Were You Wrongfully Treated by Your Employer? West Coast Employment Lawyers Is Here to Help!
At West Coast Employment Lawyers, we strive to achieve client satisfaction with every case that we handle. We aim to protect victims who experience workplace mistreatment whether it be from a co-worker, employer, or the Human Resources (HR) department. As we continue to achieve our objective of delivering favorable outcomes to each employment case we handle, we remain confident in our abilities of getting you the compensation you deserve.
To schedule a free consultation, reach out to our 24/7 legal team today by calling (213) 425-0115 or filling out our quick contact form.
What Are the Top 5 Mistakes Employers Make?
Employers are expected to take on the responsibility of maintaining a safe, welcoming environment for all employees. However, many employers have faced legal repercussions for going against California’s employment laws. Below, our knowledgeable employment attorneys have created a list of five common unlawful actions an employer has mistakenly committed in the workplace.
- An employer firing or demoting a pregnant employee after they return to work from having 4 months off, 12 weeks off, or both. An employer is required to allow a pregnant employee to have 4 months off under Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL). Once the employee returns to work, they must be given the position and pay they had prior to leaving. Now, if the employee requests to have an additional 12 weeks off under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and it is doctor certified, it must be granted. When the employee returns back to work for the second time, they are still automatically entitled to be given the position and pay they had prior to leaving.
- Out-of-state employers or the Human Resources (HR) department firing a California employee due to their request to have more days or weeks off after their FMLA leave of 12 weeks. Even if the 12 weeks expires, the employer is still required to reasonably accommodate a disability. Just because a leave exceeds the 12 weeks, it does not mean that an employer should immediately fire the employee. Instead, they should perform a case-by-case analysis under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) of reasonable accommodation. However, if the employee is not giving the employer an accurate estimation of when they plan to return to work after their 12 weeks are up, it will appear as an unreasonable request for an accommodation. An employee must not provide an infinite leave. If the employee is giving a certification where these are finite leaves beyond the 12 weeks, the employer must determine whether or not that is a hardship for them.
- An employer is not documenting the way they handle an employee complaint. If an employee is complaining about illegal activity in the workplace, that is a protected whistleblower. An employer is expected to initiate an investigation to determine what should be done to handle the situation. This includes asking employees for information, interviewing employees, or taking notes of the discussions the employer had with the employees.
- An employer failing to act reasonably when an employee brings a complaint about sexual harassment regardless of whether it is true or not. An employer is required to act quickly to handle this type of problem in the workplace. They should separate the employee who initially brought up the complaint and the employee that is alleged to be the harasser. An employer should also change the work schedule of both employees to ensure that neither of them are at the workplace at the same time. Lastly, the employer should conduct an investigation that includes witnesses. Throughout the investigation, the employer should document what is being said or done.
- An employer providing the incorrect amount of pay for a work-related task an employee has fulfilled. If an employer asks an employee to come to work to complete a work-related task, but changes their mind once the employee has arrived, the employer will be required to give the employee wages. If an employer asks an employee to drive somewhere for work-related purposes, and the employee is using their personal car, the employer will be required to pay them for the use of their car and the time it takes to complete the task. Compensation may also be provided to employees who use their phone for work-related duties.
How to Report an Employer for Committing Unlawful Actions
If you’ve been mistreated or discriminated against by your employer, you may be given the legal right to report the employer’s unlawful actions. As you are in the process of filing a job discrimination complaint, you will need to keep in mind of important factors that you should include in your complaint, such as:
- Your full name, address, and phone number;
- The full name, address, and phone number of the employer you are filing a job discrimination complaint against;
- A detailed summary of what the employer did to you and how you believe their actions were unfair; and
- The date and time of when the event(s) took place.
It is encouraged for victims of workplace discrimination to contact the EEO Counselor within 45 days from the initial date of when your employer began discriminating against you. The EEO Counselor will offer options, such as participating in EEO counseling or a meditation program.
If the dispute does not get settled in counseling or through the program, you will be given the opportunity to file a formal discrimnation within 15 days from when you were informed by your EEO Counselor on how to file.
After you have submitted your formal complaint, it will be assessed to determine whether the case should be dismissed. If it does not get dismissed, an investigation will go underway. This investigation will last 180 days from the initial date of when you filed a complaint.
To learn more details about the process of filing a complaint through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), you can visit their official site to access their guidelines.
You may also reach out to California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) to file a complaint. In your complaint, you will be expected to include the following:
- Detailed facts about when each discriminatory action took place;
- The name and contact information of the person you are being discriminated by;
- Documents or evidence relating to your situation; and
- Witness information, such as name and contact information.
You will be given three years to file this complaint. The statute of limitations will begin on the date of when the employer first began discriminating against you. Prior to filing a lawsuit in court, you will be required to get a Right-to-Sue notice by DFEH. DFEH will review the allegations to determine whether its laws may cover said allegations.
To learn more about the process of filing a claim with DFEH, you may visit their official site to get access to their instructions.