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Santa Barbara Employment Law Blog

Can I get fired for a non work-related injury?

If you get an injury in California, such as from a car accident, sports accident or other unfortunate incident, and you are unable to work at your job for a period of time, you may worry your employer could fire you. Depending on the situation, there are a number of laws that protect your job. Some include benefits to help cover expenses, while others may force you to take unpaid time off.

According to the Chron, if your injury is long-term or permanent you may qualify for disability, which includes cash benefits and health insurance. As part of the Americans With Disabilities Act, an employer cannot fire you due to a disability and must respect and accommodate your needs. This may include giving you a period of time off, changing your hours to part-time or making accommodations to your work space so you can perform your duties. If you receive disability benefits, and you cannot perform your current job, you may receive vocational training to help get you into a different position.

What is disparate impact?

You probably understand what discrimination means, but disparate impact is a term that fewer people in California have heard. Disparate impact is a type of unintentional discrimination against a particular group of people, and it is illegal for a company to do it.

According to FindLaw, disparate impact is when employment practices have no specific intent to discriminate but they negatively impact a protected group of people, and that minorities and women are often the ones whom this type of discrimination affects. Actions by an employer that may indicate disparate impact include practices such as skills testing during the hiring process and layoffs.

Are you legally required to work off the clock?

As an employee, you understand the importance of going above and beyond for your employer. While this is admirable, it's imperative that you're never taken advantage of.

There are many reasons why you may find yourself working off the clock. Maybe you do this on your own because you need to complete an important project before an upcoming deadline. Or maybe your supervisor asks you to do so, as they need some additional assistance once the workday comes to an end.

Overall, California is a worker-friendly state

If you live and work in California, you are the recipient of laws and regulations that are worker-friendly. From minimum wage to time off to take care of your family, the state is a good place to work.

According to CalChamber, the protection of California workers is a priority of labor laws, and one of the ways workers benefit from this is through overtime laws. A recent Supreme Court ruling determined that when an employer pays a flat bonus, the regular rate of pay takes into account only the nonovertime hours as opposed to the total number of hours. The state also requires employers to pay a premium overtime rate.

Know your rights and protect yourself against ageism

Ageism is a serious concern for many people who are aging. They want to continue working and getting promotions, to be seen and heard in their work environments. Unfortunately, with ageism, they may be treated differently because of their advancing ages.

It used to be said that with age comes knowledge, but today, technology and other changes occur so rapidly that the newest and brightest are often the apple of a company's eye. While an older worker is perfectly capable of being trained in new technology or work, the hiring of younger professionals becomes more common.

Discrimination during the hiring process

Employees may recognize discrimination when it occurs on the job, or when a position is terminated because of someone's religious beliefs, for example. With this being said, it is essential for people to keep in mind that discrimination occurs in other ways as well. In fact, discrimination can target someone who may not even work for a particular company and create a number of challenges for them, both financial and psychological. For example, a job applicant may be discriminated against because of their gender, sexual orientation, faith, disability or some other factor which is against the law.

Sometimes, people experience discrimination during the hiring process and do not even realize it. After all, many hiring managers will not directly tell someone that they are being turned down as a result of their gender or age. Surprisingly, this does happen, however, and it can be absolutely devastating. Someone who is told that they are too old to apply for a job that they would be perfectly qualified to take on might become discouraged and feel like giving up. Moreover, someone may be told that because of their gender they cannot apply for a position, and this can be equally devastating.

Your right to report safety violations without retaliation

If you lost your job in California because you filed a report highlighting safety concerns, you have a right to file a wrongful termination claim. The government has laws in place that protect whistleblowers and concerned employees, and there are major penalties for companies that violate these laws.

According to USA.gov, employees have a number of legal rights in the workplace. Employers must train you in the area you work and in understandable language, and they must provide you with equipment that meets safety standards. Employees have the right to report any work condition that seems unsafe and to report work-related illnesses and injuries without retribution.

The consequences of wrongful termination

We have written about various topics related to wrongful termination and in this blog, we will explore some of the consequences of this serious matter. In Santa Barbara and cities across all of California, many people have been fired wrongly. Unfortunately, this can lead to many different hardships that shatter a victim's life. Moreover, wrongful termination cases can also be very challenging for companies. As a result, it is essential for employees who have been wrongfully terminated to fight for their rights and for employers to take steps to prevent future occurrences of wrongful termination.

For someone who has been fired illegally, all sorts of problems may disrupt their life right away. Financial difficulties are an obvious consequence of wrongful termination. However, some people do not realize just how extensive the financial impact of this offense can be. For example, a wrongfully-terminated employee may be evicted from their home or no longer able to pay the child support that they owe. Unfortunately, the hardships associated with wrongful termination do not end here. Some people who have been through this may become extremely discouraged and lose their desire to continue moving forward on a particular career path.

What are the laws around hiring a minor?

There are numerous laws and regulations designed to protect children and adolescents under the age of 18 who want to work in California. There are restrictions about the type of industry and occupation a child can work in, the number of hours in a day or week and minimum wages the employees must receive. Employers who do not follow these laws can face strict penalties.

According to the State of California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, a minor is anyone 17 years of age and younger who must attend school. Minors as young as 15 days can work in the entertainment industry but, in general, work for children under the age of 12 is severely limited. State law defines the number of hours allowed per week and restrictions surrounding school days. For example, work for 12- and 13-year olds is typically only allowed during school holidays and breaks. Older minors can work during a regular school week, but the state limits the number of hours.

Are you legally required to work off the clock?

As an employee, you understand the importance of going above and beyond for your employer. While this is admirable, it's imperative that you're never taken advantage of.

There are many reasons why you may find yourself working off the clock. Maybe you do this on your own because you need to complete an important project before an upcoming deadline. Or maybe your supervisor asks you to do so, as they need some additional assistance once the workday comes to an end.

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Anticouni & Associates
201 N. Calle Cesar Chavez
Suite 105
Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Phone: 805-699-5968
Phone: 805-845-0864
Fax: 805-845-0965
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