Legal news and tips for employees, by Law Office of Eugene Lee

What Break Periods Am I Entitled To?

Under 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… 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

Sexual Harassment in California

It’s hard to believe that sexual harassment still occurs in the modern workplace, but it does. Luckily, Federal and California state laws offer powerful protections against workplace sexual harassment. Under the law, there are two main types of sexual harassment: “Sleep with me if you want to keep your job” 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 Discrimination Continue Reading

How Much Time Do Lawsuits Take?

“You’ll be hearing from my lawyer!” Famous last words. But what does bringing a lawsuit really mean? Make no mistake about it, a lawsuit can be a big commitment, not just in terms of money, but also in time. Your time. I’ve already talked about the costs involved. You can read all about it at… Continue Reading

Tip-Pooling – Can My Employer Take My Tips and How?

  Some History For better or worse, tipping has become an accepted part of American commerce. It is a practice that first emerged in the late 1800s. In 1917, the California legislature passed a law for the first time prohibiting employers from taking any portion of employees’ tips. However, the courts struck down the law… Continue 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

Can My Employer Break My Employment Contract? Can I?

Whenever it comes to contracts, the answer is always the same: it depends on what the contract says. A contract is a contract is a contract. Neither you nor your employer can breach a contract without facing the consequences. That is, unless the contract says it’s ok. This is why it is so important that… Continue Reading

California Supremes Limit Arbitration Waivers

The key excerpt from this latest ruling from the California Supreme Court, McGill v Citybank, says it all: In previous decisions, this court has said that the statutory remedies available for a violation of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA; Civ. Code, § 1750 et seq.), the unfair competition law (UCL; Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200… 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

US Supreme Court Says Class Actions Can Be Banned

Have you ever sat down and read the “fine print”? That long, boring document with tiny print that falls out of the box of whatever you just bought? Me neither. But maybe we all should from now on. In AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion et ux., AT&T had charged consumers $30.22 for phones that they… Continue Reading

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

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Law Office of Eugene Lee
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