Donald Arthur Hilland

Donald Arthur Hilland

Wages, Overtime, Pregnancy Discrimination, Civil Rights
  • Employment Law, Civil Rights, Personal Injury...
  • California
Badges
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&AResponsive Law
Practice Areas
  • Employment Law
  • Civil Rights
  • Personal Injury
  • Family Law
  • Domestic Violence
  • Immigration Law
  • Criminal Law
Additional Practice Area
  • California Water Law
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
California
Education
Univ of West Los Angeles
Law Degree
Awards
Witkin Award for Insurance Law
Witkin Award for Academic Excellence
Witkin Award for Highest Grade in Class
Witkin Award in Evidence
Witkin Award for Academic Excellence
Witkin awarded highest grade in class for Evidence 1 UWLA Law School
Professional Associations
California State Bar # 240436
Member
- Current
Legal Answers
17 Questions Answered

Q. broke her arm while at school on the play ground
A: I'm sorry to hear about your child's misfortunate. I will say I have litigated these kind of cases against schools. You would think they would do the right thing, but they rarely do. I have litigated death claims against the LAUSD and in my experience the LAUSD and their attorneys have no compassion, nor concern about the children, nor do they care about the parents' loss. So don't expect the school to claim responsibility. California schools are involved in many lawsuits and they fight them with great vigor and normally blame the students or the parents. Don't expect to find much about injuries to children in the California Education Code. Most of the laws you will find have to do with disciplining children. But there is case law. The injuries can be covered usually in these circumstances which sounds like your case, if all three are present: Student injured (1) On school grounds, (2) while school is in session,(3) while being supervised by a school employee. There are many tripfalls along the way to a successful claim. The first step is you have present a notice of government tort claim in writing within 180 days to the right people at the school district.* This is not as easy as it sounds because there are rules about what it needs to contain. Many government organizations have forms you must use. I could not find one for San Bernardino but you did not say what school she goes to. Anyway. You can see below the LA, Oakland San Diego and understand that's what you need for San Bernardino. I know they have one, but you may have to call and request it. (Another way to discourage claims if you wait until the last minute and they "mail it" to you.) The next step is when they deny your claim, which they will, you have only 180 days to file the lawsuit. Understand the schools generally have insurance to cover these claims. It does not come from the books and supplies and teacher salary budgets. But no one else will tell you that. They will make it seem like you are robbing the children if you make a claim. Even when you file a claim, the school district's lawyers will try to make it appear as though it was your child's fault even though we do not hold children to the same standard as adults in our society. When it comes to suing the school,everyone will. So you really an attorney who is experienced in suing what we call "public entities." Google that. See if there is an attorney in your area. *State-Specific Examples of the "Notice of Claim" Process In California, you must give written notice of your claim to the school district within six months of the date of student's injury. The district will then accept or reject the claim. If the claim is rejected, you can file a lawsuit in the state's civil courts. See examples of official forms for injury claims against California school districts: Claim Against Los Angeles Unified School District Claim Against Oakland Unified School District Claim Against San Diego Unified School District Claim Against San Francisco Unified School District
Q. what can i do about false or mislading statemnts given under oath by social worker to supreme court of ca
A: How do you know the statements are false or misleading? What is your proof that the statements are false or misleading? Are you a party to the child custody case? Or are you simply someone who knows the truth? There are too many uncertainties in your question. Filing documents with the supreme court is like every court, except that you probably have to file online, but more and more courts are doing that anyway. But remember there are strict time limits for filings. Of course, there also always exceptions if you have one. Talk to an attorney ASAP. Most attorneys will speak to you for free the first time.
Q. In a 50/50 custody situation, do judges take into consideration jobs of a parent where work travel is unpredictable?
A: Although family law courtrooms are very crowded, especially this time of year, Judges for the most part do strive to create workable schedules for working people with minor children. You're right that you need to keep working and supporting your children and you should not miss out because of your owning up to your responsibilities. I have seen them very cleverly craft child support orders for noncustodial parents who earn overtime so that the custodial parent receives a large amount of child support every month after the overtime is worked. In the same fashion, a schedule could be created to reflect the changes based on your changing travel schedule. It would be easier in mediation but parents don't always agree. If it is made clear enough to the judge and a solution is presented, then the Court will likely adopt such a solution. The key to going to court in any case is being prepared. Go in with a plan. Make it easy for the Court to adopt the plan as the most fair and easy solution even over the other parent's objections. To do that you will most likely need an attorney's representation. I say that not because I'm a lawyer wanting client, but because not everyone can draft documents that point to such a solution to your problem and also represent themselves well in court and speak well and judges often do not take parties impropria person, representing themselves, seriously. They will take you serious if you have an attorney, at least if the attorney is well prepared and providing a workable solution
