Orange County Employment Lawyers

There are many state and federal laws that protect California workers. These legal rights ensure that those employed in the Golden State are free from discrimination, harassment, retaliation, unfair pay practices, and other unlawful conduct in the workplace. An Orange County employment lawyer can help you protect these critical legal rights. With offices in Santa Ana, our experienced California employment attorneys serve clients in San Diego County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County, Los Angeles County, and the Bay Area. Learn more about what an Orange County employment lawyer can do to protect you from many different types of unlawful conduct in the workplace.

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Successful Settlements

We have successfully obtained numerous settlements of up to six-figures for our clients in all types of employment cases.

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Experienced Attorneys

Our attorneys have many years of experience handling cases from beginning to end and can provide expert advice to our clients regarding all available options.

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Satisfied Clients

Our clients are important to us. We will listen carefully to your story, determine what rights have been violated and go the extra mile to obtain the best possible outcome.

Employment Discrimination
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Employment Discrimination

The law prevents employers from discriminating against their employees based on certain protected characteristics. If you are a member of one of these protected classes, your employer cannot treat you differently than other employees who are not a member of the class. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lists the classes that are protected under federal law:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Disability
  • Age (over forty)
  • Gender (including sexual orientation and pregnancy)

California state law has additional protections that extend to other forms of gender discrimination in the workplace. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing enforces laws that protect transgender workers in California.

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Sexual Harassment
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Harassment and Sexual Harassment

If your employer allows other workers to harass you, you are being treated differently than other workers. This means that harassment can become a form of unlawful discrimination. If the harassment is based on one of the protected classes listed above, you may have a legal claim against your employer. Employers who allow harassment to persist without intervening are discriminating against the employee who is a victim of that harassment.

One of the most common forms of harassment is sexual harassment. Unlike other types of harassment, there are detailed statutes that prohibit sexual harassment and a large body of case law that describes an employer’s legal obligations in great detail. This makes it easier for victims to hold employers accountable for allowing sexual harassment to persist in the workplace.

According to the EEOC, harassment based on any of the protected bases occurs when (1) it is so pervasive or severe as to cause a hostile work environment, or (2) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment.

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Retaliation and Whistleblower Rights

Most state and federal employment laws contain “anti-retaliation” provisions. This means that workers who report violations of these laws to the proper authorities have legal protection. Employers cannot retaliate against workers who report wrongdoing pursuant to these laws. Retaliation could be any adverse action – not just firing the worker. Pay cuts, demotions, shift changes, and other working conditions can all constitute retaliation.

The Department of Labor has many protections that prevent retaliation against workers who report violations. In order to get these “whistleblower” protections, however, certain legal requirements must be met.

The violation must be reported in the proper manner to the proper authorities. A worker who publicly discloses confidential information may not have whistleblower protection. It is important for workers to consult with an Orange County employment lawyer before making any disclosures. With an attorney on your side, you can be sure that you have full legal protection against retaliation.

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Wrongful Termination
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Wrongful Termination

Though employers have wide discretion to fire workers for cause, there are certain circumstances in which the law prohibits an employee from being fired. This is known as “wrongful termination.” Wrongful termination can occur if the employee is a protected whistleblower and is being fired in retaliation. Termination is also wrongful if it is discrimination against a member of a protected class. When an employee is fired because of their race, national origin, color, religion, age, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity, they have a claim for wrongful termination. An employee may also have a wrongful termination claim if they are being fired as a result of their disability, provided they can still perform the essential functions of their job with or without a reasonable accommodation.

Most employers know better than to tell an employee they are being fired for an illegal reason. Instead, they are likely to provide some other reason to make it seem as if the employee is being fired for good cause. This is what makes wrongful termination cases so difficult. Employers have entire HR departments and legal teams that can defend any termination decision. If you suspect that you have been fired for an unlawful reason, you need to get an employment lawyer fighting on your side right away.

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Wage and hour claims
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Wage and Hour Claims

There are many ways that an employer can violate an employee’s right to be paid for the hours they work:

  • Improper classification of hourly employees as salaried employees (who are exempt from overtime laws) or as independent contractors
  • Meal and rest break violations
  • Rounding, time “shaving,” and other practices that reduce an employee’s paid time
  • Minimum wage violations
  • Requiring unpaid work while off the clock
  • Claims of gender pay discrimination under the Equal Pay Act

COVID-19 has created new complications for wage and hour rules. With so many employees working from home, it can be difficult to determine exactly what pay they are owed. The general wage and hour rules still apply.Hourly workers are entitled to be paid for any time they are performing work for their employer. If you are on a Zoom meeting, responding to emails, or taking calls from clients, you are entitled to be paid for this time.

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Severance Agreements
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Severance Agreements

Some employees are offered severance pay and other benefits when their employment is terminated by an employer. If your employment agreement requires it, or you are a member of a union that has negotiated for severance rights, you might be entitled to a formal written agreement with provisions for payment, continued health insurance, or other benefits. It is important to have your own attorney review any severance agreement before you sign it. Severance agreements are usually drafted by the company’s own lawyers. This means they are designed to benefit the company and may not contain all the benefits to which you are entitled. Your own employment lawyer will make sure that your legal rights are protected in any severance agreement.

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Lawyer Ana De La Torre
Lawyer Ana De La Torre
My goal is to represent and fight for my client’s rights to the best of my ability so they can obtain the compensation and justice they deserve.”
Ana De La Torre
The Delatorre firm

“I am very pleased with The De LA Torre Firm, Ana is a true asset and
should be commended for her dedication and willingness to fight for
those who be done wrongly by their employer.”

R. Martell
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Orange County Employment Lawyers

Call Us Today to Schedule a Consultation with an Orange County Employment Lawyer

At the De La Torre Law Firm, we provide legal representation and advice to employees and are prepared to fight on behalf of employees whose rights have been violated. To schedule a case evaluation with an employment attorney in Orange County, call our office today at (714) 964-8463 or contact us online.

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