As workers, we expect our employers and colleagues to treat us with respect at all times, creating a working environment that is safe and welcoming. When an employer oversteps a boundary or violates employment laws, it can feel like a significant betrayal. In these uncomfortable situations, workers may feel lost and unsure of what to do, perhaps fearful of pursuing legal action while knowing what happened to them was unacceptable. Fortunately, the law is clear about what employers are and are not allowed to do and which types of misconduct warrant pursuing a legal claim. Talk to an employment law attorney from Mara Law Firm today to see if you can sue your employer.
Employees in any workplace possess fundamental rights and protections enshrined in law. These rights are designed to ensure fair treatment, safe working conditions, and equitable compensation. Some of your irrefutable rights as an employee include:
Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, and disability. These laws aim to foster inclusive and diverse work environments.
Employees are entitled to work in an environment free from any form of harassment, whether it be sexual, verbal, or visual. Employers have a responsibility to address and prevent such behavior.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets standards for minimum wage, overtime pay, and recordkeeping. Employees must receive fair compensation for their work, with special provisions for overtime hours.
Employers must provide a safe and healthy work environment. This includes conducting regular safety inspections, addressing potential hazards, and providing necessary safety equipment.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for specific family or medical reasons without the risk of job loss.
Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities to ensure they can perform their jobs effectively. This could involve modifications to the work environment or job duties.
Employees can report illegal activities or wrongdoing within their organization. Whistleblower laws shield individuals who act in the best interest of public safety and ethics.
Employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy in certain aspects of their work, such as personal belongings, communications, and, in some cases, even social media accounts.
It is unlawful for employers to retaliate against employees who exercise their rights, such as filing a complaint or participating in a workplace investigation.
In employment law, various situations may warrant legal action against your employer. Before filing a claim, workers should identify whether a situation constitutes a clear legal violation. This is the foundational step in determining the viability of a potential case against your employer.
When suing an employer, all states have a statute of limitations. These statutes limit how long a claimant can wait after an offense occurs before filing a claim. In California, the statute of limitations for suing an employer typically varies depending on the specific nature of the claim. Here are some common examples:
In the complex landscape of employment law, there are instances where employers may be granted exemptions or immunities from certain types of lawsuits. These protections are typically rooted in specific conditions, such as government affiliations or industry-specific regulations. Understanding when and why employers may be shielded from legal action can help determine whether you can still pursue legal action.
In some cases, employers who are government entities, such as state or federal agencies, may be shielded by the doctrine of sovereign immunity. This legal principle generally protects governments from being sued without their consent. However, it’s worth noting that there are exceptions, and consent to be sued can sometimes be granted under certain statutes.
Because non-profit and charitable organizations are viewed as playing vital roles in society, they often enjoy specific protections under the law. These entities may have limited liability or be subject to unique legal provisions that can influence their exposure to certain types of lawsuits.
Certain industries, such as healthcare or public utilities, may be subject to specialized regulatory frameworks. These regulations can impact the legal liabilities of employers within those industries. For example, in the education sector, educational institutions may be afforded certain legal protections related to educational policies, academic decisions, and disciplinary actions, or they may implement a structured process for handling employment disputes.
Employers who provide workers’ compensation coverage generally receive immunity from direct lawsuits by employees for workplace injuries. Workers’ compensation is designed to provide a system of benefits for injured workers, and in return, employers are protected from personal injury lawsuits related to workplace accidents.
Employers who have negotiated collective bargaining agreements with labor unions may have specific provisions addressing dispute resolution and legal remedies. These agreements can sometimes provide exemptions or limitations on certain types of lawsuits.
Employers may require employees to sign arbitration agreements as a condition of employment. These agreements stipulate that disputes between the employer and employee must be resolved through arbitration rather than the court system. In such cases, the employer may be immune from certain lawsuits.
If you believe your rights as an employee have been violated, your voice deserves to be heard, and the dedicated team at Mara Law Firm is here to ensure it is. Our skilled employment attorneys stand by to review your case and explore your legal options. Call us now for a free consultation, and let us help you take the first step towards reclaiming your rights and holding your employer accountable.
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Mara Law Firm ClientSan Francisco
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