A Pasadena Employment Law Firm

Committed to Helping Workers

Phone

(626) 380-9000

  • California farm worker

    California’s undocumented workers make up nearly 9.4% of our workforce. They are the backbone of many California industries, including agriculture, construction, and hospitality. They are also among our most exploited workers, as some take advantage of their financial vulnerabilities, cultural and geographic isolation, and fear of deportation. As the powerful and poignant PBS documentary Rape in the Fields explored, immigrant women face shockingly high levels of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape at work. Undocumented workers are also subjected to rampant violations of wage and hour laws, including not being paid the minimum wage, not being paid overtime, and not being given proper meal and rest breaks. The median earnings of undocumented workers are about $20,000 per year, as compared to $50,000 per year for U.S.-born workers.

    However, California laws and court cases make clear that undocumented workers deserve protections. Our workplace protection and wage and hour laws apply to everyone, regardless of their status. In addition, our laws have sought to address the reason that many undocuments employees are afraid to come forward: a fear that their employer will get them deported. Employers are expressly prohibited from reporting or threatening to report undocumented workers or their relatives to authorities in retaliation for their asserting their rights under these laws. Employers who retaliate in such a way can lose their business licenses; lawyers making such reports can be disbarred.

    Two new developments are worth discussing.

  • podium

    On January 30, 2015, Ramit Mizrahi will be co-teaching a program on the nuts and bolts of an employment practice, geared toward new lawyers and more seasoned practitioners who are new to employment law. The program is presented by State Bar of California’s Labor and Employment Law Section and co-sponsored by the California Young Lawyers Association.

    Date and time: Friday, January 30, 2015, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

    Location: Loyola Law School, 919 Albany Street, Robinson Courtroom, Los Angeles, CA

    Description: This program will give new employment law practitioners an introduction to the basics of an employment law practice. We will follow a hypothetical case from the plaintiff’s initial consultation with counsel through plaintiff’s and defendant’s investigations and pre-filing considerations, exhaustion issues, discovery, motion practice, ADR, and up to the start of trial. Experienced employment law practitioners representing both plaintiffs and defendants will offer their insights on common issues that frequently arise in employment law practice. A networking lunch is included.

    For event information and to register, click here.

  • boss creating a hostile environment
    People are almost always surprised to learn that, despite the serious harms that they can cause, workplace bullying and hostile work environments are not illegal unless motivated by discriminatory or retaliatory bias that the law specifically prohibits. The short version: being a jerk to everyone is, well, perfectly legal.

    Workplace bullying can be devastating. Those who are bullied feel humiliated and demoralized. The bullying can literally make them sick, causing stress and anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and other illnesses. Employers also suffer as absenteeism increases, morale and productivity decline, and companies lose good employees.

    Workplace bullying is also far too prevalent. A national survey conducted by Zogby found that 27% of people have suffered abusive conduct at work and another 21% have witnessed it happen. 7% of those surveyed said they were currently being bullied at work. The consequences of bullying were severe: 48% of those who were bullied said that they left their jobs or felt forced to quit because of the bullying, while 13% were terminated (probably in retaliation for speaking up), and another 13% were transferred to a different position.

  • podium

    On February 12, 2015, Ramit Mizrahi will be speaking about the year’s most important employment law cases. The panel will be part of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s 35th Annual Labor and Employment Law Symposium. She will be speaking alongside Nancy Abell of Paul Hastings, LLP.

    Date and time: February 12, 2015, 8:20–9:50 a.m.

    Description: 2014: In Review and In Perspective. What was your favorite case of 2014? Get your wake-up call and hear about the best and worst of the year from two outstanding panelists who will present the year’s legal developments and discuss what they portend for the labor and employment practitioner in the coming year.

    Location: Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA

  • podium

    On November 21, 2014, Ramit Mizrahi will be speaking about depositions of plaintiffs and defendants. The program will be part of a Bridgeport continuing education event titled “Mastering the Deposition.” She will be speaking alongside Eric J. Schindler of the Schindler Law Group.

    Date and time: November 21, 2014, at 9 a.m.

    Location: Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

  • terminated employee

    If you work in California and are not a union member, chances are that your employment is “at will.” This means that your employer can terminate your employment at any time, with or without notice, for almost any reason they see fit. The key word here is “almost.” Even if your status is “at will,” an employer cannot discriminate against or terminate you for reasons that the law specifically prohibits.

    Is Your Employment “At Will?”

    In California, the presumption is that your employment is “at will.” This is reflected in Cal. Labor Code Section 2922: “An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for a specified term means an employment for a period greater than one month.”

    The default of “at will” status can be altered through a contractual agreement. Most frequently, this happens when unions negotiate collective bargaining agreements on behalf of their members. Collective bargaining agreements usually provide job protections, including by requiring progressive discipline and “just cause” to terminate an employee.

    An individual employee can also enter into an employment contract for . . .

  • worker on phone

    Many employees regularly use their personal cell phones for work-related calls. Most probably don’t realize that when they do, part of their cell phone costs may become reimbursable—even if they have plans with unlimited minutes.

    California’s Labor Code Section 2802(a) states that:

    An employer shall indemnify his or her employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties, or of his or her obedience to the directions of the employer, even though unlawful, unless the employee, at the time of obeying the directions, believed them to be unlawful.

    An employer who fails to reimburse an employee for work expenses can be sued in court for reimbursement and may be required to pay the employee’s attorneys’ fees.

    Recently, a California court of appeal applied Section 2802 to work-related cell phone use.
    . . .

  • podium

    On October 11, 2014, Ramit Mizrahi will be speaking about the year’s most important employment law cases. The panel will be part of the California Employment Lawyers Association’s 27th Annual Employment Law Conference. She will be speaking alongside Andrew H. Friedman of Helmer Friedman, LLP.

    Date and time: October 11, 2014, 9:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

    Location: Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa, 1775 E Mission Bay Drive, San Diego, CA 92109

    For event information and to register, click here.

  • Sick employee at work

    California just made history as the second state to require paid sick days for employees! On August 30, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014.

    Employees will get three days of sick leave (24 hours) per year

    Starting July 1, 2015, employees in California who work for 30 or more days within a year will be entitled to paid sick leave. They will accrue paid sick time at a rate of one hour per 30 hours worked, to a maximum of 24 hours or 3 days per year. Employees will be permitted to use the time off beginning on the 90th day of employment.

    When can paid sick leave be used?

    An employee will be able to use the paid sick time for:

    1. The employee’s own care – whether for diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition or for preventive care;
    2. Care for the employee’s child, parent, spouse, domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling – whether for an existing health condition or for preventive care; and
    3. Certain uses by an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

    Logistics of Using Paid Sick Leave

  • podium

    On August 22, 2014, Ramit Mizrahi will be speaking about pre-litigation case investigations and considerations in preparing complaints. She will be speaking alongside Cameron Fox of Paul Hastings LLP. The program will be part of a Bridgeport continuing education event titled Litigating Discrimination & Harassment Claims.

    Date and time: August 22, 2014, at 9:05 a.m.

    Location: Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

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