Category Archives: Uncategorized

Workplace Retaliation

When an employee is involved in a suit at the workplace, it is a common assumption that at some point, the employer is bound to retaliate especially if the winner of the suit is the employee. Finding a dedicated retaliation lawyer is crucial when building a case.

Employees in most cases are aware that there are laws that protect them against harassment and discrimination. What they do not understand is that the same rules protect them from retaliation as well. This means the employer cannot punish you in any way for bringing out a complaint.

The best way of winning a suit in any workplace is to first understand the employee rights that are governed and protected by the state laws. However, it does not end there. People have the nature of retaliating in cases where they feel threatened, and as an employee, you have to be prepared for this.

Understanding Workplace Retaliation:

Workplace retaliation can come in different ways such being transferred to other places being passed over for promotions and many more, with the extreme case of being fired. In most cases, you don’t stand up for your rights without an employment attorney, as they represent you and your best interest. They give you the guidelines on how to act in the representation of a case against the employer.

When retaliation occurs in most cases, sometimes it is not clear and may be misunderstood to mean other things. However, no one should suffer in silence for this. Some everyday things that are done in retaliation include: demotion and being fired which are the primary negative acts that are visible and regarded as retaliation. Nevertheless, there are those small negative actions as well that are also perceived as retaliation, and in such cases, an employee attorney comes in handy.

When you realize you are being retaliated against by your employer, it is imperative to understand the employee rights first. If it’s not clear to you, consult with an employment attorney and figure out a way to correct it and not have your rights infringed.
In the course of fighting back harassment, discrimination, and retaliation in Los Angeles, our firm in California has lawyers that are dedicated to making sure that every employee’s right is not violated. And in case they are, the matter is taken to court and they make sure retaliation does not take place.

Finding a qualified employment lawyer in Los Angeles is not an easy task, but it is necessary when it comes to employers who think they are unique and above the law. Our employment lawyer in Los Angeles makes sure that your case is on track and with the necessary evidence. We also encourage you to speak out in cases of retaliation. However, the most significant challenge in fighting workplace retaliation is the lack of awareness among most employees

Bonus Disputes at Work

There are times when employees are offered a bonus which can raise some miscommunication and misunderstandings if not explained in detail. An employer needs to know if they are required to pay bonuses to those employees that are leaving. If they do not pay the employees, the bonuses they may be taken to court. They will need to pay the original amount as well as penalties. If there is a question an employment attorney should be contacted right away.

There are many employees that work for a commission. If they are not paid their commission upon the date of termination a company may end up owing them more money. Commissions may be considered wages in some states. A bonus disputes lawyer can help sort this out.

Commissions that are owed to employees need to be clearly stated. An employment lawyer Los Angeles CA can help an employer word this properly. If there is any confusion a former employer may be entitled to commission or bonuses after they had left. An employment attorney can help causes written in the initial contract. They can state that if an employee is terminated they are not entitled to receive commission payments after the date of their termination. If this is not clearly stated a person may have a case. The employee must sign this. This will help protect the employer. If the employer did not acknowledge this or if their signature is missing they should contact a bonus disputes lawyer. This can cost time and money to sort out this matter.

If an employee is terminated and they are looking to get compensation or bonuses the business can also consult an employment lawyer Los Angeles CA. This will help sort out any issues. The bonus may depend on several different things including the effort of the employee. If there are factors affect their effort that lead to the termination the employee may not be entitled to their bonus.

When hiring a person, the employer needs to review their commission and policy including bonuses with the employee. Everything should be stated in language that is easy to read and should be clear. They should answer any questions the employee may have and both parties need to sign their agreements. Going over this paperwork before the employee begins. This can save both parties a headache and dispute in court if the employee is terminated. If the language in unclear a lawyer should review the policy before it is presented to the employees to sign.

Wrongful Termination

Terminated for the Wrong Reasons: A Brief Overview of Filing Claims and Much More

Introduction

It is one thing to lose your job because you did not do it properly. It is quite another to be fired from your job “just because”. Getting fired from your job “just because” is not a good enough reason. Did your boss give you a valid reason? You do have the right to bring false claims against your boss.

