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Orange County Employment Law Attorney

Orange County Employment Law Lawyer

Employment law pertains to the legal relationships between employers and their employees across all industries. Every day, many employees in Orange County encounter legal issues they do not know how to handle on their own, such as sexual harassment, discrimination, and even wrongful termination. An Orange County employment law attorney is an invaluable asset for any such case.

Orange County Employment Law Attorney

Representing Employees in All Industries in Employment Law Cases in Orange County, CA

Canlas Law Group is an experienced team of attorneys with years of successful employment cases behind us. We take time to learn as much as possible about each client we represent, helping them make clearer sense of their legal situations and assisting them in holding employers accountable when they break federal or state employment laws.

When you choose our team to represent you, you can expect personalized and responsive legal support through every stage of your case. We can help gather any evidence needed to support your claim, determine whether you can claim damages and their amounts, and assist you in preparing for the proceedings ahead. You are not only more likely to win an employment case when you have legal counsel, but you are also more likely to maximize your results.

Types of Employment Cases We Handle in Orange County

If you believe you have grounds to file any type of employment suit in Orange County, it’s vital to find an attorney with proven experience handling cases similar to yours. At Canlas Law Group, our firm routinely represents a variety of employment cases for clients in the Orange County area, including:

  • Employee discrimination. The term “discrimination” refers to making employment-related decisions on the basis of an employee’s personal qualities, such as their race, religion, ethnicity, sex, or sexual orientation. If you believe you have experienced any form of discrimination, an Orange County employment law attorney can help determine your most viable options for legal recourse.
  • Harassment. If you have been subjected to any form of harassment in your workplace, such as sexual harassment of any kind or a hostile work environment due to discrimination, it can form the basis of a civil suit. You may have grounds for legal action against your employer as well as the specific party who harassed you.
  • Wrongful termination. Employers in the state may not conduct discriminatory firings. This means they cannot base their decision to terminate employees on race, religion, sex, or other personal qualities. If you believe you have grounds to file a wrongful termination suit, your Orange County employment law attorney can help construct your claim and determine the scope of damages you can seek from a former employer.
  • Wage and hour claims. California law upholds strict rules regarding minimum wage, overtime pay, and other factors related to employee compensation. If you believe your employer has failed to pay you correctly, our team can help you hold them accountable for your missing wages.

These are just a few examples of the types of cases we regularly represent in Orange County. If you believe you have grounds to file any type of employment suit, it is vital that you contact an Orange County employment law attorney as soon as possible so they can start building your case.

Proving Discrimination and Harassment in Orange County

One of the most challenging aspects of filing any type of employment discrimination or harassment claim in Orange County is the apparent scarcity of hard evidence. When employers knowingly engage in these unlawful behaviors, they typically take steps to conceal their motivations. However, the right attorney can help identify all evidence you can secure to build your case.

If you have experienced discrimination or harassment, it is likely that other employees and former employees have had similar experiences. Your attorney can help you obtain their statements to prove a pattern of unlawful behavior from an employer. It is also possible to obtain internal correspondence, such as emails and group chat transcripts that may prove your employer engaged in illegal discrimination or harassment of some kind.

If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, you may need to secure witness statements from coworkers, physical evidence from your workplace, or even medical reports if you have been sexually assaulted. Your Orange County employment law attorney can help determine what evidence you will need to form the foundation of your case.

Understanding the At-Will Employment Law

In most states, employment functions on an at-will basis. This means that an employee-employer relationship continues at will, and either party may end the relationship at any time. There is no legal requirement to provide advance notice, but it is typically considered common courtesy to provide an employer with two weeks’ notice if you intend to leave a job. Employers also should try to notify employees in advance if their positions are terminated.

The purported intention of at-will employment law is to prevent an employee from essentially being trapped in a job they no longer wish to have, but the reality is that it makes it very easy for employers to justify firings and have a readily available excuse for a discriminatory firing. If you believe your recent termination was for a wrongful reason, an Orange County employment law attorney can be your most important asset for proving the truth of the matter.

What to Do After Harassment or Discrimination at Work

If you have experienced any type of unlawful discrimination or harassment in your workplace, the first step in addressing such an issue should be to file a complaint internally through your employer’s conflict resolution channels. US employers are legally required to maintain anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies, and they must also have internal conflict resolution channels for addressing these matters when they arise.

If you notify your employer of harassment or discrimination of any kind and they fail to properly address the situation, or if your employer is the one doing the harassing, you should reach out to an Orange County employment law attorney as soon as possible. The right attorney can help determine the optimal steps to take when your employer’s internal conflict resolution channels have failed to resolve your issue.

