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Douglas M Larsen

Douglas Larsen’s Answers

81 total


  • I called the police on my boss can I get fired for that?

    He always tells my co-workers to spray the homeless people that camp outside of our fence with the canon on the water truck. It's non-potable water. I feel so bad for them and even voiced my concerns to him. He continued to do it so I called the p...

    Douglas’s Answer

    You may have a very good argument that any decision to fire you, or any harassment, is unlawful under Labor Code section 1102.5. It is a whistleblower statute that was amended effective 1/1/14 and gives employees very significant rights. You would be smart to discuss the issue with an attorney.

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  • What if there is no voluntary written aggrement between employer and employee for deductions of minimum wage for a shared room

    both my husband and i work for a small hotel as resident managers for the past 4 years .our employer had been deducting $800.oo per month for a one room unit that we both share This went on since December 10 ,2008 to December 7 ,2011 .. So\My ques...

    Douglas’s Answer

    Jonathan and Neil have it correct. The wage order says a deduction can't be made crediting lodging against minimum wages unless there is a written agreement in place. And the Labor Code prohibits deuctions without an employee's written authorization.
    You can get a lawyer to help you. Or you can go to the Labor Commissioner, who will bring the employer in and ask for an explanation. If the employer doesn't want to pay you correctly, the case will be set for a hearing (trial). If it's as you say, you should prevail. the Labor Commissioner can explain all this to you.
    Good luck.

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  • Do i have to take maternity leave or even tell my employer

    maternity leave

    Douglas’s Answer

    Actually, there is no "maternity leave" in California unless it is an employer-sponsored program. What we have in California is pregnancy disability leave. If you are disabled by pregnancy, you are entitled to time off, with reinstatement rights.

    You are probably better off to inform your employer of your pregnancy. You receive some valuable rights, such as time off, job accommodation if necessary, and paid health care benefits. If the employer fires you or discriminates against you for being pregant, you will have a very good lawsuit.

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  • Employer settling out of court. Is waiting time penalty taxable in CA or Fed ? Should I be getting a 1099.

    1. Waiting time penalty applicable as per DLSE. 2. Employer wants to settle out of court. 3. Offering me payment as penalty, not waiting time penalty with 1099. 4. Is it taxable in CA or Fed. Should I accept 1099 ? what other way can I...

    Douglas’s Answer

    Most settlements proceeds, including waiting period penalties, are subject to personal income tax. However, another important question is whether penalties are subject to payroll taxes, such as social security. And finally, because you are resolving a dispute with an employer, another question is whether the employer must withhold the personal and payroll taxes from the settlement.

    An employer prefers not withholding. If the settlement is subject to withholding, the employer must add its portion of payroll taxes. That adds another 10 percent to the cost of the case. And of course, the employee does not like receiving less than the entire amount of the settlement.

    You will be required to report receipt of the proceeds. If the IRS determines the amount was subject to payroll taxes, it will ask you to pay your share. It will also ask the employer to pay its share. A few thousand dollars in settlement may not get the attention of the IRS. However, the IRS may take notice if you receive a W-2 and a 1099 from the same employer for the same year.

    It may not be economically worth getting a lawyer involved for such a small amount. You have to decide that. If you don't get a lawyer's advice, then make sure you report it and realize there may be a risk for not having payroll taxes withheld.

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  • Should I be getting paid prevailing wage rate for traveling time?

    I just starting working for a solid surface subcontractor for a little over a month now, I am at a journeyman skill level. On all prevailing wage jobs the owner of the company refuses and does not pay us for traveling time. Beginning from the mome...

    Douglas’s Answer

    You can look up the prevailing wage determination which includes a travel wage. I suggest you contact the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement near you and that office can assist you, and conduct an investigation if necessary. Google the term and you will find your local office.

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  • My husband is Paid Only Flat Rate of $30. However his boss does not pay him for time he is at work not working on a vehicle.

    My husband only gets paid for time worked on vehicles not All the time he is at the place of business. So he is there 40+ hours a week sometimes 6 days a week and doesn't get paid for being there is this legal? He is more committed then the owner...

    Douglas’s Answer

    This question was answered very specifically in a case published last week by the California Court of Appeal -- Gonzalez v. Downtown LA Motors, LP. You can read about it in my blog at www.CaliforniaHR.blogspot.com. You will be able to seek relief by going to the Labor Commissioner.

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  • Am I entitled to mileage reimbursement

    I traveled to several stores daily as a merchandiser. I was told I would be reimbursed .50 per mile but was not in a written agreement. Do i have the right to collect for this.

    Douglas’s Answer

    Per Labor Code section 2802, an employer must indemnify (reimburse) its employee for expenses necessarily incurred in the discharge of duties. The IRS mileage rate (which is about 56 cents per mile in 2013) is an appropriate method of determining the costs incurred in travel.

    And yes, you can obtain interest and attorneys' fees. But typically a lawsuit for mileage is not worth the trouble. I recommend you contact the Labor Commissioner in Fresno. It can assist you quickly and without the need of an attorney.

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  • I am a part time hourly paid supervisor however I am unable to take a break/lunch .

    I have to eat something in between helping customers , some days I don't even get to eat because I get interrupted so many times my food gets cold that I just throw it away.

    Douglas’s Answer

    You have a viable claim for missed meal periods and missed rest periods. Go see the Labor Commissioner. You can go through that process for free.

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  • Can a 1099 contract employee sue for wrongful term?

    I was hired by a tech hiring co to work for a quick rising rocket builder in CA. I was notified abruptly that my services were no longer needed, that the rocket co had to contain costs. The contract called for portal to portal, $35 per hr, time an...

    Douglas’s Answer

    The prior answer was right on with the issue of whether or not you were an independent contractor or an employee. Some other things you might consider. If you were an employee, the employer should have made payroll tax contributions on your behalf. You might also have been entitled to overtime, vacation benefits, and even retirement and health care benefits. This is something you might want to examine.

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  • Is it considered over payment if you change positions within a company and they do not give you written notice of pay change?

    I was working in a position for my employer that payed 11$ an hour. When I decided that I did not like the position and asked to change positions I was allowed to. However I was never given any written or verbal notice that my pay would change. 3 ...

    Douglas’s Answer

    The company can change your compensation. However, the more important question is whether the company can require you to repay the $549. Here's what I would do -- File a complaint with the Labor Commissioner. Tell them that the company is attempting to make you repay the alleged debt.

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