Employment Defense Attorney

Since 2005, our team of employment defense lawyers protect businesses from frivolous employees’ lawsuits throughout California including Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, and San Jose.

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Defense

An employer defense attorney can skillfully address and resolve employee lawsuits relating to discrimination and sexual harassment. Typically, alleged sexual harassment victims will file sexual harassment claims against a supervisor, another employee, the company, or multiple parties that they and their lawyers believe to be at fault for the alleged misconduct.

The state of California, unfortunately, rarely sides with the employer in these situations. This reality puts our clients and their businesses in a very difficult position.

Our all-inclusive employment defense designs every stage of our clients’ defense strategies to make sure that every aspect of the initial claim is covered, as well as any related issues that may trip up their business in the future.

If you are an employer who has been accused by an employee of harassment in the workplace, remember that you also have rights.

You should first ask to see a complaint in writing and request that the allegations be kept confidential until the issue is resolved.

It is crucial that you do not spar with the accuser, but instead maintain a professional and calm attitude. It is possible to refute an allegation without being hostile. Indeed, the worst thing you can do is to stage a hostile confrontation with the accuser.

When dealing with the allegation, possibly through an in-house mediation, you should present your side of the story in a persuasive and honest way as a means of defending yourself. If the sexual harassment claims are untrue, then issue a denial professionally but firmly.

If the matter cannot be resolved through in-house mediation, then you and your employment defense lawyer should decide the next steps for arguing against the allegation and protecting your reputation.

Examples Of Violations That Leads to Unpaid Wage Lawsuit

Our employment defense attorney has defended employers in a full range of employment-related claims, including the following claims:

  • Failing to pay overtime at 1.5 times the employee’s regular hourly rate
  • Failing to pay the required minimum wage
  • Misclassifying employees as independent contractors
  • Misclassifying nonexempt employees as exempt
  • Failing to pay for off-the-clock work
  • Failure to adhere to tip pooling rules
  • Requiring employees to work during their lunch break without pay
  • Failing to pay for all hours worked
  • Illegally withholding employee paychecks
  • Failing to pay employees for miscellaneous activities (completing required paperwork, mandatory training, etc.)
  • Improper administration of final pay
  • Inaccurate wage deductions
  • Shortchanging employees on benefits

Unpaid Wage Lawsuit Defense

Our employment defense attorney offers our business clients a broad range of legal services to help them defend against unpaid wage lawsuits. If multiple workers are impacted, then a single employee may bring a class action lawsuit to represent the other affected workers. Employers should be aware that there is a good chance that during the life of their business, a former or current employee will allege that their company did not properly pay them for their work. Common claims made by workers filing unpaid wage lawsuits against their former or current employers include:

  • Pay for employee training sessions
  • Pay for company meeting time
  • Properly account for hours worked
  • Provide compensation for travel time between work sites
  • Provide compensation for time worked for the company at home

One common problem that employers run into is offering proof that the employee in question did not work the hours that he or she claims they were not compensated for. This can be a challenging job because the law puts the burden of evidence on the employer, who must prove that the complaints brought by the employee are indeed false. The truth is that, in general, the worker filing the lawsuit does not need ‘hard’ evidence to back up his or her claim of unpaid wages.

The law includes exemptions to the FLSA. These exemptions apply to administrative, executive, and professional employees. It is important that you understand these exemptions since employers must prove that an employee fulfills the exemption requirements.

The Importance Of Avoiding Unpaid Wage Lawsuits

Wage and hour lawsuits can be a major expense for employers, both monetarily and otherwise. Depending on how serious the case is, an employer may suffer the following consequences:

  • Back pay
  • Civil money penalties
  • Interest payments
  • The value of benefits lost
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Liquidated damages
  • Injunctive relief
  • Imprisonment
  • Criminal prosecution
  • Decreased employee morale
  • Reputational harm
  • Increased turnover

Employer defense attorneys support employers by providing legal expertise and protection for employers of local businesses.

How To Answer A Wage And Hour Lawsuit

An employment defense attorney plays a crucial role in protecting employers from unpaid wage lawsuits. When confronted with a wage and hour lawsuit, an employer should not hesitate to consult with an employment defense attorney who focuses on wage and hour law. Regardless of whether you believe the lawsuit is legitimate, you should contact an employment defense lawyer for advice and representation. Employees’ alleged unpaid lawsuits typically arise when employees believe they have not been properly compensated for their work, which can include issues related to minimum wage violations, overtime pay, unpaid commissions, and more.

An experienced attorney defending employers can assess whether you have violated the worker’s wage and hour rights, as well as how to respond in the future. Because of how serious wage and hour lawsuits are, employers are in a better position with a lawyer representing them in court. The lawyer can also let the employer know about their right to appeal a case if they lose, as well as whether an appeal is worth the effort. The first ninety days of a class action suit are very important. Employers should take the following actions during this time:

  • Create a plan for document preservation so that all records, including electronic records, are preserved.
  • Create a defense strategy and a plan for refuting the plaintiff’s complaints.
  • Align the next steps, like preparations and investigations, with the company’s overall defense plan.

Class Action and PAGA Defense

An employment defense attorneys defend employers in class action lawsuits by meticulously scrutinizing the claims made by plaintiffs and challenging their class certification because it lacks commonality and typicality. In California, class action lawsuits are rising and changing the employment landscape. These actions demand experienced employment defense because of the complex issues in a class action and PAGA lawsuits. Our employment defense attorneys focus on commercial class action and employment cases. Our firm has developed efficient, cost-effective strategies for resolving class action litigation while softening the impact on our clients’ business operations. We also use proactive strategies that reduce the risk of a business enduring class action claims in the future.

The California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act, known as PAGA for short, has developed something of a negative reputation with the state’s employers. It offers current and former employees a method to sue their employers on a number of Labor Code points, acting on behalf of the State of California. It also provides the means for employees to replicate civil penalties, which can add up to financially ruinous levels – and they do not have to meet the tough requirements demanded of class action suits. In the past, class action claims overshadowed PAGA claims, but today, plaintiffs are often centering their lawsuits around PAGA. Both courts and employment defense attorney are attempting to interpret this underdeveloped legal grey area. Nakase Wade’s attorneys are at the helm of establishing creative strategies and arguments to combat PAGA claims at both the trial and appellate levels.

Our employment defense attorneys has defended many claims in the realm of PAGA/class action suits. Some of these include:

  • Meal and rest breaks
  • Vacation pay
  • Misclassification (employee v. independent contractor, exempt v. non-exempt)
  • Uniform maintenance
  • Overtime/off-the-clock/minimum wage
  • Timely payment of wages upon employment termination
  • Unfair Competition Law
  • Reimbursement of business expenses
  • Automobile Sales Finance Act
  • Consumer Legal Remedies Act

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When not to sign a severance agreement?

Do not sign a severance agreement if you do not understand it. By agreeing to a severance agreement, you give up your right to sue your employer. Remember, it is possible to negotiate the terms of your severance package. You are not required to sign a severance agreement.

How Do You Deal with a Toxic Business Partner?

Address concerns directly to the bad business partner; communicate openly and clearly. Consider mediation or seek legal advice from a business dispute attorney. Document disagreements, consider amicable separation if necessary.

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