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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.

Overtime Pay Disputes

Of all employment law disputes, including harassment and discrimination cases, wage and hour disputes are the most common brought forth by employees. In wage and hour disputes, it is the overtime pay rate and an employer not crediting overtime hours properly that are often the source of the dispute.

While each state may have their own state laws concerning overtime wages, all states must adhere to the federal laws outlined in the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA.” ) Wage and hour disputes specifically relate to the hours worked or pay owed from the hours worked beyond the standard work week of 40 hours are called overtime pay disputes.

Under the FLSA, non-exempt employees working beyond 40 hours per week are entitled to 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for the subsequent hours.

Common Employer Actions That Cause An Overtime Dispute

Sometimes an employer may make an inadvertent error in calculating, classifying, and crediting an employee with the correct overtime pay and/or hours. I’m such cases, most employers will promptly correct the error and credit the employee appropriately after it’s brought to their attention. However, there are cases where employers negligently or intentionally avoid paying overtime and refuse to correct it with back pay. Overtime disputes can arise from the following actions:

• Paying a worker at regular pay rates versus the overtime pay rate they’re entitled to be paid by law.

• Miscalculation or not crediting an employee with the correct number of hours worked.

• Claiming an employee is exempt from overtime pay or otherwise not due to the appropriate pay.

• Tax and administrative issues.

• Failure to pay an employee back wages.

Resolving Overtime Pay Disputes

Again, if an inadvertent error was made by the employer, then they’re likely to promptly correct their mistake without legal actions. However, if the employer refuses to correct the overtime pay, then there are several courses of action, including:

• Mediation

• Negotiation

• Agency investigations, particularly if the dispute also involves harassment or discrimination.

• Contacting the employer’s dispute resolution or HR departments.

• Legal proceedings in court.

If other employees have suffered a similar overtime pay dispute with the same employer, you may also have an option for a class action lawsuit, whereby you and the other employees would bring a legal case against the employer as a group.

Do I Need An Overtime Pay Lawyer?

Note that there are statutes of limitations in all areas of wage law, meaning that it’s imperative to begin to collect evidence and make a claim as soon as possible to best protect your rights.

If your employer fails to act after you’ve alerted them of your wage dispute, then you may need to hire an overtime pay lawyer to explore your rights and the appropriate course of action to take next.

Class action lawsuits and individual lawsuits clearly require extensive research and display of facts. However, an experienced lawyer can provide invaluable representation and legal advice through all phases of your overtime wage dispute, whether that’s mediation or attending a court hearing.

Most attorneys offer a free consultation to discuss your case, and it’s always prudent to seek out as much help and information as you can if you feel you haven’t been paid appropriately by your employer.

Workplace Retaliation

When an employee is involved in a suit at the workplace, it is a common assumption that at some point, the employer is bound to retaliate especially if the winner of the suit is the employee. Finding a dedicated retaliation lawyer is crucial when building a case.

Employees in most cases are aware that there are laws that protect them against harassment and discrimination. What they do not understand is that the same rules protect them from retaliation as well. This means the employer cannot punish you in any way for bringing out a complaint.

The best way of winning a suit in any workplace is to first understand the employee rights that are governed and protected by the state laws. However, it does not end there. People have the nature of retaliating in cases where they feel threatened, and as an employee, you have to be prepared for this.

Understanding Workplace Retaliation:

Workplace retaliation can come in different ways such being transferred to other places being passed over for promotions and many more, with the extreme case of being fired. In most cases, you don’t stand up for your rights without an employment attorney, as they represent you and your best interest. They give you the guidelines on how to act in the representation of a case against the employer.

When retaliation occurs in most cases, sometimes it is not clear and may be misunderstood to mean other things. However, no one should suffer in silence for this. Some everyday things that are done in retaliation include: demotion and being fired which are the primary negative acts that are visible and regarded as retaliation. Nevertheless, there are those small negative actions as well that are also perceived as retaliation, and in such cases, an employee attorney comes in handy.

When you realize you are being retaliated against by your employer, it is imperative to understand the employee rights first. If it’s not clear to you, consult with an employment attorney and figure out a way to correct it and not have your rights infringed.
In the course of fighting back harassment, discrimination, and retaliation in Los Angeles, our firm in California has lawyers that are dedicated to making sure that every employee’s right is not violated. And in case they are, the matter is taken to court and they make sure retaliation does not take place.

