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- Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail

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Frequently Asked Questions About California Employment Law

Defending Your Rights in San Francisco

Most employees who work in California do not take much notice of state laws regarding employment. There are many laws to protect workers, however, that they should be aware of. A knowledgeable San Francisco employment attorney will understand just what your rights are, so call Stewart & Musell, LLP if you have questions regarding your rights as an employee. Below are common job-related questions.

What is at-will employment?
This refers to an employee who has no specified term and whose employment may be terminated at the will of either the employee or the employer with or without cause or notice. This is generally the case if there is no oral or written contract specifying the terms of employment.

Am I entitled to overtime pay?
In California, if you work more than 8 hours, up to and including 12 hours, in a workday, or for the first 8 hours worked on the 7th consecutive day of work, you are owed one and one-half times your normal pay. If you feel you have not been properly compensated for your work, contact Stewart & Musell, LLP right away.

What are my rights regarding meal periods?
As an employee in California, your employer must give you a meal period of no less than 30 minutes for working more than 5 hours and 10 minute breaks for every 4 hours worked in a day.

I was let go and my employer did not pay me my final wages, can they do that?
No—any employee who is fired needs to be paid all of their wages, including accrued vacation, immediately at the time of termination.

As a San Francisco employer, do I need to provide sick leave for my employees?
As of 2007, all San Francisco employers need to provide paid sick leave to their employees, including part time and temporary employees. An employee accrues one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours or 72 hours of accrued paid sick leave.

Can I take legal action against an employer who fired me for having cancer?
Disabled employees who are otherwise qualified and able to perform their job duties need to be provided a reasonable accommodation so they can keep working. An employer's decision to terminate a disabled employee in preference to an individual without a disability may also give them the right to take legal action.

Can my boss force me to take a drug test?
Depending on your job, you could be forced to take one, if your job is "safety sensitive" such as driving. If you have signed a document giving your employer permission to give you a drug test, then it may be legal as well. Otherwise, a drug test could be considered an invasion of your privacy.

If you have other employment-related questions or concerns, please call our San Francisco employment law office.