California Employment Law: Frequently Asked Questions

California Employment Law Book

We at Potter Handy, LLP give each and every case our undivided attention because we understand that every individual and every scenario is different. We have, however, received a number of questions throughout the years. For your convenience, we’ve gathered a list of some of the most often asked questions, along with their answers, below.

How much will it cost?

Potter Handy, LLP is a contingency-fee-based firm, which means that we only get paid if we win a case. That means you won’t have to pay us anything unless and until we obtain a win on your behalf. As a result of our victory, we will earn a percentage of the amount you receive as a result of the verdict or settlement.

Is it possible that I may be fired for reporting my employer’s illegal behavior?

No. Whether you object to illegal behavior directed at you (such as discrimination or harassment) or blow the whistle on other illegal behavior, you have the legal right to job protection and to not be retaliated against by your employer.

However, some employers will try to punish you, but this is against the law. That’s why it’s important to deal with employment law issues with the help of an experienced lawyer who can help you think about and prepare for these type of issues and help you protect your rights.

What is the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)?

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is the main legislation in California that regulates employee protections against discrimination, harassment, and retaliation at the hands of their employers. The law’s anti-discrimination rules are applicable to all employers with five or more full-time or part-time employees. The law’s anti-harassment rules apply to companies with one or more employees.

What is a wage and hour violation?

Some of the most common wage and hour violations include:

  • Failure to pay overtime
  • Travel time violations
  • Deductions from wages
  • Earned sick time violations
  • Failure to pay employees at termination
  • Failure to pay earned commissions
  • Illegal tip pooling policies
  • Classifying full-time employees as contractors

How long will it take my employment law case to reach a final resolution?

Because each case is unique, we can never guarantee a timeframe, although it is common for employment law cases to take 12-24 months to reach a final resolution. We realize that this might feel like an eternity, which is why we do everything we can to keep the legal process moving ahead and find a resolution as soon as possible.

What’s the process for a lawsuit?

The first stage is to decide if your case is strong enough to warrant bringing a lawsuit. That is a question that is normally answered at your first appointment with your attorney, and you can then determine how to proceed together.

Once you and your attorney have chosen to file a lawsuit, your attorney will submit a “complaint” with the court, which will be delivered to the defendant (your employer). The defendant must subsequently file a “answer” to the complaint within a certain time frame. The defendant may reply by filing counterclaims against the plaintiff (you), and both parties may clarify or correct their positions.

The following stage of the legal process is known as “discovery,” and it is at this stage that lawyers for each side conduct research and prepare their claims. This is frequently the longest part of the process, spanning weeks or months. The matter will go to trial when discovery is completed. Finally, the judge or jury will reach a decision. If either side wishes, they can appeal the judgment and have the matter heard again in a higher court.

At any stage during the litigation process, the parties can avoid a trial by reaching an out-of-court settlement agreement.

Have More Questions? Get Answers During A Free Consultation.

To learn more about our services, the first step is to schedule a free initial consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t pay anything until and less we win your case.

To schedule a meeting by phone, call (800) 383-7027 or contact us online. We serve clients throughout California.

Our bilingual law firm offers services in both English and Spanish. Se habla español.