An Employment Attorney

The first thing you need to do is hire an experienced employment attorney. You could be entitled to damages including money damages and a nice severance package.

Did you get fired from an illegal standpoint? That is the first thing any wrongful termination attorney will ask you. How do you know if your firing did happen illegally?

1) Has something happened between you and your boss involving sexual harassment? Sexual harassment happens on different levels and each case is different. Click here to see a full guide as to what constitutes sexual harassment.

2) Did you face discrimination of any kind? Discrimination is a broad term and there are many underlying levels.

3) Did you get fired based on your boss breaking an oral or written agreement? A wrongful termination lawyer is going to need to know this.

4) Did you file a report against an employee and now the boss is seeking revenge by firing you? A wrongful termination lawyer will need to know that.

Each case carries a different penalty. You need to be honest with your wrongful termination attorney about what happened. You need to show documented proof of what happened.

What happens when you do not have proof?

What you have is a case of “he said, she said” without the proof to back it up. Employers are smart and vindictive. They have ways of making you look guilty, especially when you are not.

5 Tips to Help You After You Have Been Fired

1) You need to stay calm. Your former employer wants you to react to his negative actions.

2) Do you have an employee handbook? Read it and show it to your lawyer. You will need to be aware of the provisions because your boss will use them against you.

3) Find out what they promised you and collect the information. Make sure it is written down because you can use it to back up your case. Employers do not expect their employers to keep a written account of everything. You need to prove your boss wrong.

4) You cannot back down. Do not let your boss intimidate you on any level. The second he intimidates you is the second they wins.

5) Return any company property and let your lawyer guide you. Let your lawyer do the talking and learn as much as you can about the process.

Do you need a wrongful termination lawyer right now? Visit http://mannelias.com/ to speak with an attorney today. Your case cannot wait another day.

Gender Discrimination at Work is Against the Law

Discrimination at the workplace can assume different forms. The illegality of gender discrimination occurs with any action that negates the terms and condition of employment. It can be in form of sexual stereotype, unwelcomed advances and/or offensive remarks against your sexual orientation. In the process of hiring, firing, job description, promotion, pay and gender identity, gender discrimination may occur. However, according to Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 forbids every form of sexual discrimination in the workplace.

This law is binding on not only the Federal and State governments but also private employers, employment agencies, labor organization and every other labor-related establishments. The law also extends to the area of retaliation against reporting of gender and sexual discrimination. Your employer has no right to fire, demote or reduce your pay as a result of your filing or reporting gender discrimination.

When gender discrimination occurs at your workplace, you will need to consider a wide range of options. This will be made easier with the expertise of an employment attorney who can help file a gender discrimination suit against your employer, individual or organization involved. Whenever you feel you have been discriminated against, take the following steps:

  1. Write down the incident while still fresh in your memory
  2. Immediately report the incident to your employer or human resources department.
  3. You need to keep a paper trail, as this will serve as evidence. Therefore, do not report orally but verbally.
  4. Involve your union as they can help or serve as witness
  5. You will also need to file discrimination charges against your employer with a government agency.

However, this could be daunting and challenging, you will need the expert advice of an employment lawyer who will help in seeking justice.

Protect Yourself with a Whistleblower Lawyer

In many countries, including the United States, there’s often a whistleblower policy or legislation. These policies and legislations are meant to provide a form of reward for individuals who reveal fraud and corruption in and against the government. Although this may seem interesting in the real sense, the legalities of this law may be of great difficulty for anyone without the legal knowledge. Without taking the right steps, you might be at a risk of unwillingly exposing yourself and losing all of your entitlements as a result of whistleblowing.

The False Claim Act of the United States does not mandate hiring a legal representative. However, you will do yourself and your cause a greater good by seeking the opinion of a whistleblower attorney even before filing claims. Relying on the expertise of the whistleblower lawyers at the Law Offices of Mann and Elias, every one of your claim issues can be handled. More importantly, the strength of your whistleblowing claims can be assessed based on Federal and State laws.

