Frequently Asked Questions

What types of employment law cases do you handle?

We help people with all sorts of workplace issues, including sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, reasonable accommodation of a disability, unpaid overtime, employment agreements and more. The one area we do not handle is worker’s compensation, which is a whole separate specialty. Contact our office today to discuss your specific situation and see how we can help.

Can my employer fire me even if I didn’t do anything wrong?

This is the most common question I get from people. Employers cannot discriminate against employees or retaliate against you for doing something protected by law like complaining about something unlawful. Unless it violated one of many legal protections, however, you can be terminated for any lawful reason even if it is unfair. Determining whether your employer broke the law can be complicated and is something you should discuss with experienced employment counsel.  Contact our office to get an evaluation of your specific case.

What kinds of discrimination cases do you handle?

We advocate for workers against all types of discrimination, including age, disability, employment, gender identity, sex, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation, and more. California law protects people from being treated unfairly just because of who you are. If you may be a victim of workplace discrimination, call us for a consultation.

What types of damages can I seek in an employment law case?

The type and amount of damages that can be recovered varies from case to case. Some common types of damages include economic damages (like lost wages), emotional distress damages, liquidated damages, punitive damages, penalties, and attorneys’ fees. Contact us to discuss your specific situation.

What should I do if I am facing workplace harassment?

As soon as you can, seek the assistance of an experienced employment law attorney who can advise you on how to take steps to protect yourself. We can help you make a strong record, take action to protect yourself, and strategize with you about the proper next steps to take. Keep in mind that your employer’s Human Resources department is there to protect the company, not the employee. You deserve someone on your side, too.

I need a reasonable accommodation for my disability. Is my employer required to give it to me?

Most employers are required to provide a reasonable accommodation for a known disability to allow you to perform the essential functions of your job unless it would cause an undue hardship. But exactly what “known disability,” “essential functions,” “reasonable accommodation,” and “undue hardship” mean in a given situation can get very complicated. Employers often get these wrong. Call us to discuss your specific situation.

Am I entitled to medical leave?

There are a number of overlapping laws providing protections for medical leave for employees. These include not only the FMLA (and the equivalent California Family Rights Act), but also the Fair Employment and Housing Act, Pregnancy Disability Leave, workers’ compensation, and a number of other federal, state, and local laws. How those protections overlap can get complicated and you should talk to counsel experienced in these issues about your rights.

I have a worker’s compensation claim, can you help me?

Worker’s comp cases often intersect with reasonable accommodation and other employment law protections and it is important to talk to an employment lawyer about disability-related claims or retaliation. However, the Law Offices of Alan F. Cohen does not handle worker’s compensation claims – that is a separate area of specialty. We can work with your worker’s comp attorney to make sure they protect your rights to other compensation. If you have a worker’s comp claim and believe your employer is mistreating you, give us a call. We can work with your worker’s comp attorney to make sure all your rights are protected.

I asked to change my schedule due to my disability but I didn’t ask for a “reasonable accommodation.” Does that mean my employer does not have to do anything?

You do not have to use legal phrases such as “reasonable accommodation” or mention laws like the ADA or FEHA. If your employer knew or reasonably should have known you might need a reasonable accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job, they have to talk with you about it and engage in a timely, good-faith interactive process to determine whether you can be accommodated. As the courts have stated, there are no “magic words” required to effectively ask for an accommodation. Your employer is not entitled to learn the details of your diagnosis, only that you have a mental or physical condition that limits a major life activity. You can read more about this elsewhere on this site. If you believe your employer is not following the law, contact us.

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