FAQ

  • Common Covid-19 Questions
  • Criminal History Checks And Employees' Rights
  • Covid-19 Temperature Checks And Employee Rights
  • What Is Arbitration Agreement?
  • Wrongful Termination Q & A

Common Covid-19 Questions

Answer: Generally, California employees who are sick can take accrued paid sick days. How many sick days are available depends on employer policies, although California requires employers to provide at least three days of paid sick leave per year after 90 days of work, and some cities, such as Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville, require even more. Employees who work for larger employers may have more rights and may be eligible for up to twelve weeks of unpaid time off.

For people who work for an employer with at least 50 employees within 75 miles of their worksite, California law requires employers to provide 12-weeks of job-protected leave each year under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) or the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) for a “serious health condition” of the employee or a member of their family. To qualify for this leave, the employee must have worked for the employer for at least a one-year total during their lifetime and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the last calendar year.

Answer: Employee rights to paid sick leave and medical leave have been expanded by new legislation in connection with Covid-19, most notably the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The FFCRA generally requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to Covid-19.
The FFCRA generally requires covered employers to provide:

  • Up to 80 hours of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay when the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined or experiencing Covid-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • Up to 80 hours of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine or to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to Covid-19.
  • Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay when the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined or experiencing Covid-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.

Answer: Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for paid sick time if the employee is unable to work or telework due to a need for leave because the employee:

  • Is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to Covid-19;
  • Has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to Covid-10;
  • Is experiencing Covid-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
  • Is caring for an individual subject to a quarantine or isolation order related to Covid-19 or advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine in relation to Covid-19;
  • Is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to Covid-19; and
  • Is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition.

Answer: The paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA apply to certain public employers, and private employers with fewer than 500 employees. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption from the requirement to provide leave due to school closings or child care unavailability if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.

Answer: All employees of covered employers are eligible for 80 hours of paid sick leave for specified reasons related to Covid-19. Employees employed for at least 30 days are eligible for an additional 10 weeks of paid family leave to care for a child under certain circumstances related to Covid-19.

Answer: The FFCRA is currently set to expire on December 31, 2020.

Answer: Where leave is foreseeable, an employee should provide notice of leave to the employer as is practicable. After the first workday of paid sick time, an employer may require employees to follow reasonable procedure sin order to continue receiving paid sick time, such as providing a positive Covid-19 test result.

Answer: Employers who retaliate against employees for requesting paid sick leave or another potentially available leave to care for themselves or another that is required by law risk liability for wrongful termination or other retaliation lawsuits. This is because discrimination or retaliation against a person with a disability, including disciplining them, treating them differently than other works, or terminating them is prohibited under California law. This protection extends to people who the employer assumes or “regards” as a person with a disability. While employers can require medical documentation of a disability and the employee’s limitations, they cannot force employees to disclose a specific health condition or disability. If you suspect that you or a loved one was discriminated against, retaliated against, or terminated merely for requesting an accommodation or leave, you may want to contact a lawyer.

Answer: Generally, your entitlement to leave will not be tied to how you are paid, although they may be tied to how long you have been employed. For instance, an employee who has worked for less than 30 days or, in other instances, 90 days, may not be entitled to paid sick leave. Moreover, leave under the FMAL or CFRA may be withheld for employees who did not work for more than 1,250 hours in the last calendar year for the employer. In addition, an independent contractor may be entitled to leave in the same manner if they are misclassified as independent contractors. If you believe you were misclassified as an independent contractor, you may want to contact a lawyer.

Answer: The law requires employers to consider offering work from home or medical leaves of absence as a reasonable accommodation under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) for people who qualify as having a disability under the law. Employees with compromised immune systems or who are medically at risk may want to assert their rights and request accommodations to remain safe. Whether the accommodations must be granted is a case-by-case analysis. However, retaliation by an employer against an employee requesting an accommodation for what he or she reasonably believes to be a disability can be illegal.

Criminal History Checks And Employees' Rights

An applicant for employment may be asked to submit to a criminal background check prior to beginning work. However, there are restrictions regarding when the background check can be run and what can be looked at.
Employers often include a box on a job application that asks applicants to check the box if they were ever convicted of a felony, misdemeanor, or other crime. But on January 1, 2018, California passed legislation – known as the “ban the box” law – requiring employers to remove this box. Specifically, employers can no longer require employees to disclose criminal histories or to check their criminal histories, until after a conditional offer of employment has been made.
Your employer may only perform a background check into the previous seven years.