Finding a qualified employment lawyer in Los Angeles is not an easy task, but it is necessary when it comes to employers who think they are unique and above the law. Our employment lawyer in Los Angeles makes sure that your case is on track and with the necessary evidence. We also encourage you to speak out in cases of retaliation. However, the most significant challenge in fighting workplace retaliation is the lack of awareness among most employees

Bonus Disputes at Work

There are times when employees are offered a bonus which can raise some miscommunication and misunderstandings if not explained in detail. An employer needs to know if they are required to pay bonuses to those employees that are leaving. If they do not pay the employees, the bonuses they may be taken to court. They will need to pay the original amount as well as penalties. If there is a question an employment attorney should be contacted right away.

There are many employees that work for a commission. If they are not paid their commission upon the date of termination a company may end up owing them more money. Commissions may be considered wages in some states. A bonus disputes lawyer can help sort this out.

Commissions that are owed to employees need to be clearly stated. An employment lawyer Los Angeles CA can help an employer word this properly. If there is any confusion a former employer may be entitled to commission or bonuses after they had left. An employment attorney can help causes written in the initial contract. They can state that if an employee is terminated they are not entitled to receive commission payments after the date of their termination. If this is not clearly stated a person may have a case. The employee must sign this. This will help protect the employer. If the employer did not acknowledge this or if their signature is missing they should contact a bonus disputes lawyer. This can cost time and money to sort out this matter.

If an employee is terminated and they are looking to get compensation or bonuses the business can also consult an employment lawyer Los Angeles CA. This will help sort out any issues. The bonus may depend on several different things including the effort of the employee. If there are factors affect their effort that lead to the termination the employee may not be entitled to their bonus.

When hiring a person, the employer needs to review their commission and policy including bonuses with the employee. Everything should be stated in language that is easy to read and should be clear. They should answer any questions the employee may have and both parties need to sign their agreements. Going over this paperwork before the employee begins. This can save both parties a headache and dispute in court if the employee is terminated. If the language in unclear a lawyer should review the policy before it is presented to the employees to sign.

Wrongful Termination

Terminated for the Wrong Reasons: A Brief Overview of Filing Claims and Much More


It is one thing to lose your job because you did not do it properly. It is quite another to be fired from your job “just because”. Getting fired from your job “just because” is not a good enough reason. Did your boss give you a valid reason? You do have the right to bring false claims against your boss.

An Employment Attorney

The first thing you need to do is hire an experienced employment attorney. You could be entitled to damages including money damages and a nice severance package.

Did you get fired from an illegal standpoint? That is the first thing any wrongful termination attorney will ask you. How do you know if your firing did happen illegally?

1) Has something happened between you and your boss involving sexual harassment? Sexual harassment happens on different levels and each case is different. Click here to see a full guide as to what constitutes sexual harassment.

2) Did you face discrimination of any kind? Discrimination is a broad term and there are many underlying levels.

3) Did you get fired based on your boss breaking an oral or written agreement? A wrongful termination lawyer is going to need to know this.

4) Did you file a report against an employee and now the boss is seeking revenge by firing you? A wrongful termination lawyer will need to know that.

Each case carries a different penalty. You need to be honest with your wrongful termination attorney about what happened. You need to show documented proof of what happened.

What happens when you do not have proof?

What you have is a case of “he said, she said” without the proof to back it up. Employers are smart and vindictive. They have ways of making you look guilty, especially when you are not.

5 Tips to Help You After You Have Been Fired

1) You need to stay calm. Your former employer wants you to react to his negative actions.

2) Do you have an employee handbook? Read it and show it to your lawyer. You will need to be aware of the provisions because your boss will use them against you.

3) Find out what they promised you and collect the information. Make sure it is written down because you can use it to back up your case. Employers do not expect their employers to keep a written account of everything. You need to prove your boss wrong.

4) You cannot back down. Do not let your boss intimidate you on any level. The second he intimidates you is the second they wins.

5) Return any company property and let your lawyer guide you. Let your lawyer do the talking and learn as much as you can about the process.

Do you need a wrongful termination lawyer right now? Visit to speak with an attorney today. Your case cannot wait another day.

Gender Discrimination at Work is Against the Law

Discrimination at the workplace can assume different forms. The illegality of gender discrimination occurs with any action that negates the terms and condition of employment. It can be in form of sexual stereotype, unwelcomed advances and/or offensive remarks against your sexual orientation. In the process of hiring, firing, job description, promotion, pay and gender identity, gender discrimination may occur. However, according to Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 forbids every form of sexual discrimination in the workplace.

