The Law Office of Robert L. Risley

Office: 626-397-2745

Employment Law

In spite of innumerable state and federal appellate and supreme court rulings over the past 15 years, Employment Law remains one of the most litigated subjects of trial and appellate civil law. This is because, in large measure, work defines who we are. The maxim "we are what we do" is at the heart of our lives, and is the heart of the employment relationship.

The tension inherent in a free and open economic system is enormous. Competition requires all of our industrial and service units to be flexible and innovative. At the same time, workers’ and managers’ knowledge and skills are continually becoming obsolete. This tension is not an issue simply of labor vs. management. This involves all of us whether in or outside of labor or management. It involves the very livelihood of our family, of our well-being and our happiness. Is it any wonder that these issues are continually brought to our courts?

Grafted on this tension are employment practices that are illegal under both federal and state law.

Neither employers, labor unions, nor persons are permitted to refuse to hire, train, fire, or discriminate against any person for compensation, conditions, or privileges because of a race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical condition, mental condition, medical condition, marital status, sex or sexual orientation, or age.

Prohibitions against harassment because of race, religion, etc. are also stringent. But that leaves all other performance, condition and privilege issues free, open, discretionary and legal on both sides of the employment equation. That means, that the boss can tell you what to do, when to arrive and leave, what to wear and, within limits, how to act. It also means that you can object to any of these items. If there is disagreement, there is no employment contract. The boss or you simply say "goodbye". There is no breach. There is no unlawful employment practice.

Employment in this country is "at will." This means that the employment relationship is consensual. Consent may be withdrawn by either party at any time without legal impediment.