How to Save Text Messages from Your Boss or Co-workers for an Employment Lawsuit – Pt. 4

Should you save those scandalous text messages that you receive from your boss or co-workers? The answer is yes. This video and webpage is about how to do it properly so that if you have to take legal action down the road those text messages will help prove your case. Saving good documents, like emails and text messages, can mean the difference between losing your case, and winning millions of dollars in punitive damages.

This video is Part 4 in Branigan’s video series called, “How to Document Bad Behavior at Work.”

This video series is especially important if you feel like your legal issues fall within one of the following categories:

If you would rather watch this video on YouTube, click here.

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How to Save Company Documents in Preparation for an Employment Lawsuit – Pt. 3

Mr. Robertson just released his latest video on how employees should save company documents while they are still employed. Employees should save these documents if they suspect something unlawful is happening at work and they want to protect themselves. This video covers when you should save documents, why it is helpful, what documents you should save, and how you should save them to avoid getting in trouble.

This video is Part 3 in the video series, “How to Document Bad Behavior at Work.”

This video series is especially important if you feel like your legal issues fall within one of the following categories:

If you would rather watch this video on YouTube, click here.

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How to Save Emails for an Employment Lawsuit – Pt. 2

In this video employment lawyer Branigan Robertson details how and why people should save important emails from work if they suspect they are the victim of unlawful retaliation, harassment, or discrimination. Mr. Robertson explains when employees should start saving emails, what emails they should save, several strategies on how to save them, and why emails can increase the value of your case.

This video is Part 2 in a four-part series called “How to Document Bad Behavior at Work.” The first video was about taking good notes while at work. This video focuses exclusively on emails. The next video is about taking company documents. The final video is all about text messages. All of these videos are very important so if you’re still employed I recommend you watch all of them! Here are links to each video:

Part One – “How to take Notes on Bad Behavior at Work

Part Three – “How to Save Company Documents for a Lawsuit

Part Four – “How to Save Text Messages for a Lawsuit

Emails are Key to Winning Employment Cases

Emails are the most common type of evidence in employment cases. That makes so much sense because most of our modern workplace communication is done via email. But so many clients call our office after being fired and they didn’t keep any documents! This is terrible as it makes it much harder to pursue your case without any supporting documentation. While it doesn’t ruin the case, it makes it much harder to pursue justice.

This four-part video series is especially important if you feel like your legal issues fall within one of the following categories:

If you would rather watch this video on YouTube, click here.

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How to Document Bad Behavior at Work – Pt. 1

This video details how employees like you should properly document bad behavior at work so you can protect yourself down the road if legal action becomes necessary.

In the video, employment attorney Branigan Robertson talks in depth about when you should take notes, what they will be used for, what you should write down, three strategies that are best for how you should write them down, and he discusses best practices.

This video gives simple guidelines that might dramatically help you preserve key evidence (facts, dates, witnesses, events, and occurrences) that will be important later on. If your boss, manager, or coworker is treating you poorly, this video is an essential watch.

This video is part 1 in a four-part series called “How to Document Bad Behavior at Work.”

This video series is especially important if you feel like your legal issues fall within one of the following categories:

If you would rather watch this video on YouTube, click here.

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Can an Attorney Save Your Job if You Have a Legal Issue?

We get calls all the time from folks who are still employed but they are facing a significant legal issue at work. Whether it is harassment, retaliation, or something else, folks want to know if a lawyer can step in and help them. We get this question so often that Mr. Robertson decided to make a video about it.

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Can Laid Off Workers (During COIVD-19) Get Their Jobs Back?

California workers laid off during the pandemic just got a little boost of hope. On April 16, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 93 into law, which went into effect immediately. The law requires employers to give rehire preference to qualified workers laid off during the pandemic.

This is good news for employees laid off in industries hit hard by the pandemic: hospitality, airports, private clubs, restaurants and hotels.

Keep reading this article to learn a little about this new California law. If you were laid off during the pandemic, or you are experiencing another type of employment issue such as harassment or retaliationcall our office to schedule a consultation.

What This New Law Says (Senate Bill 93)

Senate Bill 93 updates Labor Code §2810.8. The law states that an employer is required:

“To offer its laid-off employees specified information about job positions that become available for which the laid-off employees are qualified, and to offer positions to those laid-off employees based on a preference system, in accordance with specified timelines and procedures.”

Senate Bill 93

For purposes of this law a “laid off employee” is anyone who was employed for six months or more in the 12 months before January 1 2020, and whose separation was related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Does the Law Apply to You?

Simply put, if you were terminated because of the pandemic, you could be legally entitled to your old position. Types of layoffs covered by this statute include:

  • Downsizing
  • An order to close from a government agency
  • A lack of business
  • Other non-disciplinary reasons

What if Multiple Laid Off Employees Qualify for a Single Position?

If two laid off employees are entitled to the same position, the employer shall offer the position to the laid-off employee with the greatest length of service.

The law, as currently written, will remain in effect until December 31, 2024.

