Employment law has grown over the last twenty five years to include a variety of different types of lawsuits that can be brought against a California employer. The crux of employment law involves the loss of a job, harassment usually based upon race or sex, work injuries, and unpaid wages. California employment law is fraught with exceptions, variations, and specific requirements. It is one thing to read about employee rights on the internet, and it is another to understand how employee rights work and if they will work in your specific situation.


Wrongful termination exists if there is a job termination, or somebody is forced to quit. Refusing to put an employee to work for an extended period of time may constitute a job termination. Wrongful termination is not a job termination that is merely unfair or morally inappropriate. Jobs terminations that are morally inappropriate because they violate an actual law called a statute are wrongful termination.

Wrongful termination is based upon:

  • Complaints of illegal working conditions
  • Job terminations due to the employer’s dishonoring pay that is due to the employee
  • Protected characteristics such as age, disability, FMLA, medical condition, pregnancy, race, sex, or sexual orientation

Harassment at work that is neither sexual nor racial is not likely to be a case. The Employment Lawyers Group, however, has won notable pregnancy harassment lawsuits. Pregnancy harassment occurs when the employer is intent on making the employee violate pregnancy related restrictions such as lifting, or they make fun of the employee due to pregnancy.


In the last fifteen years wage and hour cases have become popular. Many wage and hour cases are meritorious. California has specific labor laws that differ from Federal labor laws which are intended to be the most basic protections for employees. There are also quite a few labor laws specific to only California. In the last few years new labor laws have come out on a frequent basis. Many employers are not up to date on all California labor laws.

Wage lawsuits involve:

  • Unpaid wages of all kinds including bonuses, commissions, hourly wage, and stock options
  • Meal Breaks
  • Rest Breaks
  • Overtime and Double Time
  • Misclassified Independent Contractors
  • Paystubs that fails to correctly state all rates of pay, number of hours worked
  • Prevailing wages for employees who do construction on government sites
  • PAGA Private Attorney General Penalties

The Employment Lawyers Group handles wage and hour cases on an individual, group, and classwide basis. Examples of recent wage and hour successes of the Employment Lawyers Group Include:

  • Denied meal and rest breaks to hotel workers
  • Oil field workers not paid for waiting to be called (restricted on-call)
  • Hotel workers never paid for more than 8 hour shifts
  • Emergency service workers forced to be on call 24/7 and fired if they don’t pick up their phones and go to work
  • Janitors paid less than minimum wage
  • Prevailing wages to construction workers
  • Rest breaks denied to restaurant workers
  • Nurses on-call and not paid for time waiting to be called



Unemployment is the sad part of wrongful termination. The time it takes to find a new job is past lost wages. Future lost wages is how long it will take to get back to the wage the employee had and/or would have earned had they not been wrongfully terminated.
The standard for unemployment is different than the standard for winning an employment lawsuit. The employer has to show the employee was terminated for gross misconduct, or they quit for a reason that unemployment does not cover. In civil court, wrongful termination plaintiffs have the burden of proving their case. Their case must fit within the narrow confines of an employment termination made illegal under California law.
Filing for unemployment is not inconsistent with maintaining a lawsuit for a loss of a job, or any other employment related lawsuit. Not filing for unemployment after losing a job is suspect. If somebody does not file for unemployment that makes the employee seem like they were not interested in working. Moreover, not filing for unemployment relieves somebody of the obligation to report to unemployment they have made sufficient job searches in order to receive unemployment perhaps because they are not actually looking for a job. Employees who are not looking for work generally cannot claim lost wages. The Employment Lawyers Group does not represent employees in unemployment hearings. If you are already our client we might provide you with legal advice. If you already went to an unemployment hearing we will try to obtain the recording made in the hearing.
If you lost your unemployment hearing that does not mean you cannot sue for wrongful termination. What happens at the Unemployment Appeals Board is not necessarily what will happen if a qualified employment attorney represents you in a court case. The results of the unemployment decision are not admissible in a civil court case. If people testified under oath at the unemployment hearing that testimony might be admissible. Some judges have allowed that testimony, and others have not.

Call 1-877-525-0700

The Employment Lawyers Group has offices throughout California. We have represented thousands of employees in individual, group, and class actions. We take all cases on a contingency which means we are only paid when and if we collect money from the employer.