Employees in California have various rights that employers must respect.
Unfortunately, employers don’t always act properly.
This can be more than just frustrating for employees – it can be financially damaging.
At Eldessouky Law, we understand that it can be difficult and frustrating when your rights as an employee are not respected by your employer. It’s important to remember that you have options and there may be ways to seek compensation for the harm or losses you have experienced.
California has strong labor laws that offer some of the broadest protections for workers in the United States, and it may be possible to file claims and seek justice in these cases.
In this article, we will discuss some of the key things to consider if you are thinking about suing your employer.
The Most Common Reasons that Employers are Sued
Employees sue their employers for a variety of reasons. A successful and warranted lawsuit typically involves some type of illegal action taken by the employer directed toward the employee.
Sometimes these violations are purely out of ignorance or a lack of awareness of the law.
Unfortunately, some employers willfully ignore their legal duties to employees and violate employee rights in the hopes that their actions will go unnoticed.
Our law firm handles all types of employment disputes and employment violation cases. Some of the most common reasons that employers get sued that we have seen include:
- Discrimination: Under both California & federal law, employees have the right to work in an environment free from discrimination based on a protected class. This includes discrimination based on race, gender, age (over 40), disability, religion, and national origin.
An employer can be held liable for discrimination if they treat employees differently based on any of these protected classes and it affects their employment status or working conditions.
- Wrongful Termination: If an employee is wrongfully terminated due to discrimination, retaliation from the employer as a result of lawful actions taken by the employee, or a breach of contract, this may be classified as wrongful termination. Wrongful termination is any firing of an employee due to illegal or unethical reasons.
- Harassment: There are a variety of harassment laws in place to protect employees from unlawful harassment in the workplace. This includes sexual harassment, racial harassment, and other forms of discrimination or hostile work environment.
Any employer who engages or actively allows harassment to take place in the workplace can be held liable and sued by their employees.
- Retaliation: As an employee, you have legal rights to bring complaints or grievances against your employer in good faith and without fear of retribution. Employer retaliation is defined as any negative action taken against an employee after they have made a complaint or exercised their rights in the workplace.
Any form of retaliation is illegal and can result in possible lawsuits being filed against the employer.
- Wage and Hour Violations: Unpaid wages or wage theft in California occurs when employers fail to properly compensate their employees for the hours they have worked.
Employers are legally required to pay employees for all of their hours worked and comply with state and federal wage and hour laws.
If an employee is not paid what they are rightfully owed, they may have the legal right to file a claim or lawsuit against their employer.
- Breach of Contract: When you began working for your employer, you likely signed an employment contract. This document outlines the terms of your employment, including job duties, pay rate, overtime, benefits, and more.
Sometimes an employer can violate the terms of the contract.
For example, an employer may fail to provide the benefits outlined in the contract or withhold wages from an employee.
If this occurs, the employee may have a legal claim against their employer for breach of contract.
Successfully Suing Your Employer: Proving a Violation of Rights
If you have experienced a violation of your employment rights, you know first-hand how wrong and frustrating it can be.
But you may be wondering if filing a lawsuit is the right thing to do.
Losing income, finding yourself in a position where you feel trapped, or being let go without cause or warning can be devastating.
While you may feel powerless, you do have rights as an employee and if those rights are violated, you may be entitled to seek legal action against your employer.
Your employer may have acted unfairly or unlawfully, and filing a lawsuit could be the best way to hold them accountable.
In order to set yourself up for the highest level of success in a case against your employer, you should consult with an experienced employment law attorney.
There are many different routes to take when suing your employer and an attorney will be able to guide you through the legal process and ensure that all of your rights are protected.
Your attorney can also make sure that any settlement or award reflects the full amount of damages you have suffered as a result of the violation.
A lawsuit is not always the answer when you have an employee-employer dispute. Sometimes these disputes can be handled by utilizing internal dispute resolution or filing a complaint with the state labor commission or another similar regulatory agency.
But when these routes have failed and you have suffered a severe violation of your legal rights, filing a private lawsuit may be the best course of action.
It is important to remember that while suing your employer can be emotionally taxing and stressful, it is often necessary to protect yourself and ensure justice is served.
Be Sure to Document Everything
When filing a lawsuit against your employer, it is important to have as much evidence of the violation as possible. You will need evidence to support your claim and build your case.
This means keeping copies and records of any documents or conversations that are related to the dispute in order to show that there has been wrongdoing.
These can include emails, text messages, performance evaluations, written warnings, and more.
It is also important to keep a timeline of events and make sure that you document any conversations or meetings with your employer.
Keeping a detailed journal of the events, including dates and times, can be very helpful if you decide to file a lawsuit. When in difficult situations at work, it can be tricky to remember the specifics, and having a written record will serve as evidence in your case.
Contact Eldessouky Law – Get an Answer as to Whether You Can Sue Your Employer
The California employment attorneys at Eldessouky Law are committed to helping employees recover full and fair compensation for violations of their employment rights.
We are here to help.
To learn more about whether you can sue your employer, contact us today and schedule a free consultation.
We will sit down with you to discuss the details of your case, explain your legal rights and options, and help determine the best way to proceed in order to protect those rights.