There are many different laws that govern employment and labor in the United States. These laws can include everything from sexual harassment and wrongful termination to minimum wage issues and workplace discrimination.
Employees who feel that they are being violated by their employers should seek legal advice immediately. This is possible by using the Citizen’s Advice service.
One of the most common types of workplace harassment is sex-based harassment. It is a form of discrimination that can be illegal and should be taken seriously by employers. This type of behavior can be difficult to prevent because employees have different views about what constitutes inappropriate language and actions in the workplace. Also, people may be hesitant to speak up because they don’t want to cause a scene.
If an employee is being harassed, they should report it to their supervisor or human resources department immediately. Then the company can investigate the issue and take appropriate action, such as a written warning or suspension.
Harassment in the workplace is considered unlawful if it occurs based on an individual’s race, religion, national origin, sex, or age and is so severe or frequent that it creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. It also is illegal if it results in an adverse employment decision, such as demotion, failure to promote or termination.
Wage discrimination, also called compensation discrimination or pay disparity, is the practice of paying different employees differently for the same work based on protected characteristics such as race, religion, sex (which includes gender identity and sexual orientation), national origin, disability, age, or education. Wage discrimination is illegal, and victims can recover significant back pay if they succeed in winning their lawsuit.
It is important to document instances of wage discrimination. Employees who experience a violation should keep detailed records of their encounters, including names and contact information. In addition, employees should alert their employers to the problem and request that they equalize the pay gap.
If an employer fails to do so, the employees should seek advice from a lawyer. The attorney will provide expert guidance and review the situation to determine if legal action is appropriate. The attorney will help the employees file a charge with the EEOC or an equivalent state agency. Getting this advice can prevent further harm and protect the rights of the victim.
Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation
Although the Supreme Court has made it clear that same-sex couples are guaranteed the right to marry in every state, sexual orientation discrimination still occurs in many workplaces. Fortunately, there are ways you can prevent it.
The first step is to keep track of any instances of different treatment. If the treatment is significant, you can make a complaint. Different treatment may include being overlooked for a promotion, being denied access to company facilities, receiving a negative performance review or even being fired.
You can also look into whether your employer’s anti-discrimination policies protect you from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. For example, if you are a member of a union, you may have the protection of a contract provision. In addition, local laws and federal law may offer additional protections against sexual orientation discrimination. You should be sure to consult a local employment lawyer for advice about what protections are available to you.
Retaliation occurs when employers discipline, reassign or otherwise treat employees negatively after they file complaints about discrimination, harassment or unethical conduct. It’s important to prevent retaliation because it can lead to costly legal action, loss of business and reputational damage.
The best way to prevent retaliation is to make sure employees are aware of the company’s code of conduct, policies and disciplinary procedures. Establishing clear reporting channels for employees to report misconduct is also beneficial. Companies should also ensure managers are following set performance management procedures and avoiding retaliation when deciding on promotions or demotions.
Retaliation can occur in many forms, including threats to the employee or their family; reduction of work hours or pay; transfer to another department or location; isolating or ostracizing the employee; mocking and false accusations. Gone unchecked, these little incidents can escalate into more serious incidents of harassment and discrimination. Nip the problem in the bud by educating workers on their rights and providing training for supervisors to recognize the signs of retaliation.Free employment law advice