How The American Disability Act (ADA) has protected the disabled workers?
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Impacts of OSHA'S Whistle-blower Laws in Workplace
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What are the 3 Types of Sexual Harassment at the workplace? California's Constitution protects employees from being harassed within the workplace. Employees and employers should be familiar with the Fair Employment and Housing Act and the California Government Code § 12940(j)(1), which makes it illegal to harass an employee. Harassment isn't always physical and it is not always directed at a particular employee but it may still offend that employee. Employees may be targets of harassment based on their gender, gender identity, the way in which they express their gender, or based on an employee's pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions (Cal Gov Code § 12940(j)(4)(C)). However, sexual harassment remains the most prevalent in the workplace above all other forms of harassment. Sexual harassment can come in the form of physical, verbal or visual acts.
What is expected of the employer and or organization?
It is not always an employer who is sexually harassing the employee, sometimes it can even be other employees sexually harassing an individual, however, this does not absolve the employer from being responsible for the occurrence of the harassment (Gov. C. § 12940(k)). Under FEHA regulations, employers are held accountable for not taking reasonable steps to prevent harassment from taking place. Reasonable steps taken by employers to ensure a safe and sexual harassment-free work environment includes providing prevention training. Employers are also expected to provide a copy of the California Fair Employment and Housing fact sheet to all employees upon being hired.
If an employee feels unsafe in their own workplace, it is important to discuss their potential claim with a Sexual Harassment Lawyer.
1- Physical Sexual Harassment
Physical sexual harassment is the most obvious and well-known form of sexual harassment. It is exercised through unwelcome touching such as rubbing up against a person or physically interfering with another's movements or preventing another from completing their work. Examples of unwanted touching would be if employee A placed his arms around employee B and employee B felt uncomfortable with this and asked employee A to stop. Another example would be if employee A would block employee B with his body from leaving the copy room, preventing employee B from leaving that area without having to touch employee A. An employee who has been subjected to physical sexual harassment should discuss the matter with a Sexual Harassment Lawyer.
2- Verbal Sexual Harassment
Remarks or comments that are disrespectful insults or slurs may also be considered as verbal harassment towards an individual. Under FEHA regulations, an employee may identify their experience with verbal comments as "harassment" even through nicknames, labeling, or titles. Examples of this would be employee A nicknaming employee B "Hot Stuff" or "Big Butt Balinda". These kinds of nicknames or titles are offensive and comment on an individual's anatomy and also have a sexual connotation.
Although the workplace is a space for professionals who are employed by an organization, some employees today are subjected to feeling uncomfortable and endure unwelcome interactions while at their place of employment. This can be distracting for a victim of this behavior, leaving him or her afraid to go to work. The Fair Employment and Housing Act regulations recognize verbal harassment as a form of harassment and specifies "romantic overtures" as a type of verbal harassment. But what exactly does that even mean? Put simply, this means romantic or flirtatious gestures from person A to person B in an attempt to progress a platonic or formal relationship to a romantic level. These attempts as in plural, are continuous and consistent.
In order to give rise to a claim, romantic or flirtatious remarks are still considered harassment whether the remarks are subtle or obvious. Subtle verbal overtures may be an invitation to go on a lunch or dinner date. In this scenario, although an invitation to lunch or dinner may be a way in which friends interact with one another, depending the particular circumstances this may be construed as harassment. An obvious verbal overture may be a comment such as "we would make beautiful babies together" or "I wonder what it would be like if we dated". These comments are obvious in an attempt to escalate a relationship into a romantic and or sexual realm.
An individual who has this issue at their place of work would need to contact a Sexual Harassment Lawyer to see if they have a claim against their employer.
