Practice Area

Canoga Park Employment Lawyer

Canoga Park Employment Lawyer

Canoga Park Employment Attorney

A Canoga Park employment lawyer can help employees with a broad spectrum of legal issues related to their jobs. Employment law puts limitations on how employers are allowed to treat their employees and attempts to ensure employees receive fair compensation, breaks, and treatment from their employers.

However, holding employers accountable can often be a complicated and challenging process. At Bluestone Law, we work with employees to see that every legal recourse available to them is considered.

Our goal is to embody our namesake, bluestone, which provides the foundation for many building projects. We seek to provide that kind of foundational support and protection for our clients, and we are prepared to stand firmly behind you as we seek justice for the way you’ve been mistreated at work.

What Is Employment Law?

Employment law describes a wide range of laws that cover the relationship between employees and their employers. It specifies what employers owe to employees in terms of workplace conditions, compensation, and other work-related issues. There are a few different avenues through which these kinds of issues are addressed legally:

  • The California Labor Commissioner’s Office (part of the California Department of Industrial Relations)
  • California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement
  • California Department of Fair Employment and Housing
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (a federal agency)
  • State Civil Courts (this is rare but can happen under certain situations)

Within these departments, there are various offices and officials responsible for hearing different concerns. It’s important that you work through the correct departments and offices. One of the concerns that we help with is making sure that our clients are following the proper processes.

The process for filing a claim will be slightly different depending on the issue that you are attempting to address. Generally, though, it will involve first submitting paperwork and documentation that will be used to argue why your claim needs addressing.

Next, it’s possible that there will be hearings, further paperwork and documentation, and even appeals. Your lawyer is responsible for ensuring that the process is followed correctly and in a timely fashion after they identify the proper way to seek a remedy for your situation.

Workplace Discrimination

Both California and federal law prohibit discrimination based on protected characteristics, although California’s laws tend to be more extensive than their federal counterparts. This kind of discrimination occurs when a protected characteristic factors into hiring, termination, promotion, and compensation decisions. It could also be present in different forms of harassment that an employee might experience in the workplace. Some of the characteristics that are protected by law include:

  • Race
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Ancestry
  • Medical condition
  • Disability
  • Marital status
  • Pregnancy

Discrimination in the workplace can be a problem that hurts the career opportunities of those affected by it. These issues persist in the workplace even today and in the state of California.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there were an average of over 4,000 different charges filed in California in the five years spanning 2018-2022, with the majority of these charges being filed because of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, or age. It’s important that victims of discrimination speak with an employment attorney to discover what steps they need to take to remedy their situation.


Harassment in the workplace can come in a variety of different forms. One of the most common forms of harassment is sexual harassment. This can include verbal and physical conduct that is sexual in nature. It could also include unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors.

Also included in this type of harassment is quid pro quo harassment, which is committed by a manager or someone with authority or access that could benefit an employee’s career. They may offer career benefits such as promotions, increased pay, or avoiding workplace discipline in exchange for sexual behaviors.

Harassment can also be discriminatory and create a hostile work environment. This type of harassment includes offensive jokes and comments, derogatory treatment, bullying, and other offensive behavior that occurs on the basis of a protected characteristic, including the employee’s race, gender, age, or disability.

California employers are supposed to have anti-harassment policies and training in place to try to prevent these issues from occurring. If any harassment occurs, employees should report it to their supervisors or a confidential hotline within the company.

Management and supervisors should then take appropriate action to address the concerns. Typically, there won’t be legal action initially unless the harassment is particularly severe or persists. If you believe you may have a harassment claim, the employment lawyers at Bluestone Law can evaluate your situation.

Meal and Rest Breaks

California has specific and detailed laws regarding the breaks for rest and meals that all non-exempt employees must take. There are times when a company may be unaware of these laws and not give employees proper breaks. They may also be aware but purposely avoid properly accommodating their employees. Additionally, it may be that an employer has misidentified, either purposely or by mistake, an employer as being exempt from these rules.

Violations of these rules are taken seriously. Employers who fail to follow the regulations will likely need to compensate the employees who weren’t given proper breaks. They may be subject to fines as well. If you think that you haven’t been given proper breaks at your job, it’s important to keep thorough records of when you worked, for how long, and what breaks you did receive. At Bluestone Law, we can parse through these records and help you determine if you have a claim.

Wages and Overtime

Non-exempt employees must be compensated in a manner that fits with California law. There are strict rules regarding not only minimum wage but also when employers should receive overtime and how much overtime they should receive when compared with their normal wages.

Violations of wage law should result in employees receiving back pay for the compensation they should have been awarded, and they can also result in fines for the employers. In this case, records of when you worked and the compensation you received are critical to proving that you are owed compensation. A lawyer can help you determine whether you have received proper pay for your work.


California’s overtime and breaks regulations only apply to certain employees, and those who are “exempt” are not required to be given the same treatment. However, to become an “exempt” employee, there must be specific requirements met.

In most cases, this is determined based on the salary involved, the type of work being done, or whether the worker is a contract worker or an official employee. However, if someone’s contract says they aren’t an employee, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they meet the proper requirements.

The complexity of these issues can lead to employees frequently being misidentified. At times, an employer may be doing so purposely, but there is often a lack of understanding on the part of the employer around the requirements that need to be met for an employee to be considered “exempt.” Misidentification by an employer is often the grounds for filing a claim regarding violations of meal and rest break rules or failing to pay sufficient overtime pay.

