Facing difficulties at the workplace can seriously impede productivity and mental health and even cause financial issues. Resolving adversities through legal means available to an individual is very important as there might be racism or harassment happening among other kinds of abuse and maltreatment and not everyone can simply leave their job. Everyone deserves to have a pleasant and productive experience at work without any kind of serious adversity occurring.
Workplace problems can have far-reaching consequences, especially for an individual’s emotional health and well-being and legal solutions can offer closure and compensation or at least the ease with which to continue a job in safety. Types of workplace adversity can also include unsafe, unsanitary, or even potentially dangerous working conditions or illegal working hours or expectations.
Know The Laws of Your State
Laws governing employment vary slightly from state to state so visit the relevant official website to know your rights and the specific statute that applies to your case.
In the employment law of Texas for example, as is the case with many other states, there are laws against discrimination due to disabilities, race or color, or even immigrant status among other laws that govern how employers must behave with their employees. Even the way employers have to take complaints or employee disputes into consideration is marked out in legislation.
There are also various commissions to govern fair working conditions and fair treatment in workplaces and they form part of the government in each area so being well-versed on the laws that outline your struggles and their legal solutions is a huge bonus. Having this knowledge can help you work with an attorney to have your grievances resolved.
Contact An Attorney While On The Job
A major misconception that some people have is that they need to be fired from a job or have resigned in order to file a claim or a complaint and seek legal counsel. The process of seeking legal recompense can absolutely begin while you are on the job even if there is prevalent fear and intimidation that progress, promotion, or other perks may be halted.
The adversities can be ongoing such as being assigned increasingly difficult work tasks that do not fall in the job description or facing other forms of harassment. The adversities can also belong to the past but litigation becomes slightly more challenging if the events transpired a considerable time ago therefore timely intervention is important.
The first step is to complain through the internal channel. Many victims and disenfranchised employees may be afraid to complain through the internal mechanism of the organization they work for and unless they face a threat to their safety they should still register there first so they can state to the court later that the organization was given reasonable notice of the complaint and did nothing to resolve it. If an employee fears for their safety for any reason, they should seek the advice of an attorney immediately.
The state of the HR department is another concern that the victim needs to take into consideration. Most companies and organizations have their own system for punishing, suspending, or otherwise penalizing managers or other employees for improper or discriminatory behavior.
In some cases, the HR department instead of dealing ethically with the complaint may try to whitewash the reputation of the organization so it can be a double-edged sword.
Never Publicize Before A Legal Proceeding
Individuals facing workplace problems should never take to social media as their first recourse. It is essential for them to visit an attorney and get professional advice and then sue their employer.
Putting the incident or incidents on social media before professional advice is sought may even go against the victim in court and give the employer or colleague the chance to counter-sue for claims such as libel or defamation.
The element of surprise is very important to lawyers and attorneys particularly when they are having to prosecute for harassment or assault or even for subtle discrimination which can often be hard to prove.
You may feel there are people in the workplace you can trust with your legal plans but the safest route is to tell no one what you have decided on as the course of action with your lawyer. Keep all your legal plans completely confidential regardless of whether you have left your job or are working at the same place.
Preventing any retaliatory action from a disgruntled or ill-intentioned employer is paramount while successfully keeping them in the dark about your modus operandi as that will prevent them from making an effective counter-strategy to protect themselves.
A common mistake some victims of workplace adversities make is to use their office or work email or computer in order to either communicate with their attorney or to put their story on social media. Office computers and laptops and emails for that matter may be centrally monitored and as mentioned above could potentially leak your legal plan before you are ready to act.
If you are using an office-owned or issued device to store or transfer evidence such as audio, message screenshots, or videos, they could also get externally accessed and possibly deleted. Always make copies on a personal computer at your home or on the cloud which your employer or organization does not have access to. Share your story in person with people you trust just in case your phone is being monitored.
Consider consulting a specialized employment attorney instead of a general one as employment attorneys are well versed in the specific statutes relating to employment law and can defend your case in a more effective manner. The legal options available to an employee can be addressed and a legal strategy formulated depending on the type of adversity that has been faced or one that is ongoing in current employment.
While it is true that for many crimes there is a statute of limitation in effect so you need to report the occurrence within a set time frame workplace adversities can sometimes be ongoing for months and years before they are properly reported or proper action is taken. For more serious forms, never let time lapse be an impediment to getting justice, and contact an employment attorney as soon as possible.
In many employment-related disputes, out-of-court settlements are a lot more common than in-court hearings. Unless the workplace adversity is extremely serious like threats, harassment, or abuse, monetary issues can often be resolved with effective arbitration between the attorneys of both sides. Being patient is important as the matter can take months in some cases to reach a satisfactory conclusion especially if there are scheduled court hearings that then have to follow a certain mandated series of events.
Coverage By The Law
Employees who are part-time, immigrants or even interns may feel that the main tenets of employment law do not apply to them or that they cannot sue for damages or compensation if they have faced workplace adversity in any way. Even if an individual is hired by a contractor and they have a verbal contract, they may still be covered by many protective laws so seeking the advice of an employment attorney is important.