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Employees in the United States are entitled to many workplace rights. While these can vary according to the state you live in, where you work, and the size of your employer, most workers are entitled to the following rights:
• The right to work in a safe and risk-free work environment.
• The right to work without being harassed and bullied.
• The right to maintain personal privacy.
• The right to work without being discriminated against on grounds of various factors such as your age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, marital status, pregnancy, and disability.
• The right to receive appropriate compensation for the amount of work you do. That means the minimum hourly pay that is prevalent in your state and overtime pay if you work more than 40 hours per week.
• The right to take time off from work for maternity or paternity leave and to attend the family illnesses and other emergencies.
Protecting your rights in the workplace
There are several things you can do to protect your rights in the workplace. Let’s look at some of them:
Discuss the matter with your employer
If your employer is violating any of the above rights, it is advisable to discuss the matter with them and find a way to resolve the issue. It is important to be well-informed about your rights before you go for the discussion, and, during your talk, you need to stick to the facts and present them in a calm, detached manner. Some employers may not be aware that they are discriminating against you and may take the appropriate steps to rectify the situation.
As companies are obliged to comply with the law and will face legal troubles if they don’t, few people will knowingly continue with the violations.
On the other hand, if the employer feels they have done nothing wrong, are not willing to negotiate with you, and continue to be antagonistic, you have the right to take legal action against them. By hiring a competent and reliable employment lawyer Los Angeles-based workers can sue their employer for workplace discrimination.
Collect evidence of discrimination
You need to back-up your claim of discrimination with documented evidence. That can include emails, messages, memos, recorded phone calls, recorded videos, and any other evidence you can collect. Just make sure that you have the legal right to access all the documents and recordings that you provide as evidence.
You can also get signed, dated statements from your work colleagues attesting to the discrimination against you that they witnessed. Additionally, you can gather employee handbooks and company policy statements that state the company’s stance regarding workplace discrimination. You can use these to point out the difference between the company’s stated policy and the ground reality.
Be mindful of the statute of limitations
When filing a workplace discrimination claim against your employer, you must be mindful of the statute of limitations for filing that particular claim. The statute of limitations depends on your location, the type of discrimination you faced, and the extent of the discrimination. For some discrimination cases, you must file a claim within weeks of experiencing the discrimination. For others, you can still file a claim after several years.
Contact a qualified employment lawyer
As the employment laws in California are complex and liable to frequent changes, it is advisable to consult a qualified employment lawyer before you take any legal steps. You can get a complimentary initial case evaluation where the employment lawyer will review your situation and determine if you have a strong enough legal claim against your employer. They will also inform you about the statute of limitations for filing your particular case.
If your case has legal validity and they decide to take you on as a client, they will carry out a thorough investigation of your situation. They will conduct and record interviews with your work colleagues and collect evidence to further strengthen your claim.
They will contact your employer and see if it will be possible to resolve the matter through negotiation. If that does not work, they will be prepared to take the matter to trial and represent you in court to get you justice.
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