As stated by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: If you are age 40 or older, you are protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).  The law forbids discrimination in any aspect of employment including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.  It is also unlawful to harass someone because of his or her age.

Age Discrimination and Harassment can take many include offensive remarks about a person's age.  Although the law doesn't protect you from simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that aren't very serious, harassment is illegal when it so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).  The harasser and perpetrator of age discrimination can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.

Age, is the product of the workings of nature rather than the individual's free choice.  Once one turns 40 years old, they attain a permanent status that is as immutable as race or sex.  Age discrimination attacks one's self worth just like race or sex discrimination.  Age discrimination, also known as Ageism is the stereotyping and discrimination against people just because of their age.   There are many examples of age discrimination but some include: (1) jokes or unwanted comments on the basis of age; (2) lower pay for the same work; (3) hiring someone else just because they are younger; (4) requiring the older employees to handle the undesirable or humiliating tasks; or (4) layoffs of the older employees and not the younger employees.

California Law as well as Federal Law prohibits age discrimination.

What if your working conditions are intolerable?

Sometimes, the age discrimination at your place of employment is so intolerable there is no reasonable alternative than quitting.  The conditions must be so severe and pervasive that a reasonable person would think they have no other alternative.  While you should report the conditions in compliance with your employer's reporting procedure, in writing, if possible, you should contact Freiman Law as soon as possible to determine your rights.  There are statutory time bars to claims.  You should not fear retaliation as the law protects employees from retaliation.

Contact Freiman Legal to explore your rights.

At Freiman Law, we provide a free consultation and case evaluation so there is no reason not to speak with us.  An age discrimination attorney will personally listen to your story and advise you on the proper course of action.  An employment policy or practice that applies to everyone, regardless of age, can be illegal and constitute age discrimination if it has a negative impact on applicants or employees age 40 or older and is not based on a reasonable factor other than age.  Freiman Law can assist you with all aspects of an age discrimination claim.  Contact us today at (310) 917-1024 or via the form on the right for a free consultation and complimentary case evaluation.

If you’re 40 or older, and you’ve been working in the entertainment industry and you suddenly lost your job for no reason you can think of, you may be a victim of age discrimination in Hollywood.

The entertainment industry has always considered itself a “young” industry, meaning that they prefer to employ people who are in their 20’s and 30’s.  The alleged reason for this is they feel that their main audience is young and the only way to create movies and television and other entertainment for this audience is to have young people working for them.  This way of thinking has led to age discrimination in Hollywood.

Anyone who has worked in the entertainment industry knows that talented people, regardless of their age, can create movies and television programming for any age group.  Unfortunately, the entertainment industry has failed to grasp this important fact and many talented people age 40 and over, who are ready, willing, and able to work for many more years, have been the victims of age discrimination in Hollywood and have lost their jobs.

If you have been fired for no reason and you believe that you are a victim of age discrimination in Hollywood, you should immediately contact Freiman Law, which is law firm that specializes in Employment Law and Entertainment Law and is uniquely qualified to deal with clients who are victims of age discrimination in Hollywood.

If you are age 40 or older, you are protected against age discrimination in Hollywood by the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act.  This law protects you from being fired; being denied a promotion; being paid a lower salary; being denied benefits provided to younger employees; as well as other protections.  If your employer has violated the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, among other awards, you may be entitled to: all your salary, benefits, and other compensation you’ve been denied; being reinstated if you were fired or getting the promotion you were denied (or in the alternative, getting compensation for these future earnings which were denied); and your employer may have to pay your attorneys’ fees and court costs.

Contact Freiman Law for a free consultation regarding age discrimination in Hollywood at (310) 917-1024 or via the form on the right.

Also known as FEHA, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act protects employers and tenants from discrimination based on race, religion, sex, age (generally 40 or over), disability, medical condition (including AIDS, HIV, and cancer), national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, and national origin. An employer cannot consider these categories when promoting, hiring, training or firing an employee.

In order to prove a California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) violation, an employee must show that the employee was subjected to an adverse employment action because of the employee's race, religion, sex, etc. The types of adverse employment actions can vary, but they commonly include termination, reduction in hours, reduction in pay, demotion, or a failure to hire. Once an employee establishes these facts, there is a presumption that the employer has violated the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and has engaged in unlawful conduct.

An employer then has the opportunity to offer a legitimate, non-retaliatory reason for the adverse employment action. In other words, the employer can be justified in taking an adverse employment action upon a showing of good cause. However, even if the employer puts forth a purported non-retaliatory reason for the adverse employment action, the employee has a final opportunity to prove that the conduct was nevertheless retaliatory and intentional.

