Employment Legal Issues
Berkeley Parents Network >
Legal & Financial Services >
Employment Legal Issues
Attorney specializing in unemployment claims
I lost my job within a few weeks of having my baby. I received SDI, Paid Family
Leave, and I applied for unemployment insurance. A week after I had my baby, I
completed one final week of work to tie up loose ends before being laid off. I
received a call from an umemployment worker after I sent my first unemployment claim.
He said he thought my eligibility period started earlier than I had thought it would
based on my understanding of SDI and Paid Family Leave. He said to complete the
unemployment claim forms when I received them, which I did. However, his calculation
of when I should receive the unemployment benefits was incorrect and resulted in a
period of time in which I received Paid Family Leave and unemployment benefits at the
same time. Between sleep deprivation and juggling life with a new baby and a
two-year-old, I did not catch the overlap in dates. I just received a letter from the
EDD saying I provided incorrect information. My unemployment insurance eligibility is
being terminated, I am being fined over $900 and am being asked to repay the
unemployment insurance I received. I am filing an appeal. I am wondering if anyone
has any experience with the appeals process in terms of whether I should hire an
attorney to assist and if so, please provide recommendations on who.
Thank you! made an honest mistake
Diana Maier is an employment attorney who works for both employers and employees,
including court actions, when needed. She can probably give you some input on how
to resolve this. Reach her at www.dianamaierlaw.com (email@example.com) or
her cell: 415-515-1707. .
SP in Berkeley
Suing my employer for sexual harassment
Unfortunately, in order to protect my livelihood I need to explore suing my
employer for sexual harassment. Anybody know a good lawyer for this type of thing?
Single working mom
I'm sorry to hear that you are having to take this path, but good for you for
standing up for your rights. I would strongly recommend that you contact David
Harris with North Bay Law Group http://www.northbaylawgroup.com/index.html . He
is incredibly smart, caring, easy to work with and invested in the best interest
of his clients. His office is in Marin but he takes clients all around the Bay
Area. Good luck!
I highly recommend Arcolina Panto. Arcolina specializes in Employment law,
particularly related to Human Rights. Arcolina gave fantastic guidance for a
family member of mine whose layoff was questionable. A friend of mine also just
requested her expertise for an employment contract case. He is very pleased
with their progress. Arcolina also just negotiated Kellogg Company into paying
her client for an employee rights violation!
Attorney at Law
Can Anyone Recommend a Good Employment Lawyer?
I have a friend whose employer may be acting in violation of his rights,
specifically with regard to disciplinary proceedings they've initiated
against him. Can anyone recommend a good employment lawyer, preferably one
with reasonable rates? We'd love to consult with one or two attorneys who
can give us a clear and accurate picture of the pros and cons of a lawsuit
in this situation.
Start with labor attorney David Wolf (firstname.lastname@example.org). He's a local good guy.
Lawyer for Kaiser employment issue
Would anyone be able to recommend a laywer that has experience with Kaiser and
employment and suspension and Last chance agreement
I can recommend Rae Lovko; she has employment/labor law experience and seems
like she would be a good fit for you. She is honest, diligent, and
conscientious and I've found her to be a great listener.
Here's a link to her website:
Wrongful Termination Lawyer
My husband was fired after he had filed a complaint with The
Department of Fair Housing and Employment because of how he was
treated at work. We believe that discrimination played a major role.
It is a large (world wide) company. He has received his Right to Sue
letter. Would greatly appreciate a recommendation for good lawyers who
have dealt with this kind of case. Thank you!
I'm a consultant who works with attorneys, including plaintiff
employment attorneys. I would highly recommend:
Jean Hyams or any of the other attorneys at Dickson Levy Vinck Burrell
Karen Bernston http://www.berntsonlaw.com/
You can also use the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA)
as a resource if these aren't a good fit. Best of luck.
