WE HELP EMPLOYERS AVOID LITIGATION

LAWYER FOR EMPLOYERS

Lawyer for Employees

LOS ANGELES EMPLOYMENT LAW

RECRUITING AND HIRING LAWS

Los Angeles employers are expected to know the complex federal and California hiring laws or the face lawsuits. That is where the Wright Law Firm Employment Lawyers can help. We review your policies and procedures regarding drug testing,  credit checks, criminal background checks, and pre-employment testing to ensure compliance. Then we document these procedures in an employee handbook.

California Employee classification

If an employer claims that a worker is an independent contractor but their role more closely resembles that of a full- or part-time employee, then the worker can file a lawsuit against the employer.

If your company is facing allegations that they have intentionally misclassified employees or is seeking advice regarding classification, The Wright Law Firm Employment Lawyers have helped Los Angeles companies avoid lawsuits of this nature, and we can help your company avoid these lawsuits while legally reducing costs related to your payroll.

DISABILITY ACCOMODATIONS

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) protects disabled Americans and requires employers to make “reasonable accommodations” for those with serious disabilities. However, an employer is not required to hire an employee who cannot perform the tasks related to the job. This creates a very fuzzy situation that is complex for both employers and employees. The following will clarify an employer’s responsibility to disabled applicants.

EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION

Not every employee-employer dispute is preventable. However, the vast majority of employee lawsuits can be prevented simply by creating transparent policies and an infrastructure in place to manage employee complaints. The following are best practices for avoiding employee lawsuits and other disputes.

DRAFTING EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS

It is becoming more and more common for Los Angeles area managers, supervisors, and specialists to request everything in writing, and this creates a burden on Los Angeles HR departments and small businesses. Our attorneys will assist your company by drafting effective employment agreements which can become the foundation for strengthening your company’s reputation and avoiding damaging disputes.

EXECUTIVE CONTRACT LAWS

In Southern California, the contracts provided to individuals for executive roles in your company must be drafted in such a manner that they avoid potential conflicts down the line. With so much at stake and so much money tied up in a key position, you as an employer or HR manager must be sure that your company is protected from lawsuits that may emerge as a result of the hire.

PAID SICK LEAVE

All individuals who are classified as employees under California’s new classification system are entitled to paid sick leave. This has never been more important than in 2020 when the world was dealing with its first pandemic in the last 100 years. As Los Angeles Employment Lawyers, we will guide you in ways to protect your company from lawsuits emerging from paid sick leave disputes.

TERMINATION AND SEVERANCE ADVICE

For many Los Angeles area employers, California’s robust labor laws are a chronic source of anxiety and frustration.

When deciding you need to end an employee relationship, it is important to have experienced legal counsel on your side who can help you navigate California’s labor laws. Most importantly, Los Angeles area companies should avoid any appearance of discrimination in hiring, firing, and promoting.

EMPLOYEE HANDBOOKS

Most Los Angeles companies think that they don’t need an employee handbook. However, once an employee/employer dispute arises, it often becomes clear that the dispute could have been avoided if only there were clearly defined policies in place provided to the employee who was well aware of the policy at the time they violated it.

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Do I really need an employee handbook?

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How do you choose to classify an employee or independent contractor?

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How do I avoid disability discrimination when hiring?

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Can I drug test, run credit checks or criminal background checks on employees?

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What are my obligations to employees who get COVID in the workplace?

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Do I really need an employee handbook?

Do I really need an employee handbook?

Any company that is liable under California’s anti-discrimination rules should have a handbook in place. That includes any company with five or more employees. We'll help you get started.

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How do you choose to classify an employee or independent contractor?

How do you choose to classify an employee or independent contractor?

If a business contracts with an individual to do some specific work, the individual is automatically considered an employee unless you can prove three elements. This test is known as the ABC test.

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How do I avoid disability discrimination when hiring?

How do I avoid disability discrimination when hiring?

California companies must carefully avoid making hiring or promoting decisions based on discriminatory factors. Having an employee handbook that meets the requirement of your business can prevent the vast majority of these lawsuits.

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Can I drug test, run credit checks or criminal background checks on employees?

Can I drug test, run credit checks or criminal background checks on employees?

California law assumes that all employees have a right to privacy. Employers who inform employees of required drug testing, criminal background checks, credit checks, or anything else face fewer problems down the road

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What are my obligations to employees who get COVID in the workplace?

What are my obligations to employees who get COVID in the workplace?

If someone gets sick from COVID-19 in your office, you have a duty to inform everyone who works there. Also, keep in mind that California has Supplemental Paid Leave as well as the Senate Bill 1383, which requires employers with five or more workers to offer 12 weeks of unpaid time off for family leave.