In order to sue under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), you you must obtain a right-to-sue letter from the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing ("DFEH"). While these letters can be obtained instantaneously from DFEH's website, it is always preferable to consult an attorney first so that your attorney can have control over the process and pursue the right litigation strategy for you.

If you believe you have been discriminated against by an employer due to a California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) violation or for any other reason, you should contact Freiman Legal at (310) 917-1024.

In California, as well as federally, there are many labor laws that all employers must follow unless they are specifically exempt. While employers are supposed to follow certain laws, many times they do not. This is why you need a California Employment Attorney on your side.

The California Labor Code is a collection of California labor laws that are set forth by the California legislature.  Additional California labor laws can be found here.  The United States Department of Labor also publishes information regarding federal labor laws. The Los Angeles Attorneys at Freiman Law can assist you with navigating these comprehensive and often difficult-to-understand bodies of law and provide you with the answers you need.

If you would like to browse through information that the Small Business Administration releases regarding labor laws for small businesses, you can find that information here. The California Chamber of Commerce also provides information to small businesses regarding labor laws. That information is available here.

California Labor and Employment Law requires employees to receive overtime pay for working over 8 hours per day or over 40 hours per week,  two 10 minute rest breaks and a 30 minute meal break each work day, and reimbursement for all business expenses incurred in the scope of employment.  If you are not receiving such pay, call a Los Angeles Employment Attorney at Freiman Law to discuss your individual situation. California Labor and Employment Law guarantees a workplace free from discrimination and harassment based on gender, age, race, color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, medical condition, and genetic information and if you are experiencing any discrimination or harassment, contact a Los Angeles Employment Attorney at Freiman Law to discuss your individual situation. California Labor and Employment Law permits employees to receive additional disability leave beyond the federal Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") twelve week maximum as long as further leave is reasonably necessary under California's Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA"). If you have been denied such leave, or were terminated after taking such leave, contact a Los Angeles Employment Attorney at Freiman Law to discuss your individual situation.

The Los Angeles Employment Attorneys at Freiman Law provide free consultations regarding wage/hour, discrimination, harassment, medical leave, and any other California Labor and Employment Law issue that arises at the workplace. Call a Los Angeles Employment Attorney at Freiman Legal now for a free consultation at (310) 917-1024 or fill out the form to the right for assistance with the following claims and lawsuits:

If you are an attorney with a labor law issue, contact Freiman Law to speak with a Los Angeles Employment Attorney attorney for more information about our co-counsel and referral services. Freiman Law services clients throughout Los Angeles and all neighboring cities including Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley.

If you would like to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation with Freiman Law to discuss your potential case involving labor laws or any other employment dispute, contact Freiman Law at (310) 917-1024 for a free consultation and case evaluation.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: The Equal Pay Act requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work. Job content (not job titles) determines whether jobs are substantially equal.

All forms of pay are covered by this law, including salary, overtime pay, bonuses, stock options, profit sharing and bonus plans, life insurance, vacation and holiday pay, cleaning or gasoline allowances, hotel accomodations, reimbursement for travel expenses, and benefits. If there is an inequality in wages between men and women, employers may not reduce he wages of either sex to equalize their pay.

Compensation discrimination occurs when there is such an inequality.  Title VII also makes it illegal to discriminate based on sex in pay and benefits, or compensation discrimination. Therefore, someone who has an Equal Pay Act claim may also have a claim under Title VII.

Many Santa Monica Employers think that they are above the law when it comes to Compensation Discrimination.  However, all employers, unless specifically exempt, must comply with the same laws.  Freiman Law has experience with compensation discrimination and can assist you with all aspects of such a claim.  Contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation at (310) 917-1024 regarding your compensation discrimination claim.

Under California's Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA") and the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), a physical condition or mental condition that limits a major life activity constitutes a disability.  Because of this broad definition, inability to work at a specific job can be considered a disability.  If you are on leave for a condition that keeps you from working at your job, you may inform your employer that you are disabled and your employer has to reasonably accommodate you.  Your employer may not engage in disability discrimination.

Unpaid leave is a reasonable accommodation, almost as a matter of law.  Just because you have exhausted federal Family and Medical Leave, doesn't mean your employer isn't required to accommodate your disability through additional unpaid leave.  Although the federal Family and Medical Leave Act maxes out at 12 weeks, California's disability discrimination law requires employers to provide the reasonable accommodation of unpaid leave above and beyond the 12 weeks.  In one case, a leave of 16 months was considered a reasonable accommodation.

In fact, your employer must accommodate your leave of absence if it is reasonable and doesn't create an undue hardship.   Failure to grant the requested leave can be seen as a failure to provide reasonable accommodation.  Although California law regarding disability discrimination does not require indefinite leave, California courts have ruled that an employer must provide a disabled employee leave for the foreseeable future.

