Frequently Asked Questions
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).
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.
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 actually coming on to me, but he is constantly making suggestive comments that make me so uncomfortable that I am having trouble doing my work. Is this sexual harassment?
A: Sexual harassment does not require that your boss actually 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 recently let go from my company after forty years of service. The only reason they gave me was that they were cutting back on labor due to funding shortages. Then they turned around and 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 forty 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 am exempt from overtime because I am paid a salary. Does that mean I have to work more than forty 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.
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 the Carter Law Firm today for a free initial consultation.