Q. what are my right after paternity leave?
A: So it sounds like they are not going to hire you back, but since you posted this I do not know if they have called you as I see it has been several weeks. If yes, then great for you and maybe others with similar questions can benefit. If no, then I can tell you I had a recent case of a father taking time off to be with mom and baby and upon returning they said he did not qualify for several reasons and it was a court battle to get him paid. For the laws to apply, you need 50 or more workers, 1 year on the job, and have earned 1,250 hours. So when you say a little over a year, does that mean the time before you took leave had been a year? Or it's a year now. Your answer to that question is important because you must meet the minimum requirements. We had a recent case where father had not been there a year unless you added in the time he was first hired by the agency before he became a permanent employee so the company insurance defense attorneys fought that very hard. Fortunately, in the last few years, the legislature made agencies and employers equally liable on many issues and with that parallel we could draw a line that the time should count but it took a judge to decide in the lawsuit. So those minimums, like most things in the law, are important so do the math. Do you qualify? No matter what they told you when you took the leave, obviously there's a problem now and so you need to figure it out, your start of employment date, your start of leave date, and if you earned enough hours of work time to qualify. Do the math. If so, we move forward, but there are other considerations. As I stated in a previous post, employers use a pretext often in terms of terminations to avoid being successfully sued. They will claim the layoff or termination is for economic reasons, which the courts have said is a legitimate reason, and it basically wipes the slate clean and puts the burden back on the worker to show it is not true, it is only a pretext for some other discriminatory motive. Many employers are still old fashioned and do not follow the law nor do they expect their workers to take time off and the results are disputes and frequent lawsuits. Be careful about showing up tat work in person or causing a confrontation in these volatile times. I would email or r send a certified letter. That way you can prove you contacted them and they will have to respond. Otherwise, conversations have a way of being denied or forgotten. Put it in writing like the lawyers say. That will protect you. And keep a phone log if you have not already for the times you have called. You can take screen shots of the call and the duration, etc. You cannot record people in California. Interesting case, in New Mexico, you can so we had a case where the caller in New Mexico recorded the other participant in California and that was ruled legal by the judge and the recorded calls basically made the case. But you cannot do that if you're in California. It's illegal "wiretapping" Penal Code 632 and besides being a crime you could get in legal trouble. That's why I say if it has gotten to that point, send a certified letter so that you are not just sitting around doing nothing when you could be working. Good luck.
Q. I need a CA. lawyer for EDD appeal. The former employer is saying I quit--I WAS FIRED-they won't provide cc of term ppwk
A: Based on your question, I am hoping you mean an EDD Unemployment Appeal, which if I'm correct you got a letter stating that under Unemployment Insurance Code 1256 you are disqualified and must now work another quarter and earn a certain amount before you can reapply. If I'm correct, then you should definitely appeal and your test does have evidentiary value. I have done over 100 of these Unemployment Appeals and I only lost 1, which was when the client did not bring me the paperwork within 20 days. That is a fairly strict rule. In fact, this client did not bring the paperwork for about 90 days. I did file the appeal and we lost because his excuse that he lost his apartment and the papers. Court said no. But I have been victorious in every other case and some would shock you as to the facts, as I know my colleagues and my client were shocked. But remember that Unemployment is there for a specific purpose, to help persons between jobs. The bar is very low. If the bar were high as employers and the EDD would like it to be, no one would ever qualify. I can tell you that I had a client who was late every single day from November to May when they finally terminated him, and I won his appeal and he got unemployment. Why? Because it was minor tardiness. He had lost his car and was riding a bike to work. Every day he would 1 minute late, 2 minutes, etc,, even now and then up to 4 or 5 minutes late. However, the standard is very low in the sense of qualifying. Here is the standard, from a case called Maywood Glass, that the employee's "misconduct must be willful or wanton and tending to injure the employer." So yes, employer is saying the employee broke the rules, he was tardy, I fired him for cause. However, listen to the wording. Willful and wanton is like a criminal standard that we use on thieves or even murderers. And the fact is that for the judge to deny your appeal, you pretty much have to have committed a crime against the employer that is provable like theft or assault. But even as I say that, I can tell you that I got