Contact California employment lawyers at Freiman Law at (310) 917-1024 for a free case evaluation.

Gender discrimination is any action taken by an employer that unfairly denies opportunities, privileges, or rewards to an employee based solely on their sex.  Although most gender discrimination is directed toward women, men can be victims as well.  Federal law under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (Title VII), the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and the California Constitution prohibit gender discrimination in any term, condition, or privilege of employment. This includes employment practices such as hiring, compensation, benefits, training, promotion, discipline, and firing. Even if gender discrimination is unintentional, an employer might be liable if an employer’s policies or practices cause a disparate impact on men and women employees in the workplace.

Gender discrimination can take many forms.  Wage Discrimination occurs when an employer pays an employee of one sex less than an employee of the other sex for the same work.  Pregnancy Discrimination includes any adverse action by an employer against a female employee because of her pregnancy. An employer must provide a pregnant employee with reasonable work accommodations as well as the right to maternity leave. Employers are also prohibited from discriminating against breastfeeding mothers.

Sexual Harassment can involve several types of behavior. It occurs when an employer offers any type of employment benefit in exchange for sexual favors. It also includes unwanted sexual advances or physical contact, making sexual gestures or comments, displaying offensive material, or hostile treatment of female workers because of their gender. Such conduct becomes illegal when it is so severe or pervasive that it interferes with the employee’s ability to do his or her work. Men as well as women can be victims of sexual harassment.

Gender Identity or Stereotyping occurs when any adverse employment action is taken because an employer thinks that the employee is not “acting like” their gender or does not conform to a “gender norm.” For example, it is illegal to fire a woman because she is a tom-boy or a man because he acts too effeminate. A federal court has ruled that transgender employees are also protected from this type of discrimination under Title IV. Transgender employees may be protected by California law as well.

Employees who are subject to unlawful gender discrimination may be able to recover the following types of damages:

  • past lost wages and benefits
  • future lost wages and benefits
  • damages for emotional distress, pain, and suffering
  • punitive damages
  • attorney’s fees

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) generally covers employers from employment-related liability claims. While all policies differ, generally Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) protects employers from damages resulting from workplace-liability claims.  Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) generally covers defense costs, judgments and settlements (up to the policy limits) for the corporate entity, former and current employees, directors, and officers. It covers a variety of workplace-related legal actions, including:

  • Failure to employ or promote
  • Breach of employment contract
  • Discrimination
  • Sexual harassment
  • Wrongful termination
  • Negligent evaluation
  • Mismanagement of employee-benefits plans
  • Wrongful discipline
  • Deprivation of career opportunity
  • Infliction of emotional distress
  • Mismanagement of employee-benefits plans

Generally, Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) policies do not provide coverage for bodily injury or property-damage cases, nor do they cover cases that another insurance policy specifically covers.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) premiums vary from state to state and from company to company. Generally an insurer calculates premiums by determining the amount of coverage a business needs and its perceived risk. An insurer will base rates on several risk factors, including the number of employees at a company, the turnover ratio, whether or not the business has a human resources department, and any past harassment or bias suits against the company.

Businesses that purchase Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) coverage may actually reduce the likelihood of workplace harassment and discrimination. Insurers generally review a company to check for workplace liability before they issue a policy. And since insurers hate risk, they’ll usually recommend changes that reduce a business’s exposure to lawsuits. Many of the steps businesses can take to ward off harassment claims and meet the demands of insurers begin with basic education and setting up the right environment.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a United States federal law requiring covered employers to provide employees job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons. Qualified medical and family reasons include: personal or family illness, family military leave, pregnancy, and adoption. The Family and Medical Leave Act is administered by the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor.

The Family and Medical Leave Act is intended to balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families. The Act allows eligible employees to take up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period to attend to the serious health condition of the employee, parent, spouse or child, or for pregnancy or care of a newborn child, or for adoption or foster care of a child. In order to be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must have been at the business at least 12 months, and worked at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles. The FMLA covers both public- and private-sector employees, but certain categories of employees are excluded, including elected officials and their personal staff members.

Call the attorneys at Freiman Law now for a free Family and Medical Leave consultation at (310) 917-1024.

Because an employer cannot treat an employee differently because she has taken maternity leave, pregnancy discrimination regulations require employers to inform employees of their rights.  The California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL) requires California employers to provide up to four months of leave to employees disabled by pregnancy. The four months can be taken all at once around the time of delivery, but can also be taken at any time throughout the pregnancy. PDLL also ensures that pregnant workers have reasonable accommodations for their pregnancy or pregnancy-related health problems.

