If you feel your civil rights have been violated in the workplace, you should contact an attorney specializing in Employment Law. The Employment Law specialists at the Ribera Law Firm represent victims of employment civil rights violations such as illegal workplace discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.
Illegal Discrimination and Harassment Against Employees with Protected Status
California law prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee based on their protected class status. Similarly, it is illegal for an employer to harass an employee based on their protected class status. You may have a claim for discrimination if you believe your employer has taken adverse action against you because of your membership in any one of the following protected categories:
- national origin/ancestry
- sexual orientation
- marital status
- medical condition
- genetic characteristics.
You should speak to an Employment Law attorney if you believe you were subjected to offensive conduct due to your membership in a protected category and such conduct resulted in a hostile work environment. You may be entitled to recover damages for lost wages, emotional distress and other losses.
Illegal Retaliation and Whistleblower Claims
A California employer may not punish an employee who has engaged in legally protected conduct, including:
- refusing to participate in illegal activities
- complaining to an employer or governmental agency about actions that are illegal under federal or state law, i.e. whistleblowing
- opposing illegal conduct such as discrimination or harassment
- participating in an investigation about a discrimination or harassment complaint
Being fired from your job, especially during the recent economic downturn, can be a very stressful experience. Not all terminations are illegal, but if you were terminated because of your protected status or retaliated against because you exercised protected conduct, your termination was illegal under California law.
There are two types of wrongful termination – actual and constructive. An “actual” termination occurs when an employer terminates or fires the employee. A “constructive” termination occurs when the employee quits because the employer’s illegal conduct was terrible, and the bad conduct continued even after the employer was notified had a chance to correct it.
If your workplace has become unbearable due to the wrongful and discriminatory actions of your employer or boss, contact an Employment Law attorney before you quit your job. If you quit before you have communicated with your employer about the illegal conduct, you may not have been wrongfully terminated under the law, and you may not have the right to compensation for the discrimination you have suffered.
Negotiation of Severance Agreements
During difficult economic times, many employees are laid off or terminated. Sometimes an employer offers an employee a severance package or settlement. If your employer offered you a severance package, they may have agreed to pay you a certain amount of money – provided you agree to all of the requirements in the severance agreement. Before you sign your rights away in a severance agreement, you should contact an attorney specializing in Employment Law. An Employment Law attorney at Ribera Law can review your severance agreement, answer any questions you have about the agreement terms, and negotiate with your employer on your behalf. Once you have obtained a beneficial settlement from your employer, you can move forward with peace of mind.
The Ribera Law Firm is focused on providing zealous representation to clients facing hostile work environments due to discrimination, harassment, retaliation or other illegal employment law situations. If you believe that you have been subjected to illegal conduct in the workplace, contact us right away.