Coyle Browne Law

San Diego Employment Law Attorney

San Diego Employment Law Attorney

For most people, employment is their main source of income. The employer-employee relationship is imbalanced, with employers having more power over how employees discharge their duties. Because of this power imbalance, employment laws intervene to ensure that workers are employed on fair terms, in safe working environments. Every employer has rights, including the right to a safe work environment, the right to minimum wage, the right to take action without retaliation or adverse employment actions, and the right to receive payment in full when due. Despite the protections of the law, there are some employers who will try to circumvent the law in favor of their bottom line. When your employment rights are threatened, you need an experienced San Diego employment law attorney who can aggressively and honestly fight to get you justice.

At Coyle Browne our team of experienced employment lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights of workers in California. We have secured six- and seven-figure settlements for our clients in various employment law matters including race discrimination, disability discrimination, age discrimination, sexual harassment, and wrongful termination.

Our employment law attorneys have years of experience representing hundreds of clients throughout California.

Who Does Our Firm Represent?

At Coyle Browne Law, employees are our priority. While our founding partner, David Browne, began his career working for an employment firm that represented both employees and employers, we only represent employees. Our senior attorney, Stephanie Baker also has experience representing employers. The benefit of having the expertise of counsel who have represented defendants is the invaluable insight that goes into preparing our case strategies.

Representing employees only shows our dedication to helping employees get justice when they are wronged in the workplace. It also means that we will never compromise your interests for the benefit of the employer.

Employment Laws in California

Federal and state laws protect the rights of workers in California. From anti-discrimination laws to wage protection laws, California has various worker protective laws making it one of the most worker-friendly states in the United States.

Protection Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees. Unlawful employment practices under Title VII include:

(1) the failure or refusal to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or

(2) limitation, segregation, or classification of employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive them of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect their status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Protection Under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act

California’s FEHA protects individuals from harassment or discrimination in employment because of: age (40 and over), color, national origin, ancestry, religion, disability (mental and physical), marital status, sexual orientation, medical condition, and family and medical leave.

The provisions of FEHA apply to any corporation organized for private profit that employs five or more persons. Workers enjoy wider protection under FEHA because the scope of employers covered is wider than under Title VII.

Under the law, the definition of sex includes:

  • Pregnancy or pregnancy-related medical conditions.
  • Childbirth or childbirth-related medical conditions.
  • Breastfeeding or breast-feeding related medical conditions.
  • Gender, including a person’s gender identity and gender expression.

Wage and Hours Laws

Effective January 1, 2023, the minimum wage per hour for all employers in California is $15.50. The minimum wage is the same, regardless of how many people are employed by the business.

California law also provides for overtime pay for hours in excess of the eight hours in any workday, or more than 40 hours in any workweek. Nonexempt employees aged 18 years of age or older, or minor employees aged 16 or 17 years old who are not required by law to attend school and are not prohibited by law to do the work they are engaged in, must receive one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for work hours in excess of the eight-hour workday or forty-hour workweek. Employees who work more than 12 hours in any workday and for all hours worked in excess of eight on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.

California’s overtime law does not apply to every worker in the same way. There are exempt employees who are not entitled to overtime pay. Employees that practice professions in law, medicine, dentistry, optometry, architecture, engineering, teaching, or accounting are recognized under the law as exempt employees. Employees who are engaged in work that is recognized as a learned or artistic profession are also exempt from California’s overtime law. Employees who earn a monthly salary equivalent to no less than two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment are also exempt.

If you have questions about whether your work is categorized as exempt or you fall into one of the exceptions related to overtime law, your employment attorney will be able to give you more information about how the law applies in your particular circumstances.

Wage Theft Prevention Act

California workers are entitled to full and timely payment of all wages earned. Employers are required to provide employees with certain information regarding their wages and compensation including written notice of their rate of pay, the basis of their pay, any allowances they are entitled to. The Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011 provides a process for employees to demand payment for their wages, any related penalties, and other types of compensation due. Under the law, at the end of every pay period, every employer is required to provide an accurate itemized statement that reflects the dates of the period for which the employee is being paid, and all relevant information concerning the employee’s pay during that period. This comprehensive statement of pay allows for pay transparency between employers and employees. If you have been paid less than the legal minimum wage, or have unpaid overtime wages, or any other payments due to you, you may have a valid wage theft claim.

