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Employment law

We fight for employee rights!

At Ghuman Law Firm, we focus on representing employees, who are wrongfully terminated, face discrimination/harassment on the basis of one the protected categories, suffer loss earned wages, refused their entitled medical leave, and retaliated for engaging in legally protected activity. If you believe your rights as an employee may have been violated, you can contact our office for a consultation to determine how we can assist you.

Additionally, we provide employers and employees consultations for a flat fee on a variety of inquiries and questions related to rights and obligations, negotiations, and termination.

Ms. Ghuman is a zealous advocate for her clients’ interests and making sure each client receives the finest legal representation at every phase of a matter.

Discrimination and Harassment

Don’t undervalue your worth! If you’re being harassed of discriminated against, talk to us so we can fight for you! Standing up for your rights improves work environments for all employees.

California law prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation. Discrimination is not only unlawful when it comes to termination, but can also be found in employment decisions regarding hiring/firing, promotion, compensation, benefits, discipline, work assignments, and other areas.

Ms. Ghuman has significant experience litigating cases involving discrimination and harassment. If you believe you may have been the victim of discrimination or harassment, Ghuman Law Firm is available for a consultation to determine whether our office can represent you in seeking legal remedies for the violations.

Retaliation | Whistleblower

Speaking up against what’s wrong, doesn’t give employers the right to retaliate.

Under State and Federal law, employers are prohibited from retaliating (discharging, dismissing, or otherwise discriminating) against any person because that employee has opposed certain illegal practices or has made a complaint, testified against, or assisted in certain proceedings. An employer prohibited from retaliating against an employee for reporting any discrimination based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation. By the same token, it is unlawful to retaliate against an employee for taking pregnancy and/or medical leave, or needing a reasonable accommodation to perform their duties.

Additionally, an employer cannot retaliate against employees for complaining about, or reporting the company’s failure to pay proper wages (including overtime), workplace safety problems and violations, and/or reporting illegal practices. It is also unlawful to retaliate against an employee who refuses to engage in illegal or unsafe activities.

At Ghuman Law Firm, we have experience litigating retaliation of employees

Leave of Absence

Family and Medical Leave Act and California Family Rights Act

Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), qualified employees are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid employee leave for:

  • the employee’s own serious health condition
  • the serious health condition of an employee’s child, parent, or spouse
  • women who are unable to work due to pregnancy or childbirth
  • the birth of a child (for purposes of bonding)
  • placement of a child in the employee’s family for adoption or foster care
  • any qualifying exigency” arising out of a family member’s active duty military status

Eligibility for FMLA/CFRA leave

Employees must (1) work for their employer for at least 12 months; (2) work at a worksite with at least 50 employees, or if there are less than 50 employees, a worksite where the company employs at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius of the worksite; and (3) worked at least 1,250 hours in the year prior to the day they begin the leave.

Job and Benefit Protections
While on a protected leave, the employer must maintain the employee’s medical benefits as it would have done if the employee continued working. When returning from an FMLA or CFRA leave an employer must, in most circumstances, give the employee the same job or an equivalent position.

California Paid Family Leave (PFL) program provides partial wage replacement for employees taking time off work to care for seriously ill family members or to bond with foster or adopted children. Currently, the PFL defines “family” to include children, spouses or domestic partners, and parents. In September 2013, California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 770, which expands PFL to include caring for seriously ill grandparents, grandchildren, siblings and parents-in-law, effective July 1, 2014. All employees covered by the State Disability Insurance (SDI) qualify for benefits under the PFL. Employees do not need to work for a set period to qualify and even employees of small employers are eligible for PFL. California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Act (PDLA) provides for up to four months of leave.

California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Act (PDLA)

Under California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Act, employers may require a medical certification from a health care provider. Generally, for normal pregnancies, providers will certify a leave of up to four weeks before birth, and six weeks after birth. For women who are disabled due to pregnancy or childbirth, employees may take up to four months of PDLA leave.

For individuals who take PDLA leave, employers must continue to pay for health care benefits. An employee generally has the right to return to the same position once her PDL leave is over unless, for legitimate business reasons unrelated to the employee’s pregnancy or leave, the employee would have been laid off even if she had not taken the leave.

Ghuman Law Firm assists clients in navigating the complexities of seeking medical leave protections and help clients understand the intersecting laws relating to medical leave. In order to provide the best counsel and advice to our clients, we stay up to date on the changing landscape of medical leave laws. Our firm stands out from others because our detailed and through analysis of cases allows us to properly assess medical leave violations and seek proper legal remedies.

Wage & Hour

Speaking up against what’s wrong, doesn’t give employers the right to retaliate.