Attorney - age discrimination, ADA
am over 50 and sort of changing careers - going from a lower level health
care job to a provider role and I hear comments here and there from graduate
faculty, from preceptors, from other providers, about my ''age'' (how old are
you?) and ''health'' (I have a visible spinal deformity). I have overheard
comments about candidates for positions along the line of ''how old is she?
how long will she work before she retires? we need someone a lot younger!''
Also I am running into this same problem getting hired in a lower level health
care position (RN) in a tight job market, so I am living on unemployment (for
3 more weeks anyway unless Congress renews it). I feel these comments are
illegal, intrusive into my personal medical history, and discriminatory, as they
can be used negatively against me in evaluations and recommendations.
Possibly these are attitudes that will be held against me when I look for a
provider job, and this scares me. I am changing careers partly so I CAN keep
working until I drop dead (no retirement, very little if nonexistent SS, &c) as I
will be physically unable to keep working as a lower level health care worker
for much longer, but WILL be able to do, much easier, as a provider.
So I decided I should consult with an attorney experienced in job hiring
regarding age discrimination and in ADA law, such as discrimination based
on a perceived handicap, to see how I can best approach these issues both in
job interviewing, and after I am hired -- how can I best respond and handle
these questions? People can refuse to hire you for any reason at all, and you
will never know if it's because you are ''too old'' or ''look funny'', but I want to
know what I can do, proactively, to protect myself. I know there are many
disability activists in the SFBA and presume there are attorneys there who can
advise on this.
A wonderful person, and a wonderful attorney, is Craig Moody
in San Francisco. He has great wisdom and unfailing principles.
Sued and Won
I recommend Barbara Guiffre (San Francisco) who is an
excellent employment attorney. Extremely smart and ethical.
She is my husband's former classmate and a personal friend.
best of luck
I know of a wonderful attorney-Cheryl Knoll. She works at De
La Housaye and Associates. Her # is 925-944-3300
I am an attorney who specializes in
employment law and can talk about the quagmire of the age
and disability issues and develop some application strategies.
It is true that no employer is stupid enough to tell you he
will not hire you because you are too old. (If it were only
that easy). But there are inferences to watch out for, how
to design your resume and such.
I would recommend that you talk to Sonya Smallets on your
potential ADA claim. Here is the link: http://www.lawless-
She is at Lawless and Lawless, a female owned and run San
Francisco law firm that specializes in employment
discrimination and wrongful termination.
Sonya is brilliant. She went to law school with me at
Berkeley and graduated the top of her class and I can't say
enough about her as an attorney.
For the writer looking for help with disability and age discrimination in hiring
and other tricky situations: Susan Gibbs is great. She has a experience with
helping people with disabilities and their families (special education and
planning, too), inspired because she has a disabled adult child. She helped us
with some similar issues, and it worked out really well for us. She's in the
Try her at email@example.com or 415-615-2271.
My brother, an attorney, can help you with this. He used to work w/ the EEOC
(Equal Employment Opportunities Commission) his email is firstname.lastname@example.org
and tel # is 415.420.4738. His name is Joel Bryant and is starting his own
practice and may be able to cut you a break. Best of luck, Jennifer
Does anyone know anything about filing a wrongful termination
lawsuit? I would like it if anyone can offer any information on
steps I can take to start a legal investigation. Any lawyers or
law students that can offer help, please help me. Thank you.
Good worker but heart broken
There are at least two places you can call:
The Employment Law Center 415-864-8848 OR if you are female
(your posting didn't make mention of gender) you could call the
Golden Gate Women's Employment Law Clinic which is 415-442-
6647. Good luck.
Hi -- Your question is a little too broad to give advice, so I
thought I'd write in with some good sources of information. If
you think you are the victim of discrimination, the federal
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which enforces federal
anti-discrimination laws, is a good source of information. You
can find it on the web at www.eeoc.gov. Or you could call the
California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which
enforces state anti-discrimination laws. Nolo Press
(www.nolo.com) has some good information about your rights in
the workplace. Just click on the ''rights and disputes'' tab at
the top of the homepage and scroll down to ''employee rights.''