Protected Leave

California has some of the most extensive protections for workers’ leave in the entire country. There are a variety of issues and life situations that can lead to employees taking leave, during which time employers may be required to continue their compensation and/or preserve their employment. Some of the most common forms of workplace leave that are protected in California include:

  • Medical Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Family Leave
  • Pregnancy Disability Leave
  • Military Leave
  • Domestic Violence Leave

Disability Accommodation

One of the important forms of protection that exists under California and federal law is for those with disabilities. Under the law, disability should not lead to discrimination in terms of hiring, promotion, compensation, and other work-related concerns so long as the individual with the disability is able to complete the job functions required of them.

Businesses are also required to provide reasonable accommodations. These accommodations should allow the individual to complete the requirements of their job through adjustments to the standard work operations. These could include modifications such as workplace changes, flexible scheduling, modifications to duties, and assistive technology.

The standard for determining whether or not accommodations are reasonable is the undue hardship standard. This means that if the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation will put a particular strain or expense on their business functions, they may not have to provide the accommodations. If you have a disability and are struggling with receiving appropriate accommodations, we may be able to help you handle the situation with your employer.

Wrongful Termination

Employment in California is considered to be “at-will,” which means that employment can be terminated for any reason and without cause in the absence of an employment contract. However, this does not mean that employers can fire someone for reasons that are protected under the law.

In particular, some of the most important protections employees have is that they cannot be fired for reasons of discrimination or as retaliation for something like whistleblowing, participating in an investigation, taking protected leave, or filing a complaint against their employer.

These termination protections extend to something called constructive discharge. This occurs when an employee resigns because the work environment has been made unbearable, and they can’t continue to work due to unlawful treatment. In this case, the employer could be held liable for wrongful termination.

Generally, the standard for this kind of treatment is that no reasonable person would have continued to work under those conditions. However, even if you believe that this applies to you, it would be wise to talk with an employment lawyer before you quit your job.


The protections surrounding retaliation are critical for California employees. It’s possible that employers may choose to retaliate against employees if they do something that could negatively impact the employer. For instance, an employer could be tempted to retaliate for issues such as whistleblowing, filing a claim against the employer, or even participating in someone else’s claim. It’s illegal to do so.

What retaliation looks like can vary depending on your situation. In some cases, it could mean being demoted, passed over for a promotion you’ve earned, or even wrongfully terminated. In other cases, your employer may give you worse schedules, harass you, or otherwise purposefully make work difficult for you. If you believe you are a victim of retaliation, it’s critical that you document your experiences and contact a lawyer as soon as you can.

Severance Agreements

When you’ve been let go from a job under certain circumstances, your employer may offer a severance package. When this occurs, there is usually some compensation offered along with limitations placed on the person being terminated from their position. You should be provided with time to decide whether you want to accept the severance package or consider your other options.

It’s important that you speak with an employment lawyer before you accept the severance package. You will want to ensure that you have a full understanding of all the clauses and restrictions. For instance, if you have a wrongful termination claim, it could be more advantageous to reject the severance package and pursue that route instead.

You may also want to understand the full scope of the tax implications, clarify the language involved, and understand if there are any non-compete clauses in the package.

Employment Contracts

Employment contracts can sometimes be complex and involve much more than you might expect. In particular, there can be unexpected stipulations regarding non-compete agreements, non-disclosures, and non-disparagement clauses, and even the compensation described can sometimes be complicated.

Allowing a lawyer to look over the contract before you sign could be a wise decision. They can clarify for you exactly what the contract stipulates and recommend any changes if you are looking for something different out of the agreement than what you’ve been offered.

What Does a Canoga Park Employment Lawyer Do?

What a Canoga Park employment lawyer can do for you will be highly specific to your situation. If you need a lawyer to look over a contract or agreement, they can do so to ensure that you fully understand the implications and consequences of what you are signing.

Most people, though, need an employment lawyer because there is some form of issue at their workplace. When you come to us with these kinds of concerns, the first thing we can do is listen to your story and help you understand whether you have been a victim of a violation of employment law. If there is an issue that needs remedying, we can help you with the next steps.

In some cases, this may mean beginning the legal process. Usually, we will be able to help you gather any documentation that’s needed and fill out the proper paperwork. As your representatives, we can see that the paperwork goes to the correct department and may even be able to encourage the process along.

Where the process goes next will depend on the situation. There may be hearings, requests to file more documentation, and even multiple appeals if you are initially rejected. We can represent you throughout this entire process.

In many cases, though, it may not be necessary to go through the entire legal process. It’s possible to settle a claim out of court with your employer, and for many workers, this may be a better option in the end. It is often a much quicker process, which means obtaining a resolution or compensation for your case much sooner.

Additionally, it avoids the risk of ruling against your interests, as there is always a chance that the governing bodies in question may not see things your way. A lawyer can be crucial to negotiating a strong deal on your behalf.

We Are Ready to Defend Your Rights as an Employee

The legal process for employees seeking justice can often be complex. While the state of California has strict employment laws, it can often be immensely difficult to work through the legal process correctly. Any error in the complicated paperwork, submission of documentation, or other procedures could lead to long delays or possibly losing your ability to file your claim altogether. Even when every step is followed correctly, the process can move slowly.

A Canoga Park employment lawyer can make a significant difference for employees seeking justice. At Bluestone Law, we believe employees deserve every opportunity available to them to seek compensation. We can help with the complexities of navigating the legal system, ensure the paperwork is properly handled, and provide you with compassionate guidance in the wake of a difficult situation.

If it is necessary to put pressure on the system to handle your case promptly, we are prepared to do so. We can also represent you in negotiations for a settlement if that option is desirable, as well as in court hearings and litigation if that will be the better route. If you have an employment law issue that you need help with, contact us today.

Canoga Park Employment Attorney