Aside from a criminal history extending past seven years, a criminal background check should exclude:

  • Sealed records;
  • Juvenile records;
  • Arrests that did not lead to conviction;
  • Non-felony marijuana convictions that are more than two years old; and
  • Participation in pre- or post-trial diversion programs.

The short answer is yes: your employer can withdraw your offer after checking your background check. But before doing so, an employer must, by law, do the following:

Perform an individualized assessment considering the nature and severity of the offense, the time of the offense, and whether it is relative to the type of job being applied for;

Notify the job applicant in writing with a copy of the obtained conviction record and the specific reasons why the conditional offer was revoked and a copy of the obtained;

Provide the applicant five (5) business days to respond to the notice to challenge the accuracy of the report or provide evidence that lessens the impact of the conviction;

Consider the applicant’s response and evidence submitted, if any;

Provide a final decision in writing to deny the applicant’s employment application that contains the following information: (1) any existing procedure the employer has for the applicant to challenge the decision or request consideration; and (2) the right to file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”).

Unfortunately, despite the enactment of the Ban the Box Law, many California employers still routinely ask about criminal backgrounds and/or run criminal background checks prior to employment. In such cases, an employee may bring a lawsuit for discrimination based on the criminal conviction and seek as compensation, among other things, the financial harm they suffered from not being hired, as well as their attorneys’ fees and costs required to bring the lawsuit.

If you believe you may have experienced any discrimination due to past criminal history, contact us at 310-438-5555 to determine what your options may be.

Acuerdos de Arbitraje y Sus Derechos Como Empleado

Se le puede pedir a un solicitante de empleo que se someta a una verificación de antecedentes penales antes de comenzar a trabajar. Sin embargo, hay restricciones con respecto a cuándo se puede ejecutar la verificación de antecedentes y qué se puede ver.
Los empleadores a menudo incluyen una caja en la solicitud de empleo que les pide a los solicitantes que marquen la caja si alguna vez fueron condenados o una felonía, delito menor u otro delito. Pero el 1 de enero de 2018, California aprobó una legislación, conocida como la ley de “prohibir la caja”, requiriendo que los empleadores eliminen esta caja. Específicamente, los empleadores ya no pueden exigir a los empleados que revelen antecedentes penales, o que verifiquen sus antecedentes penales, hasta después de que se haya hecho una oferta condicional de empleo.
Su empleador solo puede realizar una verificación de antecedentes en los siete años anteriores.

Aparte de un historial criminal que se extiende más allá de siete años, una verificación de antecedentes penales debe excluir:

  • Registros sellados;
  • Registros de menores;
  • Arrestos que no dieron lugar a condena;
  • Condenas por delitos no graves de marihuana que tienen más de dos años de antigüedad; yd
  • Participación en programas de desvió antes o después del juicio.

La respuesta corta es sí: su empleador puede retirar su oferta después de verificar su verificación de antecedentes. Pero antes de hacerlo, un empleador debe, por ley, hacer lo siguiente:

Realizar una evaluación individualizada considerando la naturaleza y la gravedad de la ofensa, el momento de la ofensa y si es relativa al tipo de trabajo que se solicita;

Notificar al solicitante de empleo por escrito con una copia del expediente de condena obtenido y las razones específicas por las que se revocó la oferta condicional y una copia de la obtenida;

Proporcionar al solicitante cinco (5) días de negocio para responder a la notificación para impugnar la exactitud del informe o proporcionar evidencia que disminuya el impacto de la condena;

Considerar la respuesta del solicitante y las pruebas presentadas, si las hubiera;

Proporcionar una decisión final por escrito para denegar la solicitud de empleo del solicitante que contenga la siguiente información: (1) cualquier procedimiento existente que el empleador tenga para que el solicitante recuse la decisión o solicite consideración; y (2) el derecho a presentar una queja ante el Departamento de Empleo Justo y Vivienda de California (“DFEH”).

