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Long Beach Employment Law Blog

How can you file a formal complaint at work?

Some people may feel as if they are no stranger to mistreatment. They may have grown up in difficult family situations or experienced bullying throughout their school years. You may have been among the many who looked forward to adulthood so that you could build a life of your own away from such negative environments.

Unfortunately, landing your dream job may not have had the effect you desired. In fact, a manager, a supervisor or your co-workers may have started mistreating you in various ways. Your employer may have passed you over for promotion for unfair reasons, like your race or gender, or your co-workers may have subjected you to harassing actions. Now, you likely wonder what to do about this wrongdoing.

Should workers' compensation cover mental trauma?

When a California worker suffers an injury on the job, he or she could be eligible for certain benefits. Through a claim filed through the employer's workers' compensation insurance policy, a worker may be able to secure benefits necessary to cover medical bills, a portion of lost wages and more. However, there are some who believe these benefits should also extend to individuals suffering from mental trauma from work. 

Some types of jobs, particularly those that expose employees to high-risk and high stress situations, can result in mental struggles. Post-traumatic stress disorder is more common with people who work as fightfighters, law enforcement and more. Many people think individuals suffering from these types of issues should be able to get workers' compensation benefits, providing them with support and time to recover. 

Is your employer discriminating against your religious beliefs?

Like many in California and elsewhere, your religious beliefs are important to you. While the practice of your faith may be a private matter, your beliefs may direct the choices you make in your daily life. Your religion is not something you turn off when you go to work, and while you may not openly preach your faith in the workplace, your beliefs may be obvious in your attire, your manners or your actions.

Despite laws protecting you from mistreatment based on your religious beliefs, you may still experience discrimination in the workplace. Religion is one of the classes protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and understanding what religious discrimination may look like may help you recognize if you are a victim of this violation of your rights.

Workplace discrimination because of hairstyle? It's possible

A California lawmaker recently proposed a bill that would provide protections for individuals who wear certain hairstyles in the workplace, primarily African Americans. If passed, the bill would prevent employers from implementing policies about acceptable hairstyles that many claim are a form of workplace discrimination. There are already federal laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace for people who wear afros, but the law does not currently extend to other hairstyles.

This bill proposes changes to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, extending protections to individuals who have protective hairstyles besides afros. Employers would no longer be able to enforce polices that may be discriminatory against individuals who wear braids, twists and locs. Current polices enforced by many employers are thought to unfairly impact people of color.

The FLSA and your right to fair pay

As a California employee, you have the right to fair pay, and you have the right to expect your employer to pay for you for the work you have done. It can be frustrating and financially stressful for your family to find that you are not receiving your rightful pay. If this is happening to you, it is beneficial for you to know how you can fight back. 

There are state laws in place that protect your right to fair pay, as well as federal laws. The Fair Labor Standards Act established regulations that ensure certain types of workers receive fair treatment regarding overtime pay, minimum wage pay rates and record keeping methods. There are certain types of employees who are exempt from the FLSA, and it is important to know your status.

Do you have concerns regarding workplace retaliation?

As an employee, you understand that you have certain standards you must hold yourself to while on the job. It is also important to remember that your employer must also uphold standards in regard to its conduct and treatment of employees. If you believe that your employer has treated you unfairly, you may wonder how serious your situation is.

In some cases, work-related treatment may seem unfair to one person, but the treatment is not truly unfair. Instead, the worker simply did not get what he or she wanted. However, in other instances, an employer may unjustly retaliate against an employee. If your employer has retaliated against you, you may have reason to file a legal claim.

How does the Age Discrimination in Employment Act protect you?

Older California employees may face various challenges in the workplace because of their age. If you are over the age of 40, you may find that you experience treatment that feels unfair or even discriminatory, and this may be because of your age. Workers of all ages have the right to a workplace that is free from illegal harassment and discrimination.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is federal legislation that provides certain protections for you as a worker age 40 or older. It may be in your interests to learn more about this act and the types of protections it provides you in your workplace. When you know your rights, you will be able to identify situations that may merit you taking legal action against your employer.

Discrimination and harassment have no place in a company

Every employer should have policies in place that make it perfectly clear that no employees should be harassed or discriminated against. Federal and state laws offer specific protections for some statuses, including a person's gender, race or religious beliefs. Other statuses are also covered, so all employers should ensure their workers know that discrimination and harassment aren't ever acceptable in the workplace. Many employers opt to issue full bans on those behaviors to help protect employees as well as the company.

Unfortunately, not all employees have a workplace that is actually free of these atrocities. When anyone in the business, including co-workers, supervisors, vendors or customers, harass employees or discriminate against them, the employees can take legal action. In many cases, they alert their employers to the problem and things get addressed quickly. Sometimes, it takes more than that.

Former TV producer sues for wrongful termination, 'blackballing'

A veteran television director who served as an executive producer (EP) on the NBC crime series The Blacklist has filed a lawsuit against multiple individuals and entities. He says he was fired from the show, which stars James Spader, over a false accusation that he "laid hands" on a camera assistant in an incident on the set last year.

The plaintiff spent several seasons as an EP on the show before he lost his job in February 2018. According to the lawsuit, "the alleged basis for [his] termination was simply a ruse to fire him without cause." He says that the camera assistant's claim that the EP got physical with him was never properly investigated and that it was the assistant who was the instigator in the incident.

How bad is the gender pay gap?

Despite decades-old laws and campaigns to raise awareness, little has happened to improve the pay gap between genders and among races. It doesn't seem to matter whether researchers look at high-ranking executives or food services employees, a significant difference remains between what a woman earns for every dollar a man earns in the same position.

You may feel grateful to have your position and to be working in a job you enjoy. If your industry has many qualified workers vying for a few promising positions, simply receiving an offer of employment may have been enough to prevent you from complaining that your salary is lower than someone else hired at the same time. However, even a few percent difference can add up over the years of a career.

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