3- Visual Sexual Harassment
The Fair Employment and Housing Act recognizes that sexual harassment may come in the form of visual harassment (2. Cal Gov. Regs. § 11019(b)(1)). At first glance "visual harassment" by definition may seem obvious in that one individual is exposing themselves to another individual who does not appreciate the exposure. However, visual harassment comes in other forms that are not as blatant as perhaps a fellow employee exposing themselves. Visual harassment can be demonstrated through cartoons or drawings that are considered offensive and or insulting to the victim. For example, a male employee may draw a character of a fellow female colleague in which her breast size is exaggerated. In that scenario, the female employee is being sexual harassed based on the visual of herself which could be construed as sexual in nature while also making her feel uncomfortable.
More commonly, in an age of technology, one employee showing a video or picture to another employee in the workplace in which that individual finds the visual offensive or insulting, may be considered as visual harassment even though it does not involve that particular employee who is offended. For example, a female or male employee may show or attempt to show another coworker a video of herself or himself having sexual intercourse with his or her partner. In this scenario, although the video does not have anything to do with the employee who is being shown the video, this act is still considered as visual harassment because it is sexual in nature, offensive, and unwelcome.
Visual sexual harassment is also exercised through posters displayed within the workplace. Posters that would fall under this category of visual harassment as mentioned above, would contain visuals that are offensive in their sexual nature and offend the particular individual.
Lewd gestures are also recognized under the Fair Employment and Housing Act as visual harassment. This could be interpreted to cover an array of acts being performed by one employee that offends another particular employee. For example, one employee may gyrate or perform pelvic thrusts towards another employee. Although the employee carrying out the act is not touching this particular employee nor are they even conducting themselves in that way in reference to that particular employee, it is still considered visual harassment.
An employee who is experiencing this type visual harassment should call a Sexual Harassment Lawyer.
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What are the 8 Main Disability Discrimination Questions? California is an at-will employment state. As an at-will employee in California, an individual may be terminated for any reason or no reason at all unless terminated for an illegal reason. Per California Government Code § 12940 an employer's decision to terminate an employee may be characterized as illegal if the reason is based on an employee's religion, race, color, national origin, gender, ancestry, age, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and or disability. Although this is not an exhaustive list, these are considered as protected classes and if an employee belongs to one of these classes and is terminated based on belonging to one of these classes there are remedies available. Specifically, employees with a disability, whether he or she is mentally or physically impaired are protected. In order to make a claim, the employee would need to contact a Disability Discrimination Attorney.
1- What constitutes a physical disability? A physical disability includes a disease, disorder, condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss or health impairment (§ 12926 (m)(1). The disability of this kind must also impact the employee both in a body system and limit a major life activity. Affecting a body system includes but is not limited to special sense organs, neurological, musculoskeletal, reproductive, digestive, and respiratory. The particular system affected would need to limit major life activities socially, physically, mentally, or while working (§ 12926 (m)(1)(B)(iii).
2- Are mental disabilities recognized? Mental disabilities that limit major life activities are considered protected and include mental or psychological conditions, which range from emotional or mental illness to specific learning disabilities (§ 12926 (j)(1)). Mental disabilities that limit major life activities includes the impairment hindering the efficiency and execution of everyday physical, mental, and social functions (ibid). Further details can be provided by a Disability Discrimination Attorney.
3- How does an employee know if they are being discriminated against in the workplace based on their disability? Discrimination within the workplace takes on various forms which may foreshadow an unlawful termination. Forms of discrimination in the workplace are demonstrated through name calling, singling an individual out, passing an individual up for promotion or opportunities, demotion, failing to accommodate a request for reasonable accommodation, involuntary transfer or reassignment, bullying, constructive discharge, and denying benefits. Although not an exhaustive list, discriminatory behavior takes on various forms and is determined on a case by case basis. For further enquirers regarding this type of situation, call a Disability Discrimination Attorney.
4- What is expected of an employer? Pursuant to the California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 11069, the employer should endeavor to facilitate an interactive process between themselves and the employee with a recognized disability. This interactive process is built on open communication between the employer and employee in order to maintain up to date knowledge of the circumstances. By maintaining this interactive process, the employer is on notice and subject to accountability for being aware of the employee's needs for accommodation. In addition, this process promotes the exchange of ideas to reach a set of reasonable accommodations that are appropriate for the individual.
