San Diego Employment Lawyer

San Diego Employment Lawyer

San Diego, CA Employment Attorney

The workplace is the source of financial stability for the people of California, and it is the foundation upon which our society functions. Workers come into work every day with the intention and expectation of performing their job duties and being fairly compensated for their time and labor. However, if an employer fails to follow employment regulations and allows for a hostile or unsafe work environment, the workplace can quickly become a difficult place to be. Fortunately, legislators have recognized that workers need certain basic protections and have created labor laws to hold employers accountable for violating those rights.

Employment law is the area of law that regulates the relationships between employees, managers, and employers to ensure employees are treated fairly and with respect. It sets standards for issues such as work hours, wages, and working conditions, as well as the circumstances under which an employee can be hired or fired.

When you find yourself faced with the prospect of navigating the complex legal labyrinth of California employment law, it can feel quite overwhelming–especially if you are already dealing with the fallout from a workplace injury or recent job loss. In these tense situations, having a seasoned San Diego employment lawyer can make all the difference in steering your case to a good outcome, one that involves fair compensation for the wrongs that you have endured. At The Law Office of Frank S. Clowney III, we understand that each case is unique, requiring personalized attention and a fine eye for detail. Our commitment to serving the working people of San Diego is paired with our years of success in courtrooms and negotiations, meaning that we are equipped to handle matters ranging from wage disputes and workplace discrimination to wrongful termination and medical leave violations.

As a dedicated employment attorney and tireless advocate for the working families of San Diego, The Law Office of Frank S. Clowney III is focused on safeguarding employee rights and holding abusive employers accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Frank S. Clowney III’s extensive background as a labor attorney allows him to guide clients through whatever challenges they may face. At The Law Office of Frank S. Clowney III, our dedication to justice means that, when employers violate state or federal labor laws, we do not rest until they have been held accountable–and accountability means adequate compensation for the employees they have wronged.

Experienced San Diego, CA Employment Law Attorney

Are you afraid to go to work for fear of harassment? Are you concerned about the hostile treatment you have received at the hands of a co-worker? Have you suffered from workplace discrimination or retaliation after requesting to have regular lunch breaks and rest periods?

Federal and state laws are in place to hold employers accountable for violating employees’ rights. An attorney can often achieve what a worker cannot: protection against harassment or compensation for violation of workplace laws.

Your job is crucial to your financial well-being and is often tied to your future, family, and personal goals. When an employer treats you unfairly, discriminates against you, or fails to pay you the wages you are owed, they are taking something away from you. The Law Office of Frank S. Clowney III is dedicated to fighting for the rights of workers and holding employers accountable for their actions. We are an employment law firm with a strong track record of standing up to employers that violate the law and mistreat their employees.

At The Law Office of Frank S. Clowney III I have represented clients in employment rights cases in San Diego for more than 40 years. In your free initial consultation, I will review your workplace situation and explain your legal options. By the end of the meeting, you will have my honest opinion on whether I believe you have a valid claim.

Call The Law Office of Frank S. Clowney III at 619-557-0458 to contact a San Diego employment law attorney.

San Diego Employment Lawyer

Your Rights as a Worker in San Diego, California

As a worker in San Diego, you have certain rights that are protected by state and federal law. Some of the key rights you have as a worker in California include:

