A little over half of the states in the United States are confirmed right-to-work states. One of the major implications is that workers are not obliged to join unions.
The truth is that several attempts have been made to get California onto the list of right-to-work states. However, it has not succeeded as of the time of writing this article. But despite not being a right-to-work state, there are laws and regulations that guide the activities of employers, labor unions, and employees.
As a result, every one of these parties has a right to certain things and privileges. It is important to know these rights and insist that they are not violated. In situations when this happens, an employment attorney can come to the rescue. This article will discuss some situations that require the services of an employment attorney.
When Are the Services of an Employment Attorney in California Needed?
The legal services of an employment attorney in California can be needed for a wide range of reasons. These could be reasons that include wrongful termination of employment; discrimination in the workplace; when there are wage disputes; and retaliation for insisting on your rights. One after the other, we will review some of these reasons and a few others:
Wrongful Termination of Employment
No law in California states that an employee’s contract cannot be terminated. There could be legal and ethical grounds for doing this. However, this should only happen in the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
For instance, termination on grounds of discrimination or retaliation is wrong. For more on this subject, you can visit: https://www.usa.gov/.
Any employee that has reason to believe that his/her termination was wrong can call an employment attorney. This legal practitioner is supposed to carefully review the complainant’s report to see if it was a wrongful termination and take legal action (if necessary).
Discrimination in the Workplace
It is possible to be discriminated against based on your race, disability, religion, sexual orientation, age, and even gender. However, this does not make it right and all these forms of discrimination should not be tolerated.
Legal action needs to be taken to ensure that violators are brought to justice and that the harmful practice stops. You should reach out to an employment attorney for legal help if you are facing any form of discrimination at work.
There are two ways to legally address the situation if the attorney realizes that you have been discriminated against. It is either the legal practitioner who pursues legal action or walks you through how to file a formal complaint to the pertinent authority.
California is very particular about protecting workers’ rights. There are stringent labor laws for this purpose.
Wage and other workplace entitlements are some of the areas that these laws cover. For example, there is a minimum wage. Furthermore, time spent doing overtime tasks has to be paid for. Meal & rest breaks are also a worker’s entitlement by law.
Wage claims can even be filed personally by affected workers. You can check this article for information on how to do this. However, it turns out that having an employment attorney lawyer listen to your claim and submit your claim (if necessary) is a lot better.
For starters, this will ensure that there are no loopholes in the submitted claim. You are also likely to get a timely response because of the legal network of the attorney.
The decision to report unethical or illegal activities that happen in your place of employment is a brave thing to do. It should even be considered the right thing to do because you can be considered an accomplice if unethical or illegal practices are discovered.
However, a lot of employers are not going to make things easy for such employees thereafter. This is what is called retaliation as discussed in the point below. Besides reaching out to a lawyer if you are subject to retaliation, you can seek information on how to get whistleblower protection before things get out of hand.
It is advisable to work with an employment attorney that understands the local terrain for this purpose. For instance, you should reach out to a good and experienced employment lawyer in Los Angeles if your workplace is in Los Angeles.
Failure to Grant, or Retaliation for taking Family or Medical Leave
There are legislative acts and government-instituted programs that mandate employers to grant family and medical leaves to employees under certain conditions. For instance, the CFRA (California Family Rights Act) grants eligible employees the right to get as much as 12 weeks (of unpaid) leave.
Employees can take this leave and not worry about losing their job. There is also the PFL program (California Paid Family Leave) that even ensures eligible employees get some form of financial benefits during their leave.
You can reach out to an employment attorney if your employer refuses to grant you this leave if you are eligible for it. You can also contact an employment lawyer if you are facing retaliation for taking this leave.
A worker could be deliberately subjected to unfavorable employment actions as a result of certain actions. These are actions that were not wrong, but that the employer or senior colleague has decided to punish the worker for. Some of the known reasons for retaliation include:
- Insistence on one is right – Such as filing a wage claim for unpaid wages.
- Complaining about unfair work practices – such as the employer’s failure to protect a worker’s health and safety.
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is one of the government agencies that ensure workers are not subject to retaliation. For more information about this government agency’s stance on this subject, you can visit: https://www.britannica.com/.
Retaliation can come in the form of pay reduction, demotion, or even termination of employment (which would double as wrongful termination of employment). You should reach out to an employment attorney for legal assistance if you are subject to retaliation in your workplace.
Employees have rights under California laws. Employment attorneys can help ensure that employees are not denied their rights under California laws. This is why you should reach out to a good and experienced one if you think your rights have been violated.