Also, if you are a woman, there is a nonprofit in SF called
Equal Rights Advocates that has a hotline you can call for free
information. You can find them on the web at
www.equalrights.org. And if you are looking for an attorney to
consult with, I recommend the lawyers at Siegel and LeWitter in
Oakland. I used to be an attorney there, and they are top
notch. They have an attorney assigned to take calls from
prospective clients who can give you an idea of what to do.
Former workers' rights attorney
I used to work for Douglas Kahn, an employment law attorney in
San Rafael, and can recommend him highly. From the situation you
described, it sounds like something he could help you with. When
you call, you will speak to his assistant, who will ask about
the facts of the case. If it's something that Doug can help you
with, he will get in touch with you promptly and talk to you
about your options. He does both plaintiff and defense
employment law, which is rather unusual, so he knows both
sides. He can be reached at 415/460-2888.
need to speak with a lawyer either well-versed in working the
surgeons or well versed in wrongful termination. Preferably
You might give Therese Lawless 415-391-7555, Todd Schneider 415-
421-7100 or Steve Murphy 415-986-1338 a call. They all
specialize in Employment Law and sit on my Board of Directors.
I recommend you contact Sarah Wright for your wrongful
termination case. She is smart, easy to work with, and
experienced in the area of law you have asked about. Here is her
Sarah S. Wright
The Wright Law Firm
1050 Northgate Drive, Suite 300
San Rafael, CA 94903
I can highly recommend attorney Cliff Palefsky in San Francisco
for your wrongful termination claim. In a former life I worked
in his office as a brief writer and his excellent reputation in
this field enabled him to settle many cases simply with a letter
or phone call. I don't know about his knowledge of surgery or
experience representing surgeons, but he knows EVERYTHING there
is to know about California and federal law in this area, and is
very smart and charming too. His office has other attorneys
that do this work too, and they may try to steer you to one of
them, but insist on Cliff. His number is 415-491-9292.
I would like a recommendation for an attorney who handles labor
I was unexpectedly fired last week - the owner/CEO of the 3
person corporation at which I worked had a temper tantrum (not
uncommon) and I was on the receiving end. It was unexpected,
both to me and the other employee, who supervised my work and
had been *very* happy with it. I had never received indication
that I needed to correct something or improve.
I asked why I was being discharged and the owner replied that
she did not want to discuss it. I asked again for some insight
to this turn of events and all I could get in response was that
I ''lack common sense''.
Additionally, a week later I still have not been paid. I have
also been told that I would not be paid for the vacation pay
that the owner previously told me I would receive.
The total owed to me is not a lot - about $2,000 - but I feel
very badly treated and want to know what my options are.
The California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of
Labor Standards Enforcement investigates and enforces unpaid-
wage claims. Their website address is:
I don't know any lawyers to recommend,but do have some thoughts.
Have you filed for unemployment yet? There's a one week wait
period before your claim is paid, so it's good to file quickly.
Also, you're supposed to get your final check the day you are
terminated. Otherwise, you are entitled to one day salary for
each day they are late. I worked for a company where terminated
employees were NOT paid vacation - the excuse was that a full
calendar year wasn't up. Unfair, but legal. Finally, California
is an at will employment state, you can be fired for no reason
and it's up to you to decide whether it's worth it to hire an
attorney or just let it go. Good luck.
Hello, I am trying to gather referrals for an employment lawyer
who would work with me on an hourly basis. I need help to file
a claim for breach of contract.
I've just gone through the search process for employment
lawyers. I think most will work hourly ($250/hr avg.), and can
prep a letter w/in an hour. I've found the Bar Association
referral service to be quite useful. For $25, you get a half
hour consult with a lawyer who specializes in your situation.