Under California law, pregnant employees may be transferred to a less strenuous position during their pregnancy and return to their prior position when they are able to do so. A California employee seeking leave under PDLL must give her employer 30 days' advance notice before the leave is to begin, and the employer may require a written medical certification that the employee is disabled due to her pregnancy. Furthermore, a woman who takes a pregnancy leave and returns within the four-month period is guaranteed a return to her previous position. If that position is no longer available, the employer must provide a comparable position at the same pay level, if available.

In addition to pregnancy disability leave, employees may be eligible for addition leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) of up to 12 weeks for the purpose of bonding with their new child.  The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) also prohibits employers from discriminating against or harassing pregnant employees. FEHA allows a pregnant employee to take pregnancy leave only if she is disabled by her pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, and the pregnancy leave does not need to be taken at one time. FEHA also mandates that pregnant workers have reasonable accommodations for their pregnancy or pregnancy-related health problems.

A California employee seeking leave under FEHA must give her employer 30 days advance notice before the leave is to begin, and the employer may require a written medical certification that the employee is disabled due to her pregnancy. A California employer must guarantee the pregnant employee a return to her previous position if she returns within the four-month leave period. If that position is no longer available, the employer must provide a comparable position at a similar pay level.

Call the attorneys at Freiman Law now for a free maternity leave and/or pregnancy discrimination consultation at(310) 917-1024 or fill out the form to the right.

Employees are entitled to meal and rest breaks in California during their workdays. The number of meal and rest breaks required by law varies depending on the number of hours worked, and other factors (described below). The only employees who are not entitled to meal and rest breaks in California are those who perform certain types of job duties.

California law requires that when an employer does not provide an employee with meal and rest breaks in California, the employer must pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of compensation for each work day that a meal or rest break is not provided. If an employer does not do so, workers can recover the unpaid wages in a lawsuit. In this type of a case, workers can be eligible to recover one hour of wages for every day that a meal or rest break was not provided during the four years before the lawsuit was filed, and wages going forward from the date of filing of the case if the worker is still employed and the employer does not begin to provide meal or rest breaks.

Employees with claims for the denial of meal and rest breaks in California often file their claims as class action lawsuits. Employees who are not provided with meal or rest breaks are often eligible to pursue other causes of action against their employers such as claims for unpaid overtime.

An employee is entitled to a 30 minute meal break whenever he or she works a shift of more than five hours. When a shift is not longer than six hours, the meal period may be waived but only by mutual consent of the employer and employee. When an employee works a ten hour shift, the employer is required to provide the employee with two 30 minute meal breaks. If the employee does not work more than 12 hours, the second meal break may be waived but only by mutual consent of the employer and the employee, and only if the first meal break was not waived.

California workers are entitled to be relieved of all duty during 30 minute meal breaks. In other words, they generally should not be required to work during their meal breaks. If an employee is required to work during a meal break, it is regarded as an “on duty” meal period and is supposed to be counted as paid time worked under California law. An employer can only require an employee to take an “on duty” meal break under very specific circumstances, when two conditions are met: 1) the nature of the work being performed by the employee must prevent the worker from being relieved of all duty and 2) the employer and the employee must agree in writing that the worker will take an on-the-job paid meal break. The written agreement regarding meal and rest breaks in California must state that the employee may revoke the agreement at any time.

Employees are also entitled to take ten minute rest breaks during their workdays. Ten minute rest breaks are supposed to be permitted in the middle of each work day (if practical). Employees are entitled to one ten minute rest break for each four hours of work, based on the total number of hours worked daily.

It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against employees for asking for wages they believe they are owed for the denial of meal or rest breaks in California, or for filing claims with the Labor Commissioner.

Call the attorneys at Freiman Law now for a free California employment law consultation regarding meal and rest breaks in California at (310) 917-1024 or fill out the form below for a free consultation.

Many employees that sign an employment contract will find a non compete agreement within it. This non compete agreement commonly says that the employee may not work in an industry or for an employer after leaving the current position that competes with the employer. A non compete agreement can vary in duration, but commonly prevents competition for a year or two.

In California, it is often found that a Non compete agreement is invalid. California Business and Professions Code Section 16600 provides that any contract that restrains someone from engaging in a lawful profession is void as a matter of public policy. This agreement is generally called a non compete agreement. Moreover, non-solicitation clauses may also be void as contractual restraints on competition.

In Dowell v. Biosense Webster Inc. (2009), 179 Cal. App.4th 564, an employer's threatened enforcement of a non-solicitation provision clause violated California's unfair competition law. Similarly, D' Sa v. Playhut Inc. (2000), 85 Cal. App.4th 927 held that an employee may state a wrongful termination claim if he or she is fired for refusal to sign a non-compete clause.

