Solutions for Your Employment Law-Related Issues

At Carter Law Firm, our Newport Beach attorneys strive to educate all our potential clients on their rights and options so they can feel empowered to make informed decisions. From questions regarding class action lawsuits to determining what kind of behavior counts as discrimination, we can answer all questions and concerns.

Contact us online or by phone at (949) 239-0419 for empathetic service. We take cases across California and are dedicated to protecting the rights of employees against employers found to be in violation.

Our Most Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q:What is a class action?

    A:A class action is a type of lawsuit where an attorney or firm represents an entire class of people who suffered the same or similar legal wrong. Rather than litigating the same issues (often against the same defendant) over and over again, a class action consolidates all those cases into one, providing an efficient way to resolve the claims against the transgressing defendant(s).

  • Q:Do I have to participate in the class action?

    A:As a potential class member, you will be notified of your right to opt out of the class action. Once you opt out, you have the right to pursue legal remedies on your own.

  • Q:How do I know whether to stay in or opt out of a class action?

    A:If you stay in the class action, you will receive a portion of any settlement or judgment awarded, without having to pay any fees or costs or participate in the trial in any way. However, the amount you receive may be considerably less than what you could receive on your own. If your legal injury is much greater than other members of the class, you will want to make sure that you will be adequately compensated.

  • Q:I’m not sure if my boss is coming onto me, but they are making suggestive comments that make me so uncomfortable that I can’t focus on my work. Is this sexual harassment?

    A:Sexual harassment does not require that your boss make a pass at you. Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is so severe and pervasive that it creates a hostile and intimidating work environment is sexual harassment, and it is against the law. If your boss is treating you this way, you have legal remedies to make him stop.

  • Q:I was let go from my company after 40 years, and the only reason they gave me was that they were cutting back on labor due to funding shortages. They then hired a new guy to take my place at half my salary. Is this legal?

    A:The Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects workers over the age of 40 from job actions which disfavor them solely because of their age. Many other laws protect employees from discrimination based on race, color, national origin (ethnicity), gender, religion, or disability. These laws are designed to protect the worker from job actions that treat them differently on account of what group they belong to, rather than what type of worker they are or other legitimate business reasons.

  • Q:My employer says I’m exempt from overtime because I’m paid a salary. Does that mean I have to work more than 40 hours a week with no additional compensation?

    A:Not necessarily. The exemptions from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act are narrowly defined. Being paid on a "salary basis" is no longer the main determinative factor. An experienced labor lawyer may be required to analyze your situation and determine if you are truly exempt or if you have been wrongfully withheld overtime wages. Keep in mind that even if you are exempt from overtime pay, you may still be entitled to rest breaks and meal periods under California law.

  • Q:When can I sue my employer for discrimination?

    A:In California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits employers that have five or more employees from discriminating against employees on the basis of their: Age, race, religion, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, medical condition, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, military or veteran status.

  • Q:When can I sue my employer for retaliation?

    A:In spite of at-will employment, you can sue your employer for terminating your employment because you’ve engaged in protected “whistleblowing” activities. For example, you are protected if you have reported sexual harassment or discrimination in the office, questioned your employer’s practices or filed a report concerning wage and hour violations, or reported violations of safety laws and procedures in the workplace.

  • Q:What must be listed on my pay stub?

    A:California Labor Code § 226 requires California employers to provide an itemized wage statement which must include: Gross wages earned, total hours worked, certain information for employees paid on a piece-rate basis, if applicable, all deductions made from wages, net wages earned, pay period beginning and ending dates, employee’s name and identifying information (last four digits of social security or other legal form of identification), complete name and address of the legal entity that is the employer, and all applicable hourly rates.

  • Q:Am I a victim of a paystub violation?

    A:Any error, no matter how small, could be a legal misstep by your employer. For example, if your hours are not being tracked correctly or if you have deductions that are not allowed, then you are not being paid correctly, and the company is in violation of the law. You have a right to recover these wages. Some typical errors that might impact your pay and result in mistakes on your paystub include: employer misclassification of you as an independent contractor as opposed to an employee, employer not properly or accurately tracking your hours, employer failing to pay (or accurately pay) overtime, employer miscalculating payroll deductions, and an employer failing to account for time worked off the clock.

  • Q:Is my employer required to pay me if I am searched before leaving the job site?

    A:Any California employee who is subjected to a security check must be paid for that time. You cannot have clocked out before going through the check or clocked in upon arrival after going through a check. Contact us for a free consultation if you have been forced to go through security checks.

