Most people spend the majority of their day at work. The best and most effective workplaces treat all employees with respect and dignity. People are hired and promoted on the basis of ability and achievements. Discrimination and harassment should have no place in the workplace.
Unfortunately, not every workplace or employer follows the law. Employees who suffer because employers or coworkers infringe upon their rights, need litigators they can count on. The employment law attorneys at KEOSIAN LAW LLP have the experience, ability and passion to stand up against even the biggest employers in court.
Employment Law Cases FAQ
First, what you need to know is that most relationships between an employer and an employee are “at will”, which means you can quit your job anytime you want and conversely your employer can fire you for pretty much any reason they want and sometimes for no reason at all.
You may have signed some paperwork when you first started your job but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are guaranteed employment with your employer or that you can’t get fired. Those documents you initially signed can be for several reasons, for example, it helps the employer to figure out how your taxes are going to come out every pay check, or the document you signed is meant for you to acknowledge the rules and regulations of the workplace, or for you to acknowledge receipt of the employee handbook. None of these guarantee your employment. With that said, chances are you are considered an “at will” employee and can be fired for almost any reason and in some cases for no reason at all.
This means your employer does not have an obligation to keep you employed. However, they do have an obligation to treat you fairly according to California law. But please be aware, just because your boss is mean to you, or you feel you’re overloaded with assignments doesn’t necessarily mean your employer has broken the law and in turn doesn’t always mean you were harassed, or discriminated against. Also, just because you were fired doesn’t always mean you were wrongfully terminated. California law states that you as an employee need to prove that the unfair treatment you’re experiencing at work was due to a protected category of employee.
- Sexual Harassment
- Racial Discrimination
- Religious Discrimination
- Pregnancy Discrimination
- Breast Feeding Violations
- Gender Discrimination
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination
- Age Discrimination
- Disability Discrimination
- Rest and Meal Breaks
- Wage and Overtime
- Hostile Workplace
- Wrongful Termination
Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. The two types of sexual harassment that may occur at work are:
- Quid Pro Quo (“this for that”): When an employer offers an employee some sort of job benefit in exchange for a sexual act.
- Hostile Work Environment: When the employer’s sexually harassing behaviors have become repetitive and aggressive or widespread that an employee is unable to perform his/her job duties. Anyone within the company can file a hostile work environment claim, whether he/she is directly or indirectly a victim. In other words, an employee who is constantly being harassed by her manager to the extent that he/she is unable to perform his/her job duties is a direct victim. An employee who regularly witnesses another employee being sexually harassed can also file a claim, even though he/she has never been directly harassed.
If you feel like you have been sexually harassed at work, the experienced and knowledgeable employment law attorneys at Keosian Law LLP can help you seek justice against your employer. Contact us at (877) 554-2226.
Remember, visible injuries are not necessary to file a personal injury claim; for example, headaches resulting from traumatic or mild traumatic brain injuries are often times unnoticed immediately after a car crash. Emotional distress, lack of sleep, dizziness and anxiety are also common symptoms that may arise several days or weeks after an incident. The mere expectation of harm would also be grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent person.
It is not always obvious to tell whether you have been harassed or discriminated against in a way that would violate California employment law. As a general rule, the following can be considered harassment:
If your manager or boss requests a sexual favor in return for a promotion or raise. If your manager, boss, or even coworkers make inappropriate jokes or comments based on your ethnicity, gender, religion, or age, this also constitutes hostile work environment when it results in any reasonable person feeling intimidated, uncomfortable, or threatened in a way that negatively affects his or her employment.
Typically this conduct is severe and pervasive in nature.
It is important to note that just because your boss was mean to you does not necessarily mean you are a victim of a hostile work environment. Your employer’s conduct must violate the law based on the categories listed above.
Retaliation occurs when your employer takes adverse action against you, such as wrongful termination or a demotion, because you filed a report or complaint for harassment, unfair pay, unsafe conditions, illegal activities, discrimination, as well as against workers who request pregnancy leave, disability accommodations or medical leave, etc. Retaliation is illegal and your employer may be held liable. If you feel like you have been retaliated against, the experienced and knowledgeable employment law attorneys at Keosian Law LLP can help you seek justice. Contact us at (877) 554-2226.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act states employers cannot treat pregnant women differently because of their pregnancy. Pregnant women have the right to ask their employer to make reasonable accommodations for their disability. Employers can do this by temporarily giving you different/new job duties or adjusting your work schedule.
Pregnancy discrimination cases can relate to a pregnant woman’s right to maternity leave. Your employer shall not make unlawful demands related to your maternity leave. Employers must allow pregnant women to take the same type of leave as other temporarily disabled workers. Pregnant women are also protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act, which ensures every woman who goes on maternity leave spends time with her newborn. Pregnant women are allowed to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave. Fathers are also allowed twelve weeks of unpaid leave to bond with their newborn. If you choose to take an FMLA-related leave of absence, your employer must allow you to come back to work in the same or an equivalent capacity at the conclusion of your leave.
Examples of pregnancy discrimination include:
- Refusing to hire a pregnant woman
- Failing to attempt providing reasonable accommodations while pregnant
- Negative comments about the pregnancy or the need to take leave
- Failing to provide maternity leave
- Firing a pregnant employee
- Failing to provide a promotion due to pregnancy
- Harassment due to pregnancy such as insulting or intimidating comments
- Failure to allow an employee to return to her job after maternity leave
- Basing recruitment decisions based on pregnancy
- Changing employment expectations such as number of working hours
- Firing or treating an employee differently because they need to pump breast milk
- Harassing or inappropriate comments about the use of a breast pump
If you believe you are a victim of pregnancy discrimination, contact Keosian Law LLP at (877) 554-2226 to speak with our experienced and knowledgeable employment law attorneys.
The short answer is yes.
If you work at least 3.5 hours in a day, you are entitled to a 10-minute paid rest break.
If you work over 6 hours, you are entitled to a second 10-minute paid rest break.
If you work over 10 hours, you are entitled to a third 10-minute paid rest break.
If you work over 5 hours in a day, you are entitled to a 30-minute meal break.
If you work over 10 hours in a day, you are entitled to a second 30-minute meal break.
Please note you cannot be required to work during any required rest or meal break.