Employment & Labor Law Attorneys in Orange County
Orange County Lawyer Group represents business owners, entrepreneurs, professionals and others in employment law and labor law matters. Many of the most challenging aspects of operating a business revolve around employees. While having great employees can grow a business, it often only takes one of those employees, if ever disgruntled, to bring down or significantly damage one. We are here if you need to bounce your current employment issue or challenge off of us to get our ‘take’ on the matter. Call us at (888) 866-3620.
Employer Legal Services Offered
We have extensive experience in employment law, having represented numerous employers from small mom and pop retail stores, to large county employers. We are here to assist employers located in Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside and beyond defend against claims and lawsuits brought against them for all matter of reasons including cases of harassment, classification challenges, wage and hour, class actions, wrongful termination, race, gender and sexual discrimination. We are also available to counsel and offer legal advice in day to day employment issues, including termination, employee contract negotiations, employee retentions, classification concerns, independent contracting opportunities, executive compensation and workplace investigations.
Assisting Employers in Reducing Employee-Related Liability
We are available to review your business to help you limit the liability that so often comes from employee-related issues. We can help you review and change, if necessary, any employment issues that invite employee backlash, government intervention and costly lawsuits, including:
- Employee policies – Review and adjust employee policies to ensure that they are in compliance with the myriad of state and federal laws. We would review such policies as having employee handbooks (even for the smallest employers) as a necessary proactive defense tool. Court decisions prove that ALL employers, no mater the number of employees, can better defend themselves if they publish a handbook. Don’t cringe, this can be as simple as a Word Document saved off as a PDF and printed out one at a time when needed. Employee handbooks (i.e. a proactive employer defense document) will establish the basic parameters of the employer-employee employment relationship and will document: employee classification, benefits, rights, and expected conduct. Having a simple “handbook document” can help quash or minimize litigation.
- Company policies – Review and adjust company policies for dealing with and resolving employee grievances and making certain that they are in compliance with new State and Federal laws.
- Employee Retention policies – Review and adjust employee retention policies to that you can document that all employees and signed for and agree that have a thorough understanding of their job responsibilities from the date of hire. A employee handbook or companion document specifying job responsibilities will protect an employer from future liability as to termination, lay off, wrongful termination and all manner of defendable claims.
- Termination policies – Review and adjust termination policies and create a termination checklist for employers with 20+ employees.
- Misclassification of Employees – One of the most common mistakes that employers make and later are sued for are the unpaid taxes that one of your “contractors” wants you to pony up years after you first hire him or her as a 1099 independent contractor. What usually happens is the ‘contractor” pockets your checks for years, fails to pay his or her income taxes, and when pressured by the Franchise Tax Board or IRS, hires a lawyer who decides that they can go after you and your business to get the back taxes as you might have treated this ‘independent contractor’ as an employee (i.e. there is a test for this). It sometimes comes down to a “he said – she said” argument as to the decision of classification. Your understanding of this list, and protecting yourself by getting some legal counsel, will make it unlikely that you and your company will have to pay a HUGE settlement including additional fees and penalties.
- Independent Contractor Contracts – We can assist you and protect you from debilitating lawsuits brought about under misclassification claims. We can draft for you Independent Contractor contracts that can protect you from the State or Federal government coming after you for unpaid employment taxes, fees, fines, and penalties. We can also help you negotiate with critical 1099 contractors to secure their services at the rates you want and with the protections you deserve.
- Employee Contracts – We can assist you and protect your business by drafting well-thought through employee contracts. While California is an “at-will” employment state (e.g. employment relationships can be terminated at any time, for any lawful reason), so many employee who are terminated seek legal help on a contingency basis that it is better to be well-protected from the start up to and through termination.
- Training of supervisors – We can assist you in documenting your training of your managers and supervisors in regard to the big issues that end up harming employers all the time:discrimination, sexual harassment, disability, and wage and hour matters. By having a printed document that is similar to your company’s policies documented in the employer handbook, we have a document that is reviewed and signed by all managers and supervisors that they agree and promise to follow the state and federal laws in these dicey and expensive labor-litigation areas. It is critical that employers train and document the training of their supervisory staff in order to mitigate any future liability. These are the very expensive lawsuits that bring down national chains, so it should be taken seriously in even the smallest Orange County businesses.
Claims often come from Employees AND Government Agencies!
While most employer-employee problems are a direct result of an annoyed or disgruntled current or past employee, many employer challenges come from all-powerful government agencies that might or might not have been anonymously ‘tipped off’ by an employee. It may turn out that the industry your are in is under increased scrutiny. For example, investigators from the IRS and Franchise Tax Board often target “cash” businesses for more thorough and frequent field audits. State and Federal tax authorities consider ‘Cash Businesses’ to be: car washes, laundromats, restaurants, bars, arcades, taxis service, parking lots operators, convenience and liquor stores, etc.
Do you see State or Federal cars in your parking lot?
You might now find your business under employment-irregularities investigation or worse simply because of the industry that you are in where they statistically calculate you are probably not in full compliance. Unfortunately, just as IRS tax investigators are rewarded in their job performance by how successful they are in finding businesses under-reporting their taxes, so too are the State and Federal employees who might investigate your business or file a claim against your business for employment violations!
We can help defend you if employees of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or similar California Department, the Employment Development Department, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, or the department of Fair Employment and Housing are at your door. Being an employer is complex and often messy. We fully understand.
Call Us for a Free Phone or Office Consultation
Call Orange County Business Lawyers for a free phone or office consultation. We are dedicated to helping Orange County business owners make educated, informed decisions about their employment issues and other troubles that invariably come knocking —at some point— on every business owner’s door. Call us at (888) 866-3620 for an on the spot phone consultation or an appointment to confidentially review your situation.