  • Q:When is a seat required in the workplace?

    A:A suitable seat refers to a chair, stool, bench, or other form of seating that an employer may be required to offer depending on the circumstances of work. The law does not require that each employee have their own seat, only that seating be available if reasonably necessary. If you are required to stand because of the nature of your work, your employer is still often required to provide a seating arrangement, assuming that doing so does not interfere with the work itself.

  • Q:Is my commission plan correct and enforceable?

    A:A commission is defined as “compensation for the sale of property or services that is proportional to the amount or value of the property or services sold.” A commission plan is a written contract between an employee and the employer, typically covering the base salary, and how much commission the employee will receive based on specific components. According to Labor Code section 2751, “California employees paid by commission must be provided a signed written contract stating how the commissions will be calculated and paid.” It is also suggested that both the The employee and employer need sign the plan and that the employer must should provide a copy of the plan to the employee.

  • Q:What is “tip pooling”?

    A:Tip pooling is a practice where people in positions to receive tips agree to contribute all tips from a shift into one collection, equally distributing the money at the end of the shift. This usually includes wait staff, bartenders, and bussers. In some cases, where tips are collected, employers can pay wages to tipped employees that are below minimum wage, if the tips bring them back above that level. The employer must notify tipped employees of any required tip pool contribution amount, may only take a tip credit for the number of tips each tipped employee ultimately receives, and may not retain any of the employees' tips for any other purpose.

  • Q:Have I been misclassified by my employer as an independent contractor to avoid my overtime pay?

    A:In California, as an employee you have rights that entitle you to overtime pay and other wage benefits. Some industries try to skirt the system by classifying employees as “independent contractors” or “consultants.” To properly qualify as an independent contractor you must satisfy these three requirements: (1) the worker is free from the control and direction of the company in performing his work; (2) the work being performed is outside the usual course of the company’s business; and (3) the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed for the company.

  • Q:When am I entitled to a meal or rest period?

    A:Under California law, if you work more than 5 hours in a workday, you are entitled to a 30-minute meal break. Further, if you work at least 3.5 hours in a day, you are entitled to one rest break. If you work over 6 hours, you are entitled to a second rest break. If you work over 10 hours, you are entitled to a third rest break.

  • Q:When are employers required to pay for truck drivers’ time?

    A:California law requires employers to provide a separate paid 10-minute rest break for every four hours a truck driver works or fraction thereof. Payments for these rest breaks should be documented on the driver’s pay stub as a separate hourly wage, also at an hourly rate of no less than minimum wage. For truck drivers paid by-the-mile, companies must also pay them separately for time after the wheels stop rolling, including on layovers. These drivers should also be paid for time spent during pre-trip and post-trip inspections, detention, loading, unloading, completing paperwork, refueling, and for performing repair duties, as well as for any required downtime between runs. This time must be paid in addition to any by-the-mile pay, at an hourly rate of no less than minimum wage.

  • Q:When am I entitled to get my out of pocket expenses reimbursed by my employer?

    A:Employers must reimburse their employees for expenses paid by the employee in order to conduct their required duties. This can include such things as clothing and cellular phones.

  • Q:Am I entitled to overtime pay?

    A: If you’re consistently working more than 40 hours a week you may be entitled to unpaid overtime pay. Many salaried employees are incorrectly classified as exempt from overtime. There are many exceptions to this common and often incorrect belief that if you are salaried you are exempt. If you have any doubt as to whether or not you should receive overtime pay, you should contact us. A qualified and experienced labor lawyer should be able to answer any of your employment law questions. For more information, see our practice area pages on workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, or wage and hour violations. If you feel that you have been wronged by your employer, contact Carter Law Firm today for a free initial consultation.

Why Choose Us?

  • Relentless Litigation

    We do not back down! We will continue to represent our clients against some of the biggest and most well-established companies around the country all the way through trial and appeals if necessary.

  • Successful Track Record

    We have recovered over $250 million within the past decade alone. We are committed to your case from the very start and you will not need to worry about any upfront fees.

  • Defense Experience

    We originally started out on the defense side and are well aware of the strategies and tactics needed to get results. Our experience on the other side has proven itself to be invaluable.

  • Quality Representation

    Our passion to defend the rights of employees in the workforce continues to drive our firm's success. Quality and thorough investigations are crucial for every case we touch.

One Path, One Mission- Justice!

Contact Us Today
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.