Category Archives: Employment Law

Family Medical Leave – Settlement

Family Medical Leave – Settlement

First of all, in February 2017, we achieved a $175,000.00 settlement for our client in regards to family medical leave. The client was a Finance Manager at an Automobile Dealership. She 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. She exercised her right 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. This was 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. This was due to the fact that she was in the top 10% of wage earners in the company. Thus, she was exempt from the California’s Family Rights Act.

Furthermore, our client was in the top 10% of earners in the company. She earned all of her wages on a commission basis.  There are requirements for the Family Medical Leave key employee exemption to apply. California law requires employers to pay key employees on a salary basis. Our client earned 100% of her wages on commission. The exemption did not apply to our client, so we settled the case in February 2017.

California employees must know and understand their rights when requesting Family Medical Leave for a serious medical condition for themselves or 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’s simply not the case.  Even after an employee exhausts their rights, 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).

How We Can Help You with Family Medical Leave

Finally, please contact us for a free consultation. We can answer your questions about your right(s) with regard to Family Medical Leave or reasonable accommodations. You may call us at (800) 507-9470 and speak directly with one of our partners.

Representation Results In Significant Change In California Meal & Rest Period Law

Representation Results In Significant Change In California Meal & Rest Period Law

We are pleased our representation results in significant change in California meal and rest period law. Advantage Law Group received final judgment in Marine v. Interstate Distributor (Case Number RG07358277, Superior Court of Alameda County).

First of all, the case speaks to 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.  After nearly nine years of litigation, the final order was signed by the court on November 18, 2016.

As a result, 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.

Also, 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.  Hence, the law was not initially in our favor. We advocated our position over the course of nine years through the trial court and appeal.  Consequently our position ultimately prevailed and resulted in a change for the better for our Class.

Most of all the case was important for our clients’ safety. In conclusion it was also important for California drivers who share freeways with our clients.  We’re pleased that our representation results work in this case. It has achieved such a positive result.

Learn More About Our Representation Results

Finally, if you have a legal problem and need some help with your employer or employee? Contact us today for a Free consultation. We have 3 convenient locations to discuss California employment law and your rights:

SAN DIEGO OFFICE

5820 Oberlin Drive, Suite 110
San Diego, CA 92121
Phone: 800-507-9470
Fax: 858-622-9540

What Can You Do if You’re Involved in an Wrongful Termination?

What Can You Do if You’re Involved in an Wrongful Termination?

Since your job is probably your livelihood you can’t afford to stand by and do nothing if an employer violates the law by wrongfully terminating your employment. In California, employee rights are protected by laws and legal precedents that establish what may and may not be considered an illegal firing. Most employment relationships in California are considered “at-will.” As a result, 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. First of all, 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. Do not even speak with close friends. Most noteworthy it’s important to speak with an attorney about your personal wrongful termination as quickly as you can.

The law places limits on the amount of time that victims have to pursue damages in court for a wrongful termination claim. Hence, these time limits are statutes of limitation. It’s important to work quickly to secure a wrongful termination attorney in San Diego because you will have no standing to pursue damages through the courts if the statute of limitations expires. Different laws have different limits. Also, by moving fast to secure an experienced attorney, you give your attorney as much time as possible to investigate your claims. This will allow them to prepare your legal argument, which can only help your case in the long run.

Furthermore, in California, termination of employment is illegal when it is used as a form of harassment or discrimination based on your race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, physical / mental disability, medical condition, gender, age, sexual orientation, or marital status. In addition, your termination from an at-will employment relationship may not be used as a form of retaliation against you for reporting your employer for improper or criminal behavior, for taking part in a harassment or discrimination investigation of your employer, for legal union activity or taking part in an investigation conducted by a union, for taking family medical leave, or for applying for workers’ compensation benefits following an injury on the job.

Lastly, keep in mind that each case of alleged wrongful termination will consist of different facts. Due to everyone having a unique situation, these facts could weigh differently on each case. This is why it is so important to let an experienced attorney serve as your wrongful termination attorney. Your attorney will review the facts of your case and help you determine your best legal course of action. We can help you every step of the way if you decide to move forward with a wrongful termination claim.

How We Can Help with Wrongful Termination

Advantage Law Group is a boutique law office. Our clients work directly with the wrongful termination attorney who handle their cases, not office managers or paralegals. We have years of experience practicing wrongful termination cases. Our attorneys have collectively won millions of dollars in damages for clients in their wrongful termination cases.

Finally, please contact us to about how to pursue a claim against an employer for wrongful termination or you can learn more before calling. You can contact Advantage Law Group and speak with a wrongful termination attorney in San Diego today.

