Liability Claims Lawyer
Los Angeles, California
Table of Contents
Prosecuting claims often depends on whether the claim is timely, whether a separation agreement blocks the claim, and the appropriate venue for the claim.
Liability Claims Lawyer in Los Angeles
If you or a loved one have been the victim of personal injury due to product liability, insurance bad faith, catastrophic injury, car accident, wrongful death due to negligence, or wrongful termination, then you should seek out a liability claim attorney right away. The liability claim experts at Colby Law Firm are ready to help you fight for rightful compensation while seeking punitive damages from the wrongful party. We won’t let bad faith employers or insurance companies dismiss your insurance claim or wrongful death claim. We understand that filing an injury claim isn’t just about money; it’s also about relieving you and your family of the emotional distress that the injury has caused. Our dedicated team is well-versed in liability law, and is ready to give your claim the attention it rightly deserves. You need a claims lawyer in Los Angeles you can trust. You need Colby Law Firm.
- Harassment (Gov’t Code § 12940(j))
- Wrongful Termination (Violation of Public Policy Tort)
- Discrimination (Gov’t Code § 12940(a))
- Retaliation for Harassment and/or Discrimination Complaints (Gov’t Code § 12940(h))
- Failure to Prevent Harassment and/or Discrimination (Gov’t Code § 12940(k))
- Failure to Engage in Interactive Process (Gov’t Code § 12940(n))
- Failure to Provide Reasonable Accommodation (Gov’t Code § 12940(m))
- Retaliation for Requesting Accommodation (Gov’t Code § 12940(m))
- Discrimination and/or Retaliation based on Pregnancy (Gov’t Code § 12945(a))
- Failure to Provide CFRA Leave (Gov’t Code § 12945.2(k))
- Retaliation for Using CFRA Leave (Gov’t Code § 12945.2(q))
- Retaliation for Using Paid Sick Leave (Labor Code § 246.5(c))
- Retaliation for Refusing and/or Complaining about Illegal Conduct (Labor Code § 1102.5)
- Retaliation for Workplace Safety Complaints (Labor Code § 6310)
- Failure to Pay Commission and/or Bonus Wages (Labor Code §§ 200, 201, 202, 218, 1198; IWC Wage Order)
- Failure to Pay Minimum Wage (Labor Code §§ 1182.12(b), 1194, 1194.2, 1197, 1197.1; IWC Wage Order)
- Failure to Pay Overtime (Labor Code §§ 510, 1194, 1198, 1199; IWC Wage Order)
- Failure to Provide Meal Breaks (Labor Code §§ 226.7 and 512; IWC Wage Order)
- Failure to Authorize and Permit Rest Breaks (Labor Code § 226.7; IWC Wage Order)
- Failure to Provide Accurate Wage Statements (Labor Code § 226(a))
- Failure to Pay Wages Owed Timely (Labor Code §§ 201-203)
- Failure to Reimburse Necessary Expenses (Labor Code § 2802)
- Failure to Produce Personnel File (Labor Code 1198.5)
Statute of Limitations
- Breach of a Written Contract. Four years from the date the contract is breached. Code of Civil Procedure § 337.
- Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation Statutory Claims. Claims must be filed with the DFEH within three years of the date of the discrimination or harassment. Government Code § 12960 (a).
- Fraud or Mistake. Three years from the date of the harm. Code of Civil Procedure § 338(d).
- Libel or Slander. One year from the date the defamatory statement is made. Code of Civil Procedure § 340.
- PAGA Claims. One year from the date of the violation. Code of Civil Procedure § 340; Labor Code §§ 2698-2699.5.
- Personal Injury. Two years from the date of the injury. Code of Civil Procedure § 335.1.
- Statutory Penalties. Typically one year from the date of the violation. Code of Civil Procedure § 340(a).
- Unfair Competition. Four years from the date the harm or wrongdoing occurred. Business and Professions Code § 17208.
- Unpaid Wages. Three years from the date the wages were owed. Code of Civil Procedure § 338(a).
- Separation Agreements, such as severance and release agreements, typically provide for a general waiver and release of claims by the employee in favor of the employer, in exchange for a payment.
- Separation Agreements do not always prevent former employees from asserting their legal rights. There are limits to the enforceability of certain parts of separation agreements.
- Employers must provide something of value that they do not already owe to the employee – referred to as “legal consideration” — for the overall agreement to be enforceable; an employer cannot simply promise to pay owed wages or vacation (or nothing at all) to support the agreement. Civil Code §§ 1605-1615.
