Were You Asked to Sign Something Just to Get Paid?

fiprkThe day an employee leaves their job can be a very emotional experience, even if the employee is leaving the job by choice. It is often much more so if an employee is being fired or laid off for lack of work. It makes sense, in a world where most people work paycheck to paycheck. When a job is ending, people often wonder where their next month’s rent is coming from and whether or not they’re eligible to collect unemployment.

Too often, an employer will ask an employee to sign something on this day. And employees will sign it, sometimes without even reading it, believing it is necessary to get their final paycheck. Often, they are very concerned about what their employer will say to prospective employers who call and ask about their job performance and behavior. Sometimes, employees will sign anything just because they want things to be gotten over with.

However, employees should carefully read anything they’re asked to sign regarding their employment, especially at the end of their job. The employer could be trying to get the employee to agree they have been paid everything they are owed, or even waiving their rights to sue in exchange for a small severance payment.

Labor Code 206 and 206.5 may protect employees in this situation. Labor Code Section 206.5 clearly states that an employer cannot require an employee to sign a release in order to get paid. Violation of this section can be a misdemeanor, and it covers claims regarding wages due or about to become due. Labor Code Section 206 states that in any dispute over wages, the employer shall pay the undisputed amount due within the required time limits. Triple damages can sometimes be recovered in this situation under the code. This section also provides that the employee still has the right to bring a lawsuit over disputed amounts paid, even if the employer pays the undisputed amount.

One thing an employee shouldn’t have to worry about is whether or not they’ve been paid all their wages, especially when they’re in a precarious situation to begin with.

Class Actions

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Our Attorneys have handled well over a hundred class and representative actions representing consumers and employees. A Class Action is a lawsuit that allows the rights of a large number of people to be decided in one court action. See what requirements must be satisfied to bring a class action suit. A class action can be a means of making change. For example, if one person sues alone to allege they’ve been overcharged on bank fees, for example, then the bank can pay that person off and go right back to doing business as usual. However, if filed as a class action, the rights of a group of people are being defended, and it can sometimes be enough to make a company change their policies or method of doing business. In short, it can make a big company take notice and make meaningful change, in the way an individual suit cannot.

What is a Class Action?
A class action is a lawsuit that allows a large number of individual claims and the rights of a large number of people to be decided in one court action. Oftentimes, by combining many claims into a single class action suit, class members with relatively small claims can have their rights protected economically.
A class action plaintiff represents the interests of persons not before the court. As a result, not all potential class members must become parties to the lawsuit to have their rights decided. Typically, only a few representatives of the class actually appear in court.
In order to be certified as a class action, these general requirements should be satisfied:

  1. Numerous class members. There must be enough people to justify bringing the suit as a class, rather than having each person participate as a named plaintiff. Class actions have been brought with as few as 20 or 30 people and as many as millions.
  2. Common facts among the class members. There must be questions of law or facts common to the potential class members, meaning similar unlawful or unfair conduct by the defendants, such as violations of labor laws, failure to pay overtime compensation, etc.
  3. Similar claims or defenses. Each person in the class must be making allegations typical to the other class members. The plaintiffs must show that common questions predominate over individual questions. If there are a lot of individualized issues among the potential class members, a class action may not be the best way to proceed. The named class representatives will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class members.
  4. The named Plaintiff must have similar claims as the potential class members. The attorneys representing the case must also be adequate, and must be no conflicts of interest in representing the potential class members.

Please look at our office Case History for some of the cases our Attorneys have handled.

Common Misconceptions about Class Actions

  1. A large group of plaintiffs is not required to put their names on the lawsuit before the suit is even filed. If you know that, for example, the baby formula that you received was contaminated, you don’t need to know a lot of other people in the situation by name and telephone number. It’s your lawyer’s job, during the discovery practice, to get that information. In short, if you were a victim of a common practice or event that happened to others, you may be all that is needed to represent a class.
  1. You don’t need to have suffered a large amount of damages to bring a class action lawsuit. Often, lawyers can’t take cases with a small amount of damages to court because the filing fees and other costs are worth more than what the victim has a chance to recover. Not so with class actions. Just because your damages are small doesn’t mean a recovery isn’t possible through a lawsuit when that suit is filed as a class action. One of the chief benefits of these suits is that they allow people who normally could not get a lawyer to take their case (especially without paying lawyers fees upfront) to get experienced representation.
  1. You don’t have to pay the lawyer’s fees for your case upfront if you want to bring a class action. There are typically two types of fee arraignments for lawyers, generally speaking:  contingency and those who charge upfront hourly fees and/or require retainers. Those with upfront fees can require a big check for thousands of dollars from their clients, out of which the lawyer takes his/her fees and costs as the case progresses, whether or not the client get results. Our office is a contingency fee office. That means we collect a share of what is recovered as part of the lawsuit. That means there are no upfront costs or fees for people who need legal help.

