Workplace Discrimination, Harassment, and Other Issues: Know Your Legal Rights
You have rights as a worker in California. When those workplace rights are violated, you can fight back. Call Eldessouky Law at (714) 409-8991 to speak with a Riverside employment lawyer about your issues you may be facing in the workplace.
You choose to live and work in Riverside for a reason – the beautiful weather and an abundance of opportunities. This area is full of activities for residents to enjoy, such as Fairmount Park and March Field Air Museum. While you probably enjoy living and working in Riverside, your life can quickly be upended by a bad employment situation.
For instance, if you lose your job for the wrong reasons, your world could be wrecked unfairly. As an employee, it can be difficult to have your voice heard. Employers tend to pull the strings in the relationship. But you do have an outlet for fighting back against mistreatment at your workplace. You can get help from an employment lawyer.
A Riverside employment law attorney at Eldessouky Law can provide you a case evaluation as well as explain your legal rights. If your employer broke laws or treated you unfairly, you may be entitled to compensation.
Labor and Employment in California: What Are Your Rights?
Employees in California are mostly at-will workers, so you can be let go with little or no reason. While you can’t get back at an employer for letting you go in all cases, you can go after one that has broken California or federal law.
You do have rights, and it’s important for all workers to know what their rights are. You should be able to identify when an employer has broken the law. That way you will know to get help from a Riverside employment lawyer.
Here are some of the main rights employees have in California:
- The right to privacy.
- The right to safety in the workplace.
- The right to not be discriminated against in the workplace.
- The right to a work environment free from harassment.
- The right to fair wages, including minimum wage and overtime pay, if applicable.
- The right to take some time off from work to spend time with your loved ones.
- The right to take time off to care for someone who is sick, to take care of you, or to spend time with a new child.
Suing for an Employment Law Violation
When one of the above-listed rights has been violated, you have every reason to seek recompense. For instance, if your employer violated your privacy, you could sue for compensation in the form of damages. Here are some of the other reasons you could sue your employer for violating one of your rights or breaking the law.
Safety in the Workplace
You have the right to a reasonably safe work environment. Some jobs are riskier than others, but your employer must do all in their power to make your workplace as safe as possible. This includes implementing safety procedures and policies, and ensuring these policies are followed.
If your employer does not make your working environment safe, you could sue for a personal injury. You could be owed compensation for your injuries and related losses.
Discrimination in the Workplace
California has done a lot to ensure that workplace discrimination becomes a thing of the past, but we are not there yet. Employers don’t always follow anti-discrimination laws. If you’re a victim of workplace discrimination, you could sue your employer for the way this illegal behavior has impacted your life.
What is workplace discrimination? This type of behavior includes treating a person unfairly in the workplace based on certain characteristics, which is illegal under California law. The law sets out which characteristics are protected.
For instance, it’s not technically illegal to discriminate against someone based on their shoe size, though that would still be wrong, but it is illegal to discriminate against someone for their age.
Here is a list of traits an employer cannot consider when making decisions about employment:
- Gender, gender identity, gender expression
- National origin
- Sexual orientation
- Marital status
- Religious affiliation
- Military or veteran status
- Medical condition
Do you believe you’ve been discriminated against at your workplace? For example, if you believe you were wrongfully terminated, you could have a case for discrimination. Maybe you believe you aren’t being promoted because of discrimination.
Learn more about how to fight back against workplace discrimination by talking with a Riverside labor and employment lawyer.
Harassment at Work in California
In addition to workplace discrimination, harassment is also illegal behavior. Being harassed at work can create a hostile work environment, and no one should have to put up with that. Harassment is any type of behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable, threatened, unsafe, or abused.
Many different behaviors could fall under the label of harassment. For example, if someone were repeatedly taunting you at work for your race or for a disability, this behavior would likely be classified as harassment. Sexual harassment would also fall under workplace harassment, and this behavior is unacceptable.
No one should feel scared or threatened at work. You should know that you have every right to take action against an employer that allows harassment to take place. Your employment law attorney at our firm can help you hold your employer accountable. We will fight for your right to a safe and secure work environment.
Here are a few more examples of harassment in the workplace:
- Teasing or taunting
- Inappropriate jokes
- Unwanted touching
- Violence or threats of violence
Wage and Hour Violations
Most laws are brought about because of abuses committed in the past. For instance, workers were once forced to work extremely long hours for unfair wages. They couldn’t complain because they would lose their jobs if they did.
California and federal laws have been enacted to protect workers from unfair treatment. You deserve to have a good work-life balance and not be worked to death. You also deserve to be paid fairly for the hours you work.
If you work beyond a 40-hour workweek as an hourly worker, you deserve to receive time and a half (overtime). Workers who are not paid fairly or are forced to work overlong hours can find justice through a lawsuit.
A Eldessouky Law labor and employment lawyer in Riverside can help you figure out if your rights were violated. You could recover wages and penalties for illegal behavior on the part of your employer.
While there is no current California law that requires employers to provide vacation time to employees, they could be in breach of employment contracts if they don’t provide vacation time to those they promised it to. If the employer has a policy that includes vacation time for employees, they are obligated to fulfill their promises.
For instance, if company policy states that you are to receive ten days of vacation time a year, the employer could get into hot water if they later deny you those days.
Your lawyer at Eldessouky Law can look at your employment contract to see if your employer violated the contract. You could be entitled to vacation pay. Learn more by reaching out to an employment law attorney in Riverside.
Family and Medical Leave Act and California Family Rights Act
Another right that you have, which your employer can’t take away, is the right to take time off of work to be with your family under special circumstances.
For example, you can take time off of work under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) when you are ill or battling a serious disease. You can also take time off to care for a family member who is sick. In addition, you are permitted to take time off of work to bond with a new child, such as a newborn or a newly adopted child.
The California Family Rights Act also offers similar protections. Eligibility requirements must be met, such as the requirement that you have worked for your employer for at least twelve months before you can take family leave.
If you’re unsure whether you qualify for leave, you can talk to an employment lawyer. If your employer is denying you access to benefits you’re eligible for, your lawyer can work to get you those benefits. Benefits include wage replacement payments to help you live while you’re unable to earn an income.
Riverside Employment Law FAQ
When you believe that you have been legally wronged at work, you have every right to take action against those who’ve wronged you. Employers should be held accountable when they violate employees’ rights. Your case could help you receive just compensation, and it could also prevent the employer from violating the rights of others.
If you have questions about a labor or employment law matter, reach out to our office.
Here are a few answers to commonly asked questions.
How can I prove discrimination at my workplace?
Does California allow non-compete agreements?
Can I sue my employer for retaliation?
Can an employment lawyer really help me?
Can an employer fire me without warning?
Contact an Employment Law Attorney in Riverside, California
Your job is more than just a job to you—it brings meaning to your life and provides income for yourself and your family. You need your job, but you also need your job to be a safe and nurturing environment. When an employer breaks faith with an employee, the employee could have a cause of action against them.
If you are unsure if you have an employment law case, you can find out easily by talking to a lawyer during a free case assessment. Call a Riverside employment law attorney at Eldessouky Law. Dial (714) 409-8991 or fill out the contact form on this web page.