  • The right to a safe and healthy work environment. California law requires employers to provide a safe and healthy work environment for their employees. This includes complying with occupational health and safety standards and taking reasonable steps to protect employees from hazards and injury.
  • The right to fair pay. Employers are required to pay their employees at least the minimum wage and to pay overtime to eligible employees who work more than eight hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. Employers are also prohibited from taking unauthorized deductions from employees’ pay.
  • The right to take leave for specific reasons. California law provides employees with the right to take leave for certain purposes, such as the birth or adoption of a child, caring for a sick family member, or serving in the military. Employers are required to provide leave to eligible employees and to reinstate them to their jobs upon their return from leave.
  • The right to be free from discrimination and harassment. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against or harassing employees based on their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristics. Employers are also required to take reasonable steps to prevent and address workplace harassment.
  • The right to reasonable accommodation. Under both California and federal laws (most notably the Americans With Disabilities Act, or ADA), it is mandated that employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. This can include modified schedules, special equipment, or layout changes to the workspace. Narrow exemptions exist for certain types of employers and extraordinary situations where making such accommodations would cause the employer undue hardship.
  • The right to privacy. Under both the California State Constitution and the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, you have the right to a reasonable expectation of privacy in the workplace. For example, your employer is prohibited from going through your purse, opening mail that is addressed to you personally, or monitoring any messages that you receive on a personal device. In California, employers must also notify you if they are using any video monitoring or internet usage tracking technology to surveil their workforce. This right to privacy extends to your off-duty private life, so you cannot be fired or disciplined for any lawful activities done outside your work hours and away from your worksite.
  • The right to organize. Under both California state law and the National Labor Relations Act (NRLA), employees have the right to join, form, or assist labor unions. They can also discuss these activities freely with their coworkers. Employers are explicitly prohibited from interfering with these matters or coercing employees who are exercising these protected rights. Both overt actions, like demotions and termination, and more subtle forms of retaliation, such as implied threats, can be legally actionable when taken against your right to organize. If your employer is discouraging discussions of unionization, actively interfering with organizing efforts, or firing workers who talk about unionizing, you may be able to take legal action against them.
  • The right to be free from retaliation. California law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who exercise their rights, such as complaining about discrimination or harassment or participating in an investigation of such conduct.

If you feel that your rights as a worker in California have been violated, you may be able to seek legal action. It is a good idea to speak with an experienced employment attorney to understand your options and determine the smartest course of action.

Common Employment Law Issues in San Diego, California

There are a number of employment law issues that are common in California, including:

  • Minimum wage violations. California has some of the highest minimum wage rates in the country, and employers are required to pay their employees at least the minimum wage. However, some employers may try to pay their employees less than the minimum wage, either intentionally or as a result of misclassifying employees as independent contractors.
  • Overtime violations. Employers are required to pay overtime to eligible employees who work more than eight hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. Some employers may try to avoid paying overtime by misclassifying employees or by requiring them to work off the clock.
  • Discrimination and harassment. Under California law, employers are prohibited from discriminating against or harassing employees based on their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristics. However, discrimination and harassment can still occur in the workplace, and employees who are subjected to such conduct may have legal remedies.
  • Retaliation. Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against employees who exercise their rights, such as complaining about discrimination or harassment or participating in an investigation of such conduct. Retaliation can take many forms, including termination, demotion, or other adverse employment actions.
  • Wrongful termination. California is an “at-will” employment state, which means employers can generally terminate employees at any time for any reason. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule, and employees who are terminated for an unlawful reason may have a claim for wrongful termination.
  • Maternity Issues. The California Paid Family Leave Act (PFL) ensures employers provide benefits to parents who take time off work to provide for an ill family member, bond with a newborn, or participate in a qualifying event due to a military deployment. If the parent meets eligibility requirements, they can receive 60 to 70 percent of normal wages for up to eight weeks.

If you are facing an employment law issue in California, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced employment lawyer to understand your rights and options. An employment law attorney can help you evaluate your case and pursue any legal actions that may be available to you.

What Do San Diego Employment Attorneys Do?

An employment lawyer is an attorney who represents employees in legal disputes with their employers. Employment lawyers in San Diego handle a wide range of legal issues that may arise in the workplace, including wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, wage and hour disputes, and other types of employment-related disputes.

The first step when seeking legal representation is to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys. During that meeting, one of our lawyers can listen carefully and take notes about your case. Clients are encouraged to come with questions.

Once your San Diego employment lawyer understands the basics of your case, they can formulate a legal strategy that works to achieve your goals. Throughout the process, which may include negotiations that result in a settlement offer, our team can keep in close contact so you are always up to date with how your case is proceeding.

