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Los Angeles Employment Law Blog

Did pregnancy discrimination turn your happy news sour?

Most people have mixed feelings about having children. Some California residents may have known from a young age that they wanted to be a parent, and others may have adamantly known that they did not want kids. Others, still, may have been on the fence until they finally came to an ultimate decision in their adult years.

Whatever the case for you, you recently found out you are pregnant. Whether it came as a shock or a joyous outcome to a plan, you feel excited about welcoming a child into your family. You may have expected your family, friends and other individuals close to you to feel excited for you as well. What you may not have anticipated, however, is the mistreatment in the workplace that followed your announcement.

Partners at Bononi Law Group, LLP, recognized on 2020 California Super Lawyers list

The partners at Bononi Law Group, LLP, Michael Bononi and William Waldo, were both nominated and chosen for the 2020 California Super Lawyers list. This elite list highlights attorneys in more than 70 practice areas that demonstrate outstanding skill, service and achievement in their practice.

Do you qualify for leave under the FMLA?

Some circumstances in life are unavoidable. You may have an immediate loved one who is ill and needs you to take care of him or her, or you may live with a difficult medical condition yourself. In either case, it is difficult for you to go to work every day and handle the complications that your or your loved one's medical needs can present.

Of course, you may worry that, if you miss too much work, you will lose your job, which you desperately need to handle your financial affairs. Fortunately, you may qualify for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

What is an adverse employment action?

You probably already know that the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 prohibits your employer from retaliating against you if you discover other employees engaging in illegal acts and report these activities to your superiors and/or to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. As you might expect, however, retaliatory acts can take a variety of forms. Consequently, the EEOC explains that both federal law and the U.S. Supreme Court maintain ever-growing lists of prohibited actions, called adverse employment actions, that no employer can take against you should you become a whistleblower.

Keep in mind that no one-size-fits-all definition exists as to what constitutes an adverse employment action. Rather, courts must determine on a case-by-case basis whether or not a specific act by a specific employer against a specific whistleblower employee rises to the level of an adverse employment action.

Do any of these discriminatory actions sound familiar?

Many people go into their chosen fields of work because they have at least some interest in the profession. You may be one of the many people who felt a passion for a particular subject or occupation and wanted to create a career of it. As a result, when you found a job in your chosen field, you likely felt excited to interview and even more excited when you landed the job.

Unfortunately, the excitement and enjoyment of your position may have only lasted a few months or a few years. You put in a lot of hard work and may have anticipated promotions, favorable duties or other benefits of being a loyal and efficient employee. However, that was not the case.

Addressing harassment at work can be a delicate matter

Dealing with a difficult situation at work can sometimes be more complicated than people would like. Unlike dealing with issues in other settings, you and other California workers likely worry about the consequences that could affect your career if one does not handle a predicament in the best manner possible. You may consider yourself someone who does not like to cause trouble, but you also want to stand up to wrongdoing.

For you, standing up to harassment in the workplace may have become a personal endeavor. You may have experienced harassment yourself or witnessed it happening to a co-worker. In either case, you want to do what is right and bring the harassing actions to an end.

Health care workers are often victims of wrongful termination

All workers in the healthcare profession play a valuable role in preserving the life and well-being of Californians who come in for treatment. No matter their role, they are all trusted with the health of their patients, and, as such, have to follow many strict laws and regulations designed to keep people safe and the American medical system financially and ethically sound.

One problem workers may face as they try to follow these laws is employers and others who may turn a blind eye to rule violations if not disregard them outright. In these cases, bringing these violations to the light depends on courageous employees who have the integrity to speak up.

Your age shouldn't be a factor in the workplace

When you go to work every day, you probably are not thinking about your age and whether that number will keep you from doing your job. After all, you simply show up and do your job because you are capable of doing it. Unfortunately, some people view older California employees as a problem, and age discrimination in the workplace is a real issue. 

Experiencing age discrimination in the workplace is disheartening and overwhelming. If you think you are a victim, you are probably unsure of what to do next. Should you speak up and take the risk of losing your job? What will happen if no one believes you? Discrimination of any kind is unacceptable, and you have the right to seek legal guidance regarding the best way to deal with it.

Steps to take when dealing with workplace discrimination

When it occurs, workplace discrimination can come as quite a shock to employees in California. When people go to work each day, they probably don't expect to be the victim of another person's prejudices. However, the sad reality is that discrimination still occurs in the workplace.

Those who experience discrimination in the workplace may want to make sure that they follow a certain set of steps to make sure that the discrimination is addressed, both from an employment and legal prospective.

What should workers look for in the employee handbook?

You probably already know that your employer must provide you with a work environment free from discrimination, harassment and retaliation under both federal and California law. You may know that you do not have to put up with these types of behaviors from coworkers, supervisors, managers and even third parties from outside the company.

However, what you may not know is how seriously your employer takes its commitment to providing you with a hostility-free workplace. One of the best places to make that determination is by carefully reviewing your employee handbook. If your employer didn't provide you with one, you may want to ask to see one since it is often used as the first line of defense for a company against any claim you may file involving discrimination, retaliation and harassment.

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Bononi Law Group, LLP, Attorneys & Lawyers  Employment & Workers Compensation, Pasadena, CA