It can be devastating to lose your job as the result of being wrongfully or illegally terminated, or have to quit your job because of persistent harassment, discrimination or a hostile work environment. We work long and hard to become gainfully employed and losing that employment and livelihood due to no fault of your own can be painful and frightening.
Employment law can be complex, challenging and intimidating because it can be difficult to comprehend. In California, employment laws are constantly evolving as well. It is crucial that you understand your rights as an employee and your employer's duty toward you. If your rights have been violated, it is very important that you contact an experienced San Luis Obispo employment lawyer who will fight hard to protect your rights and help you secure fair compensation for your losses.
Protecting Your Rights and Avoiding Mistakes
If you are involved in a dispute with your employer over a harassing, discriminatory or retaliatory work environment, or if you have been wrongfully terminated from your job, there are several steps you can take to protect your legal rights.
First and foremost, make sure you remain calm and collected. Do not say anything that could cast you in a poor light. Don't say or send anything in writing that could be used against you in an employment lawsuit. So, in such cases, it would be in your best interest to remain calm and collect as much information as you can to help strengthen your case. Turning hostile or confrontational could prove disadvantageous to you.
If you are facing a work environment that is hostile, it is crucial that you promptly report the incidents to a supervisor or to your human resources department. Make sure you file written complaints and that you keep copies of any written statements or documents you submit. Also, preserve all responses you receive from your employer.
Maintain a record of all incidents regardless of whether they are emails or memos. Save these documents in a place where you can retrieve them. So, storing them in the office computer would be in a bad idea. Keep the information in your personal computer in your home where you can retrieve them right away.
It is also important that you stay away from posting anything about your case online or on social media. Remember, anything you post on social media – be it text, photographs or videos – can be used against you in your employment lawsuit. By posting details of your case, you may be jeopardizing your chances of winning.
Compensation in an Employment Lawsuit
Our experienced San Luis Obispo employment lawyers at Kingsley and Kingsley have been able to secure compensation for our clients including:
Lost wages and benefits: These are the most basic compensatory damages plaintiffs receive in employment cases. If you are able to provide evidence of your employer's wrongdoing, you may be able to recover monetary damages for lost wages and benefits. This amount is typically based on the value of wages or salary and the value of employer-provided benefits including medical insurance, pensions, stock options, retirement benefits, etc. If you have been wrongfully terminated, for example, you would be compensated for wages and benefits you would have earned from the employer starting from the date of the wrongful termination until the date of the court verdict or settlement.
Non-economic damages: When a person is unlawfully terminated from their job, in addition to monetary damages such as lost wages, they also suffer non-economic damages. The most common non-economic damages claimed in employment lawsuits include compensation for emotional distress or mental suffering, and damage to one's professional reputation. If you are suffering psychological or physical effects, you may also be able to receive compensation for counseling, medical treatments, therapy, etc.
Fees and costs: In some cases, if you are successful, you may also be able to recover attorney's fees and other costs such as court and filing fees and expenses relating to expert witnesses.
Punitive damages: These are different and separate from compensatory damages because the main intention of awarding these damages is to punish the employer for committing an egregiously wrongful act. Punitive damages are also meant to set an example and to deter other companies from committing such egregious acts.
Types of Cases We Handle
Here are some of the common types of employment cases we handle most frequently:
Wrongful termination: The experienced San Luis Obispo wrongful termination lawyers at Kingsley and Kingsley handle cases where employees have been terminated due to illegal reasons such as discrimination, harassment, retaliation or a hostile work environment.
Discrimination: It is illegal to discriminate against employees based on protected characteristics such as race, skin color, nationality, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, disability and so on. Discriminating against a job applicant or an employee is against state and federal law.
Sexual harassment: It is against the law to harass an employee because of their sex or gender. Sexual harassment in the workplace could include anything from unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors to inappropriate touching. If you have been sexually assaulted in the workplace, it is important that you report the incident to law enforcement in addition to contacting an employment attorney.
Retaliation: Retaliation in the workplace occurs when an employer takes adverse action against an employee to engaging in actions that are protected under the law. For example, if your employer retaliates against you for filing a discrimination claim or for reporting an unlawful activity your employer has engaged in, our workplace retaliation lawyers can help you understand your rights and options.
Unpaid wages: There are many circumstances under which employees are not properly paid wages that are due to them. In some cases, employers may not pay the appropriate minimum wage. Sometimes, employees don't receive pay for overtime hours worked or end up not receiving their final paycheck after they have quit their job or have been terminated. If you believe your employer has shortchanged your wages or has failed to pay wages that are due, our wage and hour attorneys can help you.
San Luis Obispo Employment Lawyers Can Help
The experienced San Luis Obispo employment lawyers at Kingsley and Kingsley know and understand the gravity of your situation and the stress you may be experiencing during this challenging time. We work diligently to collect and compile the necessary evidence and documentation that will put you in a position to be successful. If you believe you have been wronged or mistreated at the workplace, call us today at 888-209-8927 for a free, initial consultation. We will fight for your rights every step of the way.