San Diego Employment Law Attorneys

There are so many attractions in San Diego that tourism is a thriving industry. Unfortunately, not all of the employers in the tourism industry obey wage and hour laws, while others discriminate against employees for unlawful reasons.

When San Diego employees – whether working in tourism or any other industry – experience problems related to unpaid wages or discrimination, The Cooper Law Firm attorneys help them find solutions. Get in touch with us to hire an experienced employment attorney.

San Diego’s Tourism Industry

San Diego Employment Lawyers

The San Diego Zoo is justly praised as one of the finest zoos in the world. Other famous San Diego attractions include Belmont Park, Sea World, and Balboa Park.

San Diego offers museums for every interest, including the USS Midway Museum, the Maritime Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Hall of Champions Sports Museum, and the Museum of Photographic Arts. There’s even a Railroad Museum for model (and real) train enthusiasts.

Visitors who want to learn while having fun spend time at Birch Aquarium or the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. Lovers of the outdoors enjoy La Jolla Cove, Sunset Cliffs, and Torrey Pines State National Reserve.

The variety of food available at San Diego restaurants is astonishing. Visitors can sample some of it by taking the La Jolla Food Walking Tour, or they can sign up for the Brothels, Bits and Booze Tour. Foodies who want to explore on their own can stroll through Little Italy, Old Town, East Village, and the Embarcadero, stopping now and then for a drink, a snack, or a full meal.

Issues San Diego Employment Attorneys Can Help You With

Of course, tourism isn’t the only industry that keeps the 1.5 million workers in San Diego’s labor force employed. More than 77,000 businesses have employees in San Diego, including two Fortune 500 companies. Telecommunications, healthcare, energy, and technology development are among the leading industries that employ San Diego workers.

Unfortunately, San Diego businesses do not always follow laws that protect workers. Some businesses discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, sex, or gender identity. Some fail to accommodate the needs of disabled employees.

San Diego businesses sometimes save money by improperly classifying employees as exempt. That allows them to avoid paying overtime. Or they misclassify an employee as an independent contractor to avoid all the wage and hour laws that protect employees, as well as laws that require employers to contribute to payroll taxes and to provide unemployment and workers compensation benefits.

Wage and Hour Violations

san diego employment attorneys

Whether they do so deliberately or carelessly, too many San Diego employers fail to pay the full wages they owe to their employees. Unpaid overtime for salaried employees and commissioned salespersons is a big part of the problem.

California law requires workers to be paid overtime if they work more than 8 hours in a day, more than 40 hours in a week, or more than 6 consecutive days. Only certain salaried or commissioned employees are exempt from that requirement. A strict definition of job duties as well as a minimum amount of earnings specified by law governs whether an employee can legally be classified as exempt.

Employers often give employees a fixed salary and classify them as “exempt” to avoid paying overtime. Yet many of the administrative, executive, and professional employees who are classified as exempt are not given the responsibility or independence that the law requires before the exemption is appropriate.

In California, whether a commissioned salesperson can be treated as exempt may vary from pay period to pay period. When salespersons do not receive commissions in a pay period that qualify them as exempt, they are entitled to be paid minimum wage and overtime. Many employers do not understand or choose to ignore that requirement. Their salespersons suffer as a result of their failure to comply with California law.

California law also requires employers to provide most employees with an unpaid meal break if they work at least 5 hours and with paid rest periods. Employers can be required to compensate employees with daily penalties if they fail to comply with those laws.

Our San Diego employment lawyer represent employees who have not been paid wages due to misclassification or any other reason, including:

  • Falsifying time records
  • Failing to pay final wages on the day an employee is terminated
  • Failing to pay final wages within 3 days after an employee quits
  • Failing to compute commissions correctly
  • Failing to pay minimum wage or overtime
  • Withholding any portion of wages that the law does not allow

We also represent employees who have been misclassified as independent contractors in violation of California law.

Employment Discrimination

Federal and California law require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees and job applicants, including changes in the work environment that make it possible for a disabled employee to do the job, provided the changes cause no undue hardship. The law also protects the disabled from employment discrimination.

Other employees and job applicants are protected from discrimination because of their:

  • Race and color
  • National origin and ancestry
  • Sex
  • Pregnancy
  • Gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation
  • Age (over 40)
  • Religion
  • Marital status
  • Citizenship (when an employee holds a green card)
  • Military service history
  • Medical condition and genetic information

Discrimination refers to an employer’s unfavorable treatment of an employee or job applicant because of that person’s membership in one of the protected classes listed above.

Employment discrimination laws also prohibit workplace harassment that targets employees because of their sex, race, or membership in any other protected class. Sexual harassment includes conditioning employment or benefits on the performance of sexual favors. Forbidden harassment may also consist of creating a work environment that is hostile or oppressive to employees because of their membership (or perceived membership) in a protected class.

California law also protects employees from retaliation for complaining about discrimination or harassment. Those protections extend to employees who help discrimination victims make a complaint or who testify on their behalf in legal proceedings.

Protecting the Rights of San Diego Employees

The Cooper Law Firm has experienced employment law attorneys that help San Diego employees who are victims of employment discrimination and workplace harassment. We also represent San Diego employees who have been victimized by a failure to pay wages, by misclassification, or by violations of other wage and hour laws.

In appropriate cases, we pursue class action remedies on behalf of all victimized employees who experienced similar harms. Contact The Cooper Law Firm for a free evaluation of your case if you believe your San Diego employer violated your rights as an employee.