San Francisco Employment Law Attorney

The attorneys at Jones & Devoy are committed to protecting your rights in the field of employment law.  The law protects those that have been denied employment, terminated from their employment, or suffered from changed conditions of their employment due to one of the following reasons:


There are a variety of ways that an employee can be discriminated against.  The most common are:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • National Origin
  • Physical Disability
  • Religion
  • Marital Status
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Pregnancy

If you are denied employment, terminated, or refused a promotion due to one of the above listed reasons, your employer may be committing employment discrimination.

In order to prove employment discrimination, you must first show you fall into one of the above listed categories and your job was negatively impacted.  Afterward, it must be proved that there was actual discrimination in the workplace, and this discrimination was the cause of the employment problem.


Sexual harassment in the work place is prohibited by both federal and state law.  Sexual harassment most commonly occurs in the form of inappropriate touching, sexually suggestive language, the displaying of offensive content and unwanted sexual advances.

Generally, there are two types of sexual harassment:  1) Quid Pro-Quo ( “this for that”); and 2) Hostile Work Environment.

Quid Pro-Quo Harassment occurs when the employer offers an incentive to an employee, such as a promotion, in exchange for sex.  The law prohibits such conduct and victims of it can recover lost wages, future lost wages, emotional distress and punitive damages.

A Hostile Work Environment occurs when the employer creates an uncomfortable environment in the work place.  This most often occurs through the display of offensive material, jokes, touching, pictures, and repeated requests for a date.

You do not have to endure an oppressive or hostile work environment.  The attorneys at Jones & Devoy can explain your rights and help you end the unwanted behavior or negotiate a severance package.


Most employees in California are considered employee’s “at will.”  While it is not a right to be employed, it is your right to be protected from illegal termination.  In California, there are generally three categories that fall under wrongful termination:

1.  Discrimination

An employee cannot be terminated on the basis of:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • National Origin
  • Physical Disability
  • Religion
  • Marital Status
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Pregnancy

2.  Retaliation

An employee has the right to work in a proper work environment.  An employee cannot be terminated in response to employee complaints off illegal treatment or working conditions.

3.  Whistle Blowing

The law also protects employees who report illegal work activities or working conditions to government agencies.  An employer cannot fire an employee in response to employee complaints to the proper authorities.


You are entitled to the wages you have earned.  If you feel wages have been unjustly withheld, you should contact an attorney immediately.

Overtime Pay

California requires that all non-exempt employees receive overtime pay of at least 1.5 times their base pay if an employee works more than eight hours in a day OR more than 40 hours in a week.  Additionally, overtime pay is required if an employee works more than seven consecutive days.


There are two basic categories of breaks under California law:  Meal Breaks and Rest Breaks.  Non-exempt employees are entitled to one meal break after five hours of work, if the work day is greater than six hours.  This break must last for thirty minutes and must be uninterrupted.  Additionally, California law allows for one rest break of ten minutes for every 3.5 hours worked.

Unpaid Commissions and Bonuses

The rules applying to unpaid commissions and bonuses are treated differently in California.  A commission is typically an incentive offered to sales representatives based on the amount of sales achieved.  Generally, there is no clear formula to determine when an employee must receive a commission, however the expected standard is that the employee must substantially perform the work in order to receive the commission.

A bonus is an additional incentive offered on top of the employee wages.  Generally, if the employer promises a bonus and the employee completes all conditions, the employee must receive the bonus.  However, California law allows the employer to determine the date of payment for all bonuses and if the employee is terminated before that date, then in some cases the employee may not be entitled to the bonuses.

To determine if you are qualified to receive a bonus, contact the attorneys at Jones and Devoy for an individual evaluation.

Vacation Time and Pay

California law does not require an employer to offer a vacation plan to an employee.  However, if a plan is offered, then the employer must meet certain regulations.

Generally, it is perfectly legal for an employer to put a cap on vacation time accrual. For example, if the employer states that only 4 weeks of vacation time can be acquired in one calendar year, then this is legal under California law.  However, an employer is not allowed to initiate a “use it or lose it plan.”  For example, an employer cannot require you to use vacation time or else lose the acquired time.

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    Our Legal Team

    Alexander T. Jones

    Mr. Jones has an extensive background in both general litigation and family law as well as experience in various business and transactional matters…

    Daniel R. Devoy

    Practicing civil litigation with an emphasis on client advocacy, Mr. Devoy is experienced in litigating a wide range of legal matters …

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