Complaining about your job is an effective way to relieve stress, whether you are talking to your coworkers during your lunch break about your awful boss or telling your best “horrible boss” stories to party guests at a weekend barbecue. It does not, however, solve the problems that you are facing at work. What do you do if your list of grievances is so long that it cannot fit inside a lunch break or if your employer does not give you a lunch break at all? What if your boss micromanages you even in the break room to make sure that you are not venting your frustrations about him? Some issues that employees experience at work are so serious that you cannot laugh them off simply by telling your friends about them and hearing how ridiculous they sound. Discrimination, breach of contract, underpaying employees, and illegal activity in the workplace are no laughing matter. The San Francisco employee counseling lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys, LLP can help you prevent and resolve disputes with your employer and exercise your rights under federal and state employment laws.
What Do Employment Lawyers Do?
The San Francisco employment lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys, LLP help workers, including W-9 employees and 1099 independent contractors, exercise the rights granted to them under federal and state labor laws. These are some of the matters with which we have assisted clients:
- Disputes arising from employment contracts
- Wage and hour disputes
- Identity theft resulting from workplace data breaches
- Discrimination complaints
- Disputes over family leave
- Whistleblower actions
- Wrongful termination of employment
- Disability accommodations
- The rights of job applicants under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
An employment lawyer can help you resolve disagreements with your employer whether you are employed on an at-will basis or whether you have an employment contract.
Drafting and Reviewing Employment Contracts in San Francisco
As prices remain high and the gig economy offers crumbs to the lowest bidder, an employment contract really seems like a luxury, especially in San Francisco, one of the most expensive cities in the United States. Do not get so excited about being offered an employment contract that you sign the first piece of paper your employer puts in front of you without reading the fine print first. Negotiating your employment contract before you start your job can save you a lot of money and stress in the long term. Employment contracts do more than simply tell you how much you get paid and how many days of paid vacation you get per year. You should also pay attention to the parts of your contract that sound like legal boilerplate. What are the procedures for terminating the contract early? How should you attempt to repair a breach of contract if one occurs? Does the contract have force majeure provisions or non-compete clauses? Do you have the right to file a lawsuit in court in the event of a dispute over the contract, or does it stipulate that arbitration is the only way to resolve contract disputes?
If you persuade your employer to change the sentence that says, “Disputes arising from this contract are subject to binding arbitration,” so that it says, “The courts of California have jurisdiction to rule on disputes arising from this contract,” you preserve your right to sue your employer if the employer does not abide by the provisions of the contract. An employment lawyer can help you propose this small but important change.
Resolving Contract Disputes in San Francisco
People make promises all the time in business, but if your employer has made these promises in writing in a contract that you have both signed, you are on much firmer ground when it comes to holding your employer accountable for those promises. A breach of contract occurs when one party to a contract does not fulfill the obligations they promised to fulfill in the contract, and the other party suffers financial losses as a result. In a breach of contract lawsuit against your lawyer, you must prove the following claims:
- You signed an employment contract with your employer, and it was legally valid.
- Your employer broke one or more of the promises it made in the contract. Meanwhile, you fulfilled your contractual obligations, except where your employer’s non-performance of its contractual duties made this impossible.
- You followed the dispute resolution procedures, if any, listed in the contract.
- You suffered financial losses as a result of your employer’s non-performance of its contractual duties.
If a court rules in your favor in a breach of contract lawsuit, or if you and your employer reach a settlement before your case gets to trial, then you can recover compensation for the financial losses you incurred as a result of the breach of contract.
Employment Discrimination Claims in San Francisco
Employment discrimination is when an employer treats you unfairly because of a protected characteristic, such as race, sex, age, religion, disability, or family status. California case law also recognizes caste as a protected characteristic, as evidenced by a court ruling in favor of an engineer who sued his former employer for caste discrimination. Employment discrimination can take the form of refusal of an employer to hire employees who share a certain protected characteristic. It can also manifest itself in harassment and a hostile work environment or in adverse actions such as negative performance reviews, denial of promotions and raises, or termination of employment.
Pursuing an employment discrimination claim is a multi-step process. You must work with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and an employment lawyer can help you do this.
Whistleblower Actions and Reporting Employer Misconduct in San Francisco
Reporting misconduct or crimes in your workplace to outside authorities puts you in a vulnerable position, but the law is on your side. An employment lawyer can help you protect yourself from retaliation if you report misconduct in your place of employment.
Contact HKM Employment Attorneys, LLP About Employment Disputes in San Francisco
The San Francisco employment lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys, LLP can help you with discrimination claims, whistleblower actions, and more. Contact the employment lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP in San Francisco, California, to set up a consultation.