Desafortunadamente, a pesar de la promulgación de la Ley de Prohibición de la Caja, muchos empleadores de California todavía preguntan rutinariamente sobre antecedentes criminales y / o realizan verificaciones de antecedentes penales antes del empleo. En tales casos, un empleado puede presentar una demanda por discriminación basada en la condena penal y buscar como compensación, entre otras cosas, el daño financiero que sufrió al no ser contratado, así como los honorarios y costos de sus abogados requeridos para presentar la demanda.

Si cree que puede haber experimentado alguna discriminación debido a antecedentes penales,comuníquese con Bibiyan Law Group, P.C. al 310-438-5555 para determinar qué opciones pueden estar disponibles.

Covid-19 Temperature Checks And Employee Rights

While pre-pandemic this would have been a more nuanced question, post-pandemic, there is little debate that an employer, to protect its employees, may require that employees submit to temperature checks before working at the workplace.
As more people are vaccinated, the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on California workplaces is beginning to lessen. Some employers are requiring that their employees come back to the workplace and other workplaces are seeing increases in the capacity of customers permitted to visit the workplace. However, many employers are still requiring that their employees wear masks and receive temperature checks prior to beginning work.
Employees report often spending anywhere from one to ten minutes standing in line for temperature checks. It is not a matter of settled law whether temperature checks are compensable work time. However, there are strong arguments available for having time spent performing temperature checks be paid time. For one, it is time that you are under your employer’s control. In addition, it is arguably for your employer’s benefit as the main goal is often for the employer to avoid liability for an outbreak.
The short answer is that being forced by your employer to sign an arbitration agreement does not automatically make the contract invalid.

An employee may potentially have a case for unpaid wages if they are not being paid for time spent performing temperature checks.

If your employer is making you submit to a temperature check when reporting to work but not paying you for it, contact us at 310-438-5555 to determine what your options may be.

COVID-19 Revisión de temperatura y derechos de los empleados

Aunque prepandemia esto hubiera sido una pregunta más matizada, después de la pandemia, hay poco debate de que un empleador, para proteger a sus empleados, pueda requerir que los empleados se sometan a revisiones de temperatura antes de trabajar en el lugar de trabajo.
Mientras más personas están vacunadas, el efecto de la pandemia Covid-19 en los lugares de trabajo de California está empezando a disminuir. Algunos empleadores están exigiendo que sus empleados regresen al lugar de trabajo y otros lugares de trabajo están viendo aumentos en la capacidad de los clientes a los que se les permite visitar el lugar de trabajo. Sin embargo, muchos empleadores todavía están exigiendo que sus empleados usen máscaras y reciban revisiones de temperatura antes de comenzar a trabajar.
Empleados reportan que a menudo pasan de uno a diez minutos haciendo fila para revisiones de temperatura. No es una cuestión de ley establecida si las revisiones de temperatura son tiempo de trabajo compensable. Sin embargo, hay argumentos sólidos disponibles para que el tiempo dedicado a realizar revisiones de temperatura sea tiempo pagado. Por un lado, es tiempo que usted está bajo el control de su empleador. Además, se podría decir que se trata de un beneficio de su empleador, ya que a menudo el objetivo principal es que el empleador evite la responsabilidad de un brote.

Un empleado puede tener potencialmente un caso de salarios no pagados si no es pagado por el tiempo que pasa realizando revisiones de temperatura.

Si su empleador le está haciendo someterse a una revisión de temperatura al reportarse al trabajo, pero no le paga por ello, comuníquese con nosotros al 310-438-5555 para determinar cuál

What Is Arbitration Agreement?

In the employment context, an arbitration agreement is an agreement between you and your employer to resolve your disputes in a private, arbitral forum as opposed to in Court.
There are various and major differences between having your case proceed in arbitration and in court. In court, you have the right to a jury for many actions while, in arbitration, your matter will be adjudicated merely by an arbitrator (or a private judge). In addition, most often, when you and your employer agree to arbitrate your disputes instead of going to court, you are giving up your right to bring or participate in class and collective actions.

Obviously, giving up any rights, including bringing and participating in class actions, is not in employees’ favor. Moreover, your right to have your case decided by a jury of your peers can be very detrimental to your case. One can argue that a jury of your peers are more likely to understand the everyday toils of working people than former judges.

Moreover, the incentives for an arbitrator are problematic. A large corporation is likely to get sued many times while you are likely to bring a lawsuit a few times, if ever, in your life. The arbitrator only gets paid if the Parties mutually agree to use the arbitrator. Thus, they have an incentive to cater to big corporations so they can earn repeat business. They do not have the same incentive to cater to employees who are unlikely to come back.

