employment law, family law, Immigration, Legal

It’s Just A Phone Call, Just Charge Me For That: Legal Reasons#45

I often get calls from prospective clients who just want “quick advice” or “send an email” or “make just one call” as their attorney.  They often balk when I mention my retainer and hourly rate. Rarely do people realize that as soon as I become their legal representative, a whole host of ethical, legal and practical duties come into play.

It is the very rare case where only one email, letter or phone call is required.  Besides, most attorneys need to know all the facts, research the law (if uncertain) and really understand what the client desires and the possible outcomes before shooting off an email or a call.

In this new age of fast responses, and ease of technology, it is even more so difficult to agree that it will be just one email, phone call or appearance. And as my favorite cousin likes to say, ‘ when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.”

employment law, Legal

An Employee Just Threatened To Sue Me For A Missed Lunch! Legal Reasons #44

As Employers in California know, we are in a state with a tons of protections for employees especially in the area of wage and hour, meal and rest breaks. I often get calls from harried employers who, it seems, regularly get threatened with lawsuits by disgruntled employees. The reality is that while it is the attempt of most employers to ensure their employees get proper rest and meal breaks, call outs, scheduling conflicts and customer flow can interrupt those breaks.

Sometimes, it is also due to an untrained supervisor improperly scheduling meals and rest periods.  While it is understandable that some employees may feel that they can sue (my law professor  said, you can always sue, but will you recover, is the real question), they may be unaware that if they are receiving a one hour penalty for miss meals and breaks, their claim is significantly reduced or eliminated.

Moreover, an employer may consider offering a wage settlement if there are consecutive missed time periods. My point is that do not assume the worst if an employee threatens a lawsuit, always consult with counsel to ascertain if there is a legitimate claim or not.