You know that what your employer is doing is not right, but you are not sure what to do about it. Staying silent will not help anything; it will only enable your employer’s dangerous or illegal actions, or your employer’s mistreatment of you and other employees, to continue. Perhaps you have even voiced your concerns to your work supervisor or the human resources department at your organization, but nothing changed, and maybe things even got worse. Whenever you see a news story about a court ruling or settlement in favor of an employee who suffered discrimination or reported their employer’s misconduct, the justice that the employee received was a long time in the making. Employment disputes play out differently than other types of civil lawsuits; it is not as simple as suing your employer for the financial losses they caused you to suffer and then having a judge decide how much your employer should pay you. There are specific procedures related to certain legal actions, such as notifying the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as a prerequisite to filing an employment discrimination complaint. The Irvine employee counseling lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP can help you navigate the laws and procedures related to your employment dispute.
Federal and State Employment Discrimination Laws at Work in Irvine
Employment contracts and employee handbooks are full of fine print about laws related to employment; these materials tend to spell out the names of the laws the first time they mention them and then refer to them by acronyms thereafter. You have probably heard of employment laws like the ADA and FMLA, but you most likely have not thought in very much detail about what these laws do unless you are trying to report workplace discrimination or employer misconduct. One of the first things the Irvine employee counseling lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP will discuss with you during your consultation is which laws are applicable to your situation.
These are some federal employment laws that your employment lawyer may cite or consult when advising you on how to resolve your employment dispute:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Code of 1964, which deals with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
- False Claims Act, which deals with whistleblower protections in qui tam actions
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
- Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
California has additional protection for workers; it is one of the most employee-friendly states in the nation. These are some California laws that delineate employees’ rights and protect against workplace discrimination:
- California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)
- California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
- California Domestic Violence Leave (AB 2337)
- California Small Necessities Law
- California State Disability Insurance (SDI) Program
- Silenced No More Act
Your Rights as an Employee in California
Federal and state laws guarantee workers in California the following protections and rights:
- Receiving fair compensation, at least the state minimum wage, which is $15 per hour for employees of companies that employ at least 26 workers
- Overtime pay in situations where a worker who gets paid hourly works more than 40 hours in a single week
- Filing workers’ compensation claims when they get injured at work
- Reporting safety hazards at their workplace
- Reporting illegal, unsafe, and unethical activities by their employers
- Filing formal complaints about discrimination in the workplace
- Voting in elections of public officials
- Participating in investigations about discrimination or misconduct by the employer
- Speaking publicly about discrimination by a former employer
It is against the law for employers to retaliate against employees for engaging in any of these protected activities.
How an Employment Counseling Lawyer in Irvine Can Help
When your work environment is plagued by discrimination, crime, or safety violations, it makes sense to do some of your own research about which laws your employer is breaking. Even if you read the websites of state or federal entities or long blog posts on the websites of employment law firms, it is very difficult to find out the whole story. You have everything to gain from an employee counseling attorney. When a statute related to employment changes, the websites of the Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will quickly update their content to reflect the newest version of the law.
Legislation is only part of the picture, though. Case law, which is to say court decisions, also plays a role in the outcome of future cases. Courts issue rulings every day, and employment lawyers stay informed about recent developments in case law. To give just one example of recent developments in case law, California courts have issued rulings in the past two years about employees missing work because of self-isolation and quarantine requirements after confirmed or suspected exposure to COVID-19. Your lawyer will know, through their experiences with their own cases, as well as through their knowledge of case law, how best to approach your case.
These are some of the problems that the Irvine employee counseling lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP can help you resolve:
- Breach of contract
- Employment discrimination
- Unpaid wages
- Wage and overtime disputes
- Sexual harassment
- Safety violations
- Whistleblower lawsuits
- Wrongful termination of employment
- Disputes over non-disclosure agreements and non-compete clauses
In order for your claim, complaint, or lawsuit, you will need to meet the deadlines that apply to the kind of action that you are pursuing. At the same time, you should not act too hastily, because you want to make sure that you have done your due diligence in gathering evidence. Both before you make contact with the Irvine employee counseling lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP and after, you can never be too thorough in documenting instances of illegal and unethical actions that you witness at your place of employment.
Contact HKM Employment Attorneys, LLP About Employee Counseling in Irvine
HKM Employment Attorneys, LLP can help you decide the best course of action if you have been a target of discrimination or mistreatment at work. Contact the employment lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP in Irvine, California to set up a consultation.