Call the attorneys at Freiman Law now for a free consultation and case evaluation regarding a non compete agreement at (310) 917-1024 or fill out the form to the right.

There are certain categories of employees that are eligible for overtime pay. Under the federal law known as the Fair Labor Standard Act ("FLSA") and California state law, all employees are entitled to receive one and a half times their normal hourly wage for all hours worked in a week over 40 unless they fit into certain defined exceptions to the law. The courts have said that these exceptions are to be "narrowly construed" and many employers get away with broadly construing them until challenged by employees.

In order to be exempt from the receipt of overtime pay, you must meet both the job duties test and the salary basis test. The job duties test is a requirement that your particular job fall into a certain category that has been declared exempt from the requirement of payment of overtime. The three major categories are:

  1. Executive Employees: An executive employee is one whose primary duty is to manage the employer or one of its subdivisions or departments and who spends a substantial amount of time supervising and directing the work of at least two employees.
  2. Administrative Employees: An administrative employee is one whose primary duty is office or non-manual work directly related to the management policies or general business operations of the employer and who, in the course of this work, customarily and regularly exercises discretion and independent judgment. It must be emphasized that this exemption is frequently overused by employers, and that an individual whose work is directly related to providing the service or product the employer provides its customers is not performing services related to "general business operations" of the employer and is not exempt. Further, "discretion and independent judgment" are very specifically defined in the law and an employee who makes decisions based on regular, well-defined protocols is not exercising it for FLSA or state law purposes.
  3. Professional Employees: A professional employee is one whose primary duties consist of work which requires knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning customarily obtained by a prolonged course of study and who consistently exercises discretion and independent judgment in the performance of that work. In addition, under California law, an individual who works in a field where the state issues professional licenses may not be exempt from the receipt of overtime pay unless s/he actually has the license.

Even if an employee's job duties meet the test for exemption from overtime pay, in order to qualify for the exemption, the employee must also be paid on a genuine salary basis. What this means is that the employer must establish that the employee receives a basic weekly salary of a "predetermined amount constituting all or part of his compensation, which amount is not subject to reduction because of variations in the quality or quantity of the work performed." Thus, for example, it has been held that if your pay is governed by a regular employer policy which can result in pay reductions for absences from work of less than a day or disciplinary suspensions of less than a week for reasons which are not safety related, then you are not being paid on a genuine "salary basis" but on an "hourly basis." Under those circumstances, the employer may not be entitled to claim that you are exempt from the payment of overtime, even if your job meets the duty requirements described above.

Under the FLSA, employees who should have received overtime pay, but weren't, are entitled to receive the pay which they should have received from (depending on the circumstances) two or three years before the filing of a lawsuit under the FLSA, and continuing forward until the practice is remedied. In addition, under appropriate circumstances, employees may receive "liquidated damages" equal to, and in addition to, the amount of wage loss received. There are similar provisions under California law.

The employer should be keeping detailed records of all hours worked. However, if the employer has not kept such records, any credible evidence can be provided by you, including testimony, logs establishing when you signed in and out of work, personal diaries or other data.

The FLSA specifically states that it is unlawful to retaliate against an individual for filing a claim for overtime wages. This includes unsuccessful claims, so long as they are brought in good faith.

Call the attorneys at Freiman Law now for a free Overtime Pay consultation at (310) 917-1024 or fill out the form to the right.

As stated by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Race discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because he/she is of certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features). Color discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of skin color complexion.

Color and race discrimination also can involve treating someone unfavorably because the person is married to (or associated with) a person of a certain race or color or because of a person's connection with a race-based organization or group, or an organization or group that is generally associated with people of a certain color.  The law forbids race discrimination in any aspect of employment including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. It is also unlawful to harass someone because of that person's race or color.

Race Discrimination Attorneys, Freiman Law, have experience evaluating race discrimination claims and will provide you with an honest and thorough evaluation of your case.

Harassment based on race discrimination can include racial slurs, offensive or derogatory remarks about a person's race or color, or the display of racially-offensive symbols. Although the law doesn't protect you from simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that aren't very serious, harassment is illegal when it so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted). The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer. An employment policy or practice that applies to everyone, regardless of race or color, can be illegal if it has a negative impact on the employment of people of a particular race or color and is not job-related and necessary to the operation of the business.  Contact Race Discrimination Attorneys, Freiman Law at 310-917-1024 for a free consultation and case evaluation and to assist you with all aspects of such a claim.

If you are an employer who employs five or more employees (full time or part time), you are subject to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and FEHA (Fair Employment and Housing Act). This means, among other things, that your qualifying employees with disabilties are entitled to reasonable accommodation. While disability laws at workplace are quite extensive, there are a few basic, and critical things that you, as an employer should know:

* California disability laws at workplace are governed primarily by Cal. Gov. Code 12900 et seq (FEHA).

