San Diego Employment Lawyer
Hire a San Diego Employment Lawyer
Employment laws govern our day-to-day rights as we go about earning our living. If your employment rights have been violated, you may be entitled to significant compensation for your losses.
When you are at work, you expect a certain degree of professionalism between your employer, your co-workers, and other parties. You have clearly defined rights when it comes to your wages, safety, privacy, health, benefits, and other important matters in the workplace. Employment laws help ensure that these rights are protected.
In the event that you have a workplace dispute or legal issue, you may need to pursue legal action. This is where the services of an experienced employment lawyer come into play — employment law matters can be complex, but a lawyer can guide you through the legal process. They can ensure that you receive the ideal remedy for your losses.
At Harlan Law, we have extensive experience handling a wide range of employment law issues. We can tackle the most complex employment matters while at the same time providing personal service and attention to our clients. Contact us at (619) 870-0802 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.
We are here to help relieve your worries and handle all major aspects of your case. Read on to learn more about employment law.
What Types of Damages Can a San Diego Employment Law Attorney Assist With?
In an employment-based lawsuit, “damages” refers to the amount of financial compensation awarded to the party that has suffered harm for another’s actions. The type and amount of damages depends on various factors, including the type of conduct involved and the resulting harm.
Types of damages commonly awarded in an employment law case include:
- Back pay: Payment for wages or salary that the employee would have collected if they were not subjected to unlawful conduct.
- Front pay: This covers payment for loss of wages in the future
- Fringe benefits: This provides compensation besides wages, such as retirement plans, health insurance, and other lost benefits.
- Tax compensation: Damages can often cover amounts owed in taxes in connection with a lump sum payment.
- Economic damages: These can cover tangible, calculable losses such as those connected with medical bills in the event of an injury.
- Compensatory damages: This category of financial compensation can cover costs like pain and suffering, trauma, emotional distress, and other non-economic costs.
- Punitive damages: These are damages that are intended to “punish” the other party in the event of particularly negligent conduct, or for intentional violations.
The availability of damages depends on the laws and regulations applicable to the case. It can also depend on other factors, such as the skill and experience of the attorney handling the lawsuit. Thus, it’s important to select an attorney with the right background for the case.
At Harlan Law, PC, we have a proven track record of returning significant verdicts and settlements on behalf of our employment law clients. Contact us to schedule a free consultation regarding your claim.
How Can a San Diego Labor Law Lawyer Help with My Case?
A dedicated employment or labor law attorney can provide specified legal services to help protect your rights. Attempting to resolve an employment dispute on your own without an attorney will be difficult.
Even for seemingly simple or straightforward matters, there may be much paperwork, negotiations between parties, and hearings to attend. Depending on the case, you may also be required to interact with administrative agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
As such, it’s in your best interests to hire a San Diego employment law attorney who can assist you with your claim. A lawyer can help you by:
- Reviewing the facts and circumstances surrounding the employment violation you suffered
- Researching the employment laws that apply to your case
- Gathering important information, documents, witness statements, and records that can be used as evidence
- Formulating a strong legal strategy for your case
- Negotiating and argue on your behalf for a proper remedy or payout
- Following up to ensure all matters tied to your case are resolved
Employment laws are highly codified and may be specific from location to location, even within a state. A qualified lawyer will know these laws and will be able to guide you to the proper remedy to make you whole again.
At Harlan Law, PC, we understand the different emotional, physical, and financial challenges that can be involved with an employment dispute. Not only do we have the skills and experience to handle complex matters, but we seek to fully understand your life situation and provide you with empathetic care and personalized guidance throughout the process.
What Is Employment Law?
Employment law is the body of laws that govern interactions and relationships between employees and employers. It outlines the rights and duties of both parties, and also governs interactions between employees as well. Employment law touches on many legal issues, including safety in the workplace, hours of work, and wages.
Employment laws also involve a broad range of laws and regulations from various levels of government. For instance, they may involve laws stemming from the federal, state, and local levels. These laws are crucial to the fair and ethical operation of businesses and workplaces.
Cases involving any type of employment dispute can be complex, and may require the assistance of a qualified employment lawyer. Contact Harlan Law, PC if you have any questions or if you believe you have a claim.