What Types of Employment Law Cases Do You Take?

Our practice areas include:

  • Sexual Harassment
  • Race Discrimination
  • Racial Harassment
  • Sex Discrimination
  • Pregnancy Discrimination
  • Disability Discrimination
  • Medical Leave Retaliation
  • Age Discrimination
  • Severance Agreements
  • Retaliation
  • Wrongful Termination
  • Failure to Provide Reasonable Accommodation or Engage in the Interactive Process
  • Unpaid Overtime, Unreimbursed Expenses, Meal Breaks, Rest Breaks, and Unpaid Wages

How Much Does a San Diego Employment Lawyer Charge?

The fear of legal fees is one of the reasons why some people do not seek justice when they have been cheated by unlawful employment practices. Hiring an employment law attorney can be costly, but at Coyle Browne Law, your ability to pay legal fees is not a barrier to getting justice in your case. We believe that every person should be given a fair opportunity to defend their rights. That is why Coyle Browne Law offers free case evaluations, and if we represent you, we do so on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not pay any upfront fees. You do not pay us unless we win. If we win, you pay us a percentage of your recovery. We believe that every person should be given a fair opportunity to defend their

How Much Are Employment Lawsuits Worth?

Every employment lawsuit is different, and their value depends on the particular circumstances of the case. Employment law cases can vary widely in value from as little as $10,000 to as much as seven-figures in compensation. The final outcome in every case depends on a number of factors including the impact of the unlawful employment action on you, and the competence and negotiation skills of your attorney.

Some examples of past settlements secured by Coyle Browne Law will give you a general idea of what is possible:

  • $225,000 – Our client was terminated after requesting reasonable accommodation for her disability (disability discrimination)
  • $335,000 – Our client was sexually harassed during a visit to a car dealership (sex discrimination)
  • $432,000 – Our client was retaliated against for reporting a supervisor who frequently asked when she would retire (age discrimination)
  • $825,000 – Our client was bullied and harassed by the company owner (race discrimination)
  • $1,500,000 – Our client, a long-tenured employee, experienced age discrimination

While we cannot make any promises as to the value of your case, we can promise that we will aggressively pursue your case and ensure that you get the best result possible in your case.

What Types of Damages Can You Recover?

The recoverable damages in an employment case fall into different categories. Generally, damages fall into two common categories: compensatory and punitive damages.

Compensatory damages cover your out-of-pocket expenses and actual losses caused by the unlawful employment action. Examples of compensatory damages include:

  • Job search costs
  • Retraining costs
  • Medical expenses
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Emotional harm including mental anguish or loss of enjoyment of life

Punitive damages are awarded to punish an employer whose actions can be characterized as malicious or reckless.

Will Your Case Go To Trial?

Whether your case goes to trial or not depends on the parties involved. The trial process can be long, complex, and costly, and most parties try to avoid it when possible. On average, an employment lawsuit that goes to trial can take at least one year to resolve. A high value case may go on for longer than two years before resolution. Taking a case to trial is the option of final resort.

When possible, the parties will try to negotiate a settlement to avoid getting caught up in the uncertainty of the court system’s calendar. But sometimes, getting to a final settlement can also take a long time. The defendant will always fight hard to either avoid liability completely, or reduce the value of your claim. Both parties must investigate the case and gather evidence, including expert testimony, to support their position.

The good thing about resolving your case through a settlement is that the parties have more control over the process and the outcome. In a trial, the process is determined by the court’s procedures, and the final resolution is decided by a judge or jury.

Whether your case goes to trial or is resolved by resolution, a lot rests on the experience and integrity of the lawyers involved. The more experienced your employment law attorney, the more prepared he can be for any unexpected turns in your case.

Contact Our San Diego Employment Lawyers Today

If you are having difficulties in the workplace and have been a victim of an unlawful employment action, you need a team of experienced and committed San Diego employment law attorneys to aggressively pursue justice in your case. To begin the process of getting a resolution in your case, call the team at Coyle Browne Law today at 800-421-2594 or email team@coylebrownelaw.com to schedule your free consultation.

Practice areas