If you are subjected to workplace discrimination or denied your appropriate wages, you may be able to secure justice by filing a lawsuit. It is critical to retain a law firm with experienced and detail-oriented staff. Alejandra Beltran is a paralegal at the Nourmand Law Firm. She lives by the quote, “Persistence is the twin sister of excellence. One is a matter of quality and the other a matter of time!” Dedicated to providing the highest degree of confidentiality and professionalism to the firm’s clients, she works closely with Los Angeles employment lawyers Michael Nourmand and James A. De Sario.
In 2005, Ms. Beltran graduated from California State University Northridge, where she majored in Business Administration with an option in Business Law and a minor in Political Science. She obtained her paralegal certificate from the University of California Los Angeles Extension in 2008. She is bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish. She belongs to the Los Angeles Paralegal Association. In her spare time, she reads and keeps up with all aspects of baseball, particularly the Dodgers.
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is the primary state law that protects California employees from being subjected to discrimination, harassment, or retaliation for engaging in protected activities. FEHA applies to employers that have at least five employees, but its anti-harassment provisions apply to even employers with just one employee. In certain ways, FEHA mirrors federal anti-discrimination laws, but it enumerates a wider range of protected characteristics and sometimes provides greater remedies. Protected characteristics include sex, national origin, race, ancestry, color, religious creed, marital status, disability, denial of family and medical care leave, medical condition, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, gender, and sexual orientation.
It can be intimidating to bring a claim under FEHA or any of the federal statutes. However, you should be aware that FEHA, like federal anti-discrimination laws, prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee for engaging in a protected activity, such as making a good-faith discrimination complaint under FEHA.
Wage and Hour Litigation
Employers must follow wage and hour laws when paying their employees. These laws can be much more intricate than simply paying a nonexempt employee minimum wage. For example, in California, employers must count waiting time as hours that were actually worked if an employee is not able to use that time for their own personal activities and goals. Even if the employee does not perform actual work duties, the employer’s control of the employee during this time may require the employer to compensate the employee. Generally, California employers must count time that you spend on-call as hours worked, if you are required to stay on the employer’s premises or close enough to the premises that you cannot do your own activities. However, if you are free to use the time for your own purposes and you need not stay by or near the premises, the employer does not need to pay you for on-call time. Employers are allowed to pay a lower rate to an employee for waiting time than for time spent performing job-related tasks.
In addition, you are entitled to a 30-minute break after five hours worked, except when you will complete the workday in six or fewer hours, and you have consented to waive the meal break. If you work 10 hours a day as a nonexempt employee, you must get a second 30-minute break, except when your work day consists of not more than 12 hours. You can waive the second meal break if you did not waive the first. You are also entitled to a 10-minute rest break for each four hours that you work in the middle of the work period, unless your total daily work time is less than three and a half hours.
Consult a Los Angeles Attorney for Your Employment Claim
If you are ready to pursue justice in the workplace, the Nourmand Law Firm may be able to represent you. We advocate for workers in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Palm Springs, Beverly Hills, Van Nuys, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, and other areas of San Diego, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange Counties. Call us at 800-700-WAGE (9243) or contact us through our online form.