Did you or your loved one sign a nursing home agreement containing a pre-dispute, mandatory arbitration clause? If so, you may be wondering if the nursing home arbitration agreement be enforced? The answer is it depends on the specific circumstances — a forced arbitration clause may be binding, but only if specific conditions are met. Here, our San Francisco nursing home injury lawyers explain what families need to know about the enforceability of nursing home arbitration agreements in California. (more…)
Leaving a job is never easy. Whether it is due to a lay-off, corporate restructuring, or differences in vision, the transition to a new position always presents challenges. A severance package — generally defined as benefits paid to an employee when they leave a company — helps to provide some relief during the transition.
One of the most important things to know about severance pay is it is not guaranteed by federal law or by California law. It may be stipulated by an employment agreement, but even then, a severance package is typically negotiated by the parties. In this article, our San Francisco employment law attorneys offer four tips for negotiating a favorable severance agreement.
In many cases, employees feel immense pressure to take the first severance offer from their company. Please know you are not obligated to accept the initial offer. You have the right to take time to review the agreement. Further, if you are not satisfied, you can ask for modified terms. Employers sometimes subtly make a severance package feel like a “take it or leave it” deal, but the reality is far more complicated.
As was mentioned, severance pay is not guaranteed by law. There is no clause in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or another state statute that will give you an automatic right to severance benefits. It is important to understand that employees still have leverage in severance negotiations. Almost universally, a severance agreement will ask you to agree to some (or all) of the following:
In other words, you are giving something up when you accept a severance package. What you are giving up has real, tangible value to your employer. This means you have leverage and you can use it to get a fair agreement. Generally, if the circumstances surrounding your termination could support a claim for wrongful termination, you have more leverage in negotiating a better severance, because the release of liability poses greater value to your employer.
In negotiating a severance agreement, creativity can help to move the process along. In some cases, employers are restrained in what they can offer in a lump sum payment. If this is the case, there may be other benefits that can help ensure you receive the full and fair consideration you deserve.
You do not have to go up against your employer alone. An experienced attorney can help review your case, explain your options, and help you negotiate the best possible severance package. At Bracamontes & Vlasak, our California employment law attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in complex severance negotiations.
If you have questions about severance agreements, we are here to help. For a confidential review of your case, please contact our law firm now. We represent employees throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including in Daly City, South San Francisco, Pacifica, San Bruno, San Mateo, Half Moon Bay, El Granada and Palo Alto.
Nothing is more traumatic than the loss of a loved one. While a wrongful death claim can never truly make things right, it does allow family members of the deceased an opportunity to receive justice, accountability and financial support. There is also a similar (but distinct) type of legal action called a survival action claim.
The biggest question tenants have during the COVID-19 quarantine is, “What do I do if I cannot afford the rent?” The State of California recently enacted a moratorium preventing landlords from filing evictions based on nonpayment of rent. That means, if you cannot pay your rent at this time, the landlord will not be able to file an eviction lawsuit against you until the quarantine is lifted. With that said, landlords are still able to file evictions to protect public safety and health. Examples of this would be permitting a nuisance to exist in the unit, i.e., illegal activity, fire hazards, or other dangerous conditions
Were you injured on public property in Northern California? If so, you have the right to bring a premises liability claim to seek financial compensation for your injuries-but there are some special rules and regulations that apply. Most likely, your case falls under the California Tort Claims Act (CTCA). Here, our San Francisco premises liability lawyer explains three of the most important things you need to know about accidents on public property.
Losing a loved one is devastating. A preventable death can take a spiritual, emotional and financial toll on a family. While nothing can ever truly make up for such a heartbreaking loss, a civil wrongful death claim allows close family members of the loved one to get accountability and financial support. Below, our San Francisco wrongful death lawyer provides an overview of damages that can be recovered through a wrongful death lawsuit in California.
When you seek professional medical care, you reasonably expect you will receive an accurate and timely diagnosis. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis remain serious problems. According to AARP, as many as 20 percent of serious medical conditions are initially misdiagnosed by medical professionals.
Rear end collisions are among the most types of traffic accidents. According to data published by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), approximately half of all multi-vehicle crashes reported in the United States are rear-end collisions.
