- Q: I believe I was wrongfully terminated from my employment. What can I do?
A: When you are fired for an illegal reason, it is considered wrongful termination, especially when it is done without cause. An unlawful reason may involve violation of federal anti-discrimination laws, or a breach of contract. You cannot be fired on the basis of race, religion, ethnic background, gender, or disability. You cannot be fired because you filed a complaint against an employer, or because you “blew the whistle” on your employer’s wrongdoing. If your termination involves any of these, you should gather as much documentation as possible, along with notes on what was said and done with names and dates, and contact an experienced employment lawyer.
- Q: I have experienced discrimination in my workplace because of one of the following: gender, race, religion, appearance, or disability. What can I do?
A: There should be no tolerance for discrimination in the workplace. Discrimination can take many forms. You could be turned down for certain responsibilities, for a raise, for a promotion, and so on, despite being qualified. You could be treated in an unacceptable way through rude comments or harassment. You could be denied accommodations you require if you are disabled. These are just a few examples of discrimination. If you have experienced any of this or any other form of discrimination, you will need to prove your case. For example, if you were turned down for a promotion because of your gender, you will need to prove your qualifications, and document the reasons you were given for being denied. The documentation you will need will be relevant to your particular case. A qualified employment attorney can guide you through this process.
- Q: I have been, or I am being, harassed in my workplace. What steps should I take?
A: No one has the right to harass you in the workplace. According to the United States Department of Labor, there are two basic types of unlawful harassment.“Quid quo pro” – meaning “this for that – is when a tangible employment decision is based on an employee’s acceptance or rejection of unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors. It can also take the form of unwelcome conduct of a religious nature. It usually involves someone who can make or recommend formal employment decisions, such as demotion, termination, and so on.“Hostile work environment” harassment happens when there is unwelcome conduct by supervisors, co-workers, customers, contractors, or anyone else the victim interacts with at work. This would be unwelcome conduct that renders the workplace atmosphere intimidating, hostile, or threatening. If you have experienced either type of harassment, an experienced employment lawyer can guide you to a solution that will right the wrongs, and win the compensation you deserve.
- Q: I was denied family leave – or terminated after requesting family leave – for the birth of a child, an adoption, or a foster child placement. Is there anything I can do?
A: According to the United States Department of Labor, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave each year. It also requires that their group health benefits are maintained during the leave. It covers:
* The birth and care of a newborn child
* The placement of a child for adoption or foster care
* The care of an immediate family member with a serious health condition
* Medical leave when an employee is unable to work due to a serious health conditionIf you worked for your employer for at last 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months, and you work for a company that employs at least 50 people within 75 miles, you are eligible for family leave. If you were denied family leave, an experienced employment attorney can help you uphold your rights and win the compensation you were denied.
- Q: I believe my job has been wrongly classified as “exempt” from overtime pay. Can this be corrected?
A: If you have been wrongly classified as exempt from overtime pay, you may have been cheated out of wages you earned. In most cases, you should be able to file a claim to recover the lost wages and overtime pay. Although certain management positions, advanced professional occupations, and outside sales jobs may be correctly classified as exempt, the majority of positions allow an employee to work and be paid for overtime. A knowledgeable employment lawyer can help you determine whether your employer owes you overtime wages.
- Q: I was terminated after asking about Worker’s Compensation. What are my options?
A: Employers are not always happy to learn that an employee filed a Workers’ Compensation claim because it may cause their insurance rates to go up. However, you have every right to file a claim if you get hurt at work, and you cannot be discriminated against because you were injured or because you filed a claim. If you are an at-will employee in the United States, an employer can fire you for a variety of reasons – but not for an injury, or for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim. If the reason you were terminated is not legitimate, an experienced employment lawyer can help you to prove your case, and to recover compensation for the loss of your job.
- Q: My employer failed to make accommodations for my disability. Can I demand this without risking my job?
A: According to the United States Department of Labor, there are three areas where reasonable accommodations for a disability may be needed. They are:
* Adjustments to the job application process so a qualified applicant with a disability can be considered
* Modifications to the physical work environment, or to the way a job is performed, so a person with a disability can perform the essential functions of the position
* Changes that enable an employee with a disability to have equal benefits and privileges of employment in the same way as employees without disabilities. This may include the use of cafeterias, lounges, auditoriums, and company-provided transportation. The accommodations an employee is entitled to will vary based on their disability. Barring any exceptions based on “undue hardships” to the employer, if you are a “qualified” worker with disabilities, you deserve to receive certain accommodations at work. An attorney with experience in this area of the law can help to advocate for your rights, and recover compensation for any wrongs.
- Q: I have experienced retaliation after reporting discrimination at work, or after reporting unlawful activity at work. Are my rights protected by whistleblower laws?
A: If you have suffered retaliation after reporting fraud, corruption, or other illegal activity on the part of your employer, you may have a “whistleblower” legal claim against your employer. If you were fired, demoted, or discriminated against in some other way for doing the right thing, an attorney with experience in this area can file a claim for you and recover damages. A knowledgeable whistleblower attorney will stand up for your rights, assist you in documenting your claim, and help you to win the largest possible reward.
The Legal Team at Sidney L. Gold & Associates Can Help
If you have experienced wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, the denial of family leave, the denial of overtime, termination after seeking Workers’ Compensation, the denial of accommodations for your disability, or retaliation after filing a whistleblower claim, our legal team has vast experience in these areas. Please call the Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. at 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free consultation. We will fiercely protect your workplace rights, and win the compensation you need and deserve.