listed here, your employer should pay a higher rate and not the federal minimum.
If your working hours constitute more than 40 hours in a working week, consult with an overtime dispute attorney if you think you have been receiving less than the required overtime pay, which is time-and-a-half your regular rate. Regarding deductions, your pay stub should only list Medicare, Social Security, and federal, state, and local income taxes. Office equipment and uniforms should not be deducted from you.
 
Is Your Paycheck Wrong?
 
Here’s what you should do:
Talk to HR or your boss: If it’s an honest mistake, your employer should correct it as soon as possible and give you your unpaid wages in your next payout.
Keep your own records: With the promised pay rate in mind, make note of the usual time you arrive at work and what time you usually leave. This should include your break, travel to and from job locations, cleanup time, and prep time. DOL has a work calendar you can use, or make your own if this helps you understand your records better.
Ask your co-workers: If you think you haven’t been paid right, chances are, your co-workers have been too. If anyone has the same problem, act together to get more attention from the heads of the company. Remember that you can always have an employment attorney to back you up.
Arrange a meeting with the boss or HR: It’s more effective if you address the issue as a group. Let the heads of the company know that you’ve been receiving less than what you should have and ask for the dues as soon as possible.
File a complaint: If it didn’t turn out well for you, file a complaint with the DOL’s Wages and Hour Division. You can also reach out to the state labor agency in your state.
Get the Help of an attorney: Let’s say you live in LA; contact a Los Angeles employment lawyer right away and sue your employer for violating state wage and hour laws. As a group, you could bring a class or collective action, or you can always press charges on your own. However, it may be easier to find an overtime disputes lawyer in Los Angeles for class action lawsuits. Your best bet is to seek the cooperation of your co-workers.

Mann Elias Signs Of Disability Discrimination

California law and the Federal Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits employers from discriminating against workers who have disabilities. You will need to contact a disability discrimination lawyer if you think that your employer has discriminated against you. An attorney will fight for your rights. There are several things that can be classified as discrimination.

Failure to Accommodate

It is challenging enough for people to live with a disability. That is why employers are required by law to make accommodations. If an employer did not make the necessary accommodations for you, then you will need to contact a disability discrimination attorney.

Other Examples of Discrimination in the Workplace

– Terminating you because of your disability
– Forcing you to do things that you should not be doing because of your medical condition
– Discriminating against you because of other factors such as sex, age or race
– Punishing you because of your disability
– Discriminating against you based on other factors such as pregnancy, age or sex

People who are dealing with a chronic illness, amputation, organ damage or cancer are at risk for being discriminated against in the workplace. Those who are returning to work after an illness or injury may also be discriminated against.

What is a Disability?

Any type of injury that prevents a person from working can be classified as a disability. This includes the following.

– Leg injury
– Hand injury
– Ankle injury
– Eye injury

The following medical conditions that can also be classified as a disability.

– Polycystic kidney disease
– Heart disease
– Parkinson’s disease
– Huntington’s disease
– Cerebral Palsy
– Anemia
– Diabetes
– Cancer

Depression, anxiety and other mental disorders can also be classified as disabilities.

If you believe that you have been a victim of discrimination, then you will need to contact a Los Angeles employment lawyer

Are Employers Always Required to Compensate Employees for Minimal Off-the-Clock Work?

by Ava Freund and Imad Elias

Are Employers Always Required to Compensate Employees for Minimal Off-the-Clock Work?

The California Supreme Court recently ruled that California employers are required to pay employees for performing routine off the clock closing tasks, even if it only takes a few minutes to complete them.

The court’s ruling was rendered in the case of Troester vs. Starbucks, brought by Plaintiff Douglas Troester on behalf of himself and a class of other Starbucks managerial employees. The plaintiffs routinely spent a few extra minutes of unpaid work performing store closing tasks after clocking out. Starbucks successfully argued at trial that Troester’s uncompensated time was so minimal, it did not have to compensate him according to the Federal “De Minimis doctrine” defense. The De Minimis doctrine is an established federal law defense allowing employers to avoid payment of wages for difficult to record and minimal off-the-clock employee work. Plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The Appellate court then asked the California Supreme Court to determine whether employers are entitled to apply the Federal “de minimis” defense in wage claims that allege violation of California, not Federal, labor laws.