In California, two powerful laws govern wage and hour matters: the California Labor Code and the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Employers often violate the laws by failing to pay fair wages or overtime. Employers may fail to comply with California wage and hour requirements in various ways, including the following common violations:

  • Not providing employees with an uninterrupted 30 minute meal period after fifth hour of the shift;
  • Not paying an extra hour of pay for each missed meal period or rest break;
  • Not paying an extra hour of pay for each missed meal period or rest break;
  • Not providing all required information on paystubs and earnings statements;
  • Not compensating employees for all employment expenses (such as uniforms, automobile mileage, etc.);
  • Not providing “cool down” periods for employees working in hot temperatures.
  • Not providing suitable seating;
  • Forcing employees to work “off the clock,” or “rounding” employee time at the beginning or end of the shift;
  • Requiring you to take your lunch while still working and not paying you for that time;
  • Not accounting for commission, bonuses or other benefits such as free meals in calculating overtime pay;
  • Not paying time and a half for all hours over 8 in a day, and/or 40 in a week;
  • Not providing a 10 minute rest break for each four hour work period;
  • Not paying for all earned vacation upon termination of your employment;
  • Not providing paid sick days.

Wage and Hour victims can be compensated for missing breaks, being classified incorrectly as exempt, not being paid according to the law, and for not being provided with accurate pay stubs. Ghuman Law Firm assists clients in gathering necessary documents and seeking legal remedies that best serve Clients’ interest. If you have questions about wage and hour laws, Ghuman law Firm is available for a consultation.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is generally defined as “unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is severe or pervasive and affects working conditions or creates a hostile work environment.” At the federal level, sexual harassment is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. At the state level, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, or FEHA, is the primary source of sexual harassment law. Under both Title VII and FEHA, sexual harassment is considered a form of discrimination in employment.

Examples of sexual harassment include:

  • Derogatory comments, slurs, epithets or jokes;
  • Unwanted touching, such as back rubs, pats on the butt, pinching or “accidental” brushes against your chest or other parts of your body;
  • Unwanted sexual propositions;
  • Discussion of sexual acts;
  • An offer of employment or other benefits in exchange for sexual favors;
  • A threat to reduce your hours, benefits, the rate of pay, or otherwise hurt your conditions of employment if you don’t comply with a sexual request;

  • Loss of employment, benefits or other adverse impacts after complaining about harassment;
  • Leering or rude gestures;
  • Someone displaying or “giving” to you sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons or posters;
  • Graphic comments, sexually degrading words, sexually suggestive or obscene messages or invitations;
  • Or someone impeding or blocking your movements.

Ms. Ghuman is a fierce advocate for survivors of sexual harassment. Having studied Gender in college, she has extensive knowledge and experience to handle the complexities of a case involving sexual harassment violations in the workplace. Sexual harassment violations include unique challenges that lawyers handling such matters must have a strong grasp of the psychological, social, and economic impact of sexual harassment. Ms. Ghuman’s background and experience set her apart from other lawyers to handle such matters. If you have experienced sexual harassment, Ms. Ghuman may be able to assist you in seeking the justice you deserve.

Wrongful Termination

Generally speaking, California employees are presumed to be employed “at-will.” According to Cal. Labor Code § 2922, this means that employees without contracts:

  • Can be terminated for any reason or no reason
  • Need no notice for termination

Although it may seem like your employer has complete freedom to fire you, this is untrue. State and Federal laws, such as California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, protect against wrongful termination.

An employer may have the right to discharge an employee for many lawful reasons. While most employees are “at-will”, there are unlawful reasons for firing an employee. Some unlawful reasons for terminating an employee include:

  • Exercising a right such as filing a workers compensation claim, taking family leave, using sick time, or taking breaks
  • Reporting a violation such as a health or safety concern
  • Performing a mandatory obligation such as serving on jury duty or in the military
  • Whistleblowing or refusing to engage in an illegal activity
  • Discrimination based on an employee’s protected status, such as race, gender, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, or even political affiliation

Employees who believe that they were terminated illegally must identify evidence showing that the employer’s reason was both illegal and a main factor for the termination.  Evidence can include comments by the supervisor or manager involved that suggest a bias. Some tips for collecting evidence include:

  • Documenting written evidence, including emails, text messages, or slack messages
  • Obtaining relevant records such as pay stubs, performance reports, or review notes
  • Gathering the information of potential witnesses who may have observed any illegal activity

Ghuman Law Firm provides consultations to terminated employees to determine if they have the necessary evidence to successfully pursue a termination claim.  We know how to use the legal system to get results for our clients. In taking your case, Ghuman Law Firm will carefully document your claim and pursue it through all appropriate legal venues.

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