You tell the clerk your problem, then the Bar Assn. calls
around & gets you an appt. I had a great conversation with the
SF lawyer who I was referred to, and his advice went more in
depth than I was able to get from the ''cold calls'' to the
Employment Lawyers listed online. I was getting frustrated with
the quick evaluation of ''how much money would your case bring
me?'' without considering other options we may have without
agressive litigation. SF Bar: (415) 989-1616, Alam. Co. Bar:
(510) 893-7160, and Co Co Co Bar: (925) 825-5700.
There is also a Workers Rights Clinic, that re-opens next week,
if you qualify for lower income advice: (415) 864-8208. One
last thing, get good advice, or at least a couple of opinions,
our 1st attorney actually dug a bit of a hole for us, which has
limited our options. Good Luck.
Please call my husband Garet O'Keefe at 510-540-8320 or email
garet at okeefelaw.com. He has helped many wrongfully terminated
employees negotiate settlements or pursue litigation.
My husband and I both practice employment law. My first
impression w/o more information is that you may encounter an
obstacle if your theory is breach of contract in that employment
is typically ''at-will''. But it depends. I can't assist you b/c
I'm a public employee but my husband can speak with you. His
office is in the City but we live in Berkeley and he can meet you
in the east bay if that is convenient. He is John Huster, of the
Huster Law Group. They are at 415-221-5490. Good luck to you.
Hi -- I'm looking for an attorney who can provide advice
regarding employment law, particularly in regards to returning
from maternity leave and being placed in an ''equivalent''
position to the one held prior to going on leave.
My ''equivalent'' position, which I did not consider to be so, was
subsequently eliminated, and I'm wondering if I have any
I'd appreciate leads on any attorneys who could advise me on my
I am not sure if he is the one to do this, but check out Alan
Miller in Berkeley- 848-7200. Or try Hersh and Hersh in SF-
they may be able to help. Good luck, sounds like a rotten deal.
You should call Berne Reuben in Berkeley. His phone number is
(510) 549-3188 and he is very personable. He deals with
employment issues and will give you time on the phone. If it is
not something he handles, he will direct you to someone who can.
Good luck with this.
I can recommend Mary Pat Hough of Hough and Hess in SF for your
needs. I have consulted with her recently and liked her matter of fact
approach. Her phone number is 415-399-1110. I was talking to her
about my rights as I was laid off whilst I was pregnant and she helped
me negotiate a better severance deal. Good luck.
I am the director of a Plaintiff attorney association and would
suggest giving either Therese Lawless 415-391-7555, Todd
Schneider 415-440-3440 or Steve Murphy 415-986-1338 a call-
they all do employment law. Send me an email if none of them
work for you and I'll give you some addiitonal names. Good luck!
We would appreciate getting referrals for an Alameda County
employment law attorney.
Thank you for your response.
Robert Wallace in Oakland at 891-9900. I was referred to him by
another attorney who could not help me with my employment law
issue. I was satisfied with Mr. Wallace's services and his
guidance helped me solve the problem.
Try Mark Thierman (Law Offices of). Has won some big cases - I
think his office is in Oakland.
I work for an association that provides services to trial
lawyers and might be able to help. We may need more details on
your situation. Please call and ask for Juliette or Mailia- 415-
956-6401 or email me at admin At sftla Dot org.
Jonathan Siegel is a friend and an excellent employment attorney
in Oakland. He has a great reputation, and will give you a
referral to other competent people if he cannot help you.
The specifics of your situation will matter a great deal in
selecting an attorney, and with respect to which attorneys, if
any, are interested in taking your case. You might try for
starters an attorney named Kathryn Dixon. She used to be in
Oakland, at a firm called Dixon and Ross. If she cannot help
you, she could certainly provide names of other East Bay
I have looked through past posts, and I am wondering if
anyone has any names to add. I am looking for an attorney
who can represent me in a potential discrimination case
against my employer.