- Claims for wages owed without any good faith dispute cannot be released or waived. Labor Code § 206.5.
- Claims for unreimbursed businesses expenses cannot be released or waived. Labor Code §§ 2802, 2804.
- Claims for unemployment insurance compensation cannot be released or waived. Unemployment Insurance Code § 1342.
- Claims for workers’ compensation insurance benefits cannot be released or waived. Labor Code § 5001.
- Any provision in a separation agreement (or in an employment, arbitration, or settlement agreement) that prevents a party from disclosing or testifying about the facts relating to workplace harassment, discrimination, or retaliation is prohibited and invalid (however, it is permitted to have a provision that keeps confidential the amount paid in settlement of a claim).
- Civil Code § 1001 states: “(a) Notwithstanding any other law, a provision within a settlement agreement that prevents or restricts the disclosure of factual information related to a claim filed in a civil action or a complaint filed in an administrative action, regarding any of the following, is prohibited: (1) An act of sexual assault that is not governed by subdivision (a) of Section 1002. (2) An act of sexual harassment, as defined in Section 51.9 of the Civil Code. (3) An act of workplace harassment or discrimination, failure to prevent an act of workplace harassment or discrimination, or an act of retaliation against a person for reporting or opposing harassment or discrimination, as described in subdivisions (a), (h), (i), (j), and (k) of Section 12940 of the Government Code. […] (c) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), a provision that shields the identity of the claimant and all facts that could lead to the discovery of the claimant’s identity, including pleadings filed in court, may be included within a settlement agreement at the request of the claimant. […] (d) Except as authorized by subdivision (c), a provision within a settlement agreement that prevents or restricts the disclosure of factual information related to the claim described in subdivision (a) that is entered into on or after January 1, 2019, is void as a matter of law and against public policy. (e) This section does not prohibit the entry or enforcement of a provision in any agreement that precludes the disclosure of the amount paid in settlement of a claim. (f) In determining the factual foundation of a cause of action for civil damages under subdivision (a), a court may consider the pleadings and other papers in the record, or any other findings of the court. (g) The amendments made to subparagraphs (3) and (4) of subdivision (a) by Senate Bill 331 … apply only to agreements entered into on or after January 1, 2022. All other amendments made to this section by Senate Bill 331 … shall not be construed as substantive changes, but instead as merely clarifying existing law.”
Venue for Addressing Disputes
- Pre-claim Negotiations. Many claims are asserted and resolved without filing a claim in an administrative agency, court, or arbitration. Employees and/or their lawyers assert claims informally and usually confidentially to their current or former employers, and the parties reach a settlement without having to file a lawsuit.
- Private Mediation. Mediation a voluntary settlement negotiation, but instead of between the parties directly, it is through a private, neutral person known as a “mediator.” The mediator is selected by mutual agreement of the parties. The mediation process is not binding, meaning that the mediator does not decide the dispute but instead merely facilitates a negotiation between the parties. Mediation is an option before or after filing a claim.
- Administrative Proceeding. The federal government and the State of California have administrative agencies tasks with enforcing employment laws. Anti-discrimination, harassment, and retaliation laws are enforced by the federal EEOC and California DFEH; wage-and-hour laws are enforced by the federal Department of Labor and California Labor Commissioner. Agencies are available to investigate and resolve claims, but workers who have lawyers often opt for litigation to resolve disputes.
- Court/Litigation. Federal and state courts are the venue for employment lawsuits. Litigation starts with the filing of a lawsuit, and includes discovery to gather evidence and “motions” by the parties based on legal arguments, and ends with a jury or bench trial unless the case settles first.
- Arbitration. Arbitration is similar to litigation except that instead of in federal or state court, it is before a private, neutral decision-maker (usually a retired judge), who is paid by the company. It is the same as court in that the decision is binding. Companies generally prefer arbitration because it prevents employees from filing “class” or group claims and because the case is not heard and decided by a jury.
- Class Claims. Class action lawsuits are that are filed on behalf of a group of employees based on a common set of facts and allegations. It often is in the wage-and-hour context challenging time, break, expense, and pay practices. Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) claims are when an employee may step into the shoes of the State of California to enforce Labor Code provisions on a group basis.
- California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH)
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- California Labor Commissioner / Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE)
- U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
- California Labor Workforce Development Agency (LWDA)
- California Employment Development Department (EDD)
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