The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigated 91,000 complaints in 2016. Over 65,000 of these complaints were closed because of a lack of reasonable cause. The EEOC does an excellent job protecting the rights of workers across the country, but budget and resource limitations mean that it’s sometimes necessary to retain an employment lawyer to defend your rights. Below introduces federal employment rights that some employers openly ignore and violate.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination against specific demographic groups. These include age, race, gender, religion, disability and national origin. Screening, hiring and employment decisions cannot be influenced by any of these protected statuses. Some companies and HR managers hide their discriminatory actions through exaggerating problems, ignoring objective facts and unfairly treating certain people.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits harassment, but almost every state has its own laws regarding stalking and sexual harassment. For example, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing covers workplace harassment, but this state’s anti-harassment laws provide preferential treatment to employees. This is why victims of workplace bullying and harassment often have to seek the help of employment lawyers to deal with offensive and improper behavior.
Wage and Hour Laws
The Department of Labor oversees the Fair Labor Standards Act that guarantees the basic economic rights of workers. The federal minimum wage only applies if the state’s minimum wage is lower. While the federal law does not require employers to pay staff for any time off, Californian state law requires that they are paid overtime regardless of whether their work was authorized or not. This state actually entitles tipped employees to also earn the full minimum wage.
Almost all states define employment as being an at-will arrangement. This means that employees may be terminated for any reason at any time. Many unscrupulous employees illegally terminate employees for the wrong reasons, such as when a military or pregnant employee uses their FMLA leave rights. Construction and production companies sometimes terminate employees who are injured on the job performing dangerous tasks or working in unsafe conditions.
There also lesser known laws like the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Contact us today for legal assistance if your employment rights have been or are being violated by your employer.