How do I know if I have a good case?
A lot of people who call our office just want to know if they have a good case or not. They don’t want to waste their precious time if there is no point. Because we are a contingency fee office, that means we’re investing in your case from the very beginning. We advance costs and filing fees, often amounting to thousands of dollars, on the belief that your case has merit. Because of our investment of time and money in your case, we are selective in filing a cases that we believe has a substantial chance of success. We only get paid if there is a positive result in the case. We only take select cases in the first place.

For a free consultation call 1-855-700-5678

Civil Rights


Civil Rights

The term “Civil Rights” generally refers to those rights established under state and federal constitutions or statutes protecting certain “unalienable rights”, such as voting or being free from unlawful searches or seizures and discrimination based upon gender, race, disability, age or other characteristics. This office handles a wide variety of civil rights cases under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, the Unruh Civil Rights Act, and actions commonly referred to as “Section 1983” actions.

Your Civil Rights:

Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), 42 US Code Section 2000e-2 is a federal law which prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of an individual’s race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is a federal law which protects certain employees against age discrimination in employment.

California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), California Government Code Section 12940, et seq., is similar to Title VII and protects individuals under California law. The protections are similar to those of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but is much broader
in its protection of employees with medical conditions. The FEHA also protects employees against discrimination based upon gender, race, religion, medical condition and other characteristics.

Unruh Civil Rights Act, California Civil Code Section 51, et seq., prohibits discrimination by California “business establishments” on the basis of protected characteristics such as race, gender and disability.

Title 42 US Code Section 1983 is a federal law which provides protection of individuals denied rights under “color of state law.” These actions are typically based upon denial of due process or equal protection, such as police brutality, or termination of government employees’ jobs.

If you believe you have had your civil rights violated, contact our office for a consultation.

For a free consultation call 1-855-700-5678

Victims Rights

Fraud

Our office represents victims of negligent or intentional "Torts."

A tort is a wrong resulting from a breach of a legal duty, that exists by virtue of society's expectations regarding interpersonal conduct. Examples of negligent torts are auto accidents, slips and falls, or other conduct where a person is injured or property damaged by accident. Some Intentional Torts may also be crimes, such as assault/battery, fraud, false imprisonment, etc. A number of intentional torts within our practice areas are listed below with a brief explanation.

  • Fraud.: If someone knowingly lied to or concealed something important from you, and it caused you damages, you may have been a victim of fraud. This can be as simple as a product that doesn’t perform as advertised or as complicated as Identity Theft. Fraud is the making or suggestion of a fact which is not true, by one who does not believe it to be true. Fraud may also occur when a person makes a positive assertion of facts which are false or misleading, when the person has no reasonable basis to believe the facts are true. It may be a promise made without any intention of performing the promise or any other act intended to deceive. Acts of fraud may occur within a contractual sense, or by inducing a person to rely on representations for the purpose of obtaining money or other goods by false pretenses.
  • Assault/Battery: Defined as any threat or use of force on another that causes that person to reasonably believe they’re about to be battered. An actual battery involves a use of force resulting in the harmful contact with another. A battery is a violation of a person’s interest in freedom from intentional, unlawful, harmful or offensive, unconsented contact with his or her body. Battery may also occur where a person consents to one form of touching, but another occurs, such as in the case of a doctor performing a procedure to which the patient has not consented.
  • Sexual Misconduct.: Sexual harassment is a civil matter, usually involving a workplace situation where unwanted advances won’t stop even after someone has spoken up about it. But what some people don’t realize is that their status as a crime victim can result in a civil case. If you have been abused sexually in a childhood or adult relationship, you may be owed compensation for the damages involved. Our office represents victims of sexual assault, childhood abuse and sexual harassment. There are many statutes that provide rights to such victims, but which are rarely used. If you have been a victim of such conduct, we might be about to help recover damages to compensate you for what you have endured.
  • Defamation.: A false statement that harms your reputation could be defamation. For instance, if you own a restaurant and someone goes on a restaurant review site and maliciously claims that your restaurant served tainted food, and people avoid the restaurant as a result, this could result in a claim of defamation. The important issue here is that it involves untrue facts – a matter of opinion, for example, that your restaurant’s food wasn’t tasty, is protected.
  • Invasion of Privacy.: In a world where people put what they had for lunch on the internet for everyone to see, it’s hard to image an action for invasion of privacy exists. But if someone has intentionally interfered with your privacy, you could have a cause of action. Essentially, this involves