Wage and Hour Claims

All employees in all industries have the right to be paid correctly and on time, and employers in Orange County are required to meet specific requirements when it comes to employee compensation. It’s possible for a wage and hour claim in Orange County to pertain to:

  • Minimum wage violations. California enforces one of the highest minimum wages in the country. If your employer has not paid you at least the state minimum wage, it can form grounds for a wage and hour claim.
  • Paystub violations. Employers are required to provide their employees with accurate paystubs showing all hours worked, compensation rate, and all deductions. If your employer has not provided you with paystubs, it is a violation of state law.
  • Overtime violations. Overtime typically qualifies as hours worked past 40 hours in a workweek. There are also rules for double pay and overtime pay based on daily shift times. Overtime is typically 1.5 times the employee’s usual rate.
  • Unlawful deductions. Employers are only allowed to make certain deductions from their employees’ paychecks. If you believe your employer has made any illegal deductions, you should consult an attorney immediately.

A wage and hour claim may pertain to failure to pay an employee on time and/or in full, unlawful manipulation of an employee’s timecard to avoid paying them overtime, or making unlawful deductions. You will need to consult an experienced workers comp lawyer in Orange County if you have encountered any such issues from an employer in Orange County.

Filing a Claim to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws that apply to all workplaces in the United States. If you have experienced any type of unlawful discrimination or harassment, you cannot proceed directly to filing a civil suit against an employer. First, you will need to file a claim to the EEOC.

The EEOC claim filing process is relatively straightforward, and the agency typically delivers its responses to claims within 180 days of beginning an investigation. Having an experienced attorney’s help can streamline the claim filing process, and you will be better prepared to approach the complex proceedings you face after a claim is approved.

You will need to complete various claim forms and submit supporting documentation to the EEOC so they can begin their investigation. During the investigation, the EEOC attorney assigned to your case may reach out to you for additional information, and they can also contact your employer. If any employer interferes or refuses to comply with an EEOC investigation, they will face severe legal penalties.

If the EEOC determines that your claim is valid, they will send you a Notice of Right to Sue that will allow you to proceed with your civil suit. Having the EEOC’s support for your claim will significantly improve your chances of success with the case, and the defendant is likely to seek a swift settlement in this situation. In some cases, the EEOC will directly initiate legal proceedings against an employer.

Preparing Your Civil Suit Against an Orange County Employer

Once you have the EEOC’s support behind your case, your Orange County employment law attorney can help construct a civil suit that aims for maximum compensation for your damages. Every employment case is different, and you may be entitled to more compensation than you initially expected.

Your Orange County employment law attorney can help build your claim, including gathering any supporting documentation you will need to submit to the court. At this point, your case could go two possible ways. Either the defendant agrees to settlement negotiations, or they can deny liability and demand litigation. Most employment cases are settled privately, as this allows employers to avoid negative publicity.

Damages You Could Recover in an Employment Case

A successful employment lawsuit in Orange County provides several benefits. The plaintiff can hold the defendant accountable for their unlawful actions and potentially prevent others from facing similar treatment in the future. Employers are often fined and face other penalties to reflect the scope of their unlawful mistreatment of their employees, and the plaintiff in an employment case may also seek compensation for any damages they suffered.

Damages in a civil employment suit typically include several types of economic damages as well as non-economic and punitive damages. Economic damages are the most straightforward and include any direct financial harm the plaintiff suffered because of the defendant’s actions:

  • If you lost your job, were demoted, or otherwise lost fair compensation because of the defendant’s unlawful behavior, it’s possible to claim compensation for lost wages, back pay, and the value of benefits you were unfairly denied.
  • You can claim compensation for expenses you incurred because of the defendant’s actions, such as transportation costs, expenses related to new job searches, and medical expenses for treatment that should have been covered through employer-provided medical insurance.
  • Many plaintiffs are able to claim compensation for the cost of bringing their actions, so it is possible that you will effectively pay nothing in legal fees.

Non-economic damages are more subjective and pertain to the emotional distress you experienced because of the defendant’s actions. State law allows the plaintiff in a civil claim for damages to seek as much pain and suffering compensation as they believe to be appropriate to reflect the severity of their experience.

If you were subjected to a hostile work environment, experienced sexual harassment at work, or were discriminated against due to your religious beliefs, your race, your sexual orientation, or any other protected personal qualities, you have the right to seek financial compensation for your emotional distress. State law does not limit this aspect of your recovery, and a good attorney can potentially help you recover much more compensation than you may have initially expected.