The Supreme Court rejected Starbucks’ argument requesting application of the Federal De Minimis doctrine to California Labor laws. The court found no support for its adoption in the texts or history of the California Labor Code and Wage Orders.

For Mr. Troester, who worked for Starbucks from mid-2009 to October 2010 at the then minimum wage rate of $8/hour, just a few minutes of regularly performing store closing tasks at the end of each shift added up to almost 13 hours of unpaid hours worked, or $102.67 of unpaid wages. In writing the court’s unanimous opinion, Justice Liu, stated “that is enough to pay a utility bill, buy a week of groceries, or cover a month of bus fares. What Starbucks calls ‘de minimis’ is not de minimis at all to many ordinary people who work for hourly wages.”

The Troester decision should be tempered by the court’s perception of Starbucks as a large, sophisticated employer, fully able to devise a method for keeping track of routine off the clock work. This may not be the case for smaller employers with less resources. In any event, if you are an hourly employee and your employer regularly makes you perform small tasks without compensating you for your time, request a free consultation from the Law Offices of Mann & Elias.

 

6 Signs You Are Experiencing Sexual Harassment at Work

Sexual harassment in the workplace can create an uncomfortable and illegal environment for employees. When harassment is taking place, the signs may not be so obvious or noticeable. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as “requests for sexual favors, un-welcomed sexual advances, and physical or verbal harassment of a sexual nature.” Sexual harassment can also include offensive statements about one’s sex or gender. If you believe you have been a victim of sexual harassment at work, contact a Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney today.

Sexual harassment is not a clear-cut case in most states. For the harassment to be considered unlawful, it has to be severe enough to create a hostile work environment. The courts determine that harassment is illegal when a “reasonable person” considers the behavior to be “unwelcoming.” Here are six signs that you are experiencing sexual harassment at work. If you have experienced this behavior, there are sexual harassment lawyers available to answer your questions.

Unwanted sexual behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable: The first sign of workplace harassment is inappropriate physical touching. This includes touching parts of the body that would be considered inappropriate for a workplace. You may also hear lewd comments and stories of or in the tone of a sexual nature. It is not uncommon to be shown pornographic materials in the workplace. The harasser will try to get you to meet after work.

You are forced to accept the harassment: The harasser will hold a level of power over the employee. You may feel that you should go along with the sexual harassment in order to keep your job.

You cannot make it stop: You have expressed that the touching or comments are making you feel uncomfortable. If this has not made the behavior stop, you may have a case for sexual harassment. The behavior would now be considered to be leading into a hostile work environment.

You will be punished for speaking up: If management is turning a blind eye to complaints or labeling the victim as a “troublemaker,” this is a sign that there’s a problem in the workplace.

You cannot make a complaint: If you work in an environment where you will not be believed, that is another red flag.

You are punished because of your gender: If you been demoted or passed over for a promotion because of your gender, this is another sign of sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment in the workplace can create an unhealthy environment. If you feel that you have experienced any of these signs, contact a Los Angeles employment lawyer today.

7 Steps to take If You Believe You Are Being Sexually Harassed

Ever since many women have come forward and accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, it has become a popular topic. Sexual harassment in the workplace is a common problem. However, it is often unreported. In fact, 72 percent of people who are a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace do not report it. Fifty-four percent of the people never confront the person who sexually-harassed them.

Many people do not know what to do if they are a victim of sexual harassment. However, there are a number of steps that you can take.

Know the Company’s Policy
You should find out if your company has a sexual harassment policy. If it does, then you should familiarize yourself with your rights. The policy should also have an outline for reporting sexual harassment. Keep in mind that even if your company does not have a policy against sexual harassment, it is still illegal.

Write it Down
You should write down a plan for reporting the sexual harassment. You should also write down how the harassment has impacted your ability to do the job.

Voice Your Concern
If you feel comfortable, then you should talk to the person directly. You should tell them exactly what they are doing that is making you uncomfortable.

Tell Someone
If you do not want to talk to the person, then you should talk to your supervisor or the HR department.

Follow Up Writing
If you feel like your complaint is not being handled properly, then you will need to email your company.

File a Complaint
If your employer has still not take action, then you need to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Your employer cannot retaliate against you if you contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Contact a Good Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Attorney
You need a Los Angeles employment lawyer to help you deal with your sexual harassment case. Sexual harassment lawyers can also help people file a lawsuit against their employer if necessary. Employers are responsible for maintaining a safe and discrimination-free workplace.

