Employment law encompases all federal, state, local laws and common law governing employers, employees and the employment relationship, including but not limited to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C Section 1981, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the National Labor Relations Act, the California Labor Code, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, as well as the decisions of judges and courts (common law). Employment law governs virtually every apect of the employment relationship from hiring to discharge and beyond, including but not limited to wage and hour issues, promotions, employment disputes, labor disputes, stock option disputes, breach of contract, sexual harassment, racial harassment, wrongful termination, wrongful discharge, and every type of workplace discrimination, including discrimination in hiring, promotions or firing on the basis of race, sex, national origin, religion, disability and/or age. Our attorneys have handled matters in every sphere of employment law and have developed a real expertise in sexual harassment cases, employee stock option litigation, wage and hour litigation and complex large-scale employment litigation.
Class Action Law
A class action is a lawsuit brought by a few individuals on behalf of a larger group of individuals with similar claims. A case does not officially become a "class action" until a court makes a determination to "certify a class" -- that is, a ruling by the court that the named plaintiffs' claims are sufficiently similar to the remaining potential plaintiffs' claims to allow all the cases to proceed together in one action with the named plaintiffs' representing the others. Class actions are classified as either "opt-in" or "opt-out" depending on the law at issue. In "opt-in" class actions, the court sends a notice to all potential class member and only those who choose to "opt-in" to the case become plaintiffs. In "opt-out" class actions, the court's decision to certify a class operates to include automatically everyone in the class and only those class members who specifically choose to "opt-out" are excluded. Class actions have been successfully certified in virtually every area of employment law, including discrimination cases, harassment cases and wage and hour cases.
A collective action is a large multi-plaintiff lawsuit where a number of plaintiffs join together to bring similar claims against a common defendant. Unlike a class action, where only a few plaintiffs seek to represent a larger group, all plaintiffs in collective actions are typically individually-named in the lawsuit at the outset (or shortly thereafter) as plaintiffs. Our attorneys have experience in handling large-scale collective actions.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates state and federal law. Unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following: the harasser can be the vistim's supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee; the victim as well as the harasser may be a man or a woman; the victim does not have to be the opposite sex; the victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct; sexual harassment may occur without any economic injury to or discharge of the victim; the harasser's conduct must be unwelcome. It is helpful for the victim to directly inform the harasser that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. The victim should use any employer complaint mechanism or greivance available. Our attorneys have handled -- and continue to handle -- numerous sexual harassment cases.