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Los Angeles Employment Law Blog

Know your rights as a working pregnant woman

Pregnancy is a joyous condition for many women. However, even a women who is thrilled about being pregnant might be wary to discuss the pregnancy with her employer. This is partially because she might be worried about how the employer will react to the news.

One thing that all employees and employers should realize is that discriminating against a woman because she is pregnant is illegal. Here are some points that you should know about this form of discrimination:

Your employer is legally bound to pay you commissions as promised

Taking a job in sales can be very stressful. You need to be constantly working and pushing for better sales figures in order to have a regular income. After all, you may only receive a minuscule base salary, or, in some cases, no pay at all except for commissions. You depend on those commissions to pay your mortgage or rent, to put food on the table for your family and to cover your costs of living.

In order to ensure that you're making enough during any given pay period, you probably track your own sales very closely. That way, you don't have to worry about any surprises when its paycheck time. Tracking is particularly useful if your employer has a bonus structure to the commission program, where selling certain amounts or particular products will earn you extra incentives. If your records aren't matching up with your employer's, you may need to take action.

At-will employment doesn't condone retaliation or discrimination

People who work in California know that this is an at-will employment state. This means that employers can terminate employment without having to have a reason. It also means that employees can quit without a reason. Some people think that this means employers have carte blanche when it comes to dismissing employees. However, this isn't the case.

The law does provide for some very strict reasons why an employer can't fire an employee. These are meant to protect the employee from wrongful termination. Here are some points you should remember about wrongful discharge in California.

Did your employer retaliate against you for reporting harassment?

Most companies have policies in writing that condemn acts of harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Unfortunately, many companies also have toxic work cultures and refuse to take steps to remedy that issue. You know your company's policy on harassment and may have had special training on the topic, so you followed the proper protocol.

You reported the situation to human resources and expected that it would get addressed with the people who were mistreating or abusing you. Unfortunately, that isn't always what happens.

The Fair Labor Standards Act protects your rights as an employee

When you go to work, you deserve to feel like you are respected. The state helps protect you and encourages inclusion through the use of laws that prevent employers from retaliating or penalizing you in various situations. There are dozens of laws on the books today.

California has a variety of laws that are there to help prevent retaliation and discrimination in the workplace that you can learn about over time, but only a few impact your daily life. Here are just three that help protect the rights of employees in the state.

Harmed by racial discrimination? The law is on your side

You might have thought that racial discrimination in the workplace would have ended during the civil rights revolution of the 60s. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination continues to persist.

In fact, most California workers who identify as a member of a minority race, nationality, religious group, sexuality or other protected status, will agree that they have experienced or witnessed countless examples of discrimination. Fortunately, if you have been harmed by racial discrimination, the law is on your side.

Walmart allegedly violates the FMLA

Earlier this year, Walmart faced accusations of violating the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by illegally punishing employees that used sick days and took time off to care for ill family members. Since Walmart is the largest employer in the United States, this is extremely troublesome. More than 1,000 current and former employees participated in a survey and spoke with advocacy groups that brought this problem into the spotlight.

The FMLA provides protections to workers that need to take days off due to a personal medical condition or to take care of a loved one suffering from an illness, injury, or disability. According to the survey and interviews, Walmart employees have suffered penalties including termination for calling in sick. If you feel that your employer has violated the FMLA or retaliated against you for using legally protected sick time, an experienced attorney in the Sherman Oaks area can help.

What happens when your employer illegally denies you overtime pay

You work hard for your employer. Sometimes, that means that you put in more than 40 hours. Some employers will do just about anything to avoid paying their employees legally mandated time-and-a-half wages for overtime. This could include forcing people to clock out, under threat of punishment or termination, and then requiring them to continue working off the clock.

It could mean that management is illegally changing your time cards to remove any overtime hours. It could even result in an employer firing you for requesting that you get paid the appropriate amount for the time you've worked.

There are many types of workplace retaliation

As a worker, you have a variety of legal rights. For example, if you blow the whistle on your employer, both federal and state laws provide protection.

Despite the many laws in place to protect employees, remember this: there are still times when workplace retaliation comes into play.

Thinking of reporting a violation? You're protected

Over the years, it has become not only more acceptable, but even applauded if someone blows the whistle on unethical workplace practices. If you are witnessing practices in the workplace that are illegal or even immoral, you have the right to stand up and speak up. There are laws in place at the state and federal levels to protect people that report incidents of wrongdoing committed by employers.

If your employer has retaliated against you for reporting a violation of the law, the court might charge him or her with a crime. In order to protect your rights, you might consider consulting an employment attorney in the Sherman Oaks area. Legal counsel can help you fight for your rights as an employee in the face of illegal retaliatory actions. Read further to learn more about California whistleblower laws.

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