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CA employment attorneyThe rapid approach of summer in San Jose means many employers will be putting out ‘help wanted’ signs. Whether you are searching for a seasonal position, something part-time to supplement your existing income, or hope to make a major career move, it is important to prepare yourself for the interview process. Unfortunately, there is a chance you could encounter employment discrimination in a potential employer’s hiring practices and interview policies. The following can help protect your rights in these situations.

What Employers Can and Cannot Ask on Applications and in Interviews

While restaurants, hotels, retail stores, and other businesses in the hospitality industry typically require additional help in the summer months, they are not the only employers currently hiring. The city of San Jose itself currently has more than 600 job openings. Among the various positions available include city accountants, code enforcement officials, electricians, police officers, and park rangers.

Whether you are applying for these or other positions, even if it is only a part-time or temporary job, you will likely be required to go through an extensive application and interview process. While you will want to provide prospective employers with as much information as possible about yourself, your assets, and your potential with the company, keep in mind that there are certain topics employers are not permitted to ask about. According to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), questions you can and can’t be asked include:

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CA employment attorneyAs summer fast approaches, the school year is winding down for teens and college students at area schools and universities. While some plan to travel or otherwise enjoy the time off, many will end up looking for summer jobs. While students can make a decent amount of money during the warm weather months, which typically bring in plenty of tourists, they do need to be aware of some important precautions. Under the state’s employment laws, students are eligible for the same protections as any other worker in terms of hiring practices, payment, break periods, safety practices, and the types of work they are required to perform.

Know Your Rights on the Job

For young people, their eagerness to obtain a job and earn some income over the summer months can make them reckless in terms of their rights as employees. Unfortunately, their lack of knowledge and experience in the workforce can easily lead to them being exploited. Ways in which employers may take advantage of young workers include:

  • Paying them less;
  • Refusing to provide uniforms where appropriate;
  • Not providing proper safety gear and equipment;
  • Requiring them to work long hours;
  • Refusing to provide regular days off or breaks;
  • Not giving them adequate notice of their schedules;
  • Subjecting them to abuse, discrimination, or harassment; and
  • Withholding too much from their paychecks.

In situations where any of the above occurs, the California Department of Labor Relations may get involved. In addition to filing a complaint against the specific employer, you may be entitled to compensation for any lost wages and benefits, along with additional amounts meant to punish the employer for their behavior.

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CA employment lawyerAt the beginning of 2019, San Jose workers got a bump in their pay as the city raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour. While employee rights advocates hail the increase as a step in the right direction, business owners have been grumbling about increased costs. This situation is one that is ripe for wage disputes, particularly in cases where businesses are not in compliance or when they attempt to cut corners in terms of calculating hours. A recent class action lawsuit against a Bay Area eatery provides important clues as to the types of unfair wage actions workers need to be alert for.

Bay Area Eatery Settles Lawsuit for $690,000

Gordo Taqueria is a popular eatery with locations throughout the Bay area. However, the restaurant’s owners have been embroiled in legal battles over the past few years regarding accusations they engaged in unfair and illegal wage practices. A former dishwasher and prep cook initiated a class action lawsuit against the business, which eventually included more than 240 other employees. The dishwasher, who worked at the Berkeley location from 2013 to 2015, alleges that the restaurant owners engaged in a variety of unfair practices, which include:

  • Not paying legally required overtime for those who worked 10 to 12-hour shifts;
  • Not providing the required rest and meal breaks on longer shifts;
  • Miscalculations of employee pay due to poor record keeping practices; and
  • Failure to distribute tips to workers as legally required.

The issues raised in the lawsuit may serve as a wake-up call for other workers in the area who have employers engaging in the same types of practices. While Gordo Taqueria admits no wrongdoing in the matter, they did agree to settle the lawsuit and pay the former employees $690,000.

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CA labor lawyerThe loss of a job may come as an unexpected blow or it may follow months of whispered rumblings and rumors in the employee break room. In either scenario, the end result could mean not only the loss of income, but also changes in your retirement plans and the loss of important medical benefits. In these situations, a strong termination agreement can help to protect your current and future financial security. Amidst a recent layoff initiated by a local company, the following highlights some of the most important issues in these agreements, which workers need to be aware of.

San Jose Based Firm Lays Off Workers After Acquisition

San Jose based Broadcom Inc. recently caught employees off guard when they sent a mass letter informing them of layoffs that were set to be effective immediately. According to media reports, internal documents related to the cut indicate that the global tech giant planned to cut more than 40 percent of the employees that were inherited when it acquired CA Technologies, an enterprise software manufacturer. The cuts are expected to impact roughly 2,000 of the company’s more than 4,800 workers.

Broadcom, which has more than 11,000 workers worldwide, recently moved its headquarters to San Jose from Singapore. Prior to the move, the company had been embroiled in controversy when President Donald Trump cited national security concerns in attempting to block it from acquiring mobile phone chipmaker Qualcomm Inc.

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San Jose, CA employment law attorney employee expensesWhile expense accounts are seen as a perk in some companies, the reality is that employees in a variety of fields are entitled to be reimbursed for money that they spend while performing their jobs. These expenses can add up to significant amounts of money, and if your employer has failed to pay for work-related expenses, you should consult with an employment law attorney to learn about your rights and options.  

Employee Expense Reimbursement

Many larger companies track and reimburse expenses submitted by employees, and there are a variety of programs available to assist in calculating and repaying employee expenses. However, employees at smaller companies are often not so lucky. While California law does require employers to reimburse workers for necessary expenditures and losses incurred on the job, it is not uncommon for workers to have to absorb these expenses themselves. 

The most common types of job-related expenses covered under the law include: 

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San Jose employment law attorney, working age laws, California employment law, minimum working age, employment regulationsNow that summer is in full swing you may be noticing that the average age of your baristas, ice cream scoopers, cashiers, etc. is significantly younger than it was during the winter months. Teenagers taking summer jobs is a common occurrence in California.

However, if you are an employer, it is important to know that there is a minimum working age in effect in California. So before you hire that last teenage summer employee be sure to brush up on the minimum working age laws outlined below to ensure you are in compliance with the law.

California’s Key Minimum Age for Employment Regulations

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Posted on in Employment

San Jose sexual harassment lawyer, employer liability, San Jose employment law attorney, sexual harassment in the workplace, California employersSexual harassment in the workplace is illegal. Yet what constitutes sexual harassment in California? Can a California employer be held liable for acts of sexual harassment committed by an employee? Do employers in California have an affirmative duty to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace?

The aim of this article is to answer these and other commonly asked questions by providing a brief overview of California’s sexual harassment in the workplace laws. However, this area of employment law can be quite complicated and any case specific questions should be directed to a local San Jose sexual harassment lawyer.

Sexual Harassment Defined

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