When you work for an organization that is involved in wrongdoing and decides to expose what is happening, you are protected against retaliation under whistleblower laws. Workplace retaliation legislation differs slightly from whistleblower laws, but they are often discussed interchangeably because they are so similar. These laws exist to encourage employees to report violations without fear of reprisal, so if you think your employer could be targeting you after you reported workplace issues, see a labor attorney. Here is what you need to know.
What is the difference between a whistleblower and workplace retaliation protection?
The difference between these two aspects of employment law usually comes down to scope. When a whistleblower reports an activity, the violation usually affects a large group of people. For instance, if a company is dumping waste illegally and an employee reports it because it could harm the entire community, that employee will usually be protected by whistleblower protections. On the other hand, if that employee files a complaint about discrimination or wage theft that only he or she is experiencing, workplace retaliation protections come into play.
What activities by employers are prohibited?
Generally, employees are protected from employers taking any kind of adverse employment action against them in the workplace. This can involve cutting their hours, cutting their pay, demoting them, passing over them for a promotion for which they are qualified, or terminating them. What counts as adverse actions and which employees are protected varies from state to state, and different courts can even interpret these terms differently.
What should I do if I think my rights are being violated?
If you think your employer is targeting you for adverse actions, contact an employment law attorney. This area of law can be complex, so it is important to choose an attorney with experience in whistleblower and retaliation cases. Keep a record of all of the incidents that you think could qualify as retaliation for your lawyer to evaluate.
Employee lawsuits are always a risk for a business owner. It is important to take steps to protect your company and your rights by contacting an employment law attorney in San Jose who can represent your interests. If you are the subject of a lawsuit, take these steps to protect your business.
When you find out about the lawsuit, don’t try to confront the employee or reason with him or her about the case, as you could inadvertently say something that jeopardizes your interests. If the employee still works for you, don’t terminate him or her. Contact an employment law attorney right away, so he or she can evaluate your case and determine the best steps forward. If you want to dismiss the employee, only do so under the strict guidance of your attorney. In many cases, employment lawsuits can be decided out of court through mediation, which your attorney can help you navigate.
Wage theft occurs when an employee is underpaid or denied overtime pay to which they are entitled. Because there has been an increase in reports of wage theft, employment law attorneys in San Jose, CA and beyond have filed an increasing number of lawsuits.
Watch this video to learn more about wage theft and why there is an increase in these disputes. Although most people think of wage theft as a problem for minimum wage workers, it actually occurs across industries and sectors and happens to middle-class employees as well. If you think you could be the victim of wage theft, it is important to consult with a labor attorney as soon as possible. In the interim, keep careful records of your hours and pay, as this information could have your labor attorney establish a pattern of theft if you do file a case.
Federal and state laws protect workers from a number of different forms of discrimination in the workplace, including gender bias. If you think that your employer is biased against you on the basis of your gender, contact a labor attorney in San Jose, CA right away. If your rights have been violated, you could be eligible for compensation. What can you do to fight back if gender bias has infected your workplace? Try these strategies to take a stand.
Know the Signs
Gender bias can take many different forms. In some workplaces, women are passed over for promotions because they are pregnant or may become pregnant in the future. Some workplaces use disparaging language that targets people because of their gender, creating a hostile environment. Sexual harassment can be another form of gender discrimination. Gender bias can creep into hiring decisions, scheduling, titles, and pay in ways that are both large and small. Being aware of the red flags of gender discrimination can be the first step in fighting it.
If you see gender bias in the workplace, speak up against it. Report co-workers to supervisors, or report supervisors to the leaders over their heads. If you can’t find someone in the company that you feel comfortable taking your complaints to, talk to an employment law attorney. Speaking up is effective whether or not the bias is happening to you, and whistleblower laws protect you from retaliation.
Keep Careful Records
Keeping careful records of instances of gender bias in the workplace is extremely helpful if you decide to contact a labor attorney. Every time there is an incident, write down the date, time, circumstances, and people present. This record will help you establish a pattern of bias and determine who may have witnessed the incidents, in case your attorney needs to call on them when building a case. Your records will also help you report incidents accurately, even after time has passed.
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