Expect that competent whistleblower lawyers will work with you to identify important documents, the evidence available and preparing of witnesses. You will be educated on the risks and rewards associated with being a whistleblower based on the strength and weaknesses of evidence available. You will also need expert witnesses such as accountants and forensic analysts, which can be contacted by your whistleblower attorney.

Over the years, whistleblower lawyers at the Law Offices of Mann and Elias have utilized their expertise and experience in receiving the rewards and protection stipulated by the Federal and State law.

Wrongful Termination: You Need to Know Why You Are Being Fired

Two reasons stand out for being wrongfully terminated at work; taking a protection action or being a member of a protected group. When your condition for disengagement falls into any of these categories, you need wrongful termination lawyers to help fight your claims. There is a Federal Law in place that protects you from being wrongfully terminated as a result of your race, religion, color, citizenship status, age, disability, or national origin. In the course of your employment, you cannot be fired if you are pregnant or change your gender identity. This law is also present in different forms in different states.

Your employer is also acting against the law if he/shes fire you as a result of your health condition, being a carrier of a disease, political affiliation, military status, criminal history and/or being homeless. Also, your physical appearance, marital status or being a domestic violence victim does not give your employer the right to fire you. If the reason for your termination is as a result of any of the previously stated reasons, it stands for wrongful termination. When this occurs, you should immediately hire the services of our wrongful termination attorneys to help fight your case.

Taking some action at your workplace and being terminated as a result is also illegal. For instance, by filing a harassment or gender discrimination claim, taking of leave as stipulated by law, reporting corporate fraud, or refusing to participate in illegal actions.

You Can Be Disabled and Still Be Employed

Have you heard the acronym ADA? It stands for American with Disabilities Act. This law protects qualified Americans with disabilities from being discriminated in matters relating to employment decisions. However, the issue common with disability discrimination is being certain of whether an individual is suffering from disabilities covered by the American Disabilities Act. The act covers matters pertaining to hiring, promotion, discipline, job application, and benefits. You should consult a disability discrimination lawyer or an employment attorney if you perceive any form of discrimination as a result of your disability.

There are several protections for you under the ADA as a result of your disability. There will be instances such as mental disability which you have the right to keep private. In such situation, you can decide not to disclose the condition of your mental disability. Only in a certain situation is an employer permitted to inquire about your disability status. If you are requesting for an accommodation from your employer as a result of your disability, you will be required to explicitly explain your condition. In the event that your disability poses a danger to others, you will be required to state your condition.

As an individual living with a disability, you will only be provided a workplace accommodation if you request for such. You may need to discuss with your employer the option available to you. In this scenario, the employer is at the liberty of choosing the best in terms of cost.

Overtime Disputes: Are You Being Denied Overtime Pay?

Even more than discrimination and harassment disputes, overtime and wage disputes are on the rise. Overtime pay disputes arise to resolve issues relating to employees who work more than the required hours which is pegged at 8hrs daily or 40hrs weekly. Employment laws stipulate that employers are to pay their employees a half than there pay. Issues surrounding overtime dispute can relate to the number of overtime hours, the rates paid and the expected rate, tax reporting, and overtime exceptions. Overtime pay disputes often relate to owing wages by the employer, or not paid as overtime. This could be a result of error or negligence.

With the assistance of an overtime pay lawyer, resolution of overtime disputes may involve discussion and clarification handled by an employment attorney. There may be a need to carry out an agency investigation which can be as a result of a petition written by your overtime pay lawyer. It could also assume the form of a mediation, negotiations, and ultimately a legal action in court depending on the outcome of other options. You can also utilize a class action suit if there are many employees of the same organization.

A legal action in court or even any of the other possible solutions to overtime pay disputes will need the services of an overtime pay lawyer. You will be guided and advised by us on the options and likely outcomes of a legal action..

