Committed To Employees’ Rights
You spend a significant portion of your life at work. Your job, your livelihood, is part of your social identity. It’s how you provide for yourself and perhaps for your family. It’s no surprise then that when work-related issues arise, they can cause significant stress and struggle.
At Curran & Curran Law, an employment law firm in Carlsbad, our lawyers are passionate about helping employees enforce their rights and obtain compensation for the injustice they’ve suffered. Our lawyers have a wealth of experience – totaling more than three decades – navigating all aspects of employment law on behalf of workers from all walks of life. Here, you will find honest guidance from a team that will fight for you, including taking your employer to court if needed.
Understanding Your Rights
As an employee, you should be offered the information you need on employment law in the form of a handbook, training and in publicly placed fliers in the office. If you do not have easy access to any of this information, ask your employer to provide you with copies of the relevant information. Understanding your company’s policies is the best way you can make sure your rights as an employee are protected.
Here are some of your rights as an employee in California:
- To be hired and work in an environment free from discrimination: Discrimination based on race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation and other protected characteristics is prohibited at both a federal and state level. You should never have to endure unwanted sexual advancements, unreasonable demotions or failure to advance, or quid-pro-quo arrangements to advance at work.
- To receive fair compensation and breaks for the hours you work: As an hourly employee, you are entitled to the minimum wage for any hours worked (even those technically off-the-clock), meal and rest breaks based on the time you work, and overtime for hours worked in excess of an eight-hour day or 40 hours a week.
- To receive workers’ compensation benefits: Most employees are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits after being injured on the job, regardless of how the injury occurred. Workers’ compensation insurance is required for businesses in the state of California.
- To a healthy and safe work environment: Always speak out against work conditions that violate health and safety regulations. If you feel you cannot safely do the work without creating a seriously hazardous work environment for you or others, your employer cannot retaliate against you if you refuse to complete the task.
- To a fair reference: While employers can give any truthful statement and negative reference when formed as an opinion, they cannot unfairly depict your performance to prevent you from working elsewhere.
- To view your personnel file: If you ask for your file, an employer must provide it within a reasonable period of time. You can also ask for copies of any documents you have signed.
- To file a complaint without retaliation: If you are acting in a protected activity (taking part in an investigation or refusing to participate in an activity that violates state or federal law), you have the right to act without fear of reprisal from your employer.
- To not get fired, laid off or terminated for illegal reasons: Your employer can’t end your employment for reasons that violate the law or public policy. If you lost your job for wrongful reasons, you may have a legal claim.
Depending on your status as an employee, your job and other factors, your rights may vary slightly. Take your employee handbook seriously and ask for more information if you feel like you need it.
What To Know About Confronting Your Employer
Do not be afraid to confront your employer if you feel like any of your rights are being violated. Your employer may be able to help you understand the company’s policies or change their actions to address your concerns. Make sure you document all exchanges with your employer. If your employer denies unfair employment practices, you may want to consult an attorney.
Often, filing a complaint with your company or the state is not enough to stop the illegal behavior. An experienced attorney can expedite the reporting process and conduct an independent investigation to hold your employer accountable for unethical and illegal behaviors.
We Can Hold Your Employer Accountable
It often takes a determined stance by an employment law attorney to gain traction in these cases. Our lawyers are known as pit bulls because we don’t back down when it comes to standing up for our clients. We know how to leverage the legal system to put the right pressure on employers. Thanks to that approach, we are often able to obtain strong settlements for clients. Failing that, we are no strangers to court and can serve as determined advocates for you in litigation.
You Deserve Better. We Can Help.
Nobody deserves to suffer from illegal or harmful treatment at work. Let us help you get the safe, healthy and productive work environment you deserve. We can also fight for the financial recovery you deserve to compensate you for the harm you’ve suffered. By speaking out, you can set an example for your employer and other employers that illegal treatment will not be tolerated.