5- What kind of accommodation should an employer provide? An employer should provide reasonable accommodation. Reasonable accommodation provided to an employee entails adjustments and modifications of the employee's position that enables the employee to have an equal opportunity as their peers to carry out tasks. Some circumstances may require the employer to suggest transferring the employee to a more practicable position, ensuring the job-site facilities are accessible to the employee, permitting a service animal to accompany the employee at work, supplying the employee with a reader or interpreter, providing a modified schedule as well as part-time work, providing accommodation for training or tests or additional training, and providing any other reasonable modifications to the employee's work-site and or environment. For more clarification on what kind of accommodation should be provided, ask a Disability Discrimination Attorney.
6- What does it mean to be retaliated against? Once an employee makes a complaint against their employer or against any practice within the organization regarding their recognized disability, the employee could be mistreated by means of retaliation. This situation arises when the employee makes a complaint against certain unlawful practices that violate FEHA regulations being conducted within the workplace. In response to the complaint(s), the employer or organization takes adverse employment action against the employee. For example, an employee with a hearing impairment makes a formal complaint to their human resources department regarding his or her supervisor refusing to hire a sign language interpreter for a required training seminar. Shortly after the complaint is made, the employee is demoted to a lower paying position that does not require attending the training session. Here, the organization's response to the complaint may be characterized as discriminatory and retaliatory based on the employee's protest against their supervisor's refusal to provide reasonable accommodation.
Even if the employee's specific request for accommodation is not granted, the employee is still under the protection of FEHA in that they can both be discriminated or retaliated against for making the request in the first place. Such circumstances need to be evaluated by a Disability Discrimination Attorney.
7- What is considered unlawful employment practices? If an employee falls under one of the recognized protected classes, specifically in this case the employee possesses a physical or mental disability, and an employer mistreats the employee based on having a disability may be considered unlawful. The FEHA and California Government Code § 12940(a) qualify unlawful treatment as being demonstrated through hiring practices, path to promotion selection, distribution of work benefits and privileges or compensation.
As previously mentioned, an employer is required to provide reasonable accommodation for an employee with a recognized disability. It is considered unlawful under FEHA for an employer to refuse to implement reasonable accommodation(s) requested by the employee as well as not consider recommendations made by the employee's licensed physician. Also, for further assistance on the matter, discuss the matter with a local Disability Discrimination Attorney.
8- How to prove an employee has an action in disability discrimination against their employer? There must be a direct link between the employee's disability and the reason for termination. In other words, the employee must prove that they were fired based on their recognized disability. For example, an employee is diagnosed with a condition in which their vision is significantly impaired and shortly after their employer is put on notice of this, the employee is let go from their position "because they can't see". This would demonstrate a causal link between the employee's disability and the decision to terminate. Alternatively, the employee may need to prove that the connection between the disability and the termination was demonstrated through unequal treatment or failure to make adjustments or modifications were necessary to do so.
If an employee wants to know if they have a case concerning these issues they need to reach out to a Disability Discrimination Attorney.
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An is an attorney who may represent an employee against their employer in a situation where he or she was treated poorly at work based on their sexual orientation. But what is ? What is discrimination against a person's sexual orientation? In order to understand the answers to these questions, it may make more sense to start with the laws that surround these topics and to know who is protected by these laws.
What is discrimination and harassment?
What exactly does it mean to be discriminated against in the workplace? To discriminate is to notice an individual's differences from others and to treat that individual differently from others in a negative way because of that individual's differences. There are employment laws in place that regulate discriminatory practices within the workplace and deem them as unlawful.
