Workplace relationships between employees and employers should be good enough that the idea of suing them doesn’t cross your mind. Unfortunately, sometimes your rights are violated to such an extent you feel you have no choice but to sue your employer. Knowing what your rights are as an employee is a good first step in knowing when you have grounds to sue your employer.
Here are seven times when it is necessary to sue your employer.
1. Illegal Termination
Now, most states are “at-will” States. This means both parties can end the working relationship for any or no reason. This doesn’t mean that wrongful termination can’t and doesn’t happen.
Some examples of wrongful termination are:
1: A lack of reason for letting you go.
2: Firing you for poor performance without any reports to back up their claim
3: You just filed a complaint about a manager or the company
4: Managers didn’t follow company policy
5: An investigation into prior complaints has been delayed.
If you think any of the above apply to you, seek legal advice to see what your rights are.
2. Illegal Interview Questions
It should go without saying that every applicant should be treated equally and without prejudice. However, that isn’t always the case and sometimes hiring managers ask questions that are illegal and cause for legal action.
For example, if you are a woman and are asked about any children you have or may have you could have grounds to sue an employer. The same holds true for people with disabilities being asked questions focusing on their disability and not their ability to perform the job they applied for. Likewise, questions about sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and ethnic heritage are all illegal and could be cause for legal recourse.
These lines of questioning are discriminatory especially if the applicant feels they didn’t get the job because they are a part of a protected class.
3. Personal Injury
Accidents happen and usually worker’s compensation is enough to cover the injury and medical expenses. However, sometimes employers don’t do what they are supposed, mismanage the claim, or don’t have coverage to include the reason the employee suffered a workplace injury. This is when it is necessary to get a lawyer involved.
Employees have the right to a safe workplace and if the employers cut corners to save money or are just negligent that can lead to injury. So, it is important to make sure not you and your coworkers are protected in the future.
4. Harassment of Any Kind
While sexual harassment has been front and center in the news recently, there are many other kinds of harassment people can face on the job. This can be anything from constant offensive jokes, racial slurs, or anything which creates a hostile work environment.
The most prevalent kinds of harassment are:
This can be blatant, requesting sexual favors or making continued sexual unwanted advances, or subtle, lewd jokes or suggestive photos and posters of a suggestive nature.
If employers or managers allow inappropriate jokes or stereotyping about certain races or ethnicities this can create a hostile work environment.
Many people may assume this is the same as sexual harassment, but that isn’t the case. Gender harassment is when someone of a specific gender is passed over for a promotion they are qualified for or are subjected to constant jokes and comments about their inability to perform tasks required for the job.
Employers are bound by law to make allowances if a person’s religion requires a certain dress code or prayer observances. If the employer neglects to have a conversation about how to make reasonable accommodations or makes it clear in any way these religious beliefs won’t be tolerated this is harassment.
Employees are allowed by law to file internal or external complaints against their employer without fear of being retaliated against. However, sometimes it happens anyway and this can lead to a hostile workplace.
Retaliation can be anything from a demotion, excessive scheduling changes, cut hours, termination, and so much more. If you feel like you have been retaliated against for any reason, talk to a lawyer and see what your rights are.
6. Violating the Law
Sometimes employers break local or federal laws. Whether it is knowingly or unknowingly, you can sue them. This is doubly true if you are being pressured to lie or break the law for them, as it makes you an accomplice.
So, if you are being pressured into breaking the law as a means to protect your job or for any other reason, hire a lawyer right away. They will be able to advise you on what course of action to take while providing you with ways to protect your job.
This has been another hot button issue over the last few years, especially since the legal terms of discrimination have become better defined. These include being denied employment or promotions due to you being part of a protected class. To win a discrimination case you need a couple of things.
You need to be part of a protected class, obviously, and be able to perform your job well. Then you need to show the negative actions taken against you and be able to prove it had to do with your inclusion in the protected class.
Grounds to Sue Your Employer
These are just a few reasons to seek legal recourse against your boss. If you feel you have grounds to sue your employer, talk to a qualified employment lawyer to see what your options are.
Do you have other questions about your employment rights? Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.