What Are Some Common Employment Law Issues and Disputes?
Common legal issues and disputes covered in employment law are discussed below. These can often overlap with one another, and an employment dispute can contain several legal issues.
Employment discrimination happens when an employee is treated differently from other employees due to their membership in a protected class. Under laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, protected classes include race, age, color, religion, sex, national origin, and other categories.
Discrimination can happen at various stages, including hiring, promotions, termination, and other settings. Important anti-discrimination employment laws include:
- The Equal Pay Act: Protects employees from wage and benefit discrimination based on gender categories.
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act: Prohibits employers from discriminating based on age.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Makes it illegal to discriminate based on an employee’s disability. It also requires employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” (such as wheelchair ramps) for employees who have disabilities.
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act: This created an amendment to Title VII, which prohibits discrimination against an employee based on pregnancy or a condition related to pregnancy/childbirth.
- Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA): Bans discrimination based on the use or application of genetic information.
Discrimination is a complex employment law issue that can affect many workers at once, and is best handled with the assistance of a lawyer.
Harassment and Workplace Conduct
Besides issues like wages, hours, and benefits, employment laws also aim to ensure proper conduct between employers, employees, and other workers. Employees are entitled to a workspace that is safe and involves courteous, humane interactions between employees.
Violations in this category can involve:
- Harassment and sexual harassment
- Hostile work environment
- Discriminatory conduct
- Offensive office culture
- Workplace violence
- Bullying, either by an individual or a group
- Off-color jokes
- Emotional abuse
- Sabotaging another’s work product
Various parties can be held liable for workplace conduct violations, including employers, other employees, contractors, and other persons. Multiple people could be involved in a single incident.
For instance, if an employer fails to take steps to reprimand or punish an offending co-worker, both could be held liable. Sorting out liability is a complex matter that is best handled by an attorney.
Employment laws cover various aspects of an employee’s compensation, whether it be wages, salary, or a contract payment. An employment lawyer may be needed for wage disputes such as:
- Unpaid wages
- Minimum wage issues
- Withheld or late paychecks
- Overtime pay disputes
- Disputes over the amount of wages or the wage rate
- Wage fraud
- Wage garnishment disputes (when the employee’s wages are diverted to pay off a creditor)
One of the main laws governing wages is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This law sets standards for minimum wages, overtime pay, and work hours in general. FLSA violations can be serious and can cost the employee large amounts in missed wages.
Hours and Overtime
This area of employment law deals with how many hours an employee can legally work, and what their pay rates are during normal working hours and overtime hours. While it may seem straightforward, calculation of hours and overtime can actually get quite complex.
For instance, in California, the general rule is: eight hours constitutes a normal workday; any employment that lasts beyond eight hours in a workday, or beyond six days in a workweek requires that the employee be paid overtime rates (usually one and a half times their normal pay rate).
Besides these calculations, there are all types of qualifiers and exemptions as to who can be classified for overtime pay. If you have any questions about your hours and rates, contact an employment lawyer at Harlan Law, PC.
Employment and labor laws also cover the many different types of benefits that are provided for employees. These can include:
- Retirement and pension plans
- Social Security coverage
- Health insurance and life insurance packages
- Reimbursement for school tuition
- Access to stock options or other securities
- Cafeteria or food plans
- Gym memberships
- Unemployment benefits
- Other types of perks and benefits
Any type of violation that interferes with an employee’s access to benefits can be cause for a lawsuit. When added up, benefits can amount to substantial figures, and such claims can often involve very high losses for the employee.
Workplace safety laws exist to provide employees with a safe working environment and to protect them from work site hazards. Workplace safety violations can include:
- Failing to provide proper protective equipment
- Not having proper emergency action plans or evacuation routes
- Violating industry-specific standards, such as those required for the construction industry
- Lack of protection against environmental hazards such as fumes
- Not providing training or education regarding occupational diseases (illnesses or conditions that are associated with a specific line of work)
Workplace health and safety claims are often processed through government administrative agencies, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Agencies like OSHA can have many requirements and steps when dealing with them, and the guidance of a lawyer is recommended when filing an OSHA claim.
