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San Diego County Employment Law Blog

Your rights in the workplace

Imagine just graduating from college and getting your first job as a professional. You are at the bottom of the pecking order and you will have to work your way up. You anticipate endless days of fetching coffee, picking up dry cleaning, and making thousands of copies. However, simply because you are starting out does not mean that you do not have the same legal rights as more seasoned employees.

There are laws in place to regulate the employer-employee relationship. As an employee, you are entitled to a workplace that is free of discrimination. Furthermore, you have the right to a safe work environment and legal wage practices. If you have suffered due to a violation of employment laws, you should speak with an experienced attorney in the Carlsbad area. Read further to find out more about the basics of employee rights.

Proving and litigating a California gender discrimination claim

Gender discrimination is prevalent in virtually all California workplaces. In some cases, the discrimination is so subtle that it's difficult to prove. For example, imagine that you and a male co-worker are competing for the same job. You have the same qualifications, but he gets the job because he's male. This gender discrimination case will be harder to prove than one in which you were far more qualified than your male counterpart who ended up getting the position.

Alternatively, how about a case in which you suffered gender discrimination due to different clothing restrictions. Imagine that male employees can wear casual dress, but female employees must wear formal attire. This lawsuit might be relatively easy to prove with corroborating testimony from coworkers.

Is it time for you to file a disability complaint?

If you have a disability and you're employed, you may have had to overcome a lot of personal hurdles to stay competitive in your workplace. In addition, you might benefit from some workplace accommodations that could help you be more comfortable while at work and perform your job duties at a higher level.

However, what if you're not receiving the workplace accommodations to which you're legally entitled? What if, after numerous requests to your employer, you can't get the accommodations you need to be competitive?

Life in a wheelchair: Disability discrimination California

Living with a disability is hard enough without having to fight against those who discriminate against you. It's important that you get to work in a discrimination-free workplace where you feel comfortable and accepted. Employers should know better than to discriminate against those with disabilities. Your coworkers and supervisors should, too. If you've found you're living in turmoil because of harassment or discrimination, then your attorney can help.

4 signs you're being discriminated against for a disability

It is difficult to live with a disability for a number of reasons. First, you never want to struggle with a task, but you don't control the way your body functions. Your disability is out of your control, but that doesn't mean you aren't a valuable member of society or that your employer should treat you differently. Even though you're in a wheelchair, you have the same rights as others in the workplace. As long as you do your job as expected, you should receive the same treatment as others.

Sometimes, employers aren't fair, and that's a problem. It's against the law to discriminate against people with disabilities. You are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and you can make a complaint if your employer discriminates against you. Here are four signs that you may be a victim of workplace discrimination.

Does your boss need to accommodate your breast milk pumping?

For new mothers, returning to work presents unique hardships. In addition to the emotional turmoil that comes from leaving your new family member in someone else's care, you have to plan for their needs while you are at work.

If you are trying to provide your baby with breast milk, that may include regular pumping sessions during the day. Pumping breast milk allows you to save and store milk to nourish your infant without bringing him or her into your workplace every two to three hours. If your employer is refusing to accommodate your pumping, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

Will California's new anti-discrimination laws be effective?

California has enacted new wage discrimination laws. The state legislature designed the anti-discrimination rules to ensure that racial and ethnic minorities receive equal pay. The laws build upon a 2015 provision that prevents gender-based wage discrimination.

According to the new law, if you're an African-American working as a crane operator, your employer needs to pay you the same amount as Caucasian and Hispanic workers doing the same job. Still, the efficacy of both the gender-related and race-related legislation remains unclear.

Can you be fired for reporting sexual harassment?

You're proud of the work you do. You're a professional, hardworking woman, and you take your job and career seriously. Unfortunately, for far too many women in technology and science fields, among others, sexual harassment is a daily part of their work experience. The law protects you from this kind of hostile work environment. However, you may not want to make a report, fearing reprisal from your employer or damage to your career. If you are being mistreated at work, joked about, or otherwise harassed because of your gender, it's critical to take certain steps to protect yourself.

Can you be fired for reporting sexual harassment?

You're proud of the work you do. You're a professional, hardworking woman, and you take your job and career seriously. Unfortunately, for far too many women in technology and science fields, among others, sexual harassment is a daily part of their work experience. The law protects you from this kind of hostile work environment. However, you may not want to make a report, fearing reprisal from your employer or damage to your career. If you are being mistreated at work, joked about, or otherwise harassed because of your gender, it's critical to take certain steps to protect yourself.

Religious discrimination can start before the job does

A lawsuit between four Sikh truckers in California and a trucking company was settled recently, in favor of the drivers. The issue? The four men could not comply with two of J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc.'s hiring requirements: removing their turbans in public and pulling out hair samples to provide for drug testing. The Sikh faith prohibits both practices, so the observant workers had to choose between following their beliefs-or losing out on a job. They chose the latter, giving up recently acquired-and needed-positions.

In such cases, employers are required to accommodate a person's religious beliefs by offering a separate option to achieve the same result: different methods of drug testing are available (fingernail clippings offer the same historic information on drug use), In addition, turbans (or other head coverings) do not need to be removed in the presence of others-a reasonable accommodation must be made for anyone who states that a request conflicts with their religious beliefs.

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The Law Offices of Laura J. Farris

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