If you need an experienced employment law attorney, Patrice L. Goldman provides compassionate, experienced legal representation, either in court or through a mediated settlement. She offers her services on both a contingency (you will pay only if there is a favorable result) as well as an hourly basis.
Patrice L. Goldman provides representation for the following employment law issues, whether as an individual case or class action:
- Wrongful termination – Federal and state law prohibits treating an individual differently because they are a member of a certain group. California law protects more classes of individuals than does Federal law. Under California law, it is unlawful to discriminate because of an employee’s race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status.
- Sexual harassment – California law is much more protective of employee rights than other states, as it prohibits employers of any size from allowing or engaging in sexual harassment against an employee, applicant for employment, unpaid intern or volunteer. The law even prohibits sexual harassment by non-employees if the employer knew or should have known and failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action against sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can take many different forms, including, physical, verbal, visual, and unwanted sexual advances.
- Hostile work environment – Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. Harassment becomes unlawful where 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or 2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.
- Discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, age, and/or pregnancy.
- Breach of contract – A breach of contract can occur where an employer fails to comply with the terms of a written contract between it and an employee. A breach of contract may also occur where the employer fails to pay promised wages or makes a promise that it fails to keep.
- Severance packages and negotiations – Employers are not required to pay severance to departing employees; however, an employer may offer severance in order to avoid any legal action. It is always important to have an attorney review any legal document before you sign it. It is especially important to have a knowledgeable employment attorney review any employment severance offer to determine whether the terms are legal, overreach, or are even fair under the circumstances. Knowing whether you have any potential legal claims and the potential value of such claims is a must before you can make a reasoned decision as to whether to accept a severance offer, attempt to negotiate any terms, or perhaps even reject the offer and pursue litigation.
- Workplace retaliation – An employee who engages in “protected activity” such as opposing discrimination, standing up for the rights of others, standing up for your own rights, raising claims of wrongdoing, or even just questioning whether conduct is legal, should be protected from retaliation. Not all negative acts by an employer amount to legally actionable retaliation. Rather, there must be action which, taken as a whole, materially and adversely affects the terms and conditions of employment.
- Family/medical leave – Employees who meet certain conditions may also be eligible for family care and medical leave of up to twelve weeks for the serious health condition of themselves or a child, spouse or parent, or for the birth or adoption of a child. Employers may also be required to reasonably accommodated injured or disabled employees by granting a leave of absence or some other form of accommodation. * Note: each of these leaves is different with respect to the factors determining whether the leave is even available to the employee, whether the employee’s job is protected while on the leave, or even the amount of time the leave is available.
- Pregnancy leave – Pregnant employees are entitled to up to four months of pregnancy leave where the employee is disabled because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition.
- Failure to pay wages, including overtime
- Failure to pay commissions
- Violations of wage and hours laws
- Whistleblower or qui tam protection
Employment Mediation Services
While litigation may be the only way to resolve some types of disputes, others can be addressed through mediation. As an employment mediator, Attorney Patrice L. Goldman can help you resolve your dispute outside of the courtroom. She will ensure that all sides are heard and help reach a mutually agreeable resolution.