Not all forms of discrimination are unlawful in the workplace. For example, it may seem unfair but employees who are over a certain weight may not be a class of individuals who are protected under the law. For instance, if an employee is overweight and is picked on and treated adversely compared to other employees based on being overweight, while It is unkind it may not be considered as unlawful. Employment laws only recognize certain classes of individuals and particular characteristics as being protected. Examples of classes and characteristics that are recognized by the law are an employee's creed, religion, marital status, gender, age, military status, ethnicity, disability, medical condition, veteran status, and . If an employee is singled out and treated negatively based on belonging to one of the recognized classes or an employee is treated poorly based on possessing an acknowledged characteristic, then that may be considered as an .
Where an employee is treated differently compared to other employees in a negative way and it is because that employee falls under a protected class or bears a recognized characteristic, that employee may have a case against their employer for discrimination. An employer or organization may be held liable for discrimination if the employee can show he or she was singled out based on a protected class or characteristic. It is essential to note that belonging to a protected class or bearing a guarded characteristic does not mean that an employee is automatically granted a right to sue for discrimination and/or . This means that if the unfair treatment is not based on the employee being a member of a protected class or bearing a protected characteristic then it not considered discrimination. For example, George was a 50-year-old man at an online store's warehouse. The law does recognize age as a protected class for employees who are 40 years of age and older. Recently George was fired for being late several times and was caught falsifying his time sheets. In this scenario, although George may qualify as being a person belonging to a protected class, which in this case would be age, he may not be able to prove he was a victim of age discrimination. In George's case, his employer may be able to claim that he was fired because of George's tardiness and fraudulent acts. The adverse treatment needs to be based on the employee belonging to a protected class or bearing a protected characteristic whereas here, George was not exactly Employee of the Month material. George's termination would need to show that it was based on his age. So if George had been told by his boss "hey, you're getting too old for this job" and then thereafter he was terminated, that may be considered as age discrimination.
Discrimination in its application is handled by an Employment Lawyer who represents employees against their employers. In order to even know if you or someone you know has been discriminated against, you should contact an Employment Lawyer in your area.
Harassment in the workplace can come in the form of teasing, name-calling, talking down to an employee, mocking, berating, or bullying. Another form of harassment may be delivered through photos, videos, memes, cartoons, emails, texts, and physical gestures. All of these forms of harassment are categorized as unlawful once the harassment is motivated by the singling out of a protected class. More specifically, if the harassment is based on an employee's , that may be considered as unlawful.
Discrimination and/or harassment against an employee's is considered as unlawful behavior because sexual orientation is considered protected by certain employment laws. Sexual orientation refers to an individual's sexual or romantic preference such as homosexuality, heterosexuality, and bisexuality. If an employee is singled out, treated adversely, or treated less favorable compared to all other employees because of his or her , then that may be discrimination or harassment. An employee who is being discriminated against based on his or her sexual orientation may experience being denied employee benefits, being passed over for promotion, reduced pay, reduced hours, or termination. An applicant may also be subjected to unlawful hiring practices which also prohibited by the employment laws.
The laws in employment law hold employers accountable for discrimination even for perceived and/or discrimination. In other words, an employee who is assumed by their employer or fellow coworkers as being homosexual and is not, yet is teased and harassed based on that assumption, may still be held liable for harassment and/or discrimination.
An Employment Lawyer who has handled cases in the past in and harassment may know the best way to represent an employee who is in a current discrimination or harassment situation at work.
An employee should not have to endure harassment or discrimination if it is based on a protected class or characteristic, especially if the harassment and/or discrimination is based on an employee's sexual orientation. Employees have the right to feel safe in their work environment and employers are responsible for enforcing an anti-discrimination policy at the workplace. The current employment laws are in place to provide protection for employees and they will be enforced if an Employment Lawyer is hired by an employee who is being victimized at work.
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People in America have the right to practice the religion of their choice. But what happens when you try to exercise some of your religious practices at work and your boss does not like it?
- What if you need to wear a certain type of clothing due to your religious beliefs and you are punished by your employer?
- What rights do employees have at work when it comes to their religion?
- Are all types of religious beliefs recognized by the law?
- What type of lawyer handles in the workplace?