Punitive damages are awarded at the discretion of judges handling civil suits when a defendant’s actions have exceeded the scope of standard negligence. It’s possible for the EEOC to issue fines against employers who have violated US employment laws, and the state can also impose fines against employers for such actions.

The judge in your case may add punitive damages to your case award based on the size of your employer. Additionally, fines issued by the EEOC for breaches of US employment laws are also based on the number of employees a defendant has.

What to Expect From Your Orange County Employment Law Attorney

When you choose Canlas Law Group as your legal representatives for any type of employment case in Orange County, you will have a dedicated team of advocates ready to answer your questions, address your concerns, and resolve any unexpected complications you encounter as your case unfolds.

We take time to listen to every client’s story, helping them to determine the full scope of the legal options that offer the greatest chance of maximizing their recovery. We know that your case may seem overly complex, and the thought of confronting a large employer with an in-house legal department may seem daunting. However, we have the resources and experience necessary to guide you to a positive conclusion to your case.

When your employment suit requires a claim to the EEOC, you can rely on our firm to guide you through this process as efficiently as possible. We’ll help you complete all necessary claim forms and secure the supporting documentation you must provide to the EEOC so they can begin their investigation. We can handle correspondence with the EEOC for you, and once they make a ruling on your claim, we can guide you through the next steps in your case.

Once you have the ability to file your civil suit, our goal will be to maximize the compensation you obtain in the shortest possible timeframe. Most civil claims for damages filed in Orange County end in private settlement, and when an employer has been proven liable for violating employment laws, they generally seek to settle these cases quickly and quietly. Our firm will aim to settle your case if possible, but we are fully prepared to represent you in court if necessary.

If you have concerns about the potential cost of hiring legal representation, our firm will be entirely upfront about our billing policy at the outset of your case, so there are no surprises concerning your legal fees. Additionally, some claimants will have grounds to seek compensation for their legal expenses from the defendants in their claim. Our goal for your case is to maximize any compensation you are able to obtain.

You have a limited time in which to file a claim to the EEOC if you have experienced discrimination or harassment, and if you are filing a wage and hour claim, it is vital to do so as soon as possible after your employer has refused to correct their error or omission. Whatever your case entails, the sooner you connect with an Orange County employment law attorney, the better your chances are of succeeding with your case.

FAQs About Orange County, CA Employment Laws

How Do I Prove Wrongful Termination in Orange County?

Wrongful termination is one of the most common employment cases filed in the state, and it can seem difficult to approach this type of case due to the state’s at-will employment law. To succeed with a wrongful termination claim, the employee must prove they were fired for an illegal reason, such as discrimination on the basis of their personal protected qualities. Your Orange County employment law attorney can help gather evidence to build your case.

How Much Do Employment Lawyers Charge?

Every attorney has a different billing policy. When it comes to employment law, many attorneys charge their clients by the hour, so the more time they spend working on a case, the more it costs the client. Alternatively, if you are seeking compensation for damages, an attorney may be willing to take your case on contingency, meaning their fee will be a percentage of the total compensation you secure if you succeed with your case, but only if you succeed.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim in an Employment Suit?

It’s possible for a plaintiff in an employment suit to seek compensation for any economic damages they suffered because of the defendant’s actions. These may include lost income and the value of lost benefits, back pay for the time they should have been able to work, and the cost of new job searches, transportation, and medical expenses that employer-provided health insurance should have covered. They can also seek compensation for their emotional distress.

Can My Employer Fire Me Whenever They Want?

Under the state’s at-will employment law, both the employer and employee continue their work relationship at the will of both parties. This means that either party may terminate the relationship at any time, with or without notice and with or without providing a specific reason. An employer may not, however, fire an employee for an illegal reason, such as discrimination.

Why Should I Hire an Orange County Employment Law Attorney?

Navigating the complex employment statutes that may apply to your case will be incredibly difficult, and having an attorney’s help can make this process much faster, easier, and more likely to yield positive results. When you have a seasoned Orange County employment law attorney representing you, you will be better prepared to confront the most complex aspects of your case, and you are more likely to maximize any compensation you obtain from your suit.

Contact Canlas Law Group

Canlas Law Group has years of professional experience helping employees from all industries navigate their legal cases with confidence. Our goal for every employment case we accept is to hold an employer accountable for their actions and secure appropriate compensation for our client. If you are ready to see what an Orange County employment law attorney can do for you, contact Canlas Law Group today to schedule a free consultation with our team.