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Los Angeles Employment Law Blog

Has your employer asked that you work off the clock?

Being "on the clock" is a common phrase California residents and people elsewhere use to mean that they are working. However, it also means that individuals who receive hourly pay have clocked in and are performing their work-related duties. Clocking in is important to hourly workers because that timestamp helps keep up with their hours worked and, essentially, the amount of compensation they have earned between clocking in and clocking out.

If you clock in late, you will not receive compensation for time not on the clock, or if you somehow miss clocking in altogether, even though you were at work, you may have to go through extra steps to ensure that you receive the compensation you earned. Your employer likely keeps up with each worker's hours closely, but what happens if an employer asks you to work off the clock?

How common is age discrimination in California?

According to the California Employers Association, an estimated 24% of the workforce will be over the age of 55 by 2024. Federal law prohibits discrimination in employment matters on the basis of age, as does the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Between the laws in place protecting older workers from discrimination and the graying of the workforce, you might think that ageism in the workplace would be rare. However, a study conducted in 2019 suggests that age discrimination is both prevalent and increasing.

What you need to know about pregnancy discrimination

You have the right to work without fear of discrimination or harassment, but unfortunately, employers do not always respect this right. You may find that you are a victim of discrimination for a variety of reasons, including your pregnancy. While having a baby should be a time of excitement, it could also negatively impact your career. If this happened to you, you do not have to suffer in silence.

Pregnancy discrimination is a real complication for many women in the workplace. This can happen in many ways, and you may not be certain that what you are experiencing counts as discrimination. If you are unsure or want to take steps to fight for a beneficial outcome to your situation, you may find it helpful to reach out for appropriate legal help.

Is PTSD a protected disability?

PTSD.jpegIf you are one of the estimated 8 million adult Americans suffering from PTSD, i.e., Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, you know that your symptoms can appear at virtually any moment. At work, your PTSD symptoms may cause you memory problems, concentration problems or make it impossible for you to have and maintain good interactions with your coworkers.

The National Law Review reports that, in 1980, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders recognized PTSD as the complex reaction many people who have undergone a traumatic experience experience. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 likewise includes PTSD among its protected disabilities.

How can you know if you're experiencing sexual harassment?

When you go to work, you have the right to do your job without fear of mistreatment of any kind. Harassment of a sexual nature is reprehensible in any environment, but it is especially so in a professional setting. Victims of workplace sexual harassment are often ashamed, uncertain and afraid, but they have rights and legal options. They do not have to suffer alone.

If you have experienced treatment that makes you uncomfortable, you could be a victim of sexual harassment. California victims are often unsure if what happened counts as harassment or if they are being dramatic. They may even fear losing their jobs if they report what happened. If you find yourself thinking these things or wondering if you should speak out about what happened to you, you will find it beneficial to seek guidance from a legal professional.

Can your employer fire you for taking medical leave?

California is an employment at will state. This means that, in most cases, both you or your employer can end your employment any time either of you wishes to, with or without cause.

Per the National Federation of Independent Business, however, if your employer fires you because you took a medical leave, or while you are on one, you may have an action for workplace discrimination.

Deciding whether a wrongful termination suit is right for you

Though life is not always fair, some people may feel as if others have treated them particularly unfairly. For instance, you may have had a job that you loved to do, but your employer or co-workers may have made you feel uncomfortable due to your gender or race. You may even have felt an increase in unfair treatment after filing a complaint regarding the discrimination or for other concerning issues in the workplace.

In the end, you ended up losing your job for reasons that you felt were extremely unjust and likely illegal. Now, you think that taking legal action against your employer could suit your circumstances, but you want to ensure that you feel ready to tackle such an undertaking.

Is your employer paying you what you have earned?

In California and every other state, employers must pay their employees for the work they do. This may sound obvious, but you can probably think of numerous times when you stepped in off the clock to help a co-worker, agreed to stay and help after your shift ended, or took work home to finish it on your own time. These are just a few examples of wage theft, and they are illegal.

Unfortunately, employers often count on the fact that their workers do not know the laws that protect them from this kind of abuse, so it is important that you monitor your earnings and keep careful records of the time you put in on the job. This way, you may recognize when an employer is denying you your rightful earnings.

Is your company's dress code discriminatory?

Time was when companies could dictate more or less exactly what their employees could wear to work. Such is not necessarily the case today, however. While no federal law or policy exists that prohibits employers from establishing and enforcing dress codes, they must be careful when doing so.

DWD.com reports that employers’s dress codes must comply with rules and regulations promulgated by such federal entities as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, etc. In addition, they must comply with the laws of any states in which they operate.

You shouldn't lose your job because you serve your country

Whether you are a reservist or subject to recall by a branch of the U.S. Military, you made the conscious choice to serve your country under some of the most inhospitable circumstances. You put your life on the line to preserve freedoms that some people take for granted. People should thank you and give you the respect you deserve for making such a sacrifice to your civilian life and your family.

Unfortunately, some employers do not give you that respect and attempt to terminate your employment or deny you employment due to your military service. You should know this goes against a federal law that provides you certain protections because you should not be penalized for fulfilling your obligations to the country.

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