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Legal Guides

How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in California

Workers’ compensation is an important tool for employees injured on the job. This article explains the process of filing a claim for California employees. . . . Continue Reading

Job Displacement Benefits in California Workers’ Compensation Cases

Supplemental job displacement benefits (“SJDB”) are non-transferable vouchers for employees who want to go to school or undergo vocational training so they can return to the workforce. . . . Continue Reading

The Law on Rounding Work Hours & Keeping Time in California

Hourly employees in California have a right to be paid for all hours they work. Rounding policies can have an important impact on this right. . . .Continue Reading

Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) Law in California

In California, there are generally two types of maternity leave a woman can take: pregnancy disability leave, and baby bonding leave. Of these, pregnancy disability leave is the most common because the eligibility requirements are… Continue Reading

Exceptions to California’s Wage, Hour, Break, and Overtime Laws

California labor laws require most employers to follow certain rules—like paying overtime, tracking hours, or providing rest breaks. The law, however, provides for several important exceptions to these requirements. . . .Continue Reading

The Minimum Salary Requirement for Exempt Employees in California

California’s employment laws divide employees into two main categories: exempt employees and nonexempt employees. The distinction can be important because nonexempt employees have more rights than exempt employees. . . .Continue Reading

Break Laws in California: Meal Breaks & Rest Periods Made Easy

California employees who are considered non-exempt have a legal right to receive meal breaks and rest periods. And even most employees who are considered exempt still have a right to take meal breaks (but not rest periods). . . .Continue Reading

Payroll Debit Cards in California: What’s the Law on Cash Alternatives?

The concept of payroll debit cards is simple: rather than getting paid through cash or a check, employees receive their payments on a bank card. Employers sometimes use these cards because they allow them to save money associated with checks. . . .Continue Reading

What “At-Will” Employment Means Under California Law

Most employees in California are considered to be “at-will” employees. At-will employment means that the employee is free to leave their jobs at any time and employers are likewise free to fire the employee at any time for any lawful reason—or even no reason at all. . . .Continue Reading

Severance Packages: Why Employers Need to Consider Them

During the course of business, employers inevitably have to let employees go. In some cases, business just isn’t going well; in other cases, there may be a problem with a specific employee. Whatever the case,… Continue Reading

Constructive Discharge in California: Did I Quit or Was I Fired?

California employees are often faced with a difficult situation: workplace conditions have become so intolerable that they must quit their job. In these situations, California law does not always treat an employee’s resignation as quitting…. Continue Reading

Job References & Hiring: What Can Employers Say in California?

When applying for new jobs, many California employees face a common concern: they didn’t leave their last job on the best terms, but they have to give an honest list of their last jobs to… Continue Reading

Common Litigation Deadlines in California Civil Cases

If you want to file a lawsuit or have recently become involved in a lawsuit, you are probably wondering: what should I do next? What deadlines am I up against? In any California lawsuit, there… Continue Reading

How to Request Your Employee Records & Personnel File

California employees (and former employees) have a right to access many of the records their employer keeps. In fact, the right to inspect employee records is often the first tool that employment lawyers use to… Continue Reading

Two Weeks’ Notice Letters: Are They Required by California Law?

Generally, California employees are not required by law to give any advance notice to their employer before they quit their job. In some cases, however, the terms of an employment contract could require a specific… Continue Reading

The Waiting Time Penalty for Final Wages in California

Employees have a right to receive their final paycheck, in full and on time, at the conclusion of their employment. When employers willfully fail to provide final paychecks within certain deadlines, employees are entitled to… Continue Reading

1099 Workers vs. W-2 Employees in California: A Legal Guide

There are two main types of workers in California: employees and independent contractors. For tax purposes, the way a worker is classified will impact the form that businesses are required to prepare. If a worker… Continue Reading

Independent Contractors vs. Employees: A Guide California Law

Independent contractors are workers who are in business for themselves. They’re generally free to work on multiple projects at the same time, and take jobs on a freelance basis. In many cases, they can choose… Continue Reading

Sexual Harassment Law in the California Workplace

In California, unlawful workplace sexual harassment occurs when a person directs negative, inappropriate, or unwanted conduct at a worker based on their sex, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, or other sex-related reason. Sexual harassment… Continue Reading

Discrimination Laws in the California Workplace

Discrimination occurs when an employee or job applicant receives less favorable treatment because of a specific characteristic they have. In many cases, employers in California are prohibited by law from engaging in discrimination. Discrimination can… Continue Reading

