The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego offers comprehensive employment law advice in San Jose, CA. Our labor attorney works closely with employers to conduct a thorough assessment of local companies and their unique compliance issues. Every company, whether large or small, should have a comprehensive employee handbook that details the company’s policies regarding training and other matters. With our reliable employment law advice, your company can adopt an easy-to-understand and legally compliant handbook of policies.
One area in which companies may run afoul of federal and state laws is the availability of training opportunities. That is, training events and other professional development opportunities cannot be denied to a particular employee on the basis of a protected class. Our labor attorney can help your company develop fully compliant training policies for other areas as well, such as policies that require all employees to undergo training on recognizing and preventing workplace harassment and other forms of discrimination.
Working and earning a living can be an empowering experience. Unfortunately, not all employees work for employers who treat them fairly and equally, and in a manner that is compliant with federal and state law. Workplace retaliation is a violation of employee rights, but it still occurs all too frequently. If you suspect you have been the victim of unlawful termination or some other form of workplace retaliation, it’s in your best interests to speak with a labor rights lawyer in San Jose, CA. Your attorney can advise you of your legal rights and thoroughly investigate the matter to uncover any existing evidence.
Understanding Protected Activities
As your labor rights lawyer can advise you, employees have the right to engage in certain activities. An employer cannot retaliate against an employee for engaging in these protected activities. For example, employees are lawfully able to exercise their Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) rights without retaliation from their employers. Protected activities specifically include filing an EEO claim, being a witness in an EEO claim, facilitating an EEO investigation, and refusing to carry out directives that would involve a discriminatory action. Other protected activities include discussing harassment and other forms of employment discrimination with a supervisor, requesting salary information for the purpose of identifying discriminatory wage practices, resisting and preventing sexual advances, and requesting workplace accommodations for a religious practice or because of a disability. Retaliatory actions taken on the basis of these protected activities are strictly prohibited.
Identifying Forms of Workplace Retaliation
When you visit a labor rights lawyer, he or she will need the details of the protected activity you engaged in and the retaliatory acts that resulted. One fairly obvious sign of retaliation is being fired shortly after filing an EEO claim. However, wrongful termination is certainly not the only type of retaliation that an employer may use. It is also unlawful for an employer to give you an increased workload, unfairly deny you a promotion or raise, unfairly deny training opportunities, or give you undeserved negative performance reviews solely in response to participation in a protected activity.
Running your own business might be your version of the American dream, but as every employer quickly discovers, legal problems can be a nightmare. Protect your business and your reputation by proactively seeking employment law advice before these problems develop. Talk to an employment lawyer in San Jose, CA, about how you can reduce the risk of lawsuits filed by employees.
Stay on Top of New Legal Requirements
Employers usually have their hands full. If you aren’t contacting your vendors, you’re probably busy creating the next marketing campaign. There is little time for employers to stay abreast of changing legal requirements that apply to their businesses. Yet, failure to comply with all applicable legal requirements is a costly mistake; penalties may be levied when violations are discovered and employees who feel they have been wronged may file lawsuits against the company. The most effective way to protect your business is to retain the services of an employment lawyer. Consulting a lawyer on an ongoing basis will allow you to quickly learn the nuances of changing regulations that affect your business without having to invest hours into the research process.
Create a Comprehensive and Compliant Employee Handbook
An employment law attorney is an invaluable asset for your company. There are many other ways that hiring a lawyer can protect your company from employee lawsuits. He or she can work with you to develop an employee handbook that specifies legally compliant company policies, regulations, and procedures. Companies that lack an employee handbook run the risk of being sued because of workplace harassment or discrimination. Your employee handbook should include information about the most current federal and state employment laws such as anti-discrimination regulations. It should also clearly state the company’s policy of zero tolerance for sexual harassment and other unacceptable actions.
Establish Internal Procedures for Investigative Actions
It isn’t sufficient simply to inform your employees of employment laws and company policies. Your labor lawyer can also help you develop a procedure for investigating complaints internally. Many employee lawsuits could have been prevented if the company had this procedure in place and adhered to it. Employees are more likely to consider litigation if their employers fail to address their concerns.
Employment law is subject to change from time to time, which is why it’s in a business owner’s best interests to retain the services of a labor attorney in San Jose, CA. A labor attorney can provide invaluable employment law advice regarding compliance with current regulations such as California’s relatively new paid sick leave law.
You can hear more about mandated paid sick leave by watching this brief video and talking to an employment lawyer. The professional featured here explains that the law applies to nearly all employers—both large and small—and to both exempt and nonexempt employees. Not only are employers required to provide paid sick leave to their employees, but their employees have the right to decide when to use it.