This law is binding on not only the Federal and State governments but also private employers, employment agencies, labor organization and every other labor-related establishments. The law also extends to the area of retaliation against reporting of gender and sexual discrimination. Your employer has no right to fire, demote or reduce your pay as a result of your filing or reporting gender discrimination.

When gender discrimination occurs at your workplace, you will need to consider a wide range of options. This will be made easier with the expertise of an employment attorney who can help file a gender discrimination suit against your employer, individual or organization involved. Whenever you feel you have been discriminated against, take the following steps:

  1. Write down the incident while still fresh in your memory
  2. Immediately report the incident to your employer or human resources department.
  3. You need to keep a paper trail, as this will serve as evidence. Therefore, do not report orally but verbally.
  4. Involve your union as they can help or serve as witness
  5. You will also need to file discrimination charges against your employer with a government agency.

However, this could be daunting and challenging, you will need the expert advice of an employment lawyer who will help in seeking justice.

Protect Yourself with a Whistleblower Lawyer

In many countries, including the United States, there’s often a whistleblower policy or legislation. These policies and legislations are meant to provide a form of reward for individuals who reveal fraud and corruption in and against the government. Although this may seem interesting in the real sense, the legalities of this law may be of great difficulty for anyone without the legal knowledge. Without taking the right steps, you might be at a risk of unwillingly exposing yourself and losing all of your entitlements as a result of whistleblowing.

The False Claim Act of the United States does not mandate hiring a legal representative. However, you will do yourself and your cause a greater good by seeking the opinion of a whistleblower attorney even before filing claims. Relying on the expertise of the whistleblower lawyers at the Law Offices of Mann and Elias, every one of your claim issues can be handled. More importantly, the strength of your whistleblowing claims can be assessed based on Federal and State laws.

Expect that competent whistleblower lawyers will work with you to identify important documents, the evidence available and preparing of witnesses. You will be educated on the risks and rewards associated with being a whistleblower based on the strength and weaknesses of evidence available. You will also need expert witnesses such as accountants and forensic analysts, which can be contacted by your whistleblower attorney.

Over the years, whistleblower lawyers at the Law Offices of Mann and Elias have utilized their expertise and experience in receiving the rewards and protection stipulated by the Federal and State law.

Wrongful Termination: You Need to Know Why You Are Being Fired

Two reasons stand out for being wrongfully terminated at work; taking a protection action or being a member of a protected group. When your condition for disengagement falls into any of these categories, you need wrongful termination lawyers to help fight your claims. There is a Federal Law in place that protects you from being wrongfully terminated as a result of your race, religion, color, citizenship status, age, disability, or national origin. In the course of your employment, you cannot be fired if you are pregnant or change your gender identity. This law is also present in different forms in different states.

Your employer is also acting against the law if he/shes fire you as a result of your health condition, being a carrier of a disease, political affiliation, military status, criminal history and/or being homeless. Also, your physical appearance, marital status or being a domestic violence victim does not give your employer the right to fire you. If the reason for your termination is as a result of any of the previously stated reasons, it stands for wrongful termination. When this occurs, you should immediately hire the services of our wrongful termination attorneys to help fight your case.

Taking some action at your workplace and being terminated as a result is also illegal. For instance, by filing a harassment or gender discrimination claim, taking of leave as stipulated by law, reporting corporate fraud, or refusing to participate in illegal actions.

You Can Be Disabled and Still Be Employed

Have you heard the acronym ADA? It stands for American with Disabilities Act. This law protects qualified Americans with disabilities from being discriminated in matters relating to employment decisions. However, the issue common with disability discrimination is being certain of whether an individual is suffering from disabilities covered by the American Disabilities Act. The act covers matters pertaining to hiring, promotion, discipline, job application, and benefits. You should consult a disability discrimination lawyer or an employment attorney if you perceive any form of discrimination as a result of your disability.

There are several protections for you under the ADA as a result of your disability. There will be instances such as mental disability which you have the right to keep private. In such situation, you can decide not to disclose the condition of your mental disability. Only in a certain situation is an employer permitted to inquire about your disability status. If you are requesting for an accommodation from your employer as a result of your disability, you will be required to explicitly explain your condition. In the event that your disability poses a danger to others, you will be required to state your condition.

As an individual living with a disability, you will only be provided a workplace accommodation if you request for such. You may need to discuss with your employer the option available to you. In this scenario, the employer is at the liberty of choosing the best in terms of cost.