Practice Areas

Employment Law Attorneys Serving Orange County Residents

At Nassiri Law Group, we represent workers whose rights have been violated by their employers. Our firm handles a wide range of labor and employment matters, including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, FMLA claims, and discrimination based on race, gender, age, pregnancy, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or military status. Our Orange County employment law lawyers also handle wage and hour disputes and employee misclassification claims.

Wrongful Termination

In California, employment is at will, meaning an employer can usually fire an employee for any reason. However, there are exceptions, such as when the firing of an employee is based on a protected characteristic. If you have been wrongfully terminated, you may be able to bring a lawsuit. Most wrongful termination cases arise under the state Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). This law protects employees from being subjected to discrimination based on disability, age, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, among other traits.

Gender Discrimination

Gender discrimination is prohibited under FEHA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This type of discrimination occurs whenever an employer takes an adverse action against an employee based on his or her gender. For example, gender discrimination may occur when an employee does not get a promotion based on his or her sex. The federal Equal Pay Act also protects men and women who perform substantially equal work from wage-based sex discrimination.

Pregnancy Discrimination

Under both FEHA and the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), employers are prohibited from discriminating against an employee based on pregnancy, childbirth, or any medical condition related to them. For example, if it is covered by either of these laws, an employer cannot refuse to hire a job applicant because she is pregnant. While the PDA requires employers to give pregnant employees equal access to the reasonable accommodations provided for all other temporarily disabled workers, FEHA entitles all pregnant employees to reasonable accommodations. FEHA covers employers with five or more employees, while an employer must have 15 or more employees to be covered by the PDA.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited under Title VII and FEHA. It may include requests for sexual favors, unwelcome sexual advances, threats after rejection, offensive remarks, visual conduct, touching, assault, impeding movement, or graphic verbal commentaries or invitations. A sexual harassment victim may be entitled to monetary damages even if he or she has not suffered a loss in pay, benefits, or employment opportunities.

Age Discrimination

Workplace discrimination and harassment of any employee over the age of 40 based on his or her age is illegal. Similarly, the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects employees who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. ADEA only applies to employers with 20 or more employees, whereas California law applies to any employer with a minimum of five employees. In California, you can file an age discrimination claim with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. DFEH and the EEOC can investigate age discrimination jointly.

Disability Discrimination

Both the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and California's FEHA prohibit discrimination or harassment based on an actual or perceived disability. They also require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees unless the employer is able to show that the accommodation would cause an undue hardship.

Family Medical Leave Act Claims

Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), covered employers must give employees 12 weeks of protected unpaid leave for certain medical or family reasons. If you are subjected to discrimination or terminated due to a decision to take FMLA leave for which you were eligible, you can file a charge or bring a lawsuit. The California Family Rights Act is similar to the FMLA and is part of FEHA.

Religious Discrimination

Title VII and the California Workplace Religious Freedom Act of 2012 (amending FEHA) prohibit religious discrimination in the workplace. They also require reasonable accommodations of employees' religious practices and observances in the workplace. Religious clothing and grooming are included in the definitions of observance and belief. You are entitled to a reasonable accommodation of your religious beliefs unless providing it would cause your employer an undue burden.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination

California law expressly prohibits sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace. No federal law expressly prohibits sexual orientation discrimination, but the EEOC interprets and enforces the Title VII prohibition against sex discrimination as also prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. For example, it is unlawful sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII for an employer to permit harassment of an employee using derogatory terms or disparaging comments about sexual orientation.

Military Status Discrimination

Under FEHA, military or veteran status is considered a protected class. This means that if you are or were a member veteran of the United States Armed Forces, the United States National Guard, the Armed Forces Reserve, or the California National Guard, you are protected against discriminatory conduct in the workplace based on that status.

Other Types of Discrimination

We also handle other claims of discrimination, including those based on race or national origin and those based on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). GINA is a federal law that protects employees from suffering genetic discrimination in health insurance and employment.

Wage and Hour Disputes

Employers must follow the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, California laws, and local laws with regard to wage and hour issues, such as overtime. California's minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage. As of 2016, it is $10 an hour, and even tipped employees in California must be paid this wage. Moreover, employees eligible for overtime pay, which is time and a half, must receive overtime if they work more than eight hours in a day or 40 hours in one week. If you have not been properly classified, or if your employer fails to follow state or local laws related to overtime, you can potentially recover damages, penalties, interest, and attorneys' fees and costs.

Employee Misclassification Claims

Some employers misclassify employees as independent contractors or as exempt in order to get out of their wage and hour and other obligations. We can help you hold an employer responsible for failing to properly classify you.

Consult an Experienced Orange County Lawyer for an Employment Law Matter

We understand how important your workplace rights are, and we represent many workers throughout Orange County. Employees who have been wronged by their employers may have a wide range of federal and state law remedies to pursue. The Orange County employment law attorneys at Nassiri Law Group can help you pursue damages and hold your employer accountable. We represent people in Anaheim, Santa Ana, Yorba Linda, Westminster, Tustin, San Clemente, Orange, Newport Beach, Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, Laguna Niguel, La Habra, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Fullerton, and Costa Mesa. If you need a wrongful termination attorney or representation in another type of employment claim, contact us at (714) 937-2020 or via our online form for a free consultation.