Employment

Each employee is guaranteed certain rights. Among these rights is the right to be free from wrongful terminations, the right to be free from discrimination and sexual harassment, and the right to fair wages.

At Liuzzi, Murphy & Solomon, Churton & Hale LLP., we have experience handling:

  1. Wrongful Termination
  2. Discrimination/Harassment
  3. Meal & Rest Period Claims
  4. Overtime Pay Claims

It is important to speak with an experienced lawyer about any potential employment claims as not all terminations, situations involving perceived discrimination and harassment, or wage claims are actionable under the law. You need knowledgeable lawyers who can help you determine your best course of action and you need to know your rights as an employee. The lawyers at Liuzzi, Murphy, Solomon, Churton & Hale LLP. have experience in handling employment claims. If you feel you were unlawfully fired, discriminated/harassed, or have been denied your overtime pay, please contact Liuzzi, Murphy, Solomon, Churton & Hale LLP.

To schedule an initial consultation about your case please call our office at (415) 400-7000. During the consultation, you will speak to an attorney who will evaluate your claim at no cost. If you choose to retain us, we do not charge a fee unless we obtain a settlement or jury award for your losses.

Wrongful Termination [top]

Not all terminations from employment can be considered "wrongful". California has an "At-Will" approach to employment law. An employee can be considered "At-Will" if there is no oral or written agreement specifying the length or duration of employment or the grounds for termination.

"Wrongful Termination" means that the employer has terminated employment for illegal reasons. These reasons vary and include termination in violation of a written contract on the basis of gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation, or other discriminatory factors. Wrongful termination may also occur if the employee was fired in retaliation for a complaint filed against the employer, or if the employer has violated California's labor laws.

As not all dismissals or terminations are actionable under the law, it is important to speak with an experienced lawyer. You need knowledgeable lawyers who can help you determine your best course of action and you need to know your rights as an employee. The lawyers at Liuzzi, Murphy, Solomon, Churton & Hale, LLP have experience in handling employment claims. If you feel you were unlawfully fired please contact Liuzzi, Murphy, Solomon, Churton & Hale, LLP.

To schedule an initial consultation about your case, please call our office at (415) 400-7000. During the consultation, you will speak to an attorney who will evaluate your claim at no cost. If you choose to retain us, we do not charge a fee unless we obtain a settlement or jury award for your losses.

Discrimination / Harassment [top]

A. Discrimination
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title VII are examples of federal law that prohibits discrimination in hiring, selection for training leading to hiring, promotion, termination, compensation, or other terms and conditions of employment based on:

  1. Race;
  2. Color;
  3. Ancestry;
  4. National Origin;
  5. Religious creed;
  6. Sex and sexual orientation;
  7. Marital status;
  8. Pregnancy, child birth or related medical conditions;
  9. Physical and mental disability;
  10. Medical condition;
  11. Age, with respect to persons who are 40 years of age or older.

These laws also prohibit hiring or promotion policies and procedures that result discrimination based on race, gender, etc. In addition, it is unlawful to ban or limit the use of a particular language unless the restriction is justified by business necessity. Each situation is different and unique and requires an experienced attorney's evaluation to adequately determine if there is an actionable claim.

B. Harassment
Sexual harassment is any form of discrimination 'because of sex.' The Equal Employment opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as "unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature...when...submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions...or such conduct has the purpose or effect of...creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment".

Sexual harassment consists of two types of prohibited conduct: 1) quid pro quo, or where submission to harassment is used as the basis for employment decisions; and 2) hostile environment, or where harassment creates an offensive working environment.

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other unwelcome verbal, physical, or visual conduct of a sexual nature. It may also include harassment based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Occasional inappropriate touching, off-color jokes, or repeated sexual references may also be considered sexual harassment.

Harassment and discrimination can vary depending on the circumstances and the frequency in which the conduct has occurred. If you feel you were unlawfully fired and/or harassed because you rejected the sexual advances of a co-worker or employer, please contact the law offices of Liuzzi, Murphy, Solomon, Churton & Hale LLP.

Please call our office at (415) 400-7000 to schedule an initial consultation about your case. The initial consultation will be conducted by an attorney who will evaluate your claim at no cost. If you choose to retain us, you will not be charged a fee unless we obtain a settlement or jury award for your losses.