What You Should Do if Your Employer is Hiring Again but Won’t Consider You for Your Old Position

The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE aka Labor Board) shall have exclusive jurisdiction to enforce this new law. So, if your employer refused to rehire you for a job that you were laid off of, you should contact the DLSE and file a claim.

The DLSE has the authority to award aggrieved employees the following:

  • Hiring and reinstatement rights
  • Front pay or back pay for each day during which the violation continues
  • Value of the benefits the laid-off employee would have received under the employer’s benefit plan

We hope this article has been helpful. Take care!

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Maternity Leave California

Pregnant women often find that maternity leave is complicated and daunting. It does not have to be! There are a few basics that we cover in this post: what are your rights, what if your boss is upset that you will take a leave, and what to do if you get fired. Taking maternity leave in California is better than most states. The laws protect you here more than anywhere else in the country.

Basic Maternity Leave Rights in CA

The first question that many expecting employees face is whether they are entitled to maternity leave at all. The answer is usually, yes! California’s main pregnancy leave of absence laws (CFRA, FMLAPDL, FEHA) apply to most employers. You have a right to take maternity leave. Employers are not required to pay employees during maternity leave. Even though employees do not have a right to pay from their employers during maternity leave, most California employees have a right to California’s state disability insurance during their leave. Fortunately, pregnancy related illnesses are considered disabilities by California law; employees often have a right to disability insurance payments during their leave. Visit California’s EDD website for more information.

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Leave to Bond With Your Child – 12 Weeks

California provides leave rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”). To be eligible for leave under CFRA, certain requirements must be met. The employee must work for an employer that has at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius of the employee’s worksite. The employee must have worked for their employer more than 12 months. The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer of work in the preceding year.

If these requirements are met, the employee is entitled to take up to 12 weeks of family care and medical leave in any given 12-month period. This leave can be used for the purpose of child bonding. To learn more about FMLA & CFRA visit this page that details who is eligible. 

Pregnancy Disability In CA – Four Months

In California, expecting employees are not only entitled to maternity leave for the childbirth itself, but they also have a right to time off for disabilities related to the pregnancy as well. The definition of “disabled” is fairly broad. Most employers that have five or more employees, which includes most businesses in California, are governed by California’s main pregnancy discrimination law, the Fair Employment & Housing Act (FEHA).

A law directly under FEHA is CA’s pregnancy disability law, PDL, which requires employers to give female employees time off work if:

  • She is disabled by pregnancy
  • She is disabled by childbirth
  • She has a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth

This can include, but is not limited too, the following: childbirth, loss of child, post-partum depression, bed-rest, prenatal care, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, postnatal care, etc.

How long can you pregnancy disability leave last? FEHA gives female employees a right to maternity leave for up to four months. However, this maternity leave is only available to the employee as long as she is disabled from the childbirth, pregnancy, or some related condition.

The right to as much as 12 weeks of bonding time under CFRA is distinct from the right to pregnancy disability leave under FEHA. Accordingly, the bonding time under CFRA may be taken after the employee takes up to four months of pregnancy disability leave—totaling up to as much as seven months of total maternity leave depending on the length of the employee’s pregnancy disability.

Does maternity leave need to be taken all at once?

Maternity Leave CaliforniaNo, California’s FEHA provides for as much as four months of maternity leave for disabilities related to pregnancy and childbirth. But often disabilities are not continuous. Expecting mothers can take some time off during one trimester, or during an emergency, and then take the rest after delivery. This is called intermittent leave and is considered a reasonable accommodation.

Employers must provide reasonable accommodations for employees if they’re requested and if a health care provider has advised it. Your employer will likely ask you for a doctors note. If intermittent leave is expected, employers may explore a temporary transfer to a similar position with equal pay and benefits.

Can your company fire you for becoming pregnant?

No. California employers are prohibited from wrongfully terminating female employees due to pregnancy. Employment discrimination based on pregnancy is a type of sex discrimination, which is prohibited by FEHA. Expecting mothers also protected from harassment on the basis of pregnancy.

However, just because you are pregnant, does not mean they cannot fire you. If you are a bad employee, they can fire you. If they are laying off your department, you can go too. If you get fired while you are pregnant suspect the reason you were fired was your pregnancy, call a wrongful termination lawyer to investigate your case.

Do California employees have a right to their job after taking maternity leave?

Yes. Employees in California that exercise their right to maternity leave may not be discriminated against for taking a leave of absence. They have a right to return to their same or a similar position after their maternity leave has ended. The employer is not allowed to cut your pay when you return.

2021 Pregnacy Discrimination Update

I originally posted this article on February 27, 2015. I’ve updated it several times. Its now 2021 and some women are wondering if CA’s maternity leave laws have changed at all. First of all, the foundation of CA’s anti-discrimination laws have not changed. If you believe that you were fired because of your pregnancy, disability related to pregnancy, or maternity leave you should call the best employment lawyer in California for a free consultation. Some administrative rules and laws may have changed in 2019, but the majority of the calls to our office are about termination or expected termination. Therefore, it is unlikely that the maternity leave laws in California that may have changed in 2019 would affect the analysis of our office during your consultation.

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