Some of the specific tasks that a San Diego employment lawyer may handle include:

  • Advising employees on their legal rights and options in the event of a dispute with their employer
  • Representing employees in negotiations with their employer to try to resolve disputes informally
  • Filing and litigating employment-related claims on behalf of employees, including wrongful termination, discrimination, and harassment cases
  • Advocating for employees in administrative hearings or arbitration proceedings
  • Guiding employees through complex and paperwork-intensive processes related to medical leave laws, ensuring that they fully understand their rights and obligations under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
  • Conducting thorough and detail-oriented investigations into allegations of workplace misconduct, allowing them to establish a robust factual foundation for hard-to-prove claims like harassment, discrimination, or wrongful termination
  • Securing fair compensation to the maximum extent of the law for wage theft issues, unpaid overtime, missed breaks, and minimum wage violations
  • Advising on and/or litigating issues related to workplace safety violations and ensuring that employers are held accountable if they fail to operate within the guidelines set by state and federal OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health) agencies
  • Advising employees who have been offered severance packages pursuant to a workplace dispute, ensuring that they understand their rights and the full implications of any agreement
  • Negotiating on employees’ behalf for better terms when the employer offers an inadequate severance agreement
  • Providing support and representation for corporate or governmental whistleblowers, protecting them from retaliation and representing them throughout any legal proceedings related to their protected whistleblowing activity
  • Drafting and reviewing employment contracts and other legal documents related to employment
  • Drafting and reviewing employment contracts and other legal documents related to employment severance
  • Providing ongoing legal advice and representation to employees as necessary as the case progresses

Employment lawyers in San Diego serve an important role in protecting the rights of employees and ensuring they are treated fairly in the workplace.

How Much Does an Employment Lawyer Cost in San Diego, California?

The cost of hiring an employment lawyer in California is going to depend on several factors, including the complexity of your case, the attorney’s level of experience, and the amount of time and resources required to handle your case. In general, employment lawyers charge their clients on an hourly basis, and the hourly rates for employment lawyers in California can range from $100 to $500 or more per hour.

The Law Office of Frank S. Clowney III provides you with transparent fee agreements so that you know exactly what you are going to be paying for and how the fees will be calculated.

How to Choose an Employment Lawyer in San Diego, CA?

If you are an employee in San Diego and are facing an employment-related legal dispute, it is crucial to choose an employment lawyer who is knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated to representing your interests. Here are some tips for choosing an employment lawyer in San Diego:

  1. Research potential lawyers. Look for lawyers who specialize in employment law and have experience handling cases like yours. You can find information about lawyers and their areas of proficiency through online directories, professional associations, and referral services.
  2. Consider the lawyer’s qualifications. Look for lawyers who are licensed to practice law in California and who have a good track record of representing employees in employment disputes. You may also want to consider whether the lawyer has any additional qualifications, such as a certification in employment law.
  3. Look for a lawyer who is responsive and communicative. Choose a lawyer who is responsive to your calls and emails and who is willing to take the time to answer your questions. It is important to have an open and honest relationship with your lawyer, so you should feel comfortable asking them questions and discussing your case with them.
  4. Consider the lawyer’s fees. Employment lawyers in San Diego generally charge their clients on an hourly basis, and the hourly rates for employment lawyers can vary significantly. Make sure to ask about the lawyer’s fees and any other costs that may be involved in your case before you decide to hire them.
  5. Read reviews and ask for references. Look for reviews and ratings of potential lawyers online and ask the lawyers for references from former clients. This can help you get a sense of the lawyer’s reputation and the level of service they provide.

Ultimately, the most important factor in choosing an employment lawyer in San Diego is whether you feel comfortable and confident in their ability to represent you. It is important to choose a lawyer who understands your needs and is committed to advocating for you.

For those who lack formal legal training, it can feel quite daunting to be faced with the many intricacies and implications of California employment law. This only becomes more true when you are already going through a difficult situation, such as:

  • Wrongfully losing your job
  • Experiencing persistent workplace harassment
  • Having your hours cut in retaliation for talking about forming a union
  • Suffering a workplace injury due to inadequate safety standards

We know you have a lot of questions about your rights and the process to come. When you need personalized answers, please do not hesitate to contact us for a compassionate, no-pressure consultation.

FAQs for Employment Attorneys

How Much Do Employment Lawyers Charge in California?

The cost of an employment lawyer can vary greatly, as is the case with most types of legal services. Some of the factors that will impact the overall legal fees involved in your case include:

  • The complexity of the case
  • Your geographical location
  • The quality of your lawyer
  • Their billing method

The majority of attorneys charge an hourly fee for representation, which tends to run anywhere from $200 to $500+, depending on the type of lawyer and the circumstances of the case. However, many quality lawyers are willing to take on certain employment cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they don’t get paid until after a settlement or judgment results in a payout for their client. This allows workers who are struggling financially due to a lost job, injury, or cut hours to seek quality legal services with no upfront fee required. Be sure to understand your attorney’s billing structure during your initial consultation before making any agreement for legal services.

