As a member of the workforce in the United States, you are afforded several rights, whether you know it or not. To start, you have a right to not be discriminated against. You also have a right to be paid in accordance with the Fair Labor & Standards Act. You also have a right to work in a reasonably safe workplace. These are just some of the various rights employees are afforded that are, unfortunately, so often violated. If you believe your rights as an employee have been violated in some way, please continue reading to learn more about the most common violations of employee rights and how a Los Angeles County employment lawyer can help you get the justice you deserve.
Five Common Violations of Employee Rights
Some of the most common ways in which employees’ rights are violated in the workplace are as follows:
- Discrimination due to age, gender, race, disability, religion, national origin, and more. Employees are protected from discrimination under both state and federal law. When employees are discriminated against, such as by being denied promotions, fired, or chosen not to be hired solely due to any of these protected characteristics, they may have a valid discrimination claim against their employer.
- Violations of wage and hour law. Most employees in the state of California have a right to be paid at least the federal minimum wage. Often, employees also have a right to receive overtime pay as well, yet are unfairly denied this pay when the time comes to collect it. If you believe your rights have been violated under the Fair Labor & Standards Act, you should strongly consider speaking with a lawyer who can fight for the pay you are owed.
- Sexual harassment in the workplace. Employees have a right to work in a non-threatening environment. Sexual harassment is treated as a form of discrimination, and if you are being sexually harassed, you likely have a right to bring a claim against your employer. It is worth noting, however, that to win a sexual harassment claim, you must prove the behavior is persistent (not a one-off) or the incident was so egregious that it constitutes legal action.
- Being unfairly retaliated against. When an employer reports wrongdoing in the workplace, he or she has a legal right to not face retaliation from their employer. For example, if you reported an incident of racial discrimination and your employer fired you or demoted you as a result, you likely will have a valid retaliation claim against your employer.
- Creating a hostile work environment. There are a variety of ways in which an employer can create a hostile work environment. For example, an employer could constantly harass an employee about their race or gender (even if the employer thinks he or she is just telling “jokes,”) thereby making the employee uncomfortable (to say the least) and unable to perform their daily duties. When a hostile work environment negatively impacts an employee’s performance, the employee likely has grounds for a claim against their employer.