Comprehensive Employment Law Attorney Serving California Employees
The comprehensive labor and employment law practice at Kurt W. Dreger Law Office includes representing workers throughout California who were victims of employment discrimination or harassment, were victimized by wage theft such as minimum wage or overtime wage and hour violations, or who were harmed due to violations of occupational safety and health issues. See below for examples of the types of cases typically handled by Mr. Dreger and call 510-914-5334 to discuss your potential claims with a knowledgeable, skilled and dedicated California employment lawyer.
The comprehensive employment discrimination practice represents employees who were adversely affected in their employment based on a lawfully-protected characteristic or activity. Adverse actions include demotion, transfer, assignment, wrongful termination, or other adverse actions or treatment. Mr. Dreger also represents employees who were subjected to a hostile work environment based on a protected characteristic. Some of the major antidiscrimination laws the office handles include:
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act – Prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin, and most recently, sexual orientation. Applies to hiring, firing, compensation and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. Applies to employers, employment agencies and labor unions.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – Protects qualified individuals with a disability who can perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. Prohibits discrimination. Requires reasonable accommodation that would not pose undue hardship on the employer. Applies to persons with a disability, a record of disability or who are regarded as being disabled. Requires employers to engage in a good faith interactive process with employees to determine which accommodations are reasonable.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) – Protects workers aged 40 years or older from age-based discrimination.
Equal Pay Act (EPA) – Prohibits sex-based discrimination in the payment of wages. Requires equal pay for equal work. Designed to close and eliminate the gender wage gap.
Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) – Amended Title VII to prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. Includes pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions.
California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) – California law that prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status.
California Labor Code – Numerous violations of the labor code occur everyday in California
Wage & Hour Violations
Federal, California, and local governments, set minimum wage levels. Employers and employees alike can be confused or unsure about the proper wage that applies, and payroll departments may make mistakes that go unnoticed for months or even years.
Employees are entitled to be paid overtime at one and a half times their regular rate of pay when they work beyond the standard workweek. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), overtime kicks in after 40 hours. Under California law, however, you are also entitled to overtime if you work more than eight hours a day. If you work more than 12 hours in a day, you are entitled to double pay for every hour over 12 in that day.
California law additionally requires employees to be provided with a 30-minute meal period in a five-hour shift, or two meal periods for a shift over ten hours. Employees are also entitled to a ten-minute rest break every four hours.
If you were not paid the correct wage, you can file an action to collect the proper amount of unpaid wages, even going back two or three years under federal law or three or four years under California law. However, unpaid wages beyond that period are lost forever, so it is important to contact an attorney and file a wage claim as soon as you become aware that your wages have been stolen.
There are many exceptions under the law for different types of workers, including overtime exemptions for professional, executive and administrative employees and independent contractors. Workers are commonly misclassified as exempt from overtime when they should instead be receiving it. Don’t rely solely on your employer’s opinion of whether you are exempt. Call Mr. Dreger about whether you may be missing wages to which you are entitled.
Occupational Safety & Health
If you have been fired for not being able to do your job, it may not be immediately obvious that you were the victim of a workplace injury, illness or disability based on chemical exposure or other safety hazards in your work environment. Mr. Dreger is an employment lawyer as well as a certified industrial hygienist who is specially trained to identify such conditions. Mr. Dreger can help you bring a wrongful termination claim in applicable cases, or a constructive discharge claim if unhealthy or dangerous conditions at work forced you to quit to preserve your health. The firm also handles whistleblowing and retaliation claims for employees who were fired because they filed a complaint with their employer or a government agency regarding unsafe or illegal conditions or mistreatment at work.
In addition to representing employees with occupational safety and health issues, Mr. Dreger is also available to consult with employers to identify unsafe practices or unhealthy environments and remedy them before they become a problem for workers.