Items to Prepare for Initial Consultation and Future Claim

  1. Employee's full name;
  2. Employer's full name, and the name of any related or affiliated corporate entities;
  3. The full name of any individual whom the employee believes was involved in the decision to take the adverse action against the employee;
  4. Length and proof of employment;
  5. A brief description of what has occurred;
  6. A brief description of any disabling injuries, if any, that the employee may attribute to the adverse employment action;
  7. Both the date the employee was notified of the adverse employment action and the date the action occurred or is scheduled to occur;
  8. Any written policies existing that may not have been followed;
  9. Whether the employee contends that the employment relationship was terminated as a result of the discrimination and/or harassment; and
  10. If the employee is a union member and the full name of the union.
Meal & Rest Period Claims [top]

In California, meal periods and rest breaks are considered minimum labor standards of employment. This means that everyone who works a certain amount of time is permitted meal and rest breaks. Generally, if an employee who is entitled to take meal periods and rest breaks under the law and is prevented from doing so by the employer, then the employer shall pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee's regular rate of compensation for each work day that the meal or rest period is not provided. Below is a brief explanation of the law in this area.

Meal Periods
California Labor Code 512(a) states that if an employee works more than five hours per day they are entitled to a meal period of at least 30 minutes. The employee may agree, however, to take a paid "on-duty" lunch which is counted as time worked. An 'on duty' meal period shall be permitted only when (1) the nature of the work, or the job's duties, require that meal breaks not be permitted and (2) there is a revocable written agreement between the employee and the employer that the employee will receive an on-the-job paid meal period.

The exceptions permitting an employee to waive her right to a meal period are complex and require in-depth legal analysis. If you believe you have been wrongly prevented from taking a meal break, please call our office at (415) 400-7000 to schedule an initial consultation. During the consultation, you will speak to an attorney who will evaluate your claim at no cost. If you choose to retain us, we do not charge a fee unless we obtain a settlement or jury award for your losses.

Rest Periods
In California, every employer covered by a California wage order must authorize and permit all employees to take rest periods. Employees may take 10 minute rest periods every four hours. Rest periods cannot be waived or negotiated, but it is the employee's responsibility to take her rest periods. If breaks are not taken because the employee did not want them, then the employee cannot hold the employer liable. Furthermore, the employer is not required to record whether or not rest breaks were taken.

The employer will not be held liable for an employee's failure to take a rest period unless (1) it has instituted a policy that prevents the employee from taking her rest breaks, or (2) the employer has explicitly or as a practical matter denied an employee rest breaks.

If you believe that your employer has wrongfully prevented you from taking rest breaks, please call our office at (415) 400-7000 to schedule an initial consultation. During the consultation, you will speak to an attorney who will evaluate your claim at no cost. If you choose to retain us, we do not charge a fee unless we obtain a settlement or jury award for your losses.

Overtime Pay Claims [top]

Both the California Department of Labor and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) require payment of an overtime premium to employees who work more than a specified number of hours as long as they are not exempt from receiving overtime pay. The work performed, not the title provided by the employer, determines whether the employee is exempt from receiving overtime pay. Generally, employees who are exempt from overtime include persons employed in administrative, executive, or professional capacities. You are not necessarily exempt from overtime pay even if you are employed in one of these capacities. The law in this area is complex, and you need an attorney to help determine if you are exempt from overtime pay.

Nonexempt employees can include anyone who is paid hourly. In California, an overtime premium must be paid if a nonexempt employee works more than a specified number of hours in a workday or more than a specified number of hours in a workweek. Various acts, statutes and ordinances may be used to determine what constitutes a workweek.

The law offices of Liuzzi, Murphy, Solomon, Churton & Hale LLP., are experienced in this complex area of the law and can help you to determine whether you have an overtime pay claim.

Please call our office at (415) 400-7000 to schedule an initial consultation about your case. During the consultation, you will speak to an attorney who will evaluate your claim at no cost. If you choose to retain us, we do not charge a fee unless we obtain a settlement or jury award for your losses.

Items to Prepare for Initial Consultation and Future Claim

  1. Employee's full name;
  2. Employer's full name, and the name of any related or affiliated corporate entities;
  3. The full name of any individual whom the employee believes was involved in the decision to deny overtime pay;
  4. Length and proof of employment;
  5. A brief description of what has occurred, and;
  6. Any written policies existing that may not have been followed.

Contact the law offices of Liuzzi, Murphy, Solomon, Churton & Hale LLP., today at (415) 400-7000 for a free consultation.