State and federal laws provide broad protections to employees. These laws protect employees from workplace discrimination and harassment, ensure that they are fairly compensated for the hours that they work, and prevent employers from terminating employees for illegal reasons. However, despite these laws, some employers continue to engage in illegal employment practices. At Krolikowski Law, Orange County employment lawyer Adam J. Krolikowski proudly represents employees who have suffered from wrongful termination and sexual harassment. He has over 20 years of experience holding employers accountable for their illegal practices and helping his clients move forward with their lives.Protections for Employees
Employers are subject to strict laws when it comes to how they treat their employees. For example, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) states that an employer cannot discriminate on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military or veteran status. California Civil Code 51.9 is an important law that prohibits sexual harassment, inside and outside the workplace.
In most cases, an employer does not need to know that they are violating an employment law to be held accountable for their actions. However, employers that intentionally violate the law may be liable for punitive damages in certain situations, which can increase an employee’s total compensation award. Employees who believe that they have been subject to an employer’s illegal employment practices should reach out to Krolikowski Law for immediate assistance. Orange County employment attorney Adam Krolikowski is dedicated to enforcing employees’ rights and to holding employers accountable for their illegal workplace policies.Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a form of sex-based discrimination, which is prohibited under federal law as well as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and California Civil Code 51.9. Sometimes sexual harassment is obvious, such as when a supervisor makes the receipt of a job benefit or continued employment conditioned upon a request for a sexual act or favor. For example, a supervisor who asks an employee out on a date cannot tell the employee that she will be fired if she refuses, or that she will get a promotion if she goes.
In other cases, sexual harassment might involve a pattern of physical actions, verbal comments, or images distributed in an office space or through work email. Liability arises when undesirable or unwelcome behavior creates an environment that a reasonable person would feel is offensive. The harassment needs to be either severe or pervasive, but it does not need to be both. An employment attorney in Orange County can help an employee pursue a claim against an employer under Civil Code 51.9 or related laws.Wrongful Termination
While California is an at-will employment state, employers cannot terminate an employee for an illegal reason. This means that employers cannot fire an employee based on discrimination against their race, color, religion, gender, or any of the other characteristics protected by state law. For example, an employer cannot fire someone because they are Hispanic, because they are Muslim, because they are a woman, because they are gay, or because they have cancer.
Most employers realize that firing an employee based on a protected trait is forbidden, and they may try to conceal their motives by citing a pretext for the firing. However, an experienced attorney can work with an employee to uncover the actual reason and hold an employer accountable.Contact a Knowledgeable Employment Lawyer
If your employer recently terminated your employment, or if you are dealing with harassment in the workplace, contact Krolikowski Law. While there are many laws in place to protect employees, employers and their attorneys often try to get around these laws when they interfere with the company’s bottom line. We are here to help you hold them accountable for their unlawful practices. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation with an employment lawyer in Orange County, call us at (949) 274-9915 today.