At the Law Office of Christopher Baudino, we exclusively represent employees and former employees. We never advocate for employers but do know how to effectively combat the legal arguments used to defend them.
Our El Cerrito employment lawyer can assist you with cases involving:
- Age Discrimination. You have the right to perform your job in a workplace free of discrimination. State and federal laws make it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees because of their race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. These classifications are known as “protected classes.” Employers cannot make hiring, firing, or other employment-related decisions because of someone’s membership in a protected class. Age is also considered a protected class when an employee or applicant is over the age of 40, meaning an employer cannot choose to hire, fire, or adversely treat someone because they feel they are “too old.” A discrimination complaint does not necessarily require termination: Any adverse action on the basis of membership in a protected class constitutes discrimination. Therefore, discrimination can involve a demotion, imposition of additional duties, or unfavorable transfer.
- Wrongful Termination. Most California employers are “at will,” meaning they can be dismissed for almost any reason. However, there is one important exception: Employers cannot terminate an employee for a reason that would “violate fundamental public policy.” A fundamental public policy is one that affects society at large rather than an employee’s purely personal or financial interest. In other words, an employer cannot fire you or lay you off because you reported discrimination in your workplace, refused to sign an illegal work agreement, or participated in any other legally protected activity.
- Sexual Harassment. California has some of the strictest workplace harassment laws in the country. Many harassment cases involve harassment on the basis of sex, though state and federal law also prohibit harassment based on race, color, religion, or national origin. All of these types of harassment are illegal when they result in a hostile work environment. In addition, a quid pro quo – a situation where a reward or detriment is conditioned on an employee’s acceptance or rejection of unwanted sexual conduct – constitutes sexual harassment. Your employer may also be liable for failing to do enough to prevent sexual harassment from happening, even if your boss or manager is not directly perpetrating the abuse.
- Retaliation and Whistleblower Claims. A California employer may not retaliate against an employee for reporting illegal activity (or what they sincerely believe to be illegal activity). To qualify for this legal protection, the employee must be reporting unlawful conduct that could harm the public. Courts have found that employees are protected for reporting embezzlement, fraud, workplace safety issues, and employment discrimination. Courts have also historically protected employees when they refuse a boss or supervisor’s order to participate in unlawful conduct, such as a refusal to lie to government investigators or a refusal to engage in illegal anti-union activity. If you would like to discuss a whistleblower claim that implicates the protection of society at large, get in touch with our El Cerrito employment lawyer.
- Disability Discrimination. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) not only prohibits discrimination on the basis of a physical or mental disability but also requires employers to provide, at their own expense, “reasonable accommodations” to disabled employees. To be a “qualified individual” under the ADA, a person must be able to perform the essential functions of the position either with or without reasonable accommodation. Often, employers find it is simpler to remove the disabled employee from the position rather than have the necessary discussion about how a workplace might accommodate them. Having this discussion, called the “interactive process,” is a legal requirement. Your employer cannot refuse to consider your request, and they can only deny your reasonable accommodation if it creates an undue hardship.
When your boss or employer violates your rights, it can be easy to feel powerless. You do not have to stand for misconduct, and our team at the Law Office of Christopher Baudino can help you take control of your situation. Our El Cerrito employment lawyer is committed to helping employees and former employees understand and enforce their rights. After reviewing your unique circumstances, we will walk you through your legal options and review the types of relief you may be able to recover through litigation.