Wage and Overtime Dispute Cases: How Much Can I Get?

All employees are protected from fraud and retaliation under state employment laws. They are given the chance to avoid hiding the immoral and illegal actions of their employers. These include the failure to make wage payments that are fair and on time. The law helps employees as they speak out against their bosses and take their disputes to court.

Recovered Wages
A judgement helps you to recover all of your unpaid wages. The employer is ordered by the court to pay. The overtime costs are included with the wages.

Interest
In addition, receive interest on the wages that were held back. The interest rate is determined by the law. The longer that you were not paid, the more interest you earn.

If the interest is not issued, receive liquidated damages instead. These amounts are also determined by the law and issued in place of interest. In some cases, these damages are double the amount of your unpaid wages.

Penalties
In California, employers are penalized for paying late or not paying at all. The penalty fees are added in addition to the wages and interest. These fees equal the amount of one month’s wages.

Legal Fees
The employer finally has to pay the plaintiff’s legal fees. You are compensated for the time and money that you spent on the case. The average case takes months to prepare for, while more difficult cases take years to build up.

Find the Right Lawyer
There are plaintiffs who win their cases, and others who do not win. Your fate largely depends on the expertise of a wage violation lawyer. You win by having enough evidence and not by being lucky. Being knowledgeable about the law and when to file a claim is also important. Only an experienced overtime dispute attorney knows the right steps to take.

Wage and hour disputes are common in all areas of employment. Employers should be taken to court and ordered to make wage and overtime payments. Receive compensation for your damages by working with a qualified overtime disputes lawyer in Los Angeles.

Wrongfully Terminated for Disability

If you have been terminated from your job because of a disability that you have, then that is a serious violation of your rights as a worker. An employer is not supposed to let an employee go because of something like a disability. If you feel that someone has done this to you, you need to schedule an immediate appointment with a disability discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles to speak to a caring professional about assisting you. Our disability discrimination lawyer can fight with you to restore what’s rightfully yours.

Many employers have an at-will arrangement that they go by that prevents employees from having any type of job security. However, laws are in place that prevent such employers from firing employees who are in protected classes. Having a disability automatically places you in a protected class of people, and employers are not allowed to get rid of you if you belong to that class. Other protected classes are people of certain ethnic groups, religious backgrounds and ages. Our disability discrimination lawyers in Los Angeles work with these types of cases all the time, and they are available to help you with your situation.

How Disability Discrimination Lawyers in Los Angeles Can Help

A reliable disability discrimination lawyer can help you with your case by examining the facts surrounding your dismissal. If he can find tangible proof that your employer terminated you because you have a disability, your employer will have to answer for doing that. The employer may be subject to a variety of punishments up to and including fines, restoring your job to you, paying you a settlement and many other punishments. It’s important that you have all the evidence with you when you meet with the attorney so that he can put up the best fight possible for you and your case.

Contact A Lawyer Today

Don’t wait one more minute to get in touch with a Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer. Call today and set up your consultation. You don’t have anything to lose by calling to schedule a quick meeting. In fact, you may have everything to gain. The prospective attorney will listen to your story and then let you know if he can help you. He may be able to help you collect a settlement that can give you back the money that you would have earned if you still had a job. Schedule your consultation with a Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer today and get the help that you deserve.

National Origin Discrimination

Employment discrimination harms victims, businesses, and society as a whole. For America to function as an inclusive and modern society, jobs must be available to all types of people. No one can face discrimination on the job because of their race, sex, ethnicity, disability, national origin, or other characteristic protected by law. If you or a loved one have suffered discrimination because of your national origin or another reason, contact our employment lawyer near you.

What constitutes discrimination?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that enforces employment discrimination law, defines employment discrimination as the taking of an adverse employment action against an employee or job applicant because he or she belongs to a protected class. Adverse actions can occur in the areas of hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, training, benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. It can also take the form of harassment, which includes repeated or severe mistreatment of an employee because he or she belongs to a protected class. For example, making rude and hostile remarks about a person because they come from a certain country would constitute harassment based on their national origin. If you are the victim of workplace bullying, contact an employment attorney right away.

What constitutes national origin?

The EEOC defines a person’s national origin as the foreign country, region, or part of the world from where he or she immigrated from. Though the term national origin may describe a country, discrimination does not have to tie to a nationality. It could also arise because a person is from the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, or other region. If you have experienced this type of mistreatment, you should quickly seek advice from an employment lawyer near you.

