When it comes to your rights as an employee, complicated workplace situations can feel both confusing and impossible. You might not be sure if how you were treated was simply unfair or illegal. You might not have any idea what your rights are even if what your supervisor or coworker did was unlawful. Ultimately, despite being sure of your rights, you may still feel powerless to hold your employer responsible for your mistreatment. After all, you are only one person and your employer has a human resources department and a legal team to back it up. When you are dealing with any sort of employment situation that you know is wrong, contact a San Francisco employment lawyer to discuss your rights and legal options. There may be more you can do than you realize. Call Willoughby Brod, LLP today at (800) 427-7020 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation.Wage and Hour Violations
There are federal and California wage and hour laws that apply to various workers, including the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). If you are covered by these employment laws, and most hourly employees are, then they dictate many things, including:
- When an employer must classify you as an employee and not an independent contractor
- The minimum amount your employer must pay you
- How your employer should calculate and divide tips
- When your employer must provide you paid breaks
- What an employer can and cannot deduct from your salary
- When your employer must cover travel time
- When an employer can classify you as exempt from overtime regulations
- When and how your employer must calculate overtime
- How much your employer must compensate you for overtime
Common wage violations include your employer paying less than minimum wage, not splitting tips properly, not calculating overtime properly, and not paying the required higher rate for overtime. If you believe your employer is violating one or more hour or wage law, either under the FLSA or California law, call an employment lawyer in San Francisco today.Discrimination
There are both federal and state laws that protect you from discrimination. Under federal law there is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which protects against discrimination regarding race, color, national origin, religion, and sex. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), protects you from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, or military and veteran status.
Discrimination is illegal throughout the employment process, including the application and interview process, your employment duties and restrictions, your income and benefits, your ability to obtain training and promotions, and in regard to being fired or laid off. You cannot be treated differently, in a negative manner, or given fewer opportunities based on the characteristics above. If you believe you have been discriminated against by an employer, you should contact a San Francisco employment attorney at Willoughby Brod, LLP. Our legal team can guide you through filing an administrative complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If the administrative process is exhausted without you obtaining a fair outcome, we can represent you in filing a lawsuit against your employer.Sexual Harassment
Like discrimination, both federal and California law prohibits sexual harassment. The law recognizes that sexual harassment comes in a variety of forms. You may have been victimized in one egregious incident. For example, your supervisor may have cornered you and groped you in an elevator where you were unable to leave or call for help. Sexual harassment can also be far more subtle and pervasive. It may consist of looks, sexualized motions, and comments. It may consist of other coworkers, managers, and executives making you and other similar individuals feel uncomfortable by telling crude jokes, putting up inappropriate pictures, or watching porn at their work desks.
If you have been the direct victim of sexual harassment or you are one of many victims in a hostile work environment, immediately contact an employment attorney from San Francisco to discuss your right to file an administrative claim or lawsuit.Retaliation
If you make a complaint to management about a problem like not being paid overtime, discrimination from a supervisor, or a coworker who is sexually harassing you, or if you take your complaint to an outside agency or lawyer, your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you. You cannot be demoted, fired, or in any way treated negatively for trying to correct an unlawful act. If you are fired or retaliated against in some other way, contact a lawyer immediately.Wrongful Termination
Whether or not your employer can let you go with little-to-no reason depends on a few factors. If you are an at will employee, then your employer has a great deal of discretion in when to keep or dismiss you. However, your termination cannot violate the law in any way. For instance, if you are fired because of your religious beliefs or because you complained about not being given your proper breaks, this is a wrongful termination and you should speak with an attorney about your options.
If you are not an at will employee and instead, you have an employment contract, that official agreement dictates when you can and cannot be let go. If you believe you were fired in violation of your employment contract, contact a San Francisco employment lawyer today.
Our legal team at Willoughby Brod, LLP is ready to help you after suffering an unlawful employment situation. We will review your circumstances and advise you of your rights. We will also guide you through your legal options, such as filing an administrative complaint or lawsuit.