Class Action Lawsuits
AK Employment Law Office handles a variety of class action cases, including claims of misclassification, unpaid overtime, failure to provide meal and rest breaks, California Labor Code violations, race and gender discrimination and other unlawful business practices.
Unlawful Wage & Break Practices
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the California Labor Code set minimum standards regarding wages, hours, and other labor practices for employers. California’s wage and hour laws are among the most employee-friendly in the nation and are quite complex. AK Employment Law Office handles all types of wage and hour cases, including claims of unpaid overtime and minimum wages, unlawful forfeiture of vacation and failure to pay reporting time pay, failure to provide meal and rest breaks.
The federal Equal Pay Act and California’s Fair Pay Act require employers to pay male and female employees equally for the same or “substantially similar” work. If you feel that you are being paid less than another employee performing equal or substantially similar work based on your sex, race, or ethnicity, AK Employment Law Office can help defend your rights.
Federal, state and local laws prohibit employers from taking adverse employment actions against employees based on certain protected characteristics, such as gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, disability, pregnancy, military service, national origin, etc. Adverse employment actions include, but are not limited to, termination, failure to promote, failure to hire, demotions, suspensions, or unfavorable evaluations. California has some of the broadest anti-discrimination laws in the country through the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
In California, unlawful workplace harassment occurs when a person directs negative, inappropriate, or unwanted conduct at an employee based on sex, race, sexual orientation, religion, disability, pregnancy or other protected characteristics. Unlawful harassment can take many forms, including inappropriate jokes, derogatory comments, unwanted touching, verbal or implied threats, improper and offensive posters or signs.
Wrongful Termination and Retaliation
While employment in California is considered "at-will", an employee may not be terminated for the following reasons:
Whistleblowing or refusing to engage in an illegal activity
Reporting discrimination and harassment based on an employee’s protected status, such as race, gender, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, or even political affiliation
Exercising a legal right such as filing a workers compensation claim, taking family leave, using sick time, or taking breaks
Reporting a legal violation, such as a health or safety concern
Performing an obligation such as serving on jury duty or in the military
Pregnancy, Medical and Family Leave Rights
It is unlawful for employers to deny employees legally-required pregnancy, medical and family leave or to retaliate against employees for taking such leave. AK Employment Law Office helps employees who have been treated unfairly for taking leave and also counsels employers regarding compliance.
Breach of Contract:
Failure of an employer to abide by a written or oral agreement can give rise to breach of contract claims. Ayse Kent has extensive experience handling breach of contract disputes in the employment context. She also handles business disputes based on breach of contract and fraudulent business transaction claims and claims of third-party interference with contracts.
While private sector employers have no obligation to provide an employee severance absent a contactual agreement, employees may be offered severance agreements under certain circumstances. Ayse Kent has successfully negotiated severance agreements on behalf of many individuals, including C-level executives, and companies.
Under California law, employers are required to promptly and thoroughly investigate any claim of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation through a formal process. Employer’s failure to investigate an employee’s complaint adequately can give rise to separate liability under California anti-discrimination laws. It is advisable to have a qualified third-party outside the company conduct the investigation to ensure neutrality and fairness.