Wrongful Termination Law in California

Wrongful termination happens when an employment relationship is ended by an employer in violation of the employee’s legal rights. This article explains the important limits that California law places on an employer’s ability to terminate their employees. . . .Continue Reading

Pregnancy Discrimination Laws in the California Workplace

Having a baby can be one of the most meaningful experiences in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, it can also negatively impact a woman’s career. In those cases, it’s important to know which actions constitute unlawful… Continue Reading

The Outside Salesperson Exemption to California’s Labor Laws

Most California employees are entitled to be paid minimum wage. They are also entitled to overtime wages when they work more than eight hours in a workday, more than forty hours in a workweek, or… Continue Reading

Minimum Wage Law in California

The minimum wage is the minimum hourly rate that nearly all California employees must be paid for their work by law. In the next few years, many employees will benefit from increases in California’s minimum wage laws. . . .Continue Reading

Overtime Exemptions Under California Law

Overtime wages are a type of increased pay that employees can earn when they work more than a certain number of hours in a workday or workweek. California labor laws require most employers to pay… Continue Reading

Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employees: Guide to California Law

California labor laws require most employers to follow certain rules—like paying overtime, tracking hours, or providing rest breaks. Some types of jobs, however, are exempt from these requirements. . . .Continue Reading

Paternity Leave Law in California

Paternity leave is the time a new father takes off from his job for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of his new child. The rights of fathers in this context are often overlooked… Continue Reading

The Professional Exemption to California’s Wage & Hour Laws

Most California employees are entitled to be paid minimum wage. They are also entitled to overtime wages when they work more than eight hours in a workday, more than forty hours in a workweek, or… Continue Reading

The Computer Professional Exemption to California’s Wage Laws

Most California employees are entitled to be paid minimum wage. They are also entitled to overtime wages when they work more than eight hours in a workday, more than forty hours in a workweek, or… Continue Reading

Tip Pooling Law in California: Employee Rights Explained

Tip pooling is the practice of gathering some or all of the tips earned by several employees, and then splitting them up in previously-agreed percentages. In California, employer-mandated tip pooling is generally considered legal, as… Continue Reading

Lactation Breaks & California Law: The Right to Pump at Work

A lactation break is a period of time during the work day for nursing mothers to express breast milk (i.e., a break to pump). All California employers are required to permit new mothers to take… Continue Reading

Wage Statement & Pay Stub Requirements in California

A wage statement (sometimes called a pay stub) is a document employers give their employees every pay period that explains how their paycheck was calculated. California has specific laws that govern the information that employees… Continue Reading

Wage Paydays and Pay Periods: The Law in California Explained

California is often considered a progressive state, with a relatively high minimum wage, strong protections for employees, and a general embrace of unions and collective bargaining. In keeping with this reputation, California has fairly strict… Continue Reading

Overtime Calculator for California Employees

Overtime wages are a type of increased payment that employees can earn when they work more than a certain number of hours in a workday or workweek. Most nonexempt employees in California have a legal… Continue Reading

Age Discrimination Laws in the California Workplace

Age discrimination occurs when an employee or job applicant over the age of 40 receives less favorable treatment because of their age. In many cases, employers in California are prohibited by law from engaging in… Continue Reading

The Administrative Exemption to California’s Labor Laws

Most California employees are entitled to certain important rights. Those include: The right to be paid at least the minimum wage; The right to overtime wages when they work more than eight hours in a… Continue Reading

Overtime Wage Laws in California

Overtime wages are a type of increased payment that employees can earn when they work more than a certain number of hours in a workday or workweek. Most non-exempt employees in California have a legal… Continue Reading

The Executive Employee Exemption under California Law

Most California employees are entitled to certain important rights. Those include: The right to be paid at least the minimum wage; The right to overtime wages when they work more than eight hours in a… Continue Reading

Tip and Gratuity Laws in California

California Labor Laws are designed to provide the highest level of protection for workers. For employees in the service industry, this means that they are legally entitled to keep all tips voluntarily left for them…. Continue Reading

Reasonable Accommodation Laws in the California Workplace

Most businesses in California have a duty to provide reasonable accommodations for their employees with known disabilities, unless doing so would cause the employer an undue hardship. A reasonable accommodation is a change to an… Continue Reading

Understanding Employment Severance Agreements in California

A severance package is a payment by an employer to an employee at the time of the employee’s termination. It is usually given in exchange for a written promise from the employee that they will not file a lawsuit against the employer. . . .Continue Reading

