Estimated Time to Read: 3 minutes
Legally speaking, every employee has the right to work in an environment free from harassment, discrimination, and retaliation from their colleagues, supervisors, and employers. Unfortunately, things don’t flow as smoothly in real life and you may find your rights being violated in your workplace.
Here is what you need to do if you are a victim of employment discrimination:
Understand your legal rights as an employee
Look up the California State employment law and employment-related federal laws to know about the rights you have as an employee. While the California state employment law is complicated and constantly evolving, it provides many important rights to employees. You are entitled to work in a safe work environment, be paid fair wages, get reasonable work breaks, and not be subjected to any form of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.
And, although California follows the ‘at will’ rule where employers can fire employees without offering any cause or justification and employees too can resign without providing any concrete reason, you may have a wrongful termination claim if your employer breaches your employment contract or is retaliating against you for complaining about your mistreatment.
The federal law Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which applies to employers with 15 or more employees, prohibits them from discriminating against you based on your age, sex, religion, race, and national origin. If you are over 40, you are protected against discrimination by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act federal law.
If you are disabled, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires your employer to make reasonable accommodation for your disability and not discriminate against you. There is also the Family and Medical Leave federal law that allows you to take time off to take care of personal or family medical needs.
Get a copy of your company’s employee handbook and read its anti-discrimination policy. You can also use that as leverage to protect your rights as an employee.
Speak to your employer about the discrimination
Many people, including the employers, in your workplace, may not even be aware of the legal repercussions of employment-related discrimination. However, there is no reason for you to put up with the abuse, and you should take proactive steps to put an end to it. Let your employer know that the workplace conduct you are being subjected to is unacceptable and illegal, and remind them that they are legally obliged to take concrete steps to prevent discrimination in the workplace.
Ask them for a written report of the incident and to investigate the matter. They should also take disciplinary action against the offenders.
Collect evidence of employment discrimination
To bolster your accusation of discrimination, it will help to keep an exact record of the incidents of discrimination. You should write down what happened, when it happened, where it happened, and who was present. If you can, you should also gather evidence in the form of discriminatory and offensive notes, images, emails, voice recordings, and video recordings.
Find a competent employment attorney
If you feel that your rights are being violated, the first thing you should do is contact a reputable employment discrimination attorney in Hollywood and have them assess your case. It is important to find someone who specializes in employment law.
It will help to inquire if the employment discrimination attorney in Hollywood is willing to evaluate your case on a complimentary basis. That means, they won’t take any fee from you for the initial consultation. Some attorneys also accept cases on a contingency basis, which means they will accept payment from you only after they win the case for you. If they don’t manage to win it, you don’t have to pay them the attorney fees, although they may charge you other incidental fees.
If your rights are indeed being violated in your workplace, the employment discrimination attorney in Hollywood will represent you and find a solution that is fair to you. Depending on the circumstances, they may negotiate with your employer to reach a settlement and get you appropriate compensation. Or, if that is not possible, they will be ready to take the matter to court, present the evidence on your behalf, and get you the justice you deserve.
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