Whether you are doing so by choice or you have been terminated, changing jobs can be challenging—even more so if you do not get your final paycheck on time. In California, workers are protected by some of the strongest wage and hour laws in the country.
If your loved one was injured in a San Francisco nursing home, it is imperative you take immediate action to protect their health, well-being and legal rights. Unfortunately, nursing home injuries remain a serious problem in California. In many cases, vulnerable patients suffer injuries or develop medical conditions because of abuse or neglect at facilities.
California businesses and property owners have a duty to keep their premises in safe condition. If they fail to do so, they can be held liable for any resulting injuries. Unfortunately, it can be a challenge for victims to recover full and fair financial compensation through a premises liability claim.
Unfortunately, highway construction zone accidents are a serious problem. According to the most recent data from the Federal Highway Administration, approximately 60,000 people are injured in construction accidents in the United States every year.
If you drive regularly in the Bay Area, you know there is near constant highway construction going on in Northern California. Motorists must take additional care when going through a work zone.
The Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly 30 million Americans visit emergency departments with unintentional injuries every year. A serious injury can be incredibly disruptive for the victim and their family — on top of the long road to physical and emotional recovery, they may be left dealing with stacks of medical bills and other financial expenses.
Merging onto a highway in the San Francisco Bay Area can be challenging. We have all seen how congested our region’s roads can get. Unfortunately, in some cases, major accidents occur when motorists are trying to merge. This raises an important question: Who is at fault for a merging accident in California? (more…)
In California, a person who was injured on someone else’s property – whether the property was owned/managed by a business, an apartment complex, a private homeowner, or a government entity – may be entitled to financial compensation for their damages. Indeed, negligent property owners can be held financially responsible for injuries through a premises liability claim. Our legal team highlights the key things you need to know about California’s premises liability laws.
Alarmingly, medical negligence is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. A 2016 study cited by The Washington Post found that only cancer and heart problems are to blame for more deaths than medical errors. If you or your family member suffered any type of injury or health complication as the result of medical negligence, you may be eligible to recover compensation through a medical malpractice claim.
Fall accidents are one of the leading causes of severe injuries — and fatalities — for older Americans. According to the most recent data from the National Council on Aging (NCOA), more than 800,000 senior citizens are hospitalized after a fall accident every year.
If you were injured in a car crash in California, you may be eligible to recover compensation from the at fault driver. Injured victims deserve compensation for the full value of their damages. This includes recovery for all monetary losses, such as past and future medical expenses and lost wages.
The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most popular places to visit in the entire country. According to San Francisco Travel, approximately 25 million people visit the region each year. While Northern California is undoubtedly a wonderful vacation spot, unfortunately, an accident can happen on any trip.
Passed into law in 1908, the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) provides important legal protections and a path to financial compensation to railroad workers who were injured while on the job. FELA is a highly complex federal law. If you or your family member was hurt while working as a railroad employee, it is imperative that you seek immediate assistance from an experienced San Francisco railroad injury attorney. (more…)
When parents trust their child to the care of another party, they are forced to put a tremendous amount of faith in the hands of the caregiver. Parents should be able to rest easy knowing their child’s health, safety, and well-being are fully protected. Yet sadly, in far too many cases, children are abused. According to the most recent data from the American Society for the Positive Care of Children (SPCC), millions of American children are abused or neglected each year. Even more alarmingly, SPCC reports that 75 percent of child victims are under the age of seven.
Led by the San Francisco-based companies Uber and Lyft, the ridesharing industry has exploded in popularity over the last five years. According to recent data from Statista, ridesharing companies now take in nearly $20 billion a year in revenue in the United States. While these vehicles offer some consumers an affordable and convenient source of transportation, there is always a risk that a serious car accident will occur.
Unfortunately, hundreds of major car accidents are reported every day across the state of California. According to the California Highway Patrol, more than 250,000 people are injured in highway collisions each year.
According to the most recent data from the Bay Area Census, approximately half of the people in our region are renters. In San Francisco, nearly two-thirds of all housing units are listed as ‘renter occupied’. In other cities such as Oakland, Berkeley, and San Jose, the percentage of renters is almost as high.
