Areas of Practice

  • Disability Rights

    Employees in California who suffer from physical or mental disabilities are entitled to “reasonable accommodation” from their employers. Employers in California are required to interact and work with disabled employees to try to solve workplace issues that involve disabling health conditions.

    Employers have a duty to engage in an informal “interactive” process to try to find a “reasonable accommodation” which would allow a disabled employee to continue to perform the essential functions of his or her job.

    What is “reasonable” depends on the circumstances, but the California legislature has stated that job restructuring and part time work schedules may constitute a reasonable accommodation.

    Similarly, California courts have found that a finite leave of absence also may be considered a reasonable disability accommodation.

    If you are disabled and need assistance at work, be sure to communicate in writing with your employer regarding proposals that you or your doctor believe may assist you in performing your job.

    If your employer refuses to discuss potential accommodations, fails or refuses to accommodate your disability, forces you to take a leave of absence until you are 100%, or fires you after requesting assistance, then contact Top Law for help.

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  • Discrimination & Harassment

    Employees in California have a right to be free from harassment and discrimination on the job.

    If you are targeted or subjected to unwelcome and offensive conduct because of a protected class – for example, because of your sex, race, age, religion, sexual orientation, sexual identity, disability, or medical condition – then you may have a legal claim for unlawful discrimination and/or harassment under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (often referred to as “FEHA”).

    The difference between harassment and discrimination under the FEHA is this: harassment occurs when an employee is treated poorly through interpersonal relations (i.e., workplace behavior) because of a protected characteristic or activity. Discrimination is when an employer makes adverse employment decisions against an employee (e.g., termination or demotion) because of a protected characteristic or activity.

    In California, companies are strictly – automatically – liable for harassment committed by a supervisor against a subordinate employee. An employer is only legally responsible for harassment between co-workers if it knows – or should have known – about what is happening and fails to take prompt and effective corrective action.

    Traditionally, harassment arises in two forms: a “hostile work environment” or in the context of a “quid pro quo.” A “hostile” workplace requires: 1) conduct directed at a protected class (e.g., sex, sex identity, sexual orientation, race, religion, national origin, disability, etc.); 2) that is unwelcome and offensive; and 3) that is severe or pervasive such that it alters the terms and conditions of employment. “Quid pro quo” harassment occurs when a job benefit is conditioned on sexual favors.

    Being a bad boss, or making bad or unfair business decisions, is not unlawful. Workplace bullying is not unlawful unless it is based on a protected class. Because an employer typically cannot be held legally responsible without notice of the unlawful conduct, it is critical for employees to complain in writing to a supervisor and human resources department.

    If you complain in writing to your employer and the company fails or refuses to help you, or retaliates against you, then contact Top Law PC for a confidential, free case evaluation.

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  • Medical and Family Leave

    Larger employers are required to provide long term employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected medical leave for designated reasons, including an employee’s own “serious health condition”, the “serious health condition” of the employee’s child, parent, or spouse, or the birth of a child.

    To qualify for leave under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (commonly known as the “FMLA”), your employer must have 50 or more employees in a 75 mile radius, and you must have worked for the employer for over a year or for over 1250 hours within the past twelve month period.

    In California, a similar law called the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) provides virtually identical protections, so FMLA and CFRA leave may create important legal rights to assist you in protecting and preserving your job if you or someone in your family is suffering from a serious health condition. Under CFRA and FMLA, job protection means reinstatement rights, so it’s important to ask your human resources department if these laws apply to you.

    If your employer has failed to provide you with a leave of absence in order to care for yourself or a close family member; if your employer has interfered with your leave of absence; or if you believe your employer improperly denied you FMLA or CFRA leave, then contact Top Law for a free confidential consultation.

    Contact Top Law for a Free Consultation

  • Retaliation and Whistleblowers

    If an employee in California complains to their employer or to a government agency about what they believe in good faith to be unlawful workplace conduct, then the complaining employee is protected from being retaliated against on the job.

    If you have experienced retaliation after reporting or making a complaint about unlawful workplace conduct, then you may have a legal claim against your employer. Retaliation may come in many forms, from job termination or demotion to unwarranted performance improvement plans (“PIPs”) or false or pre-textural performance reviews.

    Top Law has successfully represented employees who have been fired or unfairly targeted for reporting unlawful conduct like unsafe working environments, wage and hour violations and harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

    If you believe you are being retaliated against for having reported unlawful conduct, document the adverse acts against you and contact a trial lawyer to evaluate the facts.

    Standing up and speaking out can be challenging enough; protecting your rights shouldn’t be.

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  • Unpaid wages

    If you believe that you have been misclassified (i.e., you believe you should be eligible for overtime based on the kind of work you do), or if your employer has not paid you all the wages you are owed, or if your employer is paying less than the minimum wage or has refused to pay you overtime – then contact Top Lap for a free confidential case consultation.

    Contact Top Law for a Free Consultation