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Francis X. PrayEmployee Rights Attorney - We Level the Field.
- Employment Law
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A
I look deeply into a case for its strengths and weaknesses to assess case value. I apply my 25 years of employment law experience to identify meritorious cases for trial. I work hard to move the case to full preparation for trial. I use case management systems to ensure quality and client satisfaction.
- Employment Law
- Employee Benefits, Employment Contracts, Employment Discrimination, ERISA, Overtime & Unpaid Wages, Sexual Harassment, Whistleblower, Wrongful Termination
I will speak with you personally for up to 10 minutes by phone for a "first impression." I generally respond to your inquiry within 1 business day of your contact.
- Credit Cards Accepted
I accept deserving, honest clients who are able to work effectively as a lawyer-client team to reach a "reasonable" outcome in the case.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
- English: Spoken, Written
- University of California - Los Angeles
- other (1987) | Business
- Executive MBA Program, full time.
- University of San Diego School of Law
- J.D. (1977) | Law
- Activities: Law Review (Twice Published) ; Moot Court Competitions
- Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville
- B.A. | English, Philosophy, French
- Activities: Groomed & Walked the school mascot; A fully grown Cougar
- State Bar of California, Labor & Employment Section  # 74920
- - Current
- Activities: Continuing Legal Education
- Orange County Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section  # 74920
- Past Chair, current member
- - Current
- Activities: Continuing Legal Education, Updates and Current Issues.
- California Employment Lawyers Association
- - Current
- Activities: Employee rights attorneys supporting one another to advance justice for employees.
Websites & Blogs
- Employment Law Office of Frank Pray
4 Questions Answered
- Q. Company won't give me my last paycheck
- A: California Labor Code Section 203 provides for 30 days of continuing pay as a penalty for failure to pay wages due at time of termination. Go to http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/howtofilewageclaim.htm to learn how to file a claim with the Labor Commissioner. Bankruptcy is a real risk in your matter. Wages are "unsecured claims" that is, without collateral. After the collateral is used to pay debts, wages receive first priority. The bankrupt creditor is required to list unpaid wages, and notify employees of the pending bankruptcy. As for taxes, you can claim a credit against taxes you owe in the amount of the taxes your employer should have withheld and paid, whether the company actually paid the taxes. Concerning sick day accrual, that accrual is not paid as "wages" at the time of termination. You can report this employer to the state and federal agencies, and they can bring actions to collect those funds. You should of course also apply for unemployment, and explain at the time of the application that if the funds are not recorded by account to the state agency, it is because the employer failed to make contributions.
- Q. Hello, I recently left my job due to sexual harassment and belittlement at the work place. What lawyer would I go to??
- A: When choosing an attorney for this legal issue consider: specialization, experience, results, character, compatibility. You want an attorney with a verdict or two in a sexual harassment case because the defense counsel will do a background check and even make calls to other defense attorneys who may have done business with your attorney. You also want to choose someone you can work with. You will be a partner with your attorney, and so think of it like picking a friend. You want both competency and communication. Justia offers a directory or course, and in our state, the "California Employment Lawyers Association" [CELA.org] lists attorneys devoting more than 90% of their practice to representing employees. http://www.employee-rights-atty.com. Interstate, the "National Employment Lawyers Association" offers the same consumer focus.
- Q. I have been refused unclaimed PTO pay. This should be illegal in California - does being an intern make any difference?
- A: PTO is the equivalent of wages earned, and must be paid immediately on termination of employment. PTO can be capped, but it cannot be forfeited -- i.e., the "use it or lose it" policy is illegal in California. Compensatory Time Off [CTO] must meet California conditions: Labor Code Section 204.3: -- The employee requests CTO, in writing, in lieu of overtime. -- The employee is regularly scheduled to work no less than 40 hours in a workweek. -- There is a written agreement for CTO before the work is performed. -- Accrued CTO must be paid out when the employee terminates employment. Note also that the CTO is to be given not just for the hour worked over 8 in a day, but at the overtime rate of time: 1 hour worked = 1.5 hours off up to 12 hours, and 2 hours off over 12 per day. The reference to "intern" status is vague where you are being paid. A true intern, usually as part of an academic requirement and approved sponsorship, is unpaid. As an intern, your work duties are by definition in training and under continuous supervision, with little or no discretion to decide matters of significance to the company. Bottom line: you are non-exempt. Demand your overtime and money equivalent of unused CTO. You likely have a claim for the extra 1/2 hourly rate even for each hour you were allowed to take off at base hourly pay.
- Jensen v. Hewlett-Packard Co. (1993)
- California Court of Appeal
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