Motor vehicle accidents are among the most common causes of serious injuries in California. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (COTS), more than 230,000 people were hurt in auto accidents in the last year in which comprehensive data has been published. Many of these injuries were incredibly severe, sometimes even life-altering.
On April 30, 2018, the Supreme Court of California issued an important decision affecting the analysis of whether a worker is properly classified as an independent contractor versus an employee. The classification of a worker as an employee or an independent contractor impacts the rights and remedies of workers, and it is often a contentious issue in employment and labor disputes.
California employees are protected under a web of interconnected state and federal labor laws. It is critical that all workers are able to exercise their rights, without the fear that they are going to face punishment from their employer. The good news is that Bay Area workers are protected against retaliation. Though, in practice, defining and proving retaliation can sometimes be difficult.
California is an ‘at will’ employment state. This means that your employer does not actually have to have a reason to fire you. Your employer could potentially be able to terminate you for no reason, or even for a downright silly reason. However, you do have some legal protections: your employer cannot fire you for a prohibited reason.
San Francisco is one of the most renter-heavy cities in the entire country. According to data provided by the Bay Area Census, more than 64 percent of the total housing units in San Francisco County are ‘renter-occupied’. Just like homeowners, tenants need to know what they should do and who they can hold liable if their property is damaged in a disaster or an accident.
According to data provided by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), 2017 was the most destructive year on record for wildfires in the state. In all, 9,133 reported wildfires raged, burning more than 1.2 million acres of land across California. Many structures were damaged throughout the state, with North Bay Fires hitting the northern part of the state in October, and Southern California facing severe wildfires in December.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a very serious thing, and something that many people–many of whom are well-known or famous–are coming out about, and something to which the media is paying a lot of attention. Whether male, female, or transgender, and regardless of sexual orientation, understanding what sexual harassment in the workplace is and what your rights are if sexually harassed is important.
Fires are very scary, and they can cause significant amounts of damage in the form of serious injuries, to personal property, and to buildings and structures. Not only are fires often devastating, but figuring out who will pay for damages after a fire can be especially confusing, specifically when the owner of the apartment/condo/home is different than the person living in it. Indeed, this begs the question: Who is liable for damages caused by a fire in a rental unit?
As a tenant in San Francisco, you have certain rights, and your landlord has certain duties and responsibilities. While it is possible that throughout your rental history an issue will pop up between you and one of your landlords that makes living at your current place uncomfortable, invoking the help of a lawyer is not always necessary. Indeed, the majority of landlord-tenant issues are minor enough to be settled with a conversation, and perhaps some amicable negotiation.
Before you sign a lease or rental agreement and move into an apartment or house in San Francisco, you have the legal right to know certain things about the building and the space that you are about to inhabit. In fact, landlords are required to disclose a number of things about a property to a tenant before a tenant signs a rental agreement, as well as in the event that the property is sold. (more…)
Sexual harassment remains a prevailing problem in the American workplace. If you are wondering what constitutes sexual harassment, consider the following questions:
Many people are unaware of their rights when loved ones sustain serious injuries on a landlord’s property leading to death. There are chances that the claims adjuster or landlord may lead the victim’s family astray, giving them the impression that nothing can be done about their situation and that going to court will only make matters worse. (more…)
If you have been evicted from your rental home in a way that violates local or state tenant laws, you may file a lawsuit against your landlord for wrongful eviction. However, you need to have an in-depth understanding of the legal process and the law in order to prove that the actions of your landlord were illegal and you suffered damages for which you should be compensated. The best way to ensure that your wrongful eviction case is presented in the best possible light is to work with an experienced San Francisco tenant lawyer.
Residential landlords are businesses or individual property owners that rent out houses, condos, or apartments in exchange of money. When a residential landlord in San Francisco, Oakland or Berkeley rents out their property to a tenant, it is essential for the rented space to be habitable, or in other words, fit to live in. During the tenure, the landlord is required to take care of maintenance work and carry out repairs whenever necessary to ensure the rented property remains habitable.
A California family who recently relocated from another country is devastated by the death of their 9-year-old son. Family and friends gathered to hold a vigil for the deceased boy two days after he was killed on a recent Friday. This bike crash reportedly occurred at an intersection in Irvine. (more…)