* The definition of disability under California FEHA is more broad than it is under ADA. Many conditions that might not appear as disabling are disabilities within FEHA. Common examples of such disabilities are: diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, carpal tunnel, AIDS, and in some cases - obesity. FEHA also protected workers with mental disabilities, which include OCD, ADD, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and other serious personality disorder, anxiety and depression.

* An employer has to provide a reasonable accommodation to qualifying disabled employees, if they request an accommodation, or if the employer knows or should know that the employee needs an accommodation. While the employer is not obligated to read an employee's mind and guess if that employee needs an accommodation, if it appears from an employee's behavior or appearance that he might need an accommodation, the employer has an obligation to inquire about the need for an accommodation.

* The obligation to provide a reasonable accommodation is a continuing one, and it's not satisfied by one effort. This means that if a particular accommodation provided is no longer effective, the employer has a duty to consider other accommodations.

* There is no complete or exhaustive list of possible accommodations, and the employers are encouraged to use individual approach and assessment when discussing accommodation and finding solutions to an employee's disability to ensure that the disabled employee is able to remain part of the workforce.  Possible accommodations include assistive equipment, ergonomic equipment, job restructuring, transfer to a different, vacant position for which the disabled employee is qualified for, modified schedule, partial or full telecommute, and finite disability leave.

* The accommodation provided has to be effective.

* The employer has the right to know at least the basic details about the nature of the disability, symptoms and restrictions of the employee who is requesting an accommodation. Confidentiality and medical privacy are not an excuse for not offering an accommodation to a qualifying disabled employee. Therefore, the employer cannot simply say: "we knew that something was wrong with an employee, but he didn't tell us, and we didn't ask because of medical privacy."

* The employer does not have to
- provide a perfect accommodation but only a reasonable accommodation.
- create a new position in order to accommodate an employee.
- keep the position open indefinitely while the employee is out on disability leave.
- provide perfect accommodation or the exact accommodation that the employee wants.

Call the attorneys at Freiman Law now for a free reasonable accommodation consultation at (310) 917-1024 or fill out the form below for a free consultation.

Religious discrimination is treating individuals differently in their employment because of their religion, their religious beliefs and practices, and/or their request for accommodation (a change in a workplace rule or policy) of their religious beliefs and practices. It also includes treating individuals differently in their employment because of their lack of religious belief or practice. If you have been rejected for employment, fired, harassed or otherwise harmed in your employment because of your religion, your religious beliefs and practices, and/or your request for accommodation of their religious beliefs and practices, you may have suffered unlawful religious discrimination.

Some workers experiencing religious discrimination may also experience other forms of illegal discrimination as well, such as national origin discrimination, immigration/citizenship status discrimination, and/or race discrimination. Here are some examples of potentially unlawful religious discrimination:

  • Hiring / firing / promotion: Refusing to hire an employee because he or she is a Seventh-Day Adventist or Orthodox Jew and observes a Saturday Sabbath; firing an employee after he or she misses work to observe a religious holiday; promoting an employee only if she is willing to attend church regularly; transferring an employee to a position with less public contact because he is a Rastafarian who wears dreadlocks; not giving an employee a raise until he stops discussing religious beliefs with other employees during free time such as breaks or lunch.
  • Harassment: Making fun of employees or telling them they are violating the company's dress code because they wear religious clothing such as yarmulkes, turbans, or hijabs (head scarves); repeatedly mocking a person because of his or her strong, Christian beliefs; ridiculing a Muslim employee for refusing pork at a company picnic; making efforts repeatedly to “save the soul” of a fellow employee who is an atheist.
  • Failure to accommodate: Requiring an employee to work on his Sunday Sabbath, even though other employees are willing to trade shifts with him; forcing an employee to remove her hijab (scarf) to comply with the company's dress code even though other employees wear baseball caps on the job; not allowing employees to display religious icons or other expressions of religious belief in their work spaces, although employees are allowed to display other types of personal items.

If you have been subject to religious discrimination at your job, contact Freiman Law at (310) 917-1024 or via the form on the right for a free consultation and case evaluation.

Retaliation in the workplace can take many forms and is illegal.  At Freiman Law, our Los Angeles Retaliation Attorney will provide you with a free consultation and case evaluation to determine whether you have a claim for retaliation.  Employees can be retaliated against based on reporting wage and overtime violations, medical leave, reporting sexual harassment or discrimination or reporting the failure to pay the appropriate compensation.

