Employers must often handle sensitive situations, such as downsizing or firing an employee, making promotion decisions, and dealing with business expense reimbursements. It’s all too easy for an employer to land in hot water under employment law, which is why employment lawyers are so important for the longevity of a company. At The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego , our seasoned employment lawyers provide companies in San Jose, CA, with the informed guidance and in-depth knowledge needed to avoid problems.
Our employment law professionals emphasize compliance with state and federal regulations and offer ongoing guidance as these regulations evolve. We can visit your place of business, meet your managers and employees, and develop personalized recommendations that suit your specific needs. Our many legal services for employers include drafting policies, procedures, and handbooks, implementing training programs, and drafting employment and severance contracts. In the event that your company does experience legal problems, our lawyers will represent your best interests.
Most employees are “at will” employees. This means that it is not necessary for an employer to have a reason to fire them. However, even at will employees may be fired for unlawful reasons such as discrimination. This is known as wrongful termination or wrongful dismissal . Under employment law an employee may bring a claim against a former employer for wrongful termination in the San Jose, CA area.
You were fired after exercising a legal right or responsibility.
Employment law affords employees the right to exercise certain legal rights and responsibilities without fear of reprisal from their employers. You may have been wrongfully terminated if you were fired after taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or from taking time off from work to vote. You are also protected from being fired for serving as a volunteer firefighter, being a member on a jury, serving as an election officer, or being a member of the National Guard, Army Reserve, or other armed services.
You were fired after refusing to commit an illegal act.
It is not lawful for an employer to fire an employee for his or her refusal to commit an illegal act. For example, a supervisor may be engaging in embezzlement from the company. He or she might ask you to set aside some of the funds in your own bank account in order to cover his or her tracks. The supervisor might even offer to let you keep a percentage in exchange for your participation. If you refuse to commit embezzlement and your supervisor fires you as a result, this is grounds for a wrongful termination claim.
You were fired after refusing sexual advances.
Men and women both may be victims of sexual harassment in the workplace. An employee cannot be fired for refusing unwanted sexual advances, either verbal or physical, or for refusing to tolerate sexual harassment.
You were fired in violation of your employment contract.
If you did have an employment contract and you were fired, consider having an employment lawyer review the document. It is possible that your employer fired you in violation of this contract. Even if you do not have an employment contract, you might have been wrongfully terminated if your employer fires you in violation of company policy or termination procedures.
Federal and state laws prohibit adverse actions in the workplace based on protected classes, such as age, sex, gender, disability, pregnancy, race, and military or veteran status. Employment law also prohibits discriminatory or retaliatory actions against an employee for exercising legal rights and obligations, such as serving on a jury. Unfortunately, despite these laws, discrimination in workplaces around the San Jose, CA area is still rampant. If you think you may have noticed possible signs of workplace discrimination , you have the right to contact an employment attorney to discuss the situation.
You have felt uncomfortable with interview questions.
Employees aren’t the only ones who are protected from discriminatory actions under employment law. Individuals who are interviewing for a job are also protected. Consider whether you were asked suspicious interview questions, such as those that might make reference to a stereotype about one’s race, religion, sex, or gender. It is illegal for a hiring manager to ask questions about a job candidate’s marital status, religion, children, pregnancy intentions, and national origin. Hiring managers cannot ask if English is a candidate’s first language, nor can they inquire about a candidate’s drinking habits. If you have been subjected to these types of questions, you might consider talking to an employment attorney.
Your responsibilities have changed unfairly or been diminished.
An employee who is being discriminated against might notice that his or her responsibilities have been suddenly diminished without just cause. For example, you may have previously had the job of conducting presentations at meetings, but now your employer has relegated you to the role of taking lunch orders. Conversely, an employee who is discriminated against might also suddenly receive demanding tasks that are virtually impossible to complete. This latter tactic is usually used in an attempt to prove that an employee is incompetent because of his or her race, sex, gender, or pregnancy status.
You have received unfairly poor reviews.
If you do your job well, fulfill all of your responsibilities, and otherwise excel within your position, it’s reasonable to expect that you would receive favorable performance reviews. If you do not, this may speak to discriminatory stereotypes in the workplace.
To avoid claims of wrongful dismissal, businesses in San Jose, CA, may need to exercise precautions before letting an employee go. Consider whether the employee has an employment contract. If so, it’s a good idea to have employment lawyers review the document and provide guidance on legal termination. If the employee does not have a contract, then his or her employment is “at will.” Under employment law, at will employees may be fired with good cause or for no cause at all.
However, as you’ll learn by watching this video, employment law does not permit the firing of an employee for discriminatory reasons. Some protected classes include age, race, and religion. The expert in this video also explains the legal rights that an employee may exercise without fear of being let go.