Questions? We have answers.

At Heilman Law Offices, we care about our clients and want to assist them in finding answers.

What if I feel like I’m being harassed at work?

California law protects against workplace harassment. Harassment can be unlawful if it is based on a protected category (e.g. race, sex, disability) and it crosses the line to the point where it seriously affects you in performing your job. If your work situation continually “doesn’t feel right” because of the actions of a supervisor, customer, or coworker, and you draw a connection to a protected category, such as age or marital status, then you should speak with an attorney promptly about your workplace harassment.

Can harassment be unlawful in situations other than the workplace?

Yes, workplace harassment is only one example. California law protects against harassment that occurs in the context of business, service, and professional relationships (e.g., therapists, attorneys, doctors). There are also protections for discrimination and harassment that may occur in places open to the public.

I complained about something (or stood up for something, or helped someone else to stand up or complain), and now my employer is doing something I don’t like (even firing me) – what can I do?

Retaliation for engaging in legally protected activity (e.g. complaining about violations of law or refusing to violate the law) is unlawful. You should speak with an experienced attorney promptly when you begin to see retaliation occur.

I have a disability that is causing some difficulty with my job and my employer won’t help me.

California employers must work cooperatively with employees with known disabilities to reach solutions that enable employees to keep working. Many times, this begins with ensuring an employer is aware of a medical diagnosis (if you give your employer something in writing, make a copy of what was given to your employer, along with date/time/place/recipient). Try to have a discussion with your employer about whatever job changes you think might help. If you can’t get satisfactory solutions from this discussion, you may need to consult with an experienced employment attorney.

What if my employer has not been paying me overtime or allowing me to take lunch breaks?

This discussion usually begins with looking at the exact details of your job and analyzing whether you are exempt or non-exempt (or even an employee versus a contractor). The fact that your employer designates you as one of these does not make it so. This is a detailed and fact-driven analysis that depends on the industry, the job title, the actual work conditions and circumstances. If you believe you are not classified or paid correctly (or are not provided meal or rest breaks), contact an experienced employment attorney.

I’ve been fired or given a severance/employment/arbitration agreement to sign, what do I do with this?

Employment agreements like these can be legal contracts that bind you and control your rights. Before signing anything, you should consult with a knowledgeable attorney about both your circumstances and the content of the agreement you’ve been given. This is to ensure you know about a) any potential rights you may be signing away; and b) how the severance agreement binds you and your former employer. Once you know these things, you will be in a much better position to decide whether to execute the agreement at all or whether you need to negotiate changes before you can agree. An experienced employment attorney can efficiently provide these types of services on an hourly basis.


Consult with our knowledgeable attorneys at Heilman Law Offices for no cost by calling us at 619.365.5765.