Can You Sue Your Employer in California?

While anyone can theoretically attempt to sue any other entity for many reasons, there are certain employment-related situations in California where it would not make sense to sue your employer. Workplace injuries and illnesses, for example, are covered by the state’s no-fault workers’ compensation system, which prohibits you from suing your employer directly when you get hurt at work. Instead of a trial to determine whose fault the injury was, you simply submit your claim through the workers’ compensation system. This is a win-win system for workers and employers, as nobody has to take responsibility for the injury, and it results in a faster payout than a court trial or protracted negotiations would. For a wide variety of issues other than workplace injuries, however, you most certainly do have the right to sue an employer.

Is There a Difference Between Labor Law and Employment Law?

Some people use these terms interchangeably, while others will make a distinction. Those in the latter camp typically understand “employment law” to refer to the two-way legal obligations between an employer and an individual employee, while “labor law” is more commonly used in reference to issues of workplace organizing, collective bargaining, and unionization. Whether you distinguish between the two terms or not, there is a great deal of overlap and interconnectivity between the two concepts, both philosophically and legally.

What Is the New Law for Employers in California?

The complex, interconnected laws and regulations that oversee various Californian industries are being updated frequently, on both the state and federal levels, so it’s crucial to keep abreast of any changing policies if you are planning to take legal action against an employer. An example of a recent significant change would be the expansion of the California Family Rights Act in 2021. The law now extends to more employers and covers additional types of leave, such as caring for an ailing grandparent or unmarried domestic partner.

Should I Worry About Retaliation From My Employer?

Although there are no guarantees that an employer won’t commit misconduct in response to a workplace complaint, employees are protected from retaliation. Overtime, sick leave, and other protections are a right and not a privilege. However, even protected rights require legal action from an experienced San Diego employment lawyer.

If your boss does retaliate against you, that could open your employer or manager to further penalties. This could result in additional monetary damages being awarded to you through your employment case. One of the benefits of hiring an attorney is that legal action removes you from the center of the action.

What Are My Rights as an Employee in California?

As an employee in California, you have many rights, including the right to work in an environment that is free from environmental pollutants and harassment. Racial discrimination is unlawful in the Golden State, meaning no one hiring, promoting, or assigning you can mistreat you based on your race and other protected characteristics.

Workers also enjoy mandatory PTO and maternity privileges, along with an expectation that any work beyond eight hours in one day or 40 within a week will be considered overtime and paid at 1.5 times the normal hourly rate.

What Are the Labor Protections in California?

Any violations of California’s workplace protections are subject to civil action by a San Diego employment lawyer. Workers are protected under state and federal law from:

  • Wrongful termination
  • Infringements of First Amendment protections of free speech
  • Violations of reasonable expectations of privacy
  • Working in unsafe work conditions
  • Retaliation
  • Violations of minimum wage earnings
  • Sexual harassment

If your rights have been violated in the workplace, you may be entitled to damages through the help of an employment attorney in San Diego.

How Is California Employment Law Different From Other States?

California enjoys some of the most robust employment protections in the country. The Golden State has one of the highest minimum wages in the country, and anti-discrimination laws extend toward members of the LGBTQ community. Under state law, protected classes are defined by race, color, age, religion, ancestry, disability, gender, and pregnancy, among other characteristics.

The Law Office of Frank S. Clowney III: Handling A Broad Spectrum of Employment Law Issues in San Diego, CA

I have worked with clients who have suffered discrimination at the hands of their employers. I am proud to do something about it − for them and for those who go after them. My firm has represented clients who have been discriminated against based on:

I have also advised and represented clients dealing with a broad spectrum of employee rights issues, including:

I seek to solve your legal problem so you can move forward with your life. You may be assured I will fight vigorously, tenaciously and knowledgeably to seek a fair settlement from your employer.

Labor laws are designed to protect you. Call The Law Office of Frank S. Clowney III at 619-557-0458 to arrange for a free initial consultation.

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