Usually sign, but Anon for obvious reasons.
I would like to highly recommend William Kwong of Minami,
Lew & Tamaki in S.F. for the person who may need to bring a
discrimination suit against their employer. I first met
William in 1996 when I clerked for him during law school.
He was a great boss, and he is an excellent attorney. He
is smart, friendly, really approachable and he will not
waste your time and money if you do not have a case. He
will be straight with you about all of your options. I
recently referred a friend to this law firm who was quite
pleased with the service he received from William Kwong.
Incidentally, although I am an attorney, I am currently not
practicing law, and I am not referring this firm with any
expectation of return business. I am recommending MLT
because they are a great law firm. They are one of the few
law firms out there that truly does have a social
conscience. The firm was founded by community activists
who never lost their idealism. They continue to fight the
good fight today.
Good luck with your employment issue.
I would like to recommend Paul Justi as a lawyer for your
potential employment discrimination suit. He was the main lawyer
on the recent Wonder Bread case that got a huge jury award
(although Angela Aliota got most of the press, I believe he did
the legal work). In addition to that high profile case, he has
lots of experience. He's also a very nice person to talk to. His
number is 415-538-9200.
I highly recommend David Lerman -- in Berkeley near the BART
My husband, who suffers from ADHD, has just been notified by
his employer of 15 years, a Fortune 500 retail company,
that he can either take a one month severance package
and be dismissed (for reasons surrounding his ADHD
symptoms) or he can take his chances and the next poor
judgement call will result in termination with no
severance. This is the first year he's ever had a bad
review at this company -- it's also the first year that
anyone was aware he has ADHD, himself as well as the
company. He's tried several different medications in
varying dosages to help him ''focus'' and had ADHD
counseling (individual and as a couple) - all of which
the company is aware of.
The normal severance for this company is two weeks for
every year served - nowhere near what they are offering
Please excuse this self-serving recommendation, but my
wife and I are members of this network and she noticed
I am an attorney with 18 years experience in the field.
I practice in SF at my own firm, Kerosky & Bradley.
You can take a look at our website, fightbacklaw.com,
which will tell you alot about our firm.
I would be happy to meet with your husband or have him
meet with one of our other lawyers who is a disability
discrimination expert. He has certain rights under
various state and federal laws, which the company may
in fact be violating. If he'd like to meet with us, I
would ask him to fill out the questionnaire in the
website and email it back to us, or call our office
and they will send you one. Then, we'll call back and
set up an appointment.
Good luck to you both.
My husband is concerned about how his company is handling the termination of his job contract and he would like to consult with a lawyer who may be able to help him negotiate this process. Can anyone recommend a lawyer who could do this, especially without being too combative with the company? I checked the website but didn't find a lawyer with this specialty. Thanks!.
One of the partners in my firm has helped several of his clients handle the
negotiations for termination of their employment. He's mild-mannered but
very thorough and a good negotiator; I think he has generally gotten good
results. His specialty is general corporate work but he is fairly
well-versed in most employment law issues. His name is John Ritchie, tel.
is 415.392.7900, email jritchie AT gmssr DOT com
A few times, I have consulted Michael Korda at Korda Johnson & Wall
(408) 494-0700 in San Jose and found him to be a good guy for dealing
with job issues.
There were lots of requests for lawyer referrals, so I'll give
a few for each category (I'm a lapsed lawyer and keep in touch,
to some extent, with the fields requested)
Employment lawyers: (I can't promise they have experience with
UCB, but they're experienced and very good)
Patti Roberts - Oakland - 893-2860
Kathy Dickson and Jeff Ross - Oakland - 268-1999
Horowitz and Rubinoff - Oakland - 444-7717
Alan Miller - Berkeley - 848-7200
I can't vouch for results, of course, but the recommendations
are of people/firms I know.
this page was last updated: Oct 10, 2013
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2013 Berkeley Parents Network