Being an employer in California does not only mean hiring employees, paying them wages, and collecting profits. Being an employer also means following California employment law and thinking twice before saying certain things.
Being an employer carries financial risks and potential exposure to lawsuits, which is why making certain statements can get your employer in legal trouble. We invited our Los Angeles employment law attorney from JML Law to review four things employers commonly say that can expose them to legal liability.
Needless to say, if you hear your employer say any of these four things, file a lawsuit against him or her (or at least consult with an experienced lawyer to learn about your options).
“Darling, you know I can fire you if you refuse to …, right? (Fill in the gap with any of the following phrases (a) have sex with me, (b) let me touch you wherever and however I want, (c) go on a date with me, or other sexual advances).
First and foremost, let us begin by saying that your employer is truly fearless because it takes an incredible amount of courage to say these sorts of things in the wake of the #MeToo movement. The good news is that you will most likely be able to sue your employer for sexual harassment.
Following a series of high-profile sexual harassment scandals, courts in California and all across the U.S. take sexual harassment claims more seriously than ever before. Therefore, with the help of a sexual harassment attorney Los Angeles by your side, you can sue your employer for making unwanted sexual advances.
Note: if your employer does fire you (as promised in the example above), you can sue him for wrongful termination.
“I’m so busy right now, can you please (a) file your complaint or (b) tell me about this violation or hazard next week?”
In California, employers have a legal obligation to conduct workplace investigations in a timely manner after a workplace violation or hazard in the workplace has been reported.
An employer can be held liable for anything unlawful in the workplace as long as he or she knew or should have known about this illegal activity and had a legal obligation to take immediate and reasonable actions to remedy the situation.
If you get fired for complaining about illegal activity in the workplace or reporting it to the appropriate authorities, our Los Angeles retaliation attorney advises taking legal action for whistleblower retaliation.
“To tell you the truth, (insert your name), I’m going to promote (insert your coworker’s name) because our company needs fresh blood.”
If your employer tells you this and you are over 40, you may have a right to file a discrimination claim against your employer. Your employer is discriminating against you because of your age, which is a clear violation of California employment law. More often than not, however, employers are not as straightforward with their workers, which makes it nearly impossible to recognize signs of age discrimination unless you consult with a Los Angeles discrimination attorney.
“(Insert your name), I know that you worked really hard on that project, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to pay you overtime.”
Under California law, employers are legally required to pay their employees an hourly wage of 1.5 times or her hourly wage for every hour worked over 40 hours in a 7-day period.
If you hear this phrase from your employer, let our wage fraud attorney in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California help you receive back pay for those unpaid or underpaid overtime wages.