Losing your job or being harassed or discriminated against in your place of work can be a traumatic experience for many. The loss of a job or a livelihood leaves us dazed, confused, insecure and certainly anxious about paying bills and meeting day-to-day expenses. Being harassed, discriminated against or targeted in your workplace can cause severe emotional distress as well.
It is very important that employees in Tarzana have a good understanding of their rights as employees. There are federal and state laws that make sure employees' rights are protected and employers are held accountable. For more information, contact a Tarzana employment law attorney who has significant experience successfully handling these types of cases.
Are You Facing Harassment or Discrimination at Work?
We often hear about harassment or discrimination when high-profile individuals or celebrities are involved. However, most stories of workplace harassment or discrimination don't make it to the headlines because they are way too common. Harassment is any type of verbal or physical annoyance based on sex, religion, race and other personal characteristics that are protected under federal and state laws.
Harassing behavior might include offensive or off-color jokes, racial slurs and epithets, physical assaults, threats, intimidation, insults and other behavior. Sexual harassment may include inappropriate touching, unwanted comments or asking for sexual favors. Discriminatory acts include not hiring, terminating or passing up workers for promotion or other opportunities because of their protected characteristics.
If you have been harassed or discriminated against, there are a number of steps you can take in order to protect your rights:
Report the incidents. Report any instance of harassment or discrimination immediately. If your company has a human resources department, that would be your first place to go. Report it to your supervisor, your human resources department or a person designated by your employer to deal with such issues. Read your employer's handbook before taking action. Make sure you follow the listed procedures and protocols as closely as possible. Make sure you put your complaint in writing. By doing so, you create an official record. Keep a copy of any written complaint you make or any responses you receive from them.
Maintain a record. When you experience any act of harassment or discrimination, make sure you write down exactly what happened, as it happened. Be as specific as possible and be sure to include the dates, places, times and anyone who witnessed the incident. Be as accurate and as objective as possible. Also, do not keep these records in your work computer, but in your personal computer and at home where you will have access to it and where you are certain it will not be tampered with or destroyed.
Form an alliance with co-workers. If you come to find out that you are not the only person being harassed or discriminated against at work, invite your co-workers to file similar complaints and report their own experiences. There is certainly strength in numbers. In the future, there may also be a potential for a class-action lawsuit if a larger number of workers have been affected.
Gather information and witnesses. If you are able to do so safely, have conversations with other people at work who may have witnessed the harassing or discriminatory acts against you. This could help strengthen your case significantly. Also, make sure you keep record of everything including internal memos, emails and other documentation, which serve as proof of the harassing or discriminatory behavior. Again, be sure that you store all such information in a safe location such as your home where you will have prompt access to it.
File a complaint with a governmental agency. If you don't trust your company's reporting or adjudication process, it might be in your best interest to contact an experienced Tarzana employment lawyer and file an official complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which will conduct a thorough investigation. There are time limits, typically 180 days from the harassing or discriminatory acts, when you are required to file the complaint.
Stay calm and collected. As stressful and traumatic as these situations can be, try not to be rattled or sidetracked. Continue to do your work and maintain meticulous records of your performance on the job and any harassment that takes place. Try and get support outside work from family members and friends.
How Can a Tarzana Employment Lawyer Help?
Employment lawyers can help and advise employees on any federal and state laws that an employer might have violated. We can assist you with wage issues, wrongful termination, workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, contract violations and whistleblower protection. We will help you gather and compile evidence, conduct depositions and collect information that can help bolster your case and give you the best shot at a positive outcome.
Our employment attorneys have a thorough knowledge of state and federal laws that protect workers against illicit actions by their employers. You will need an attorney especially if you have a serious legal issue with your employer and need to take action in court. Your employer likely has an attorney or a team of attorneys representing their interests. You need a knowledgeable advocate on your side who can protect your rights and look out for your best interests.
It can be extremely challenging to succeed in an employment lawsuit without the help, guidance and expertise of a skilled lawyer. In addition to having knowledge of the law, an attorney also knows court procedures and the strategies that are required to win your case including presenting documents and evidence, calling witnesses and presenting your case to a jury. Most of these cases are settled out of court. So, you also need a lawyer who is a skilled negotiator who will fight hard to help you get maximum compensation for your losses.
The experienced Tarzana employment attorneys at Kingsley & Kingsley have fought for workers' rights for the last 38 years. Whether you have been harassed, discriminated against, denied wages or wrongfully terminated, we are here to help you. Our dedicated team is here to listen to your side of the story and help you secure justice and fair compensation. We do not charge fees unless we have recovered compensation for you. Call us at 888-500-8469 to discuss your case at no cost.