Dealing With Employment Law Matters In California
The following article will cover:
- Who the law firm represents in employment law cases in California.
- Common challenges to employing workers in California.
- Common employment-related concerns in California workplaces and how to protect businesses from wrongful termination suits.
Who Does Your Firm Represent In Employment Law Cases In California?
Our firm primarily represents small to mid-size businesses in Monterey County, San Benito County, Santa Cruz County, and the surrounding areas. We focus on representing employers, not employees. This approach helps us avoid conflicts of interest as we specialize in business law. There are many attorneys who specialize in employee representation.
What Are The Most Common Challenges To Employing Workers In California?
Employing workers in California comes with several challenges, including:
- Mandatory retirement plans: California requires businesses with five or more employees to offer retirement plans.
- Healthcare requirements: Employers must adhere to specific healthcare coverage regulations.
- Minimum wage increases: The minimum wage in California continues to rise annually.
- Meal periods and rest breaks: Employers must comply with changing rules regarding meal periods and rest breaks.
To stay informed about these challenges and any changes, you can consider joining a local Chamber of Commerce or subscribing to industry support groups that provide regular updates. Our law firm also offers an annual update for our business clients, ensuring they receive the necessary information for hiring and maintaining employees. We provide this update in both English and Spanish, incorporating changes from all relevant agencies to ensure our clients remain compliant with the latest regulations.
What Are Common Employment-Related Concerns In California Workplaces?
One of the most common employment-related concerns in California is the responsibility of employers to provide and track rest breaks for their employees. While the original intention of these laws was to protect workers in more physically demanding jobs, such as factory and field workers, the laws are now interpreted more aggressively.
In the past, employees could bring a lawsuit if they were not offered rest periods to access water and bathroom facilities every three hours. Now, employees who quit may consult a plaintiff’s attorney, who could bring a lawsuit based on the failure to provide a rest period if there is no record of these breaks in the employee’s HR file. The burden of proof falls on the employer, and if they cannot provide evidence of rest breaks being taken, the state may assume they were not provided.
The primary issue for employers is the lack of awareness regarding the importance of maintaining accurate records to protect themselves. This can lead to situations that feel unfair to the employer, making it crucial for them to be educated on the importance of documentation and compliance with labor laws.
Can An Employee In California Be Terminated Or Fired Without Cause?
Yes, in California, there is at-will employment, meaning an employee can quit at any time, and an employer can terminate an employee without cause. However, this advice should be taken with caution. If an employee has made complaints about workplace issues, such as sexual harassment or discrimination, it’s not advisable for an employer to terminate them, as it could be considered retaliation for making a lawful complaint. Before making any decisions, employers should carefully evaluate the situation and address any valid complaints properly.
Can My Business Be Protected From Wrongful Termination Suits?
To protect your business from wrongful termination suits, you can:
- Obtain Employment Liability Insurance (EPLI): This insurance can be expensive and may have high deductibles, making it difficult for small to midsize businesses to afford. However, it can be helpful in cases involving large settlements.
- Annual Review of Employment Practices: Engage with a law firm or service provider to perform annual reviews and updates of your employment practices, ensuring you are following the appropriate HR procedures and staying informed about changes in labor laws.
- Seek Legal Counsel: If you have concerns about a specific employee, consult with an experienced attorney before terminating their employment. This can help you develop a strategy to address the situation and mitigate potential risks.
For more information on Dealing With Employment Law Matters In CA, an initial consultation is your next best step.