Legal news and tips for employees

What Break Periods Am I Entitled To?

california rest break laws meal break lawsUnder California law (which is much more generous to employees than federal law), if you are a non-exempt worker, you are entitled to meal and rest breaks: a 30-minute meal break if you work more than 5 hours in a workday, and 10 minutes breaks for every 4 hours you work. There are other requirements though. If your boss doesn’t comply with break requirements, they are required to pay you one extra hour of regular pay for each day on which a break violation occurred.

For the nitty gritties, see below:Continue Reading

Filing a Discrimination Complaint in California

In California, employees who wish to file a discrimination lawsuit cannot do so until they first file “charges” with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and/or the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH) and obtain “right to sue” letters. This process is called “administrative exhaustion”. Luckily, the systems are now highly automated…Continue Reading

Discrimination Laws in California

Both Federal and California laws prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on an employee’s “protected characteristics”. Under California’s broad, pro-employee laws (perhaps the best in the US), “protected characteristics” mean: “race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation”. Types of DiscriminationContinue Reading

10 Signs You’re About to be Fired

Getting fired doesn’t always involve a dramatic showdown meeting with your boss who tells you to pack your things and get out. In an age where employers are paranoid about getting sued by fired employees, firing an employee is often more complicated, involving many subtle steps. As an employee, it’s up to you to spot…Continue Reading

Largest Sexual Harassment Verdict in History – $168 Million

A Sacramento hospital has the dubious distinction of being hit with what may be the largest sexual harassment verdict in history. On August 7, 2008, Mercy General Hospital terminated Ani Chopourian, a 45-year-old former cardiac surgery physician assistant who was educated at UCLA and Yale, allegedly for failing to show up for an on-call shift…Continue Reading

Need Your Faith in Humanity Reaffirmed?

Sometimes I go for days without opening a newspaper. It gets downright depressing reading about all the school shootings, political gridlock and homicides. But every now and then, I come across something that actually reaffirms my faith in humanity. Take a look at “26 Moments That Restored Our Faith In Humanity This Year” and be…Continue Reading

Called as a Witness? Get Your Witness Fees

Have you ever been called to testify as a witness at a deposition (a “deposition” is a fancy way of saying a lawyer-conducted witness interview conducted under oath that is recorded by a court reporter) or at a trial? If so, then you have the right to recover “ordinary witness fees”. According to California Government…Continue Reading

Filed Under: Law

Psychological Warfare in Lawsuits

They say war is hell. Well, so is litigation. Things can get downright nasty in the legal trenches. Some lawyers even cross ethical lines and risk disbarment in order to win. In a recent patent infringement lawsuit between warring technology giants Qualcomm Inc. and Broadcom Corp., federal magistrate judge Barbara Major found that Qualcomm had…Continue Reading