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Oakland Employment Lawyer

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Oakland Employment Lawyer

Oakland employment lawyers in the State of California handle a wide range of cases involving the violation of employee rights. If you believe you might have a case, contact our law firm for help immediately.  

Federal Employment-Related Laws

Employment law covers many areas. Some of the most significant federal laws are:

Fair Labor Standards Act – The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the federal minimum wage, the federal requirements for overtime, and certain recordkeeping and paystub requirements. The current federal minimum wage is $7.35 per hour. Employers must pay time and a half after 40 hours in the work week. Employees who believe their employer violated the FLSA may file wage and hour complaints with the Department of Labor. Back wages and overtime not paid can be a costly remedy following such a complaint.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act – The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects workers and applicants over the age of 40 from discrimination in the job market. As part of a settlement, an employer may request a waiver of ADEA rights, but only if the written waiver request meets specific conditions, including receipt of valuable consideration. 

Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) – OSHA sets workplace safety standards. Failure to comply can result in civil or criminal penalties. 

Employee Retirement Income Security Act  – ERISA regulates employee benefits and retirement programs. It sets the minimum standards for vesting, communication, and supervisory fiduciary standards. ERISA preempts many similar state laws. 

State Employment Related Laws

California has relatively strict employment laws for protecting employees. While it is an at-will employment state, where you can be terminated at any time for any reason, that reason must be legal. 

Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) – Prohibits California employers with five or more employees from discriminating in terms of conditions of employment. Characteristics protected under FEHA include:

  • Race (including hair and other traits historically associated with race
  • Color
  • Religion or creed
  • National origin
  • Disability
  • Genetic Information
  • Marital and family status 
  • Pregnancy and related conditions
  • Sexual orientation and general identity/expression
  • Age
  • Military or veteran status.

FEHA prohibits harassment and retaliation and requires accommodations for pregnancy, disability, and religion. FEHA also requires email pay based on sex, race, and ethnicity. To defend a wage claim, the employer must show that the difference is based on a bona factor other than sex. Employers may not prohibit the discussion of wages and must permit employees access to their personnel files. 

In addition: 

  • Employers cannot adopt rules or policies against whistleblowers
  • Drug testing pre-employment is permitted, but credit checks can be used only when required by law. Applicants must receive notice of adverse action based on a credit check. 
  • Criminal background checks must be job-related and consistent with business necessities. Employers may not consider certain kinds of criminal history in employment decisions.
  • Moreover, employment applications may not include questions about an applicant’s criminal history, and employers may not inquire about it until they have made a conditional offer.

Wage & Hours – California’s minimum wage is $14.00 per hour with time-and-a-half overtime required for all hours in excess of 40 in a week or eight up to 12 in a day. Hours over 12 in a day must be paid at double time. 

Contact an Oakland Employment Attorney

You should contact an employment lawyer at Olivier & Schreiber LLP if you believe your employer has violated your federal or state employment rights. Contact us online, so we can evaluate your legal options and help you take any necessary action against your employer.

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