Employment laws are some of the most difficult and complex ones to understand, and because of this, many employees are unaware of their rights. In some cases, this can make it difficult for workers to know when their rights get violated and when they need legal protection or representation. To help, learn how to tell when it’s time to talk to an employment attorney.
The law defines workplace discrimination as the differential treatment based on certain traits and characteristics such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or disability, as well as pregnancy status. For example, asking questions about any of these traits during the hiring process is illegal and discriminatory. The only time this is legal is if the characteristics directly affect or impact your ability to do the job, but this is rare and usually must get proven in court. For instance, if your disability directly impacts you from doing the lifting required in a construction job, you may not get considered for that position.
Workplace harassment can take many forms but is generally defined as unwelcome, threatening, pervasive, or offensive behavior. This can be sexual, discriminatory, physical, or verbal, but if you feel bullied or are fearful at your job, a court will likely consider it harassment. Remember that your employer is responsible for maintaining a safe work environment for you and all other employees.
If you aren’t paid what you agreed upon in your contract or aren’t paid authorized overtime, you are entitled to take legal action for unfair pay. Additionally, if your employer forces you to work unpaid hours off the clock, doesn’t give you paid sick leave, or doesn’t pay you for the work you do, it’s best to get legal representation as soon as possible. These are examples of wage theft, and you deserve fair compensation for your labor.
Ultimately, if you feel unsafe at work for any reason, it’s time to talk to an employment attorney. It’s the best thing you can do to protect yourself and receive the representation you deserve as well as potential compensation.