How can an employment attorney help?

When employees experience harassment and discrimination, they feel understandably distressed. When this conduct occurs, it is necessary for the victim to report the conduct to the company HR department.

LA area employees can seek advice from a Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer before making an HR complaint. Our employment lawyer Los Angeles CA can also assist in filing a charge against the company with the EEOC or the State of California. This is especially important in cases of discriminatory or retaliatory termination, as complaints must be filed within 180 days. When necessary, our Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer can file a lawsuit in state or federal court.

If you have experienced national origin employment discrimination in the LA region, request a free consultation from the law firm of Mann & Elias. You will be in contact with one of our employment lawyers who will protect your rights.

Top 10 Employment Law Violations in the Restaurant Industry

According to an employment lawyer Los Angeles CA, the restaurant industry is notorious for violating employment law. Employers and employees alike need to understand the laws and be prepared to file an employment lawsuit when a violation occurs.

Let’s look at the top employment law violations in the restaurant industry to see when you need an employment attorney:

  • Paying less than minimum wage – California requires that all employees receive minimum wage. Employers cannot use tips to cover any part of this.
  • Not paying for all hours worked – If an employee is required to be at work, the employer is required to pay for that time. According to employment lawyer Los Angeles CA, this includes pre-shift meetings, side work, training, or cleaning.
  • Not paying wages at least twice per month – California requires employers to pay employees at least twice a month. If you are paid monthly, you need to talk with an employment lawyer near you.
  • Not providing meal and rest breaks – Employee rights include a 30-minute lunch break for every 5 hours worked and a 10-minute rest break for every 4 hours worked. Lunch breaks are paid if the employee can’t leave the premises.
  • Making employees pay for uniforms and their maintenance – Employers must cover the cost of required uniforms and their maintenance.
  • Taking tips from employees – California employers cannot take tips from the employees that earned them. They can require the employee to share those tips with other workers, however.
  • Not paying overtime properly – Any time worked, by a non-exempt employee, over normal hours is subject to overtime pay rate, which is one and half times the regular pay.
  • Making employees responsible for business related losses – Employers cannot charge employees for any cash shortage, breakage or loss of equipment, unless the employer can prove employee dishonesty, willfulness or gross negligence.
  • Not preserving employment records – Per an employment attorney, employers must preserve employee records and payroll information for 3 years. Time cards, work schedules, and wage additions/deductions must be preserved for 2 years.
  • Not disclosing proper information on pay stubs – The pay stub must show the employee’s name and address, how many hours worked, hourly rate, overtime pay rate, dates being paid, all deductions, and net earnings.

Employers need to respect employee rights and employees need to know what is acceptable and what is not. Consulting an employment lawyer near you will ensure your rights as an employer or employee are not violated. If they are, an employment lawsuit may be in order.

Are You An Independent Contractor? An Employee? A New CA Supreme Court Case Lays Down The Law

by Ava Freund and Imad Elias

The new landmark California Supreme Court case, Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Charles Lee has dramatically changed the formulation for determining whether someone is an independent contractor or an employee. Plaintiffs in the case, delivery drivers for Dynamex, claimed that they were misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees.

The court abandoned the existing test for deciding a worker’s status, which included certain factors like whether a person could be fired without cause, who owned or provided the equipment used for work, and the amount of supervision and control. The Dynamex court now says that workers are considered employees if their job is part of the “usual course” of the business operations. In the Dynamex case, the court found that delivery drivers that worked for a delivery service were presumptively employees.

Once it is the determined that the workers’ job is part of the usual course of business operations, the employer must meet the elements of what is commonly referred to as the “ABC” test, a standard utilized in other jurisdictions to distinguish employees from independent contractors. Under this test, a worker is properly considered an independent contractor if the hiring entity establishes:

  • That the worker is free from the control and direction of the hirer in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of such work and in fact;
  • That the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and
  • That the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring entity.

This ruling will make it more difficult for companies to expediently label workers as independent contractors rather than employees. Additionally, the burden is now on the employer to overcome the presumption that someone who works for them is an independent contractor instead of an employee.

After reading this, do you feel you’ve been misclassified? Are you doing work which is in the “usual course” of the business but are being labeled an independent contractor? Let us help you figure out if you have a case. Contact us here.