Employers tend to hold more power than the workers that they employ, so it is important for Orange County workers who have been wronged by their employers to seek the guidance of an experienced employment lawyer before determining how to address the mistreatment. Working with an attorney will help you to understand your rights and to take full advantage of them so that the “playing field” between you and your employer becomes more level.
Employment law covers a wide range of work-related offenses and challenges. When responding to discrimination or sexual harassment, retaliation or wrongful termination, and/or wage, hour, and contract disputes, having an experienced employment lawyer advocating for your rights can make the difference between successful resolution of the problem at hand and failure to obtain the justice you’re entitled to. After you’ve identified which workplace issue you’re struggling to navigate, you can schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced employment law firm to learn more about how to protect your rights and weigh your legal options. In the event that you choose to take legal action, an experienced employment attorney can help to ensure that your case is as strong as it can possibly be.
Discrimination in the Workplace
If you’ve been discriminated against as a result of your age, race, gender, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, ethnicity, or genetic information, it’s important to speak with an employment lawyer about obtaining a legal remedy for your situation. Discrimination is prohibited by state and federal law in hiring, workplace practices such as awarding promotions and setting pay scales, and firing. One of the reasons why it’s important to speak with an attorney if you’re experiencing discrimination is that it can be very difficult to prove your case on your own. Another reason is that this area of law evolves constantly. Speaking with an attorney who is informed about the latest developments in this area of law on both state and federal levels will give your case the best possible shot at succeeding.
Sexual Harassment and Hostile Work Environment Challenges
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and should be reported to an experienced employment attorney. If unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors are impacting your ability to do your job or are creating an unsafe and unwelcome work environment that has you thinking about quitting, you may need to take legal action. Taking legal action as a victim of sexual harassment serves two primary purposes. First, it allows you to seek damages and other forms of restitution that you may be entitled to. In this way, taking action helps to ensure that justice is done in regards to your personal situation. Second, it allows you to help prevent similar situations from occurring in your workplace again in the future. You may be afraid to speak up for fear of retaliation. Rest assured that consultations with attorneys are confidential. As a result, you can explore your legal options in a safe space. Also, should you choose to report sexual harassment internally or through legal action, you are lawfully protected from retaliatory actions on the part of your employer. An attorney will help you to enforce your rights accordingly.
Even when a worker is considered an “at-will” employee, employers are prohibited from firing workers for illegal reasons. It is exceptionally difficult to both prove and successfully fight an unlawful termination without the knowledgeable advocacy of an experienced employment lawyer, so if you suspect that you have been wrongfully terminated, it’s important to speak with an attorney as soon as you possibly can. Employers often try to limit their liability in potential wrongful termination cases by barring access to evidence, persuading affected workers to resign instead, and/or offering significant severance packages in exchange for a promise not to sue. If you’ve been fired unjustly, speak with an attorney before you sign away any of your rights or agree to resign. It’s critical that you understand all of your options before weighing each in turn and ultimately making an informed decision concerning how to proceed.
Wage and Hour Claims
Addressing a wage and hour claim successfully could involve negotiating with your employer, filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, joining a class-action, or filing an individual lawsuit. You won’t be able to determine the best course of action for your unique situation until you speak with an experienced employment lawyer. This area of law is extensive, so don’t make assumptions about your particular situation before speaking with an attorney. Too often, workers believe that they don’t have cause for legal action because they’re receiving a paycheck. Wage and hour claims encompass issues as varied as the timing of break periods, break times for nursing mothers, fair wages, overtime, unpaid wages, and the right to receive a timely paycheck. This area of law also protects specific classes of workers from mistreatment, including farm laborers and domestic workers. Connecting with an attorney will help to clarify your rights and legal options so that you can make the best possible decisions under your unique circumstances.
Leave of Absence Retaliation
When employers significantly demean, demote, or terminate a worker’s employment after they have taken a legally protected leave of absence, an employment lawyer can assist that worker in holding their employer accountable for unlawful retaliation. Unlawful retaliation often occurs after a female employee has taken legally protected maternity leave. She may be placed in a lesser position that isn’t equivalent to her previous position, docked pay, denied benefits, denied promotional opportunities, or she may be fired. However, maternity leave is not the only legally protected leave of absence after which workers may experience these kinds of retaliation. Workers may be entitled to either paid or unpaid leave for bereavement, disability, illness, jury duty, voting, caring for a sick loved one, providing testimony as a witness, caring for a newly born or adopted child, military service, or participating in a substance abuse program. If a leave of absence is legitimately taken and legally protected, employers may not retaliate against workers once they return to their job sites. If such retaliation occurs, an employment attorney can help workers to file legal action accordingly.
Contracts tend to govern the terms of most employment scenarios. If you’re having a contract dispute with your employer, you’re unsure of whether proposed contract terms are fair, or you’re unsure of what your rights are under a specific contract, an experienced employment lawyer can help to clarify your situation and can provide valuable guidance moving forward. Contracts are often put in place when individuals are hired and they are often drawn up when an employee is fired. Existing agreements may be altered when a worker transitions positions, is promoted, receives a raise, or the ownership of the company itself changes. As enforceable contracts are legally-binding documents, it’s important not to take their terms for granted. You need to understand their terms and your rights and obligations under them. Otherwise, you could suffer tremendous consequences from a lack of that knowledge. You don’t need to “speak contract” language to understand employment agreements and to benefit from them. You simply need to let an attorney evaluate them and answer your questions, ideally before you sign anything.
Preparing for a Consultation
If you believe that you can benefit from speaking with an attorney, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes to prepare for your confidential consultation with an experienced professional. First, write down any questions you may have about your situation. Don’t trust that your memory will be infallible when you’re in your meeting. Second, gather any documentation that will help your attorney better understand your situation. Contracts, evidence of mistreatment, pay stubs, etc. all help an attorney to provide you with personalized guidance. Finally, take a minute to think about what you hope to achieve from your meeting. Even if your objective is simply to “get answers to the questions I wrote down,” having your goals in mind will help to ensure a productive conversation.
Legal Assistance Is Available
Due to the power structures inherent in employer-employee interactions, employers often seem to have the upper hand in all matters. However, working with an experienced employment attorney in the wake of mistreatment or a dispute can help you to level the playing field. If you have been discriminated against, harassed, retaliated against, or otherwise mistreated, please schedule a consultation with an experienced employment lawyer at the Orange County Firm of Eldessouky Law today. Some employment law matters are very time-sensitive, so it’s important to seek legal guidance as soon as you possibly can. Once we’ve met with you, answered your questions, and learned the details of your employment situation, we’ll be able to begin aggressively advocating on your behalf. We take the opportunity to protect workers’ rights and to see justice done very seriously. We pride ourselves on a knowledgeable, compassionate, and detail-oriented yet efficient approach. We understand how valuable your time is and we will treat both you and your time with the utmost respect. Consultations are confidential and don’t obligate you to take any action whatsoever, so please don’t wait – call our Orange County office today. We look forward to speaking with you.