I’m An Independent Contractor But Am I Really An Employee?

California workers in the online based on-demand service economy have begun filing lawsuits against dot com start-ups such as Uber and Lyft. The plaintiffs allege that the companies have the right to control their work thus under California law they are actual employees entitled to protections such minimum wage, overtime pay, reimbursement for employment-related expenses, and other employee benefits. Some businesses have responded to the lawsuits with an agreement to reclassify workers as employees. Uber continues to battle these and other allegations in court.

Employers should exercise caution when classifying a worker as an independent contractor. Employees should also be aware of their rights under California employment law. For some of these workers, they would prefer to be classified as an independent contractor for a variety or reasons. Other workers are not aware that by being classified as an employee would provide them with more benefits and an assurance that they will be compensated according to California employment standards.

If you are an independent contractor and you believe that you are a misclassified worker, you need to speak with an experienced employment law attorney that can assess the circumstances to help you determine the best course of action.

The Law Office of George Duesdieker protects the rights of Californians who face unjust treatment in the workplace. If you have been denied leave, fair compensation or have been wrongly fired from your job, you have legal remedies available to you. Contact us at 650.684.5444 or online for a free initial consultation.

California’s New Paid Family Leave Law

In April, California’s Governor signed AB 908 into law. Beginning January 1, 2018, the wage replacement rate for individuals receiving paid family leave benefits or disability insurance benefits in California. Currently, the maximum wage replacement rate is 55% of the employee’s standard compensation.  When the new law goes into effect this amount will increase to up to 70% percent of the employee’s regular compensation rate, depending on the income level of the employee.  The new law also eliminates the 7-day waiting period for paid family leave benefits.   

On April 5, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance that requires most employers with employees in San Francisco to supplement the gap between an employee’s paid family leave benefits and their regular compensation.  Under the new ordinance, employers can require an employee to use up to 2 weeks of accumulated vacation pay to assist the employer in meeting its obligation. San Francisco’s new ordinance also provides for both administrative enforcement and civil actions.  

Whistleblowers: Dan Gazzano’s Story

Whistleblowers have begun to receive more attention and media coverage over the years. In 2002, Time magazine awarded “Persons of the Year” to three whistleblowers in honor of their efforts to expose scandals involving WorldCom, Enron, and the FBI.

According to a recent New England Journal of Medicine study, whistleblowers often pay a substantial personal price. Nearly 82% of whistleblowers experienced retaliation in the workplace as a direct result for bringing to light that which had previously been unreported whistleblowers are also subjected to social ostracism from coworkers, and undergo tremendous psychological strain.

George Duesdieker is a dedicated attorney who advocates on behalf of the “little guy.” He represents clients in matters involving employment disputes and whistleblowers. George has earned the respect of citizens and lawyers by consistently winning cases that other law firms have turned down. George’s practice is located in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. He has decades of experience defending the rights of employees and exposing the unlawful employment practices of employers.

Whistleblowers: Dan Gazzano’s Story

Check out the following video, “A Whistle Blower’s Challenge – Dan Gazzano’s Story”, where Mr. Duesdieker discusses the case of his client, Dan Gazzano. Dan has come forward and filed a suit against Stanford University. Mr. Gazzano was employed by Stanford University and was terminated for asserting his rights and the rights of his co-workers. Dan’s case is currently pending appeal in Federal Court in California.

Contact George Duesdiker regarding employment law and your rights in California

The Law Office of George Duesdieker provides representation to his clients in matters involving the wrongful and discriminatory actions and behaviors of coworkers, managers and employers. George Duesdieker, has more than 30 years of experience working on behalf of clients in labor and employment issues. Contact George at 650.684.5444 or online for a free initial consultation.

NBA Cheerleader: Rally for Fair Pay

NBA Cheerleader: Rally for Fair Pay

Sacramento, CA – Former Milwaukee Bucks cheerleader, Lauren Herington, filed suit in federal court against the Bucks for allegedly violating minimum wage laws. Court documents claim that Herington was paid $65 for each home game, $30 for each practice, and $50 per special appearance. She claims that is amounted to $3 to $5 per hour. Additionally, she was mandated to tan, go to salons and maintain her uniform, all at her expense.

Earlier this year, California’s Governor, Jerry Brown, signed a bill requiring that professional cheerleaders pay amount to at least minimum wage. Under the bill, which goes into effect on January 1, professional cheerleaders are also entitled to workers compensation benefits.  This comes in wake of several lawsuits filed by cheerleaders against NFL teams for unfair wages. In 2014, the Oakland Raiderspaid in excess of $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a class of 90 of the team’s cheerleaders.

Last week, Charli Ramos, a former cheerleader for the Sacramento Kings commented on the lawsuit filed by Herington.  She reported to ABC News 10 in Sacramento, “The Kings organization was great to us. I felt they took great care of us. I never experienced anything like that because they paid us well.” Ramos sympathizes with Herington, “There’s a lot of work that goes into it. A lot of people don’t realize how much work we put into being an NBA Dancer. It’s not a full-time job. We like to joke ‘part time job, full-time commitment.”

If you think your employer has not paid you what you are entitled to, you need to speak with an experienced employment law attorney who knows the law. George Duesdieker, has more than 30 years of experience working on behalf of clients in labor and employment issues including wage and hour claims. The Law Offices of George Duesdieker offers contingency fees, so you will not be charged unless you receive compensation. Contact us at 650.684.5444 or online for a free initial consultation.

Unemployment Rate Improves to a Six-Year Low

The employment picture for 2015 is much sunnier than originally anticipated during 2014. The state Employment Development Department reported that they added an additional 67,300 jobs. Currently, state-wide unemployment is at 6.9 percent, which is a six-year low. The last time that it was lower was in 2008 at 6.6 percent. The employment rate for the United States is at a seven-year low of 5.5 percent. California thinks that a 3 percent job growth for the year isn’t out of reach.

As employers realize that it is harder to find good employees, they might increase benefits, wages, and relax some rules and regulations. While this may seem beneficial at first, for some employers, it could have negative internal consequences. They must find other places to save money, and that may lead to failure to update machinery, neglecting maintenance, or failing to acquire regulation safety equipment.

As wages increase, they may need to cut costs in other ways, including violating wage and overtime laws. Where employers relax regulations to cut costs, employees may realize that their employer is cutting corners where it may be illegal or dangerous. The potential for reporting the employer will increase, and as will the potential for the employer to retaliate against the employee for whistleblowing.

If your employer is cutting corners that make working conditions dangerous or unfair, then contact anexperienced employment law attorney. The Law Offices of George Duesdieker can help you with your legal options. Call 650-684-5444 for a free initial consultation.

Source: http://www.mercurynews.com/News/ci_27661123/California-job-boom-stronger-than-first-thought;-jobless-rate-improves-to-a-sixyear-low