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It seems like personal privacy is more important in this day and age than ever before, and this is especially true in the workplace. As workers become more connected to their work emails and files during nonstandard times, the distinction between acceptable monitoring and an invasion of privacy can be hard to tell. This is a brief guide to privacy law from the employee perspective.
Apply the Reasonableness Standard
The Fourth Amendment protects all Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures by both employers and police. If your company wishes to search employees as they exit the building, it may do so along as it first establishes privacy guidelines and provides notice to all employees. If you suspect that the company is suddenly spying or misusing employee data, consult an employment attorney as soon as possible. You may be able to sue your employer for violating your Constitutional right to privacy.
Use Computers With Caution
When employers provide computers, laptops, and smartphone devices to their employees, the company retains every right to examine the data and contents on the phone whenever they see fit. In this vein, none of the data stored on a corporate-owned computer can ever truly be private. The same rule applies to work emails, which are scanned and subject to discovery requests from lawsuits.
Understand the Limits
Employees do not sign away their privacy rights when they enter the workplace. In that effect, certain areas are off-limits to employers. A company must have a proven and disclosed business reason for putting cameras in workspaces. Furthermore, an employee may not put cameras in bathrooms, changing rooms, or other inherently private locations.
If you or a loved one were fired due to information that an employer discovered during an illegal search, you may have legal recourse. The San Jose-based Advocacy Center for Employment Law has been assisting employees for 31 years. If you live in California and want to schedule a consultation with an experienced wrongful termination lawyer in San Jose, call the Advocacy Center for Employment Law at (888) 703-2911 today.
By law, employees who are being let go from their jobs are subject to a certain amount of notice. If the company is downsizing and wants to shed excess employees, those workers may be able to negotiate a severance package and receive a favorable payment along with their exit.
If your company presents you with a severance agreement right off the bat, it may be more financially prudent not to accept their first offer. This is because the initial package is often construed to be in the employer’s best interest. Read the contract slowly to ensure to ensure that you are not signing away important rights such as the ability to ask for a reference. If you have any questions, consult a local attorney to see if a higher severance package may be available.
The Advocacy Center for Employment Law is a San Jose-based firm whose lawyers have been practicing northern California personnel law for over 30 years. We carry an Avvo rating of 9.0 and often work on a contingency fee basis. Contact us today at (888) 703-2911 to see how our team of wrongful termination lawyers can help you make the most of your severance package.
Feeling uncomfortable in the workplace can affect your performance and moral. Fortunately, there are numerous laws that protect employees from sexual harassment in the workplace. This video provides the full legal definition of sexual harassment and explains the difference between a hostile work environment and quid pro quo harassment situations.
Sexual harassment includes inappropriate jokes, touching, comments, and remarks of a physical, verbal, or visual nature that all have a sexual theme. Quid pro quo harassment involves a situation wherein a sexual act is leveraged to force a victim to engage in sexual acts he or she would not otherwise consent to. Meanwhile, a hostile work environment is a pervasive setting filled with inappropriate comments and intimidating behavior.
If you need to speak to an employment law attorney in Northern California, look no further than the Advocacy Center for Employment Law. We have more than 30 years of experience with California and federal cases. Our team of wrongful termination and sexual harassment lawyers can help with a myriad of workplace harassment and privacy issues, so call our San Jose office today at (888) 703-2911.
U.S. employment laws protect workers by setting minimum conditions for hours and pay. Any companies that violate congressionally-set rules can be held responsible in a court of law. Wronged employees may be entitled to financial damages and back pay for any benefits they missed. This is a look at the basics of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA):
One of the most important parts of the FLSA is that is created a standard minimum wage paid for all hourly work throughout the country. While each state has the right to increase the minimum wage as they see fit, no employer in the United States can pay an employee less than the federally mandated amount. As of 2009, the wage amount is $7.25 per hour, unless the job allows the worker to earn more than $30 a month in tips.
The FLSA explicitly states that all employees who work more than 40 hours per week are entitled to overtime at time-and-a-half pay. Certain types of labor classes are exempt from this requirement, but it generally applies to most hourly workers. If you suspect that your employer is intentionally short-changing you on your salary, consult a local employment attorney to file a claim under FLSA.
When Congress passed the FLSA in 1938, one of its chief aims was to prevent the problem of cheap and exploitative child labor throughout the United States. This law made it illegal to hire children under the age of 16 to work in all non-farming jobs.
If you live in California and suspect that your employer is shortchanging your wages or committing other illegal acts, consult the skilled team at the Advocacy Center for Employment Law. We are a San Jose-based firm with decades of experience helping workers of all wage levels receive proper compensation. Call our office today at (408) 600-1972 to schedule an evaluation of your claim.