Federal and California labor and employment laws regulate the wages, hours, and working conditions for employees. These laws are codified in complex federal and state statutes and administrative regulations, such as the Federal Labor Standards Act, California Labor Code, and Industrial Welfare Commission wage orders. Properly enforcing employment rights often requires the involvement and navigation through different federal or state administrative bodies, such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
Owens Tarabichi represents and counsels both employees seeking to enforce employment rights and employers seeking to defend against employment claims. A non-exhaustive list of the types of employment matters that Owens Tarabichi handles includes the following:
- Wage and Hour Disputes. Common wage and hour disputes include the failure to pay minimum wage, failure to pay all wages owed, failure to pay wages on time, failure to pay overtime, failure to provide meal and rest breaks, failure to maintain proper time records, and penalties associated with such failures.
- Classification of Employees. Properly classifying employees is crucial to determining the which laws and rules apply to a given situation, as classification determines whether employees are exempt or non-exempt from certain laws and regulations. Conversely, improperly classifying employees can often lead to substantial liability.
- Discrimination and Harassment. The law prohibits employers from discriminating or harassing employees based on protected characteristics, which include sex, age, race, or disability.
- Retaliation. Employers are prohibited from taking adverse action against employees who assert or seek to enforce their rights under the employment laws.
- Wrongful Termination. A wrongful termination occurs when an employer has discharged or laid-off an employee in violation of a legal right of the employee. Wrongful termination often happens after an employee has complained about a legal right, such as discrimination or harassment.
- Employment Contracts and Non-Compete Agreements. Many aspects of the employment relationship are governed by the employment contract and non-compete agreements. It is imperative to have the proper legal guidance when it comes to drafting, negotiation, assessing the validity of, and litigating employment contracts and non-compete agreements. In addition, addressing intellectual property issues in such agreements, such as ownership of inventions, copyrights, and trade secrets, can be complicated.
- Compliance with Administrative Agencies, Rules, and Regulations. Complying with substantive and procedural employment laws often involves administrative agencies and complex regulations. Having the proper guidance with regard to administrative agencies, such as the Labor Commissioner, EEOC, and DFEH, and their regulations can be invaluable.
- Employee Handbooks and Policies. It is important for employers to implement appropriate employee handbooks, policies, and procedures, as well as review existing employee handbooks, policies, and procedures for appropriate revisions.