SAN DIEGO OFFICE

5820 Oberlin Drive, Suite 110
San Diego, CA 92121
Phone: 800-507-9470
Fax: 858-622-9540

ORANGE COUNTY OFFICE

7700 Irvine Center Drive, Suite 800
Irvine, CA 92618
Phone: 800-507-9470
Fax: 858-622-9540

BAY AREA OFFICE

201 Spear Street, Suite 1100
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 800-507-9470
Fax: 858-622-9540

Hiring an Employment Law Attorney – What to Discuss or Not Discuss at Your Initial Consultation

Hiring an Employment Law Attorney – What to Discuss or Not Discuss at Your Initial Consultation

Most people will spend a third of their lives at work and do not know much about California employment law. That is why it is important to speak with an employment law attorney. 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. This may or may not align with our own personal goals. We are here to help you.

Many of us that work for our employers are full time employees. It is hard enough to wake up, commute and be at your place of work at a specific time each day however, when your work environment becomes uncomfortable die to harassment, jealousy, discrimination, retaliation, or grievances over hours worked and or pay, you may discover yourself depressed, uncomfortable, upset. unstable, confused and even feeling strange to show up at work.

Considering so much of your life is spent at work, when thing go south it is very much comparable to a divorce situation.

Are you currently unhappy in your job? Have you recently quit or been terminated? You are not alone…According to a US Bureau of labor Statistics, the average length of employment ach year falls to a shorter term of employment in the same position and or company. Approximately, two out of every three employees either plan to leave their job by the end of their initial year, or would leave their job immediately if something better came along.

When it comes to employer and employee litigation suits, very few lawsuits that are filed ever actually go to trial, and of those that go to trial, most plaintiffs don’t fare as well as they had hoped.

In today’s business environment, the job market has dramatically changed. To sum up, there appears to be less loyalty on both sides of the employment equation. Employment loyalty by the employee is becoming more and more impatient causing employment churn to increase. Each year, greater numbers of discrimination lawsuits are being filed, but approximately 99% of them aren’t going to trial. The cases that do end up in court typically obtain smaller verdicts.

With this in mind and, understanding the new job environment, and the changing roles by both the employer and employee, what should you be looking for in an employment lawyer? The following is a list of subjects to consider discussing for your first interview with an employee attorney.

Topics to Discuss or Not Discuss with Your Employment Law Attorney:

1.) How Well Does the Employment Law Attorney Communicate: Your lawyer must be easy to talk to, easy to reach and, who is willing to regularly follow-up with regular case updates. Your attorney must be computer and texting-literate.

2.) Private Investigator Services: Investigators can dramatically increase the value of an employment case. A competent licensed private investigator will obtain information about the people involved in the dispute go benefit its client. Ask your new attorney if he or she uses an investigator when applicable, and when and why the private investigator will be brought into the case.

3.) Full Disclosure: You must be 100% honest with your attorney and hold nothing back but, be detailed and specific. Your employment law attorney must know that you documented and reported everything that is relevant in a detailed and precise manner. It is important you provide all of the information regardless “good” or “bad” to your lawyer before any outside surprises catch your employee lawyer off guard or unprepared for a response. Your employment lawyer can’t help you unless you provide full discloser.

4.) Resolve Early, or Litigate: Many employment law attorneys litigate first, resolve later. Many employment lawyers try to resolve first, litigate later. Both type of attorney practices has their benefits and drawbacks. Litigation is unpleasant, stressful, time consuming and expensive for everyone. Ask your attorney what percentage of his or her practice emphasizes early resolution. Meaning, stay away from a lawsuit if at all possible. You want to also discover how well known your attorney is in the area and court room and, that they are recognized as a leader in the industry. You also want to make sure, because your lawyer is not afraid of a legal court room battle.

5.) Contingency Fee: It is common for an employment lawyer to charge a contingency fee, which is a percentage of your case if it settles “win”, and nothing if your case never settles “loss” or “stalemate”. Some legal practices charge 40% of the gross recovery, and take that fee “off the top,” Other than representation of minors, whereby fees are determined by the court, the attorney fee may be negotiated freely between the parties.

6.) Questions to Ask: Don’t be afraid to ask the employment law attornies about the strengths and weaknesses regarding your case. Ask your employment law attorney straight up “do I have a case?”

7.) Testimonials/Witnesses: Bring a documented list of people who have agreed to speak to your lawyer about what happened to you at work. Include with this list their name, address, email and phone numbers.

8.) Do Not Bring Up “How Much Can I Win”: Good lawyers will not offer a response. A good lawyer understands based upon your first meeting. It is almost impossible at this early stage to offer a legitimate response to your compensation question.

How We Can Help as an Employment Law Attorney

Have a legal problem and need some help with your employer or employee? Contact us today for a Free consultation. We have 3 convenient locations to discuss California employment law and your rights:

SAN DIEGO OFFICE

5820 Oberlin Drive, Suite 110
San Diego, CA 92121
Phone: 800-507-9470
Fax: 858-622-9540