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El Segundo Employment Law Blog

Explaining whistleblowing as it pertains to the workplace

Being labeled a whistleblower is not necessarily a bad thing. It is also not necessarily a good thing. Why? If you are considered a whistleblower in an employment setting you could wind up being the victim of workplace discrimination if your employer retaliates against you. Let's take a look at whistleblowing and what it means for the workplace.

When you decide to become a whistleblower it's because you are informing the public or the authorities about wrongdoing that is happening at your place of employment. Some of the most common activities that are brought to the public eye include bullying, harassment, violations of the health and safety codes, unethical practices, fraud, embezzlement, discrimination, cover-ups and more.

How employers can track your hours worked

Tracking hours worked is a task that many employees wind up having to do when it should be the employer who handles it. Why? Employers are required to track the hours worked by their employees, so they make the appropriate payments, including overtime payments to employees who are eligible. Let's take a look at how employers can track your hours.

Employers should be the ones tracking employee hours. Even though the employee might be required to clock in and out using a time clock application or another piece of software, all of the tracking on the back-end should be done by the employer. The employee should only have to worry about clocking in and out and nothing else.

Be on the lookout for these signs of workplace sexual harassment

When you go to work in the morning you don't expect to be the victim of sexual harassment. The sad fact, however, is that even with laws and procedures in place to protect employees, it still happens.

Sometimes, people don't even realize that what they're experiencing is sexual harassment. You need to be on the lookout for the following workplace sexual harassment signs in order to protect yourself and your co-workers.

Does free speech extend to the workplace in the private sector?

You have been told you have a right to free speech your entire life. When you use it at work and it conflicts with your boss, though, you get fired.

You feel like it's unfair. Is it a wrongful termination? Have they violated your rights? Is it an illegal retaliation by your employer?

How can I negotiate my severance package?

If you have reason to believe that you may have your employment terminated in the near future, it is important that you look into your work contract to understand your right to a severance package. While no-one wants to be laid off, a severance package can make a bad situation a little easier to deal with.

If you do get laid off in the future, it is best to be prepared and already have an idea of what your severance package should look like. By doing this, you will be able to negotiate your severance package in a well-informed and lucrative way.

Understanding class action lawsuits for wage violations

If you believe that you have been underpaid by your employer, you may feel that you are in a David and Goliath situation, where you feel powerless to stand up to your employer. You may feel that it is not worth the financial investment and stress to take legal action against your employer for a relatively small amount of money.

However, if you have been underpaid by your employer, it is possible that many other employees in your company have suffered the same type of mistreatment. This is where class action lawsuits become powerful tools.

Enforcing minimum wage rights in California

If you are a worker in California, it is likely that you will have the right to be paid the state minimum wage. There are some exceptions to having the right to minimum wage. For example, you are not subject to the minimum wage law if you are the parent, spouse or child of your employer, if you are an apprentice employed under the State Division of Apprentice Standards or if you are an outside salesperson.

If you are not paid the minimum wage, therefore, it is important that you first verify that you do in fact have the right to be paid the state minimum wage. After you have verified this, you should then look into your legal options for enforcing your right to minimum wage and gaining the back pay that you are owed.

How to recognize disability discrimination in your workplace

Accommodating qualified employees who have disabilities is mandated by federal law, but not all workplaces go about it in the right way. These situations can lead to uncomfortable and illegal working conditions.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (DFEH) protects workers who require accommodations or accessibility changes to perform their job duties. Employers are required to make these changes if they do not impose an “undue hardship.”

How should I react to unwanted sexual advances at work?

When you are in the work environment, you should feel comfortable around other employees and your managers. This means that in theory, all behavior should be kept strictly professional. However, this line can become blurred, since very often friendships arise in the workplace, as well as consensual relationships.

There is a fine line between what behavior is and is not appropriate in the workplace. The law in California states that behavior should be appropriate so as to avoid creating a hostile environment in the workplace. This means that employees should never make sexual jokes or make sexual advances in the workplace.

The most common types of workplace retaliation

So many people fail to take action when they are retaliated against at work. This is often because they are worried about not being successful or about suffering even more through employer retaliation. If more employees took the time to learn about the ways that they are protected under the law in the state of California, it is likely that there would be many more successful employment retaliation claims.

When it comes to gaining a protected status from employment retaliation, there are two main actions that make an employee eligible. It is important that you understand whether you have taken either of these actions so that you know whether you could be protected under the law.

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