Temecula Employment Law Attorney

San Diego Labor Class Actions

As with any relationship, disagreements will generally arise at some point in time. Employers and employees are no exception. Accusations can come up against both employees and employers for issues like discrimination or sexual harassment, resulting in a toxic relationship for everyone in the workplace. If you are an employee being accused of something you did not do or you are being treated unfairly, consider hiring a Temecula employment lawyer. 

Employment law entails all of the factors that involve employers and employees. It covers everything from hiring to termination and includes actions like promotions. With thousands of state and federal regulations and rules set in place to protect both employers and employees, the relationship between employers and employees is extremely regulated. 

Defining Discrimination 

Discrimination occurs when an employee is treated differently than their peers. Illegal discrimination occurs when that negative treatment is based on an employee’s protected characteristics. Both federal and state laws outline protected characteristics, but California’s list is broader than the federal list. The California list includes:

  • Race, Color
  • Religion
  • Ancestry
  • Gender Identity or Expression
  • Mental and Physical Disability
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Genetic Information
  • Military or Veteran Status
  • Marital Status
  • Age (40 and older)
  • Medical Condition

Unfortunately, it is not always easy to determine whether or not workplace discrimination has occurred. This is where an employment attorney can assist you in your claim, as they can help you determine if the discrimination was illegal.


Employers cannot retaliate against their employees in the event that the employees file a wage claim, if they report illegal activity of the employer, refuse to participate in illegal activity, complain of poor working conditions, or if there are mistreatment or retaliatory actions toward a minority employee. Any retaliatory actions made by the employer can give their employees a valid reason to file another claim. 

Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination occurs when an employer terminates an employee for any illegal reason, such as discrimination related to a protected characteristic or retaliation. Keep in mind that if you were terminated, it does not necessarily mean that you have been wrongfully terminated. If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, consulting with an employment attorney is an important step to take.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment involves two scenarios: any type of unwanted sexual advances or other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature and behaviors that cause an intimidating, offensive, or hostile work environment based on the employee’s sex. Sexual harassment should not be tolerated by employees and should be reported immediately. 

Wage Theft

You may have a valid wage theft, or unpaid wages claim if you have worked for your employer and have not received your pay. Types of claims within this category involve situations like minimum wage violations, overtime that has not been paid, unpaid lunch hours or break times, and unpaid wages after leaving a position. If the employee works in the hospitality industry, it can also include unpaid tips. 

Wage theft instances are incredibly important to report, as employers have a long history of taking advantage of their employees. American employees lose billions of dollars each year to wage theft. If you feel like you are a victim of unpaid wages or have a wage dispute, consult with an employment attorney. 

Unpaid Meals and Breaks

For those employees who qualify, California employers must allow thirty minutes for meals to those who work at least five hours a day. For those who work over ten hours, the employee must have two thirty-minute meal breaks. There must also be one rest break given every four hours that an employee works. These breaks are to be paid breaks. If they are not, the employee has a right to file a claim against their employer.  

Health and Safety Violations

Labor code laws and the California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973 protects employees from termination for complaints made about health and safety hazards in the workplace. It is the responsibility of the employer to give their employees a safe working environment. Failure to do so goes against Cal/OSHA regulations, and the employer can be held responsible. 

Job-Protected Leave Penalties

California employees are afforded both federal and state leave for qualifying medical conditions, including pregnancy and childbirth, as well as adoption. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) both afford qualifying employees the right to take leave without worrying about being able to return to their jobs. California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) also affords pregnant employees the right to reasonable accommodations and job-protected leave.

Unfortunately, some employers will penalize their employees by refusing this protected leave or firing them if they choose to take the leave. Any retaliation or prohibition of leave from an employer is illegal, giving the employee the right to file a claim. 

How an Employment Lawyer Can Help You

You may wonder if you can file a claim against your employer on your own. While it is possible, it is suggested that you consult with an employment lawyer to assist you throughout the legal process. 

Your employer will fight to protect themselves against your claim, often with many more resources than you will have on your own. A knowledgeable employment law attorney will be able to examine your case to provide information on your potential options and guidance on how to proceed if you have a valid claim.

Attempting to learn all the relevant employment laws can feel overwhelming, especially since you also need to maintain all the other aspects of your daily life. An employment attorney can shoulder most of this burden, often on a contingency basis. This means the attorney will not be paid unless you are successful in your claim, and their payment will be a percentage of your settlement.

Temecula Employment Lawyer

How to Choose the Right Attorney for Your Employment Law Claim

For employees in California, it is important to find a lawyer who is knowledgeable about the Fair Employment and Housing Act and has a thorough understanding of all applicable discrimination and employment laws. An attorney needs readily available resources to be fully effective in fighting for your case. 

It is imperative that the attorney you choose is someone you feel comfortable discussing all aspects of your case with. Your attorney should be someone who you can trust to have your interests at heart and will do everything within their power to protect your rights. Lacking a feeling of comfort with your attorney can only increase your stress during an already incredibly difficult time.

Damages That Can Be Recovered in an Employment Law Claim

There is no specific formula for getting compensation for damages that happened as a result of illegal employer actions in Temecula, as they are often based entirely on the damages you incurred. If you have experienced a decrease in wages, loss of benefits, emotional turmoil, stress, or anxiety, then you may be entitled to damages. While it is impossible to guarantee that you will receive compensation, it is almost always beneficial to present your case to the judge with the necessary evidence.

Employment Lawyers FAQs

Q: Can You File an Employment Claim if You Quit Your Job?

A: Although each case is unique, in most cases, you can file an employment claim if you quit your job. This is especially true for those who feel they have an unpaid wages claim. All rights that you once held as an employee still pertain to you even after you leave your place of employment. However, each case will vary depending on the circumstances, so speaking with an employment lawyer after quitting your job is important to determine your rights.

Q: What Are My Employee Rights in California?

A: Your employee rights in California include protection under specific state and federal labor laws. Once you are employed and working in your position, you are protected under these labor laws. These laws state that employers must pay minimum wage, allow paid breaks and meal times, provide a pay stub, keep the workplace safe, have worker’s compensation benefits, and allow employees to make a claim without retaliation.

Q: What Is Unique About California Employment Law?

A: California employment law is unique in that is offers more protections than federal laws. The protected characteristic list is longer than stated in federal laws. California also offers higher minimum wages than the federal minimum wage. Another requirement of California employers is to offer meal time and breaks. The overtime regulations are also stricter in California.

Q: What Is the Law in California That Applies to Employers with Five or More Employees?

A: The law in California that applies to employers with five or more employees is the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). It involves employers offering all eligible employees leave for child care or for the care of a domestic partner, parent, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild with a severe health issue. This also includes leave for the employee’s own care if they suffer from a major illness. Maternity leave, including time to bond with a child after birth, adoption, or foster care, is also provided for eligible employees. 

Consult With a Temecula Employment Lawyer

Disagreements can come with any relationship, and employers and employees are no exception. Though some employer actions can cause an unpleasant work environment, understanding what makes those actions illegal can ensure your employer does not take advantage. If you are an employee experiencing unfair treatment, you need to hire a Temecula employment lawyer so a professional can examine your situation. Contact Ferraro Vega San Diego Employment Lawyers to fight for your case.