Family and Medical Leave
In the event of illness or emergencies, employees should be able to take time off without fear of losing their jobs or benefits. Employment laws provide various protections with regard to taking leave for personal, family, or medical reasons.
In California, employees are entitled to various protections with regard to family, medical, and parental leave. For instance, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for family or medical reasons.
That is, employers cannot fire employees for taking the leave they are entitled to under such laws. Violations of these laws can form the basis of a lawsuit against your employer.
Wrongful termination involves being fired or removed from your position in a way that violates employment or labor laws. This can happen in a number of ways, including:
- Being fired for refusing to do illegal conduct
- Termination based on discrimination (such as being fired solely for your race)
- Being terminated for requesting valid medical leave
- Illegal firing based on violations of an employment contract
- Termination after an employee requests an accommodation for a disability
Also employers cannot fire you if you acted as a whistleblower (filed a report for wrongdoing you observed at your work). This is known as retaliatory discharge and is illegal under wrongful termination laws.
If you have any questions about your employment rights, or if you believe you have a legal claim, contact a lawyer right away. At Harlan Law, PC, we are on hand to provide you with the most personal care and attention for your case.
Contact a San Diego Employment Lawyer at Harlan Law, PC
Your work is how you are able to support your livelihood. A workplace injustice can affect your entire life and your family’s well-being.
Workplace violations can result in significant losses or even termination from your job. If you feel your rights were violated, you should contact an experienced employment law attorney right away to discuss your case.
Why Hire Harlan Law, PC
At Harlan Law, PC, we take a client-centered approach to employment law cases. Our aim is to relieve you of your worries and reassure you that your rights are being reinstated. We have years of experience handling workplace discrimination, harassment claims, wage and hour cases, wrongful termination, and many other employment law issues.
San Diego Employment Law Attorney FAQs
When should I contact a San Diego labor law attorney?
You should contact an employment law attorney as soon as you become aware of any violation that impacts you. Avoid discussing any legal matters with the opposing sides; instead, you should allow your lawyer to handle all discussions and negotiations on your behalf. This will help avoid statements or other information being used against you.
The sooner you contact a lawyer, the better. There are filing deadlines for employment law cases; missing these deadlines could mean you forfeit your chance at a financial damages award.
How can I prepare for a consultation with a San Diego labor law lawyer?
Once you schedule an initial consultation with an employment lawyer, it is very helpful to gather the following for your meeting:
- An account of what happened (i.e., the violation)
- Any relevant documents or records
- A list of questions you might have for the attorney
On the other hand, we understand that this may be a stressful time for you, and it might not always be possible to gather all these ahead of time. Don’t worry — it’s our job as attorneys to prepare all evidence for your case and to ensure thorough preparation for the upcoming process.
How soon will my case be resolved?
There is no set period or average time for an employment-based lawsuit to be resolved. Each case is different, and will involve different legal issues, parties, and resolutions. Generally, employment law cases can take anywhere from several months to a year or longer to fully complete.
The more complex the case, and the more parties involved, the longer it is likely to take. However, at Harlan Law, PC, we take all steps to ensure all requirements and deadlines are met, so your case continues through the legal process as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
What remedies are available besides financial compensation?
An employment lawsuit can result in significant damages awards for those affected. Besides financial compensation, a lawsuit can also bring about various changes, such as:
- Reinstatement back to a former position after being fired
- Returning of lost benefits
- Removing an offending employer or employee from the company
- Updated employee handbooks
- Required improvements of company policies
- Increased safety measures at work
Thus, filing an employment law claim can provide much-needed improvements and benefits, not just for the affected employee, but also for the company or organization as a whole.
About Harlan Law
Our San Diego law firm is dedicated to providing the best advocacy possible for clients nationwide. Call our experienced personal injury and employment lawyers today at 619.870.0802 for your first free consultation.
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“I 100% recommend Harlan Law! Jordon and Taylor were so professional, kind, patient and empathetic. I can’t thank them enough for easing the stress in a very difficult process after I was rear-ended, which caused major anxiety. We ended up getting a fair settlement, and it was mainly because Jordon and his team went above and beyond. They explained in a very friendly manner every step of the process and from the beginning talked about the different possible outcomes and expectations. Very happy with their services.”