Knowing Your Rights: Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

An act of sexual harassment is considered to be a type of sexual discrimination that lawmakers say violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the broadest sense of the term it comes in the form of unwelcomed sexual advances or requesting sexual favors from coworkers as well as other ill conduct of a sexual nature whether physical or verbal. Title VII on a federal level prohibits any kind of discrimination in employment for protected groups and it applies to companies with 15 or more people under its employ. This includes government workers from federal to state and all the way down to local.

Despite the law many people still deal with sexual harassment at work. Below you’ll some instructions and guidelines that will help you know what the next step is if you feel like you’ve been a victim.

Are there different types of sexual harassment claims?

Yes. In general there are two main categories for type of harassment,

1. Quid pro quo:

These are unwelcome advances or requests that ask for sexual favors that offer employment favors in return. This may include an offer for a promotion or a coveted assignment or even favors in the schedule. It could even involve a threat that could result in you receiving a demotion, cut in benefits, or even lose your job for refusing to submit to the request. These are clear quid pro quo when submission is compulsory and dependent on terms of employment or when reject or acceptance of the request is used to determine employment related decisions.

2. Hostile work environment: the sexual harassment makes your workplace environment intimidating, hostile, or offensive

These include unwelcome advances, requests for granting sexual favors, or other behavior either verbal or physical that could be construed as sexual misconduct. This is specifically tantamount to a hostile work environment when it affects employee performance or creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile environment to work in. Courts will consider a number of factors to determine this including:

1. Whether conduct was solely verbal or physical or a mix of the two.
2. How often it occurred
3. Whether conduct was actually hostile or offensive
4. Whether the coworker played a supervisory role to the employee’s
5. Whether more than one employee was involved
6. Whether it was directed at a group or only an individual

What types of behavior might be labeled sexual harassment?

So sexual harassment what is it and what it not? It often depends on the situation as well as the people who were involved. It could mean anything including sexual advances that were unwelcome, requesting special sexual favors, threats or bribes either directly or directly made, displaying illicitly sexual material or visuals, comments on physical appearance or sexual life, and even a dirty joke can all be considered sexual harassment.

Does Title VII protect men from sexual harassment? What about same-sex harassment?

It doesn’t matter if you are male or female or if the harassment is performed by members of the same sex. The victim or perpetrator could be any combination and all instances are equally protected under the law. Sexual harassment doesn’t even only apply to supervisors, coworkers in the same department, or even employed by the same company. What matters is the result but how the employee is negatively affected by the incident at work.

Can one incident still be sexual Harassment?

In these cases it tends to vary by constitute. In a case of quid pro quo for example it would if the incident happened in a way that the harassment was linked to denial of an employment opportunity, a wrongful termination, or even something affecting employee benefits or other employment terms.

In other cases one incident generally requires evidence of a pattern of the negative behavior or harassment. An isolated incident of misconduct usually won’t make it to the sexual harassment stage unless it is an extreme case, particularly if physical contact we’re involved. The worse the case of the harassment the less need there is to demonstrate a repetitive pattern.

Can my employer punish me because I complained about sexual harassment?

Nope. This would strictly be forbidden under Title VII, which forbids any retaliation against employees for filing harassment complaints. It furthers goes on to protect you in the same way when partipating in an investigation or legal proceedings on a coworker’s behalf if they believe themselves to be a victim. Never be afraid to speak up if you witness this negative behavior at work.

Are there other laws besides Title VII that prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace?

In some states yes, if you believe this may be the case in yours check with a local lawyer.

What should I do if I believe I am facing sexual harassment at work?

Each situation will be different so remember to keep your unique case in mind so you can know the right steps to take and what your rights may be.

1. First check your employee’s handbook for your specific corporate policies that may be laid out for you on a company level. Remember to be specific in your complaints and if possible have notes ready and logged for the incident and always file the appropriate paperwork. Also keep track of times and dates
2. If you’re going to confront the person first explain to them calmly and politely that behavior has made you uncomfortable. Be specific about what they did to offend you. Tell them the attention their giving you or the way they’re acting is bothersome to you. Then finally ask them to stop and not repeat the behavior in the future.
3. Inform your immediate supervisor about what’s going on and explain what steps you’ve already taken to address it. If you don’t feel comfortable with a direct confrontation you may ask HR or your supervisor for a sort of mediation.

