Employees have rights in the workplace, and laws exist to protect those rights. Unfortunately, most people who suffer from injustice in the workplace find the law far too complicated, difficult and sometimes unfair. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions concerning employee rights in the workplace. We have also included links to resources to help you gather information before you seek legal counsel.
What is Wrongful Termination?
California describes a “wrongful termination” as any job termination that violates a public policy. Public policies are most often the policies included in federal and state laws. Most often, wrongful terminations occur when an employee complains about conduct violating a federal or state law, and the complaint motivates a termination. In other cases, a worker discusses the employer’s compliance with certain laws, and the discussion contributes to the worker’s termination. Wrongful terminations include forced, or required, resignations.
What is Harassment in the Workplace?
Harassment is illegal under both federal and state law, if an individual’s protected characteristic (such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, or other legally protected factor) is at least related to the harassment that occurs. Many employees refer to such illegal harassment as “hostile work environment,” but the laws do not protect every employee from every type of hostile working situation. When the treatment occurs, employees want to know what protections and legal solutions exist for the harassment. Our attorneys can advise employees on whether to report the harassment, how to respond to the harasser, and how to protect against future harassment or retaliation. Our attorneys fight to ensure that you are treated fairly and that your workplace rights are enforced.
What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual Harassment is illegal under both federal and state law, if an individual’s gender / sex is at least related to the harassment that occurs. While the law generally distinguishes between two types of sexual harassment (quid pro quo or hostile work environment), most employees simply know they are not treated properly. When the treatment occurs, employees want to know what protection and legal solutions exist for the harassment. Many employees agonize over whether to report the harassment, how to respond to the harasser, and how to protect against future harassment or retaliation. When you find yourself facing a difficult or even frightening workplace harassment, you need attorneys who have the knowledge, strength, and courage to get you the relief you deserve.
What is Age Discrimination in Employment?
Age discrimination occurs when a person’s particular workplace treatment occurs because of the individual’s age, and s/he is at least 40 years of age. Treating employees differently because they are considered “too old,” or “too expensive,” or “gray haired” is discrimination based on age. Both federal and state law prohibit age discrimination and prohibit eliminating employees because they are “too costly” given their levels of experience. Our attorneys have ample experience handling cases involving age related claims.
What is Pregnancy Discrimination in Employment?
Pregnancy based discrimination occurs when a woman’s pregnancy, or related medical conditions, become the basis for adverse treatment in the workplace. California law allows women to take off four months leave time for all absences related to the pregnancy. And in many cases, the pregnancy is also a disability that gives the woman protections under state and federal disability laws. Females are entitled to an equivalent job when they return from their pregnancy, except in rare cases. Treating someone differently because of a pregnancy related condition is illegal discrimination. Both federal and state law prohibit pregnancy based discrimination and harassment. Our attorneys have handled numerous cases involving both males and female discriminated against because a pregnancy occurs.
What is Whistleblowing?
Whistleblowing is the act of complaining to an authority (usually a government agency) about what the employee believes is a wrongful action by the employer. Whistleblowing normally refers to complaining to a federal agency (such as the IRS) or a state agency (such as Cal-OSHA) about some violation in the workplace. Our firm has handled dozens of whistleblowing cases, and if you feel that you have been retaliated against for being a whistleblower, you should contact an attorney in our firm to review your claim, and explore your options to defend your rights.
If you would like to discuss your legal issue, harassment, or discrimination with one of our attorneys, please call Employment Rights Attorneys 408.796.7551, or fill out the contact form to tell us more about your problem.