Work is work. And for that very reason, Washington employees should not have to deal with additional headaches during their days at the office. But the sad reality is that workplace harassment, discrimination, illegal pay practices and other illegal employment activities happen all the time in the state of Washington and throughout the nation.
With this reality in mind, Washington employees should be aware of things they can do to handle these situations. Although you should never have to deal with illegal workplace scenarios, here are our top four tips on how to handle legally questionable employment situations in Washington.
1. Take a moment to think about it: Tensions can be high after a long week at work. If there are instances at work that make you questions whether or not they are legal, make sure you step back and think about it. Give yourself some time to calm down from the initial shock of the encounter. It is always better to react and analyze a situation with a clear head. If you decide to speak with your boss or human resources department about the issue, you will be able to remain composed (hopefully) while you ask questions and express your concerns. You do not want to get into a situation where you are doing and saying things that can be used against you.
2. Go to the source: In some Washington employment scenarios, speaking with the person that can make the change you are looking for is all you need to do to get the situation resolved. For instance, if you notice that you were not paid the correct amount of overtime from the last pay period, ask your boss if there was an oversight. This non-confrontational way to approach things is usually the quickest way to handle the situation and works well for single incidents rather than behavior patterns. Additionally, if the issue turns out to be a mistake or something your company wants to fix immediately, your superiors will appreciate your willingness to communicate with them directly.
3. Check out our website: Or a book that provide a general overview of the employment law violation you are concerned about. We have a lot of great material on our website that gives a broad explanation of many of the illegal employment scenarios you may run into during your professional career. Whether or not you have a case is something a lawyer should help you determine but doing your research may help you better communicate with your company (if you choose to follow tip #3) and also know what to look out for!
4. Get in touch with a Washington employment attorney: lawyers specializing in Washington employment law have probably seen your case (or a very similar one) before and can advise you on all your legal options as well as recommend a course of action.