4. You could also file a grievance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You have the right to file if you believe you’ve been a victim of discrimination. The EEOC serves as an agency that enforces Title VII that in most cases gives you six months to file a charge from the incidents. Their website gives you easy instructions for filing so you won’t need an attorney to do so.

What will they do after I file a charge?

Once you’ve filed your grievance the EEOC will let your employer know that you’ve done so and an investigation will begin into your claim. They will then pursue a number of different options. They may attempt to settle the matter or refer you to a mediator who will do so for you between you and your employer. If they are unable to set it there in the case of employers in the private sector they will most likely file a lawsuit against them. They may also dismiss the charge completely but will afterwards notify you of your right to sue if you decide to take the matter to court. If you choose to practice this right they will provide right-to-sue letter for the process.

I’m not sure yet if I want to file an EEOC charge or make a formal complaint to my employer. What steps can I take to protect myself?

1. If you believe these behaviors are taking place keep careful records of them including date, time, and details of the incident as well as those involved.
2. Check the handbook for policies and procedures in place for dealing with sexual harassment that may provide some useful alternatives to filing suit or complaints with EEOC
3. Make sure not to appear as a disgruntled or low-quality employee. Keep coming to work every day on time and giving it your best. Then keep records to prove it including any performance evaluations, letters or memos that indicate the work you do, awards, etc. Always keep copies at home.
4. Always seek support from loved ones to get you through this stressful and difficult time
5. The EEOC fortunately provides counselors you can speak to directly that can listen to the details of your case and help you decide if you have a case and whether or not to file a complaint. Ask them for valuable advice and information
6. In all cases timing could be everything. Usually you’ll be given a full 180 days after an incident to file a charge for harassment or discrimination.

Why You Need An Employment Attorney

When Do You Need An Employment Lawyer?

In the majority of states unless you have a specific contract saying otherwise you will almost never have a case for wrongful termination. In many cases in fact an employer will as part of the preliminary paperwork define your employment as “at will” meaning you can quit whenever you want and they can fire you whenever they want. So what would you need an employment lawyer and how can you know if in your instance, you have a case?

Why Look for an Employment Lawyer?

There are a few instances where an attorney might be able to lend a hand if you feel you’re being treated unfairly at work. Let’s look at a few:

Legal Deadlines

Most employment laws come at you with barrage of deadlines that can be both confusing and overwhelming. You’ll be required to follow these for filing suit and if you try to go it alone they’re very easy to miss. Speaking to an attorney is probably your best bet to prevent this from happening.

When Claims get Confusing

The many and complicated employment laws can not only overwhelm but also confuse you if you’re not studied up. There might even be a number of laws and loopholes you don’t even know exist. If you have a gut feeling that you were terminated unfairly or some kind of unethical or unlawful practice happened at work, it’s always best to consult a lawyer to know for sure.

To Show You’re Serious

In most cases unless you have legal representation your employment will have no reason to take you seriously and your issue will easily be brushed aside.

When direct confrontation Isn’t for you

Many people are uncomfortable with confrontations and unfortunately this is almost always going to be part of the process when you’re negotiating the terms of your employment or the included severance package. It’s always good to have someone to fight on your behalf if this is the case. Chances are your employer isn’t going to be as uncomfortable so this could cause an unfair advantage.

When is it Absolutely Needed?

If any of these situations become a reality you should contact an attorney ASAP:

  • Your employer threatens to sue you.
  • You’ve been asked to sign on to terms you don’t completely understand, especially if it seems incomplete or if it relates to confidentiality, arbitration, or other employment terms.
  • You’ve been accused of a crime, though in this case you’re better off pursuing a criminal defense attorney rather than an employment lawyer.