unemployment for a terminated custodian from the school district who actually punched his boss in the face. The reason, he was certain his boss was about to hit him. Everyone was shocked. The judge said that in this particular, although normally striking your superior would be a disqualifying event, in this case the employee acted in self-defense because his boss had for years harassed and bullied him and he was afraid his boss was about to hit him. Again, the bar is low.Now in your case it sounds like they are saying you quit and that is your disqualifying event. However, several things there as well. I represented a mother with a newborn who quit because she had no safe, sanitary place, as the law requires to pump her breast milk at work. They were telling to do it the stall in the women's bathroom. I got her unemployment. Because the quitting was what we call in the law a "constructive termination," meaning that she had no choice. LIke when the landlord doesn't fix the heater, and you're cold, it is a "constructive eviction," meaning you can move out and not be liable for rent. In fact, you can sue the him, which is what the mother with the newborn did for a sizable settlement. In your case, if they did fire you and you have an excited utterance at the time that is admissible evidence and would be presumptively considered the truth because you said it, or texted it in this case, in the excitement of the moment without time to reflect or concoct a plan to deceive. I would certainly think with the facts that I have your case is very winnable, and depending on the circumstances you could even bring a wrongful termination claim against your employer as well. Employers lie. (Google Maywood Glass. So you know, it is Maywood Glass Co. v. Steward,(1959) 170 Cal.App.2d 719, meaning that is the law book where you will find it, but everything is on the internet nowadays.) Good luck!
Q. Hi, can you be laid off while on maternity leave?
A: So the law on return from pregnancy depends on a number of factors. If you came to office I would ask things like how many people work there - very important as to which laws apply. If its 3 people, then no. If it's 50 or more, then maybe yes. Understand that the law has many rules but even more exceptions and figuring out the rules without the exceptions won't get you any relief. So if it is say 50 or more then what do you do? Are you a professional, nonexempt employee at will like most people, is your special like a wire operator at a stock broker where they only need one and maybe a part-time relief? It depends. And I hate to say that, but that is the best answer until I know more. I have done many pregnancy cases and I would like to answer you more so let me just give you some scenarios and you can decide what you want to do. (I do a lot of pregnancy law and I have a website on that pregnancydiscrimination.us as well as my regular website attorney818.com that might help but there is loads of stuff on the internet) The law in California is basically strong and there is also federal law. So you probably know that if you're a pregnant worker, two federal laws protect your workplace rights. ... Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), your employer cannot discriminate against you in the terms of your employment on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. The second law is the Family and Medical Leave Act. I am a California attorney so only California law and federal law would apply to my advise, and I assume you are in California. As I say, 50 or more workers. That means a big company usually. Although in the Valley we have an underground economy where people are paid in cash and the boss often lies about how many really work there. Another thing is that you get 12 weeks. NJo more. I know women sometimes take longer for various reasons, C section, husbby working and am able to take more time, baby bonding, etc., so the 12 weeks is important for them to keep your job open. So has it been more than 12 weeks? If yes, could be a problem. If no, then the question is why they are firing you. If it is because they hired someone else knowing you'd be back, then you win basically assuming it's 50 or more and 12 weeks or less. But if it was say a mass layoff, for" business purposes" meaning economic reasons, that's the way they avoid it. Employers often say that when it's not true. We call it a pretext in Employment Law, meaning the reason they give, not the truth. What does your gut tell you? How long did you work there before the baby/leave? If you'd been there for years, then that's in your favor. I would want to know more to give you an accurate answer, but it sounds like a booboo on their part and that would mean you could make a claim against them. Another rule under Family Leave is that you have to have been there a certain time and earned a certain amount. A recent case with the husband, they claimed he had not worked there long enough and earned enough, but in fact he had been initially hired by an agency then made permanent and if we counted that time then he qualified so that's where the battle was. They did not give up easily. Takes a judge to rule. Recent changes in Cal. law make employer and agency equal in many respects but it's not automatic. You have to win. So yes and no. Need more info. But the presumption would be no, they cannot fire you on maternity leave. That's why we have those law, right?