You may have the right to compensation if your employer has retaliated against you for a protected activity or another illegal reason.  Contact a Los Angeles Retaliation Attorney at Freiman Law to discuss all of your available options.  An attorney will handle all aspects of your case and provide you with a comprehensive evaluation of your claims - all at no cost to you.

An employee is protected from being fired if he or she reports discrimination in the workplace or sexual harassment in the workplace.  This is so an employee can feel free to report discrimination and harassment without the fear of firing.  If you feel that you have been retaliated against for engaging in a protected activity or for any other reason, contact a Los Angeles Retaliation Attorney at Freiman Law for a free consultation and case evaluation at (310) 917-1024 or via the form on the right.

Should you negotiate a severance agreement? Generally, an employer may hire, fire or discipline for good reason, bad reason or no reason at all. Severance Agreements are common and are many times beneficial to both employers and employers. Employees can attempt to negotiate a severance agreement at the time of hire, when asked to sign any type of contract or if they are terminated. A benefit when you negotiate a severance agreement is that the employee can ensure financial compensation while an employer can ensure piece of mind. However, when an employee is presented with a severance agreement it is important that the employee attempt to negotiate a severance agreement.

While most severance agreements contain boilerplate language, but by retaining an attorney to represent you to negotiate a severance agreement, there may be some room for negotiation, especially when discussing severance agreements at the onset of employment. While there are many areas when you negotiate a severance agreement, oftentimes the most negotiated are (1) the amount; (2) restrictive covenants; (3) non-disparagement clauses; (4) incentive compensation; and (5) change of control. Any employee can attempt negotiate a severance agreement, from executives to high level CEOs. It is highly advisable that you have an attorney represent you to negotiate a severance agreement.

If you would like to negotiate a severance agreement, contact Freiman Law at (310) 917-1024 or via the form on the right for a free consultation.

Harassment in the workplace is not only limited to sexual harassment.  One of the key components of a workplace harassment claim is demonstrating that the employee was forced to endure a hostile work environment.  You may be eligible to pursue a hostile work environment claim if you are an employee who is frequently made to feel humiliated, vulnerable or threatened based upon a protected class.

Hostile Work Environment attorneys, Freiman Law, provide experienced, aggressive and dedicated legal advocacy to individuals who are subjected to workplace harassment on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, language, national origin or in retaliation for reporting illegal behavior. 

If your supervisors or managers have created or tolerated a hostile work environment in your workplace, you may have an employment harassment claim against your employer.  There are various hostile work environment claims, but common claims include bullying through isolation, criticism and social exclusion based on your ethnicity or national origin, disparaging remarks about an accent, religion or culture, the showing of derogatory images and statements aimed at a specific ethnic group or ethnicity. Hostile Work Environment Attorney, Michael J. Freiman, Esq. will evaluate your claim and provide you with thorough and honest answers.

No one deserves a hostile work environment, but a workplace that is nonthreatening and is conducive to the goals of the company or the organization. If you are experiencing a hostile work environment, contact hostile work Environment Attorneys, Freiman Law, at (310) 917-1024 or via the form on the right for a free consultation and case evaluation.

If you work in the entertainment industry and have been subjected to certain behavior by your employer or co-employees, you may be a victim of sexual harassment in Hollywood.

With its creative atmosphere and its philosophy of “anything goes” as long as the work is done well, and the knowledge that most employees are afraid to enforce their rights, the entertainment industry has generally refused to deal with the victims of sexual harassment in Hollywood.

Generally speaking, sexual harassment in Hollywood consists of any sexual advance that is unwelcome as well as any conduct in the course of employment that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.  This can include, but is not limited to, physical conduct such as hugging, touching, fondling,  kissing, asking you to view pornography, as well as verbal conduct such as comments about sexual behavior; sexual jokes; or any sexist statements about you.

Both men and women can be victims of sexual harassment in Hollywood.

You are protected against sexual harassment in Hollywood by both Federal and State Law.  If you have been found to be a victim of sexual harassment in Hollywood, you may be entitled to compensation for any economic damage due to the sexual harassment; compensation for emotional damages such as emotional distress; and punitive damages to punish your employer for outrageous conduct.

If you feel that you are a victim of sexual harassment in Hollywood, you should immediately contact Freiman Law at (310) 917-1024.

California’s Fair Employment & Housing Act prohibits sexual orientation discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. The Act itself specifically prohibits discrimination against employees based upon their sex or sexual orientation. The Act further describes sex as including, “identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the individual’s sex at birth.”

An employer is prohibited from engaging in sexual orientation discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender employees by terminating, laying off, demoting, or denying advancements or other privileges of employment based upon their protected status. In addition to sexual orientation discrimination, an employer may not refuse to hire an individual simply because of their sexual preference.

