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Need labor lawyer in Northern California

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  • Need labor lawyer in Northern California

    Greetings!

    I have a somewhat complicated situation involving a fairly large employer (100+ employees) in an area of Northern California not very close to any cities (more detail available via email or private message).

    My most pressing concerns are:
    1. How to respond to my employer planning to terminate my health insurance on short notice without giving proper notification of COBRA rights (I might also have to fight with them over whether my termination was voluntary or not to claim the federal discounted premiums that were part of the recent stimulus bills).

    2. How to find a lawyer to talk to, and how large of a radius might be considered reasonable by most firms. A search at http://cela.org/ didn't find any within a 30 minute drive. Might a larger firm from the nearest population center (~2-3 hour drive) be willing to at least write some letters and help with some state paperwork? There may be other employees willing to join or bring separate but similar cases under the right circumstances.

    I know quite a bit of the laws involved, and am confident I have valid claims in at least a few of the following areas:
    failure to provide adequate COBRA notification, "technical" violations with respect to overtime, timeliness of paychecks (my final vacation pay, and frequent technical violations with other employees), possible wrongful termination (did not follow employee procedures in employee handbook, and possible discrimination due to disability), violations of employee privacy (definitely mine, probably others), harassment and/or "infliction of emotional distress", unsafe living conditions, and possibly others.

    They also claim to be exempt from unemployment insurance on grounds that I consider suspect, but haven't researched the details yet.

    Any general thoughts are welcome here, and I'd be happy to discuss the details via private message or email, especially with any lawyers that would be willing to give a free email or phone consultation (I may be emailing a few of those I found via CELA once I decide how much detail to put in the initial contact email).

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Since you appear to be intent on suing instead of taking advantage of regulatory authority resources, and you have such a laundry list with no details, contact Lawyer's Referral Service of your county Bar Association, yellow pages, friend recommendations, etc. It is against the rules of this site for us to recommend specific attorneys.

    I doubt very seriously that reputable attorneys are going to respond to an email. You call and make an appt. The LRS referenced above can recommend attorneys specializing in employment law who will meet with you for 30 minutes for a very reasonable fee.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

    Comment


    • #3
      We're unable to give a referral to any specific lawyer/law firm & most lawyers don't troll forums looking for business. You might check with your local or state bar assoc. for a referral.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

      Comment


      • #4
        Patty, your post wasn't there yet when I started typing mine - you got yours submitted off first.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

        Comment


        • #5
          Your reference to COBRA continuation is confusing. You say "employer planning to terminate my health insurance on short notice" which implies a future action, but you also state "whether my termination was voluntary", which is a prior action.

          If your termination occurred after May 31, 2010, even if involuntary, you are not eligible for the COBRA subsidy. See the quote below from the DOL website at: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/cobra.html.

          The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides a COBRA premium reduction for eligible individuals who are involuntarily terminated from employment through the end of May 2010. Due to the statutory sunset, the COBRA premium reduction under ARRA is not available for individuals who experience involuntary terminations after May 31, 2010. However, individuals who qualified on or before May 31, 2010 may continue to pay reduced premiums for up to 15 months, as long as they are not eligible for another group health plan or Medicare.

          The Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010 signed by the President on July 22, 2010, did not extend the COBRA premium reduction.
          While I may work for lawyers, I am not an attorney. Comments I make are based on my working experiences and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
            Since you appear to be intent on suing instead of taking advantage of regulatory authority resources, and you have such a laundry list with no details, contact Lawyer's Referral Service of your county Bar Association, yellow pages, friend recommendations, etc. It is against the rules of this site for us to recommend specific attorneys.
            Was there a particular part of my post that made you think I'm "intent on suing instead of taking advantage of regulatory authority resources"? Not a question of great importance ... just my curiosity and attempt to communicate more clearly in the future.

            I'm mainly trying to identify what rights and options I actually have and what I should do.

            How strictly do lawyers and bar associations or other "referral services" stick to "county lines"?

            The county I was living / working is not very populous (definitely under 100,000) and seemed to have fewer lawyers per capita than most and VERY little designed to help "the little guy".

            Is it a total waste of time to look for lawyers in actual cities that happen to be across county lines?

            I do have lots of details, but in a forum like this, starting out in generalities seemed to make the most sense. I was under the impression privacy and confidentiality can be relevant when dealing with legal issues.

            Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
            I doubt very seriously that reputable attorneys are going to respond to an email. You call and make an appt. The LRS referenced above can recommend attorneys specializing in employment law who will meet with you for 30 minutes for a very reasonable fee.
            I'm not sure how to take your comments about email.
            Is there really still that much prejudice against email among attorneys?
            I have found many attorneys that list email addresses and/or websites along with phone numbers. Some websites even seem to welcome contact via email or web forms. Those facts would seem to contradict your doubts, but perhaps I'm missing something?

            [QUOTE=Law Firm Business Manager;1143640]Your reference to COBRA continuation is confusing. You say "employer planning to terminate my health insurance on short notice" which implies a future action, but you also state "whether my termination was voluntary", which is a prior action.
            [QUOTE]

            Thanks for the reference. The termination was prior to May 31. The rest of the health insurance and COBRA issues are ongoing and complicated by many details I'd rather not discuss in a public forum.

            Comment


            • #7
              If you don't want to share any more details than that, we can't help you.

              Except to say that if you believe there is a COBRA violation, contact the federal DOL.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

              Comment

              The LaborLawTalk.com forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on LaborLawTalk.com are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of LaborLawTalk.com. LaborLawTalk.com does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.
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