The short answer is that being forced by your employer to sign an arbitration agreement does not automatically make the contract invalid.

Employees do not always have a choice. Few employees are in a place to turn down work merely to avoid signing an arbitration agreement. But if you have the opportunity to avoid signing an arbitration agreement or opting out of the arbitration program, it can be very helpful in a future case, as it may preserve your right to bring a case in Court, bring your case before a jury, and participate in class actions.

If you have a potential case but are concerned about the arbitration agreement you signed, contact us at 310-438-5555 to determine what your options may be.

Wrongful Termination Q & A

A: Yes. California is what is known as an “at will “ state. In other words, unless modified by an agreement between the employee and the employer, an employee or employer may generally terminate the working relationship at any time, without notice, and for almost any reason.
A: Many terminations are unfair. However, they are not wrongful. A wrongful termination is one in which the employer fires an employee for an illegal reason.
A: Most employees cannot be fired for engaging in a protected activity or for being in a protected class.

A: In California, protected classes include, without limitation:

• age (if over 40);

• ancestry, race, color, ethnicity, genetic information or national origin;

• sex;

• sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression;

• pregnancy, breastfeeding, childbirth or related medical conditions;

• physical disability, mental disability or medical condition;

• association with a person with a physical or mental disability;

• veteran or military status;

• marital status;

• religion, creed or religious practices; and

• political affiliation.

A: In California, protected activities include, without limitation:

• reporting unlawful practices or practices that you reasonably believe to be

unlawful;

• reporting a workplace injury and/or filing a workers’ compensation claim;

• filing a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA);

• making a workplace health or safety complaint, including reporting patient safety

concerns in facilities that provide health care;

• reporting Labor Code violations, such as failing to pay all wages owed, failing to

pay overtime wages properly, or failing to provide meal or rest breaks; and

• association with a person with a physical or mental disability;

A: Not necessarily. In California, your inclusion in a protected class or engagement in a protected activity needs to be found to be a substantial motivating factor in your employer’s decision to terminate your employment.

A. Employees who successfully prove that their termination is wrongful may, among other things, seek damages for their wrongful termination in a civil lawsuit against their employer, including, without limitation:

• back pay for damages they may have lost due to the wrongful termination;

• front pay for damages they may expect to lose due to the wrongful termination;

• damages for emotional distress suffered or that will be suffered due to the

wrongful termination; and

• where it can be shown by clear and convincing evidence that the conduct

underlying the termination was performed with malice, oppression, or reckless

disregard for the health and safety of others, including the employee, punitive

damages may be awarded in an amount to punish and deter the employer from

performing such acts again.

A: Yes. In California, you generally need to obtain a Right to Sue Notice first from the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before bringing action in a civil court.

A: In California, you now generally have three years from the last date of discrimination, harassment or retaliation to obtain a Right to Sue Notice, which is often the date of your termination.

A: In California, you generally have an additional year after obtaining the Right to Sue Notice to file an action under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

A: Not exactly. Different rules apply to different employees and different claims. For instance, government employees and employees of quasi-government institutions only have six months to bring actions in many instances. Moreover, certain claims, such as Wrongful Termination in Violation of Public Policy, provide only two years to employees to bring suit before they are extinguished. Also, even if you have more time, pertinent witnesses and evidence may be spoliated if you decide to wait this long.

A: Proving wrongful termination is far from easy. If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, you should contact an attorney well versed in these actions to help determine whether you may have a case and how best to go about bringing one if you do.

A: The attorneys at Bibiyan Law Group, P.C. have been litigating wrongful termination cases regularly since 2014 with success. Should you have any questions regarding wrongful termination, or feel that you may have been wrongfully terminated, you can call Bibiyan Law Group at 310-438-5555 to learn more about your rights and see if you have a potential case.

Despido injustificado Q &A

R: Sí. California es lo que se conoce como un estado “a voluntad”. En otras palabras, a menos que se modifique por un acuerdo entre el empleado y el empleador, un empleado o empleador generalmente puede terminar la relación de trabajo en cualquier momento, sin previo aviso y por casi cualquier razón.
R: Muchas terminaciones son injustas. Sin embargo, no son injustificadas. Un despido injustificado es aquel en el que el empleador despide a un empleado por una razón ilegal.
R: La mayoría de los empleados no pueden ser despedidos por participar en una actividad protegida o por estar en una clase protegida.