As with other claims of discrimination, a claim of sexual orientation discrimination or discrimination based on gender identity can be proven by direct or circumstantial evidence. This includes derogatory statements demonstrating bias against an individual or class of individuals based upon their sexual orientation or gender identity. It also includes evidence that an employer, for example, favored non-LGBT employees over LGBT employees in termination decisions.

Call the attorneys at Freiman Law now for a free sexual orientation discrimination consultation at (310) 917-1024 or via the form on the right.

In California, many employees and employers do not understand the complicated wage and hour laws.  Since nobody likes to work for free, you should contact a Wage and Hour Attorney at Freiman Law to handle issues that occur when:

  1. Your employer failed to provide sick pay leave
  2. Your employer failed to appropriately classify you as an employee or independent contractor
  3. Tax Implications of misclassification of employee or independent contractor
  4. Your employer failed to pay overtime
  5. Your employer failed to pay the appropriate minimum wage
  6. Your employer failed to provide the required mandatory breaks
  7. Your employer failed to reimburse business expenses

The wage and hour laws in California require every employer to pay no less than the minimum wage set by law.  The right to be paid minimum wage cannot be waived, altered or negotiated away, meaning that the employee and employer cannot agree orally or in writing to a lower wage. The Wage and Hour Attorneys at Freiman Law, can assist you with your minimum wage  claims.

Minimum wage is governed by federal, state, county, and municipal regulations.  The effect of this multiple coverage is that the employer must pay the highest minimum wage dictated by law.  For 2010, the United States minimum wage is $7.25 per hour and the California minimum wage is $8.00 per hour.  All employees are protected by minimum wage laws regardless of whether they are here legally or illegally, and therefore illegal immigrants can sue under wage and hour laws just like any other employee.  If you have been denied minimum wage, contact the Wage and Hour Attorneys at Freiman Law.

Overtime is mandatory for any time worked by an employee in excess of 8 hours during any workday, 40 hours per week, and for the first 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day worked by the employee in a work week.  Since these requirements are independent, each one entitles an employee to overtime.  If you have been denied overtime pay, contact the Wage and Hour Attorneys at Freiman Law.

Employers consistently misclassify employees as independent contractors.  These employers believe that this will exempt them from overtime pay and minimum wage.  An employee cannot become an independent contractor just by being classified as such, and while there is a complex analysis of whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, the status is primarily determined by how much control the worker has over the hours and manner in which he or she performs the work.

Employers misclassify hourly employees as salary employees.  Certain employees are exempt from overtime laws and are never entitled to overtime.  The exemptions from overtime apply to managers and other highly skilled employees.  To determine whether an employee is exempt, it is necessary to look at the actual day to ay work responsibilities.

Employers commonly fail to keep time records even though they are obligated by law to keep precise records of all hours worked by non-exempt employees.

If you are an employee and you believe that you have been treated unfairly in the workplace and have not been paid for the overtime, meal and/or rest time, vacation leave, sick leave or have any other questions about California wage and hour law, contact the  Wage and Hour Attorneys at Freiman Law at (310) 917-1024 or via the form on the right for a free consultation.

If you are an unpaid intern, please read this article closely.  Although your “employer” says that you’re an unpaid intern, you may actually be an employee.  As an employee you are entitled to the protections of Federal and California law, including but not limited to: minimum hourly pay, overtime pay, double-time pay, rest and meal periods, and depending on your employer, employee benefit. The United States Department of Labor has created the following test to determine if you are an unpaid intern or an employee: There are some circumstances under which individuals who participate in “for-profit” private sector internships or training programs may do so without compensation.  The Supreme Court has held that the term "suffer or permit to work" cannot be interpreted so as to make a person whose work serves only his or her own interest an employee of another who provides aid or instruction.  This may apply to interns who receive training for their own educational benefit if the training meets certain criteria.  The determination of whether an internship or training program meets this exclusion depends upon all of the facts and circumstances of each such program.

The following six criteria must be applied when making this determination:

1.  The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;

2.  The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;

3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;

4.  The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;

5.  The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and

6.  The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.”

For an unpaid intern to be classified as an intern, rather than an employee, all of the six factors listed above must be met.  Otherwise, you may be an employee. The most important issue to consider is if you are engaged in the operations of the employer or are performing productive work (for example, filing, performing other clerical work, or assisting customers).  If you are, then the fact that you may be receiving some benefit in the form of a new skill or improved work habits will not exclude you from being classified as an employee and entitle you to minimum wage and overtime requirements. We realize that this is a complicated issue and the only way for an unpaid intern to truly determine if you are an employee, not an intern, is through a consultation with the experienced employment attorneys at Freiman Law.

Contact Freiman Law for a free consultation at 310-917-1024.