- Can I sue my boss for telling me I cannot participate in my religious practices at work? Is religion considered a protected class?
- How do I know if my boss has provided the correct accommodation for my religious related request?
There are laws that pertain specifically to employment law that deem the denial of accommodation for religious purposes to be considered discriminatory. In some employment situations, if an employee makes a request for accommodation regarding their religion and it is denied, that employee may be entitled to sue their employer for discrimination.
Employers are required by certain laws to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee who makes a request for accommodation regarding their religion. The employer is expected to make reasonable accommodation for employees who make a request that has to do with their religious beliefs, religious beliefs that are affiliated with common religions which include rituals, ceremonies, celebrations, customs, and/or practices. For example, some employees may observe Ramadan in which the employee may fast.
"Religion" in employment law means that employers must recognize any religions and/or "religious creeds". Employers technically must recognize an employee's religious system or faith, and the traditions and practices in which the employee exercises for religious purposes. This includes moral, social, and behavior beliefs that are upheld by common religious systems.
A is the best type of legal professional to consult on employment matters regarding religion and employee rights. Should an employee have any issues regarding their employee rights, they should contact a Discrimination Lawyer for a free consultation.
Aside from even having a request granted/accommodated, an employee who even puts in a request to their employer or Human Resources Department is protected from discrimination. This means that the law recognizes that an employee has a right to make a request for accommodation in regards to their religion without being retaliated against or treated adversely because of their request for accommodation. If an employee is in fact punished for making a request for accommodation because of their religion, an employee may have the right to take legal action against their employer for discrimination and/or retaliation.
There are many ways in which an employee may find themselves being punished for asking for accommodation at work in order to practice their religion. A Discrimination Lawyer is the kind of lawyer who would be able to determine if an employee was in fact punished by their employer for making a request.
Retaliation against an employee by their employer is prohibited by law in certain circumstances. If an employee makes a request for accommodation for their religion and thereafter they are treated adversely by their employer directly or indirectly, it may be considered as retaliation.
An employer may retaliate against an employee after he or she makes an accommodation request to their employer or Human Resources department because of their religion. The retaliation may be identified by the employer's actions and/or behavior such as reducing the employee's hours, reducing the employees pay, denying the employee employment benefits, confiscating employee benefits from the employee, and/or choosing other employees over the particular employee for promotion. An employer may also retaliate against an employee who makes a request for accommodation for a religious purpose by making rude comments towards the employee, singling the employee out, name-calling or even reprimanding the employee for bogus reasons.
An example of retaliation would be if an employee's religion called for wearing a clothing that covered his or her face. The employee may make a request to their employer to permit them to wear this type of clothing to work for religious purposes. After the employee made the request the employer may begin treating the employee poorly such as reducing their shifts or giving the employee shifts that the employer knows would cause the employee hardship. In this example, the timeline shows that the employee put in the request followed by being treated poorly. This may imply that the employee was being punished for making the request which is prohibited by law. The employee in this example may have a claim against their employer for retaliation as well as discrimination. In order to carry out this claim, he or she should contact a Discrimination Lawyer to discuss their employee rights.
As an employee who needs to make a request for accommodation or has made a request for accommodation regarding religious beliefs, there is a test that the law uses to determine whether the employer must recognize the employee's particular religion and/or practice. Firstly, the employee's religion must address issues and answer questions relating to the meaning of life, death, and the performance of faith. Secondly, the employee's religion must be all-inclusive in essence, having an actual belief system rather than a secluded form of teaching. Lastly, the employee's religion can be identified by the existence of visible and explicit signs, which for example being a vegetarian would not be recognized.
So what is and accommodation? Although the above information may somewhat answer this question, it is always best to discuss your employee rights with a Discrimination Lawyer. Each case varies and differs on the facts, therefore a one-on-one with a Discrimination Lawyer is the most efficient way to decide whether you should pursue the matter in a court of law. Make sure to reach out to a Discrimination Lawyer who offers free consultations to potential clients which include no other up-front costs.