R: En California, las clases protegidas incluyen, sin limitación:

  • edad (si es mayor de 40 años);
  • ascendencia, raza, color, etnia, información genética u origen nacional;
  • sexo
  • orientación sexual, identidad de género o expresión de género;
  • embarazo, lactancia, parto o condiciones médicas relacionadas;
  • discapacidad física, discapacidad mental o condición médica;
  • asociación con una persona con una discapacidad física o mental;
  • estado de veterano o militar;
  • estado civil;
  • religión, credo o prácticas religiosas; y
  • afiliación política.

A: En California, las actividades protegidas incluyen, sin limitación:

  • reportar prácticas ilegales o prácticas que usted cree razonablemente que son ilegales;
  • reportar una lesión en el lugar de trabajo y / o
  • presentar un reclamo de compensación laboral;
    presentar una queja ante la Administración de Seguridad y Salud Ocupacional (OSHA);
  • presentar una queja sobre salud o seguridad en el lugar de trabajo, incluyendo reportando problemas de seguridad del paciente en que brindan atención médica;
  • reportar violaciones del Código Laboral, como no pagar todos los salarios adeudados, no pagar los salarios de horas extras adecuadamente o no proporcionar descansos para comer o descansar; y
  • asociación con una persona con una discapacidad física o menta
R: No necesariamente. En California, su inclusión en una clase protegida o su participación en una actividad protegida debe ser encontrado como un factor motivador sustancial en la decisión de su empleador de terminar su empleo.

A: Los empleados que demuestren con éxito que su despido es injusto pueden, entre otras cosas, buscar daños y perjuicios por su despido injustificado en una demanda civil contra su empleador, incluyendo, sin limitación:

  • pago retrocede dado por daños que puedan haber perdido debido al despido injustificado;
  • pago inicial por daños que pueden esperar perder debido a la terminación injusta;
  • daños por angustia emocional sufrida o que se sufrirá debido a la terminación injusta; y
  • donde pueda ser demostrado por pruebas claras y convincentes que la conducta subyacente a la terminación se realizó con malicia, opresión o desprecio imprudente por la salud y la seguridad de los demás, incluido el empleado, se pueden otorgar daños punitivos en una cantidad para castigar y disuadir al empleador de realizar tales actos nuevamente.

R: Sí. En California, generalmente necesita obtener un Aviso de Derecho a Demandar primero del Departamento de Empleo Justo y Vivienda (DFEH, por sus, sustituyes) o de la Comisión de Igualdad de Oportunidades en el Empleo (EEOC, por sus, por sus partes) antes de presentar una demanda ante un tribunal civil. 

R: En California, ahora generalmente tiene tres años a partir de la última fecha de discriminación, acoso o represalias para obtener un Aviso de Derecho a Demandar, que a menudo es la fecha de su terminación.

R: En California, generalmente tiene un año adicional después de obtener el Aviso de Derecho a Demandar para presentar una acción bajo la Ley de Empleo y Vivienda Justa 

R: No exactamente. Se aplican diferentes reglas a diferentes empleados y diferentes reclamos. Por ejemplo, los empleados públicos y los empleados de instituciones cuasi-gobierno sólo tienen seis meses para entablar acciones en muchos casos. Además, ciertos reclamos, como el despido injustificado en violación de la política pública, proporcionan solo dos años a los empleados para presentar una demanda antes de que se extingan. Además, incluso si tiene más tiempo, los testigos y las pruebas pertinentes pueden ser expoliados si decide esperar tanto tiempo.

R: Comprobando la terminación injusta está lejos de ser fácil. Si usted cree que fue despedido injustamente, usted debe ponerse en contacto con un abogado bien versado en estas acciones para ayudar a determinar si usted puede tener un caso y la mejor manera de ir sobre traer uno si lo hace. 

R: Los abogados de Bibiyan Law Group, P.C. han estado litigando casos de despido injustificado regularmente desde 2014 con éxito. Si tiene alguna pregunta con respecto a la terminación injusta, o siente que puede haber sido despedido injustamente, puede llamar a Bibiyan Law Group al 310-438-5555 para obtener más información sobre sus derechos y ver si tiene un caso potencial.