When is a Lawyer “Nice to Have”

You might want to have a lawyer even if it’s not urgent, but if any of the following situations arise

  • If you think an employer (current or former) has violated any employment laws.
  • You saw retaliation after filing a workplace grievance, especially as it relates to discrimination or harassment or an employer legal violation.
  • If you’re not being paid fairly and as agreed upon when hired.
  • If you’ve falsely fallen into the classification as a contractor or some that does not qualify for overtime.

When is an attorney NOT needed

Hiring a lawyer is probably an unnecessary step if:

  • You need to file a complaint or grievance with your HR department and all policy is followed by you in the process.
  • When you must attend a disciplinary meeting, but DO take careful and don’t sign anything other than an acknowledgment form as “receipt only” and ALWAYS read before signing.
  • When signing simple and comprehensive documents you have no problem understanding.
  • When filing a union grievance if you’re in a union, that’s what your union reps are for.

So do You have a Case

Below is a checklist that will help you determine if you could be eligible and have a case in court. You’ll of course want to contact an employment lawyer if the situations apply to be sure.

Termination, demotion, or suspension without pay:

To start did any of the below occur shortly before the said disciplinary action?

  • You filed a workman’s compensation form.
  • Reported or refused to conform to illegal practices of discrimination in the company.
  • You recently underwent surgery and/or revealed a previous unknown medical condition or pregnancy.
  • Your employer falsely stated something as a fact about to someone outside the company including future potential employers.
  • You recently performed jury duty.
  • You recently served in the armed forces.
  • You recently took family or medical leave.
  • You recently testified in court or provided evidence for a lawsuit or to EEOC.
  • You recently participared in activities that benefited coworkers as it applied to terms of employment.
  • Your employer failed to compensate you as agreedfor all hours or worked or failed to pay overtime benefits you deserved.

Discrimination claims

Unfortunately you can’t sue someone for discriminating against you as an individual. If you feel you have been discriminated against the law will provide for and describe discrimination as having to do with:

  • age
  • sex
  • ethnicity or national origin
  • disability
  • pregnancy
  • Color
  • Genetic information
  • Retalation for objecting to discrimination
  • religion

The first question you will have to ask is if your employer has 15 or less employees, as many of these laws unfortunately won’t allow for the same standards to be applied to smaller businesses. If, however, you can compare your treatment to those of different circumstance (your race, etc) and find that your treatment was different you may have a case. You should also make sure that it wasn’t a different case for someone who had the same circumstance as you. Some states and localities also have provisions that expand discrimination laws to also apply to other circumstance such as marital status or sexual orientation.
Didn’t see your Case?

Unfortunately there are instances where employees can be convinced that their employees broke the law, but sadly didn’t. You’ll be surprised to find that in some cases the law offers no provisions for the following:

Breaks:  There is no federal law that requires any breaks at all. That’s right not even a lunch break. Some states have these requirements in place, but not near as many as you’d think, not even the majority.

Workplace harassment and Hostile Environment: Harassment is only illegal is if it relates to the discrimination of protect groups (age, race, sex, etc.) but in general harassment, bullying and hostility, while against most corporate policy, is not at illegal or against any laws.

Freedom of Speech: While protected in your personal life under the 1st amendment, you have no freedom of speech at work, not legally. There are some protections in place for government workers but even those are few and far between.

Privacy: Work email and internet usage are completely fair game, your employers can spy all they want. There are some light restrictions on monitoring phone calls and of course medical information is somewhat protected. There is not even a federal law against publicly display your social security number at work and only two states offer some limited protection against it.

Right to work:  Not all states are right to work, but some are. Right to work does NOT mean that an employer can’t make you sign a non-compete agreement and it does not mean they can’t restrict your right to work for competitors while in employment with them. All it means is that they can’t force you to join a union as part of your employment. Don’t listen to any employer that tries to tell you that non-compete agreements are useless or unenforced.

Retaliation:  No laws prohibit retaliation from an employer if you report or object to either policy violations, ethics violations, bullying, hostile work environments or anything other than discrimination and/or illegal practices.

If you are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt, or are even just in question on whether you have a case or not (even after reading this and doing your homework) the best thing you can do is contact a local employment lawyer and see what they can do for you.