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Taking a is not ideal for an employee or their employer, but it happens. The law recognizes that sometimes things happen in an employee's life that they have little or no control over which is why there are legal standards that both employees and employers need to meet in order to comply with the applicable laws. Although employees do have rights when it comes to a for certain reasons, the laws are indeed perplexing. As a result, some employees may find it difficult to even know what rights they have. Hiring an Employment Lawyer or a Labor Attorney would be the type of legal professional an employee should contact to discuss their rights and obtain advice from based on their particular situation.
There are federal and state statutes that regulate leaves of absence and/or affect the rights of employees who take a leave of absence. Although there are federal and state statutes that regulate leaves of absence, the good news is that an employee may utilize the applicable body of law that provides the most protection in their particular situation, which an Employment Lawyer or Labor Attorney will be able to determine. Below are a few points to keep in mind in regards to taking a medical leave of absence.
In most cases, an employee can take a protected leave of absence if they have what a doctor considers as a "serious health condition" such as an illness or injury. An employee may also have a protected leave if their spouse, child, or parent is diagnosed with a "serious health condition." Alternatively, an employee may take a protected leave for the birth of their child as well as to care for the child thereafter. Also, an employee may be entitled to a protected leave of absence for the placement of an adopted child.
Lastly, an employee may be protected in taking a leave of absence if he or she has a family member who is on active duty or in the armed forces.
An employee is not usually entitled to a paid leave. In some cases however, an employee may be entitled to a paid leave if there is a policy in place at their particular company that ensures that the employee does receive paid leave. Each employee's circumstances differ so it is important to discuss the particulars of your case in deciding whether or not you were or are entitled to paid leave.
In a situation where you need to take a from work, whether or not you need to provide a note from your doctor is a complicated question. Typically, if an employer requests a doctor's note, then an employee may be obligated to provide one from their doctor. Not providing a doctor's note may give the employer the right to deny the employee's request for a leave of absence.
If an employee does put in a request to their employer to take a the employer may give the employee a series of forms for their doctor to complete within a specific time frame. An employee who is given documents by their employer should have the paperwork filled out as soon as possible by their doctor and returned to their employer within the time frame specified by the employer. It will be helpful for the employee to keep a copy of all written communications with the employer and all documents related to the leave, as well as keeping a record of all verbal communications between themselves and their employer.
A common concern that many employees have before, during, or after they take a medical leave is whether or not they will be reinstated upon their return. Depending on the specific facts and circumstances of the case, an employee may be entitled to reinstatement upon their return. An employee may have a right to reinstatement is if he or she has a "serious health issue" according to a doctor. In addition to having a serious health issue, the employee would need to have taken no more than 12 weeks of leave. This means that if a doctor diagnoses an employee with a serious health issue and the doctor advises in a form to the employee's employer that the employee needs a certain amount of time off, it would need to be no more than 12 weeks in order for the employee to be entitled to return to their same/equivalent position.
For example, after a recent visit to her doctor, Beth was diagnosed with a serious illness which required that she have surgery within the month. Her doctor informed Beth that after the surgery she would need to be on bed rest for at least 2-3 weeks. Beth is an assistant manager at the factory she is employed at and is now worried that if she takes time off for the surgery she will lose her job. Here, Beth is in a difficult position because she needs to take time off of work to address her medical condition and secondly, she is worried that she is going to lose her job or perhaps be demoted if she does follow her doctor's instructions to take time off. In Beth's case, she may be entitled to her same job upon her return. This is because Beth's doctor has recommended that she take 2-3 weeks off which placed Beth below the 12-week cut-off. Therefore Beth may not have an issue being reinstated upon her return.
Every case varies due to the complexity of the laws that regulate for employees. Certain factors may be taken into consideration in deciding whether or not you may obtain your original position such as how essential your position was at the company. If you are an employee and have questions related to a leave of absence, you should reach out to a to discuss whether any of your rights were violated and if your employer complied with the leave of absence laws.
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