Q. I was arrested for DV in the past, now I'm trying to get my nursing license. I don't know whether to report or not.
A: In California, you must disclose. Don't take a risk or you will likely be prevented from obtaining your license. You're correct that an arrest is not admissible evidence of any wrongdoing, only a conviction, and generally there are factors in the courtroom of even admitting a conviction, namely, was it felony or misdemeanor. Only a felony would be routinely admitted. Also is it more than 10 years old? Meaning that anything over 10 years old is stale and not likely relevant. However, in the law, as in your submission, there are always more exceptions to the rules than there are rules. And it is knowing the exceptions that really counts. I know you're not in a courtroom, but if you do not disclose, you could be, even though it is an administrative law courtroom or an appeal. My suggestion to you is that you write up a sympathetic statement of what occurred, have it reviewed by an attorney, one who specializes in ethics or administrative law or both would be preferable. However, any attorney would be better than no attorney review because lay people often say things they should not. I always cringe when a prospective client has already tried to handle a matter on their own and made written statements, which are basically admissions and cannot be undone. Most likely an attorney will not even charge you for a few minutes of their time. I know I would not if you made an appointment and I could do it in 30 minutes. The main thing is to head off any suggestion that you are withholding or attempting to conceal facts from the board. If you do it right, you will gain sympathy rather than suspicion. That's why I say write it up and have it reviewed BEFORE you submit it. But definitely disclose. That's the only sure way of avoiding the risk in your case.
Q. I need a CA. lawyer for EDD appeal. The former employer is saying I quit--I WAS FIRED-they won't provide cc of term ppwk
A: So I answered this question quite extensively. I told you what to do and how to do it. If you want to give me a call or an email, please do. I'm very good at these hearings. I know the law on Unemployment and most attorneys do not. Look at the answers that were already posted regarding 1. I told you that unless you engaged in willful and wanton conduct like stole from them or used violence, that you could easily win and start collecting. 2. I told you how to write a letter under Labor Code 226 (c) and to send it right away so you get your personnel file back before the hearing. 3. There are many other things, but I can't put them all here. Email me or call me and I probably can help you.
Q. My ex boyfriend came at me with a knife I called the cops he was taken in for misdemeanor battery the DA dropped charges
A: I have to be a lawyer here and answer your question by asking some questions. I am sympathetic, but what you need most is action, not sympathy. How long were you together? And do you have any children together? Do you know his family? Does he work and without identifying him what does he do? How much does he earn? Is he at least stable in his job? I'm asking these questions for a reason. I disagree that you should contact a criminal attorney.. If you did not get a criminal protective order, which I would you would have from the police or the criminal court, then you need to file for a temporary restraining order through the family law court, because you were in a relationship, and that is something you cannot wait to do. In other words, the longer you wait, the less likely the judge is to grant it. And you need a family law attorney to do it, because they are the ones that are most experienced in these hearings. Filing the request is done mostly with forms and any courthouse in Los Angeles can provide you the forms. You need the Domestic Violence Restraining Order because you were in a relationship. There is no fee for filing. Only certain courthouses will hear the matter. the procedure is that you fill out the forms, get a judge to sign an order and then serve it on him through an independent person, not you or your attorney in other words. A hearing will be set within 21 days and he must appear and defend your request. You must have him served at least 2-5 days before the hearing. If you have children, have the judge make orders regarding child support and child visitation. If not, then skip that part. If you know his family, make sure you mail them a copy as well so that they can intervene and help protect you. You can get help from one of the courthouse help centers to fill out the forms. The volunteers are pretty knowledgeable and know how to write it up. After you get the hearing date, though, you should definitely hire an attorney. Here's why. You have a much better chance of winning and getting a permanent restraining order rather than a temporary one which will expire in 21 days. If he is working steady and the judge grants, the lawyer can get the judge to order him to pay for your attorney fees and costs. The attorney will know what evidence you need besides a police report which is technically inadmissible hearsay. You will not know and I have seen many people lose, in which case you are really in a worse position than you are now. So don't fool around and try to do the hearing by yourself. I've seen many while waiting in court that could have won, but did not because they did not bring the proper evidence which was obviously available from the testimony. Get help from an experienced family law attorney who has successfully completed these hearings before. Even if he is not a reliable worker or between jobs, you should get an attorney to represent you and you may still get the judge to order him to pay your fees. because the judge will take you much more seriously if you are represented. And people usually say things they should not without advice from an attorney. If you want the restraining order to be permanent, hire an experienced attorney because you chances increase drastically.
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