Court

EMPLOYMENT LAW

 
Image by Jan Zhukov

EXPERIENCED LEGAL REPRESENTATION IN THE COURTROOM

The Goldman Law Firm has decades of litigation experience defending physicians, dentists and other healthcare professionals in malpractice lawsuits and understands the strategy behind comprehensive defense.

EMPLOYMENT LAW IN THE AGE OF CORONAVIRUS

The pandemic has thrown a wrench into the plans for many small businesses. If you seek assistance with federal, state or local safety protocols (OSHA & Cal-OSHA), or health orders (CDC & California Department of Public Health), we are available to assist you. 

Do you have problems with staffing? COVID-19 contractions or outbreaks in the office? Questions about mandating a vaccine policy and exemptions? Look no further, we are happy to assist you.

WAGE & HOUR LAW

Compliance with wage and hour law is tricky. California and federal law have established rigid standards relating to prompt payment of wages, overtime rules, benefits such as vacation and sick pay, tracking of hours worked, final pay issues, and meal and rest breaks. For questions relating to compliance or employee-specific problems, The Goldman Law Firm looks forward to working with you to determine legal obligations.

If you are an associate doctor working at an office and you feel that there is a problem with your compensation or benefits, we are happy to assist you!

HARASSMENT, DISCRIMINATION & RETALIATION

Employers are required to prevent and remedy unlawful harassment, discriminations and retaliation within their places of employment. Employers are required to have written policies affirming their commitment to a workplace free of unlawful conduct and employees must sign a confirmation of receipt. 

Additionally, there is a sexual harassment training component that employers must comply with. 

Policies and trainings require updating periodically. 

Should a staff member lodge a complaint of harassment, discrimination or retaliation, the employer should engage in a prompt, thorough, objective investigation into the complaint and provide  a resolution that redresses any perceived policy violations and affirms the employer's commitment to a workplace that is free of unlawful conduct. 

PREGNANCY, DISABILITY INQUIRY & REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS

If an employee is disabled, there are specific obligations for employers to determine whether workplace accommodations are available. These obligations, called the 'interactive process', are ongoing and require the employer to actively engage with the employee to determine if accommodations exist that allow the employee to perform his/her/their essential job duties. We welcome clients with disability inquires and we can assist the employer in navigating the interactive process.

Employees who are pregnant, undergo childbirth or a related medical condition are afforded four (4) months of pregnancy disability leave by most California employers. There is no duration of employment requirement. There are strict rules relating to the leave of absence, benefits while on leave, reinstatement, and accommodating for lactation. We welcome questions and are happy to provide guidance to employers in these situations. 

WRONGFUL TERMINATION

If a former staff member is threatening claims of wrongful termination, or if litigation has been filed, our office is committed to assisting employers with resolving these disputes. 

Wrongful termination is a claim in which the employee alleges that the justification for the termination violated the law. It is important to justify your terminations with legitimate business reasons and to document them contemporaneously. 

EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS AND LEAVE LAWS

There are certain leaves of absence and benefits that are required by law, such as California Paid Sick Leave, California Family Rights Act Leave, and Pregnancy Disability Leave. Other benefits are voluntary, such as holidays, a medical plan, or vacation leave.  Any benefits that are offered to staff members must conform with the legal obligations as prescribed by federal and California law. For example, there are strict rules relating to vacation and PTO plans.

Also, if you own a medical or dental office and provide reduced cost services to staff, at termination of employment, you may wish to terminate the doctor/patient relationship. There are consequences to terminating the relationships improperly. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. 

WHEN TO RETAIN AN EMPLOYMENT ATTORNEY

The Goldman Law Firm is ready to help clients in the following circumstances:

  • The employer wishes to establish or update office policies, or an office policy manual/employee handbook;

  • The employer wishes to discipline or terminate a staff member;

  • The employer wishes to implement or modify employment benefits;

  • Employment related disabilities, accommodations, or pregnancies;

  • Receipt of a workplace complaint (oral or written) from a staff member regarding harassment, discrimination, retaliation, or issues relating to payment of wages;

  • Providing raises, work-sponsored events, etc.

  • Wage payment issues;

  • Requests (by an employee or their representative) for an employment file;

  • Questions about COVID-19 in the workplace, or updates to employment laws; or

  • Receipt of a demand letter or a complaint from the attorney representing an employee or former employee.

 
 

Introductory Period Misconceptions

The notorious '90-day' introductory period only affects employment benefits. Many times, employers believe that if an employee passes the 90-day intro period, the employer's rights or obligations regarding termination alter. This is not the case. Instead, at 90 days, benefits such as paid holidays or vacation will become available.


The 'at-will' nature of the relationship is not altered after 89 days of employment and 'at-will" employment can be terminated at anytime for any reason. 

Image by Yusuf Dündar