Employment Attorneys in Riverside, CA
For most Americans, work occupies a lot of our time for decades of our lives. Most of us depend on our income from employment to cover our everyday expenses and, if possible, to save for our future. The occupation you choose often forms an important part of your identity. Therefore, receiving unfair treatment at work is a source of emotional stress as well as financial stress.
The legal protections for workers in the United States are famously less robust than they are in many other highly industrialized countries, but California is among the most employee-friendly states, granting workers considerably more benefits and legal remedies than federal law requires. The Riverside employment lawyers at Mehtani Law Offices help employees exercise their right to fair pay and fair treatment at work.
What Does a Riverside Employment Lawyer Do?
You have probably seen posters at your workplace explaining the laws related to workplace safety, discrimination, and other matters, but you probably have not read them in detail. Likewise, when you signed your employment contract or the paper in which you acknowledged that you had received a copy of the employee handbook, you were probably too excited about your new job and the paychecks it would bring to read the fine print. As an employee, you have many legal rights, and sometimes employers try to prevent you from exercising them. If this happens, you should contact a Riverside employment lawyer.
Employment disputes can arise for a variety of reasons. These are some of the situations where the employment attorneys at Mehtani Law Offices can help:
- Drafting and reviewing employment contracts
- Employment contract disputes
- Wrongful termination of employment
- Workplace discrimination
- Whistleblower claims
- Wage and hour disputes
- Disability accommodations
- Family and medical leave
- Workplace safety issues
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigations
Employment Contracts and Breach of Contract Disputes
California, like most states, allows for at-will employment. This means that employers can hire employees with or without an employment contract. If you are employed at will, that is, without a written contract, then you are free to quit your job at any time. You do not have to tell your employer why you are quitting; you do not even have to give two weeks’ notice, even though most people do so to be polite.
Your employer has almost as much flexibility about firing you but not quite as much. Your employer also does not have to provide notice, but some reasons for firing employees are off-limits. For example, if the reason for firing the employee is discrimination based on a protected characteristic or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity, it is a case of wrongful termination of employment.
Thus, if you have an employment contract, you are in a stronger position than most workers. Your employment contract can guarantee that you keep your job until a certain date; your contract might indicate that your employer must pay you a certain amount as compensation for terminating your contract early. It might also specify that if you quit your job before the end of your contract, you forfeit certain bonuses. Likewise, your employment contract can guarantee you benefits such as a retirement account or paid vacation time.
The less glamorous details of the employment contract, such as whether you should resolve disputes about the contract through arbitration or litigation, are the ones that make the biggest difference in the event that a dispute arises. Therefore, you should have the Riverside employment attorneys at Mehtani Law Offices review the contract with you before you sign it.
Employment Discrimination and Employer Retaliation in Riverside
Employment discrimination and retaliation are among the most common reasons that employees contact employment lawyers. The law prohibits discrimination based on protected characteristics, such as race, sex, and religion. Adverse actions, such as refusal to hire, hostile work environment, denial of promotions and raises, and termination of employment, are considered discriminatory if you present compelling evidence that a protected characteristic of yours was your employer’s motivation for engaging in the adverse action.
Contacting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and following the steps of a preliminary investigation is a prerequisite to filing an employment discrimination lawsuit. It is best to have Mehtani Law Offices represent you in your interactions with the EEOC.
Employer retaliation is when an employer takes adverse action against an employee for engaging in a protected activity. The following are examples of protected activities:
- Taking a family leave or medical leave
- Filing a workers’ compensation claim
- Requesting accommodations for a disability
- Complaining to human resources or to the EEOC about employment discrimination
- Notifying the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) about workplace safety hazards
- Reporting misconduct in your workplace to the relevant authorities or notifying law enforcement of a crime you witnessed in the course of your work
- Cooperating with a civil or criminal investigation into an incident at your workplace
Even in the most clear-cut cases of discrimination or retaliation, legal technicalities can jeopardize your case. By working with an employment lawyer from the beginning, you ensure the best chances of prevailing in your workplace discrimination or retaliation claim.
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Contact Mehtani Law Offices About Employment Disputes
Mehtani Law Offices is dedicated to helping workers in California protect themselves from employment discrimination, employer retaliation, wrongful termination of employment, and breach of contract. Contact Mehtani Law Offices in Riverside, California, to schedule a consultation.