In February 2017, we achieved a $175,000.00 settlement for our client, a Finance Manager at an Automobile Dealership who was wrongfully terminated in violation of the California Family Rights Act and California’s Fair Employment & Housing Act.
In July 2016, our client exercised her right to take a Family Medical Leave due to her own serious medical condition. In August 2016, the employer refused to return our client to her position upon her return from Family Medical Leave. At that time, the employer asserted in writing that it had no obligation to our client because our client was a “key employee” of the dealership. In that regard, the employer determined that our client was ineligible for Family Medical Leave due to the fact that she was in the top 10% of wage earners in the company, and thus, exempt from the California’s Family Rights Act.
While our client was in the top 10% of earners in the company, she earned all of her wages on a commission basis. In order for the Family Medical Leave key employee exemption to apply, California law requires that a key employee be paid on a salary basis. Since our client earned 100% of her wages on commission, the exemption did not apply and the case was settled very quickly by February 2017.
It is important for California employees to know and understand their rights when requesting Family Medical Leave for either their own serious medical condition or the serious medical condition of a close family member. Some employers believe their obligations to the employee ends after the employee exhausts their 12 weeks of unpaid Family Medical Leave in a calendar year. That is simply not the case. Even after an employee exhausts their rights to Family Medical Leave, the employer has additional legal duties to accommodate the employee. The employer may even be required to provide the employee with additional reasonable unpaid medical leave under the California’s anti-discrimination law (Fair Employment & Housing Act).
Should you have any questions regarding your right(s) with regard to Family Medical Leave or your right(s) regarding reasonable accommodations, our consultation is free and we can help. You may call us at (800) 507-9470 and speak directly with one of our partners.
Advantage Law Group received final judgment in Marine v. Interstate Distributor (Case Number RG07358277, Superior Court of Alameda County) . Advantage Law Group filed the Marine case on November 28, 2007. The Class Action claim sought recovery for a Class of Local Hourly Truck Drivers employed by the Defendant for alleged Meal & Rest Period violations. The final order was signed by the court on November 18, 2016, after nearly nine years of litigation.
The total settlement/recovery in this case is $2.65 million. The Class is comprised of 710 Local Hourly Truck Drivers employed by the Defendant starting on November 28, 2003. In addition to paying monetary compensation, the Defendant has agreed, going forward, to comply with California’s Meal & Rest Period requirements.
Early on this case the Defendant took the position that California’s Meal & Rest Period laws and regulations did not apply to its Local Hourly Truck Drivers. Since our Class of Local Hourly Truck Drivers drove exclusively within the state of California and many of those Drivers worked shifts longer than 10 hours on a regular basis, we felt it was important for health and safety reasons to ensure that this Class of Local Hourly Truck Drivers received their proper Meal & Rest Periods. Though the law was not initially in our favor, we advocated our position over the course of nine years through the trial court and appeal. Our position ultimately prevailed and resulted in a change for the better for our Class.
In our view, this case was important not only for our clients’ own safety, but also the safety of all other California drivers who share the freeways with our clients. We are very pleased that our work in this case has achieved such a positive result.
Your job is your livelihood, you simply cannot afford to stand by and do nothing if an employer violates the law by wrongfully terminating your employment. In California, the rights of employees are protected by laws and legal precedents that establish what may and may not be considered an illegal firing. Even though most employment relationships in California are considered “at-will”, which means that either party may terminate the relationship at any time for any reason, the law still protects at-will employees from termination for certain specific reasons as a matter of public policy. If you suspect that your rights may have been violated and you have been wrongfully terminated, avoid speaking to anybody in your former office about your case – even close friends – and talk with Advantage Law Group, your personal wrongful termination attorneys in San Diego, CA, as quickly as you can.
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Most people will spend a third of their lives at work. Most of us are not independently wealthy or, own our own business therefore, one third or more of our adult life will be spent furthering the goals of our employer, which may or may not align with our own personal goals.
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