    • A use of your name or likeness without permission
    • Something that portrays you in a false light (even if it’s not necessarily a negative light.)
    • Public disclosure of facts a reasonable person would want kept private.

    Privacy is a fundamental constitutional right. A person has a right to be free from the wrongful scrutinizing or publicizing of their private affairs, which are outside of legitimate public concerns. Generally, public figures, politicians, or high-profile persons have less expectation of privacy than other persons. Invasion of Privacy may also occur by an intrusion into a person’s privacy or solitude by another, publicly placing a person in a false light, or the use or appropriation of the person’s name, picture or likeness. An Invasion of Privacy may also occur when an employer discloses results of a medical exam, drug test or other private information.

If you have a question about victims rights or torts,

Please call us for a free consultation at 1-855-700-5678

FOR A FREE CASE EVALUATION CALL1-855-700-5678

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MichaelCarver

The Law Offices of Michael L. Carver is a California law firm handling a wide variety of legal issues, including class actions, unfair competition, unfair business practices, victims’ rights, discrimination and civil rights infringements. We represent clients in the California Courts, United States District Courts of California and the Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. We have multiple office sites in California.

What Our Office Does

We fight for those who have had their constitutional and legal rights violated by corporate entities. We are a plaintiff’s law firm that prosecutes civil cases under the ADEA (age), the ADA (disability), Unruh Civil Rights Act, Business and Professions Code (fraud and unfair competition) and other civil rights statutes to vindicate you and your rights in state and federal court.

When your rights have been violated, you need strong representation. Our attorneys fight to protect your legal and constitutional rights violated by corporations engaging in unlawful practices.

Why Should you Call us?

We provide quality, professional representation for our clients at reasonable fees. With many years of hands-on experience handling business enterprises, we combine aggressive representation with a problem-solving approach to resolve legal issues. We believe in honestly informing our clients if we believe that litigation is not in their best interests. We work closely with our clients, so they are an integral part of their case.

This site provides general information about our law practice regarding civil rights, unfair business practices, victims’ rights and class action suits. Visit Practice Areas for general information about the areas of law in which we handle cases. Our site has been prepared using California and Federal law, and may generally answer many common questions regarding legal rights and remedies. However, in most cases, our website will not provide complete answers to your legal questions, because each person’s situation is different and there are numerous exceptions to every rule of law. The law is changed frequently by the legislature and is interpreted by the courts.

Experienced Attorney

To discuss your legal needs and how the law may apply to you, please contact our office for a free case evaluation: 1-855-700-5678

PRACTICE AREAS

California Reports

We represent clients in cases in the California Courts, the United States District Courts of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. Mr. Carver is a member of the Butte County Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Sacramento County Bar Association, and the California Employment Lawyers Association. We represent the victims of abuse and prosecute cases under state and federal civil rights laws, anti-discrimination laws, victims’ rights acts and unfair competition laws.

Our office handles cases in the following areas:

For a free consultation call 1-855-700-5678

ABOUT US

Michael Carver

Carver Law was founded by Senior Attorney Michael L. Carver.

Mr. Carver has handled well over a thousand matters as an Attorney, including over 120 cases filed as class actions. Our office handles matters including civil rights violations, class actions, construction law, personal injury, unfair business practices and victims rights. We represent clients in cases in the California Courts, the United States District Courts of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.
Mr. Carver is a member of several Attorney organizations: the Butte County Bar Association, Sacramento County Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association and the California Employment Lawyers Association. We understand that injury-related problems can be stressful. We carefully examine each client’s situation and determine the most appropriate course of action.

For a free consultation call 1-855-700-5678

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