At its best, a job is your ticket to everything that you want. It’s what pays your bills and funds your good times, builds your self-esteem and knowledge base so that you can move on to greater success. Unfortunately, that is not the way things work out for every employee. Frequently the workplace is the site of wrongful actions that can occur during the hiring process, while you are employed, or after you’ve left the job. Though there is a significant imbalance of power between employer and employee, there are also federal and state laws that protect workers from discrimination, retaliation, harassment and wrongful termination. If you believe that you have been the victim of unlawful action on the part of your employer, you may have the right to pursue legal action against them.
There are several different reasons why an employee, former employee, or even a potential employee not given the opportunity to work for an employer might file an employment lawsuit. The most common types of employment lawsuits include:
- Retaliation – This term refers to employers taking adverse employment action against an employee after they engaged in a protected activity. Adverse employment actions include termination, demotion, or being assigned to less desirable shifts or job sites, while a protected action could include reporting discrimination or illegal activities in the workplace.
- Discrimination – Discrimination can be based upon being a member of several different protected classes, including race, religion, gender, disability, age, natural origin, and others. It can be applied to an employer’s hiring practices, job assignments and promotions, layoffs and more.
- Harassment – Harassment charges can be leveled against an employer based on actions by any other employee, all the way up through the company’s management. It can consist of sexual harassment or racial harassment and harassment based on being a member of any other protected class. Company management can be held responsible for not taking action when informed of harassment on the part of an employee.
- Wrongful termination – Though most employees are hired “at will,” meaning that they can be fired for whatever reason an employer provides or for no reason at all, an employer can be charged with wrongful termination if the action is based upon discrimination or retaliation.
If you believe that you have been the victim of wrongful action on your employer’s part, your first step should be speaking with an experienced employment lawyer who can inform you of your rights and options. Contact us today to set up a time for a consultation.