Workplace Breastfeeding Laws in California

Breastfeeding provides important benefits for mothers and their children. In fact, it’s recommended by both the World Health Organization and UNICEF. But how should working mothers handle breastfeeding their child? Fortunately, California has adopted some… Continue Reading

7 Dumb Ways Employers Violate Wage & Hour Laws in California

California law provides protections for workers’ wages and hours. Many employers, however, violate those protections. In some cases, the violations are unintentional; the employer might simply be unaware of their legal duties. In other cases,… Continue Reading

2 Gross Types of Sexual Harassment Violations in California

In California, courts generally separate sexual harassment cases into two distinct types of violations: Quid pro quo sexual harassment, and Hostile work environment sexual harassment. These two categories are not legally-definitive, especially because many situations… Continue Reading

The 5 Most Common Illegal Reasons to Be Fired in California

Illegal firings happens when an employment relationship is ended by an employer in violation of the employee’s legal rights. In California, these situations are often referred to as wrongful terminations. They can arise when an… Continue Reading

Maternity Leave Law in California

“Maternity leave” is the time a woman takes off from her job for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of her new child. In California, many women have a legal right to be absent from work during and after their pregnancy, without having to risk losing their jobs. . . .Continue Reading

How to File a Wage & Hour Complaint in California

The wages and hours of California employees are protected by both state and federal law. Those laws, however, don’t enforce themselves. When labor laws are violated, many workers choose to file a wage claim. A… Continue Reading

Retaliation for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in California

California law is somewhat tricky when it comes to work-related injuries. In many cases, employees cannot sue their employer for unintentional acts that may have caused their injury. Instead, California law permits employees to pursue… Continue Reading

How to File a Work Discrimination Complaint with California’s DFEH

California employees have a right to be free from unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in the workplace. Those laws, however, don’t enforce themselves. When California’s anti-discrimination laws are violated, many workers choose to file a… Continue Reading

How to File a “Labor Board” Complaint in California

California law permits employees to pursue claims against their employer by filing a complaint with one of several agencies commonly called a “labor board.” This article takes a look at the two main state agencies in California that handle labor and employment disputes, and provides resources. . . .Continue Reading

Disability Discrimination Laws in the California Workplace

Nobody chooses to have a disability. But, for many, disabilities are a part of life. Sometimes those disabilities can negatively affect a person’s employment. In those cases, it’s important to know which actions constitute unlawful… Continue Reading

The Law on Commission-Based Pay for Sales Employees in California

Employees can be paid for their work in several ways. Hourly wages and fixed salaries are the most common examples. Some employees are paid a commission basis. Some employees (mainly those in sales positions) are paid a commission basis. . . .Continue Reading

Pregnancy Leave Law in California

Pregnancy leave is the time a woman takes off from her job for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of her new child. In California, many women have a legal right to be absent… Continue Reading

Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment and California Law

Hostile work environment sexual harassment is conduct that is so pervasive that a abusive work environment is created. This type of harassment is unlawful regardless of whether it is motivated by sexual desire. But the… Continue Reading

Hostile Work Environments and California Law, Explained

In California, unlawful workplace harassment occurs when a person directs negative, inappropriate, or unwanted conduct at a worker based on certain protected characteristics. Those can include the employee’s race, disability, religion, sex, gender identity, marital… Continue Reading

Bullying in the California Workplace: The Law Explained

In California, unlawful workplace bullying occurs when a person directs negative, inappropriate, or unwanted conduct at a worker based on certain protected characteristics. Many employees have a legal right to be free from bullying in the workplace, but it’s important to understand which actions cross the line. . . .Continue Reading

Workplace Harassment Law in California

In California, unlawful workplace harassment occurs when a person directs negative, inappropriate, or unwanted conduct at a worker based on certain protected characteristics. Almost all California workers are legally protected from harassment in the workplace. But it’s important to understand which actions cross the line. . . .Continue Reading

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Under California Law

Quid pro quo is a Latin phrase that means “this for that.” Like the name implies, quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when sexual favors are requested or demanded in exchange for a specific job… Continue Reading

The Legal Definition of “Sexual Harassment” in California

California law prohibits both employers and employees from sexually harassing any worker, employee, applicant, volunteer, independent contractor, or unpaid intern. Sexual harassment generally involves negative, inappropriate, or unwanted conduct directed at a worker based on… Continue Reading

The Law on Late & Unpaid Wages in California

Employers have a legal obligation to pay the wages that their employees earn. They also have an obligation to pay those wages on time. California law protects employees who experience late or unpaid wages. Here, a California employment lawyer explains the law on late and unpaid wages. . . .Continue Reading