Protect Your Company from Discrimination Claims

At the Wright Law Firm Employment Lawyers, we believe that the best approach is a proactive approach.  While most management decisions are well intentioned, there are unfortunately many pitfalls that can result in a company facing litigation related to discriminatory practices within their office. These types of lawsuits can be minimized and usually avoided when procedures are put in place that guide your staff and spell out your company’s policies and procedures. The Wright Law Firm Employment Lawyers helps companies protect themselves from discrimination lawsuits by advising them on best practices for hiring, firing, managing, and promotion of employees in the workplace. The following are common types of employment discrimination and how your company can insulate itself from discrimination litigation.

Our Employment Law Services for Los Angeles Businesses

The Wright Law Firm Employment Lawyers offers law counseling to companies managing Southern California’s robust and extensive labor laws. This includes providing effective counseling to executives, conducting internal investigations, managing severance agreements, and managing a full range of employee/employer disputes. The Wright Law Firm Employment Lawyers also defends employers in California courts.

Los Angeles area employers must understand that when they offer a job to a prospective applicant, it creates rights and responsibilities between both parties. When it comes to protecting your company and its reputation from discrimination lawsuits, prevention is the best medicine.

Hiring and Firing: What Works and What Does Not

To avoid discrimination lawsuits, landlords are instructed to take the “first qualified applicant.” But employment situations are much more complicated, and the relationship is one of codependency and mutual trust rather than customer and provider. Companies routinely vet hundreds of employees to fill one position. How can a Los Angeles area employer avoid the appearance of discrimination?

It is not rocket science. Having a transparent system in place for hiring, making your needs known in terms of qualifications, and having a system in place for handling disputes or issues related to an employee is key to showing the court that your decisions were reached on a non-discriminatory basis.

The Wright Law Firm Employment Lawyers can help California employers prevent damaging discrimination lawsuits that could destroy their reputation in this political climate. It is mostly just a matter of effective planning. Our law firm helps Los Angeles employers draft effective employment agreements such as consulting agreements, inventive packages, offer letters, employee handbooks, and more.

Employee Handbooks: When to be Careful

California has traditionally enforced “implied” contracts. That means that anything you say in your employee handbook can be interpreted as a contractual obligation by a court. On the other hand, carefully written employee handbooks can form the foundation of effective practices in the workplace.

The Wright Law Firm Employment Lawyers can help your company draft an employee handbook that insulates you from litigation as opposed to exposing you to litigation. We have years of experience working with companies of all sizes and in varying industries, and will customize the handbook to be suitable for your company’s policies and work culture.

Employee Termination and Severance Packages

The Wright Law Firm Employment Lawyers can help California employers who face lawsuits after firing an employee. Let’s face it. Not every employee you hire is going to work out. You want to be able to get someone into the position who will effectively perform the duties of that position. You cannot do that if that person is not living up to expectations.

California is an “at-will” state when it comes to employment. That means that either party may terminate the agreement at any time without giving a reason. However, if an employee can effectively argue that discrimination or retaliation was the reason for the firing, the employer may face a lawsuit even if they have done nothing wrong.

Since employment attorneys who represent employees generally work on contingency, it is important to understand that they will not take a case that they know they are likely going to lose. By effectively drafting a prescriptive employee handbook and ensuring that the terms of severance are clear, you can prevent an employee from finding an attorney to take their case.

Lawsuits Filed by Employees

Employees are entitled to file lawsuits against their employers under both federal and California State law. Common lawsuits include:

  • Discrimination in hiring, firing, or promoting – When an employee alleges that they were not given due consideration for a position, fired because of a protected characteristic, or passed up for a promotion given to a less qualified employee, the employer may be forced to justify the hiring, firing, or promotion in court. If the person passed up was highly qualified, this can be quite difficult.
  • Unequal pay for equal work – Pay is expected to be the same across gender and race. Even in cases where pay is based on the employee’s last salary, it can be considered discriminatory if (for instance) a white man is hired for the same job at a higher salary. In other words, claiming that the salary was based on their last job will not save a company from a discrimination lawsuit.
  • Hostile work environment lawsuits – If an employee is the subject of harassment, bullying, or unwanted sexual advancements, they can file a lawsuit against an employer who does not respond appropriately to requests to remedy the situation. Most of these lawsuits can be avoided by listening to the employee’s complaints and addressing the situation with problem employees. Lawsuits often emerge due to a failure to address the situation before it explodes into chronic harassment.
  • Wage and misclassification lawsuits – California is now forcing independent contractors to be considered employees whether they want to or not. Employers prefer classifying laborers as independent contractors because of the cost savings. Employees are due overtime, benefits, and workers’ comp coverage. Nonetheless, California strictly interprets the definition of independent contractor to prevent companies from denying their obligations to individuals who work for them. Our attorneys will look at your company’s situation and advise you regarding classification.

Call a Los Angeles Employment Attorney Today

 Whether you are a Silicon Beach startup looking to make its first hire or an established company with hundreds of employees, having a system in place for hiring, firing, and promoting can prevent many of the lawsuits that find their way into California courts. Call Los Angeles office of The Wright Law Firm Employment Lawyers today to discuss safeguarding your company from discrimination lawsuits.

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    Los Angeles Office:
    8939 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Suite 102, Los Angeles, CA 90045

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