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    What Constitutes a Hostile Work Environment?

    Last updated 9 months ago

    Do you find it nearly impossible to focus on work because of the unsolicited, negative attention you get from a coworker? Has your employer altered your working conditions, demands, or expectations to such an extent that your physical or mental health is suffering? If your answer to either of these questions is in the affirmative, your work environment may be hostile.

    By legal definition, not any unpleasant work environment is a hostile one. A work environment that is characterized by sexual harassment, age discrimination, or any other type of discrimination protected by law, however, violates the guidelines set forth by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

    At Advocacy Center for Employment Law in San Jose, we know what constitutes a hostile work environment. If your boss or a coworker has made you dread going to work because of the harassment or unfair treatment you experience day after day, dedicated employment law attorney Steven Pail Cohn can help. To speak with or arrange a legal consultation with one of the finest employment law advocates in practice, call (408) 600-1972.

    A Look at Age Discrimination in the Workplace

    Last updated 9 months ago

    As workers rack up years of experience in an industry or with a single company, their employment becomes more of an asset to employers. They start to earn more; but at the same time costs associated with homeownership, childrearing, and saving for retirement often cause them to require even higher salaries and a greater range of benefits than they are awarded in order to earn a good living.

    As highlighted in this video clip, employers sometimes opt to hire young, affordable replacements for middle-aged workers rather than follow the traditional path of rewarding years of service and experience with greater compensation. In accordance with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against a worker aged 40 or older on the basis of age.

    Are you a San Jose area worker whose employer has favored a younger employee over you on the basis of age? To arrange a meeting with an experienced employment law attorney who can help you stand by your rights, call the Advocacy Center for Employment Law at (408) 600-1972.

    Why Sexual Harassment Has No Business in the Workplace

    Last updated 10 months ago

    It is against the law for an employer to offer unwelcomed sexual advances or request sexual favors from an employee. In addition, employers are not allowed to make offensive remarks or gestures that can create a hostile work environment. Though many people are aware that these rules exist, it can sometimes be difficult to recognize when an employer’s behavior crosses the line. Regardless of how big or little an offense may seem, sexual harassment has no business in the workplace. Here are a few reasons why:

    Affects your employment
    There are two categories of sexual harassment—quid pro quo and hostile work environment. You may be the victim of quid pro quo harassment if your employment status is tied to accepting your employer’s unwelcome sexual advances. For example, if your employer informs you that you need to give into his or her sexual advances in order for you to keep your job, then you are likely a victim of quid pro quo harassment. In quid pro quo cases, the advances typically come from someone who is a position of power and is able to affect your employment status.

    Interferes with your work performance
    Not only can quid pro quo harassment relate to your employment status, but also it can relate to your ability to secure promotions or raises. For example, your employer or supervisor may suggest that the only way for you to secure a raise or work promotion is by accepting his or her unwelcomed sexual advances. Even if you agreed to your supervisor’s request, you may still have grounds to bring a sexual harassment lawsuit if the advances were in fact unwelcomed.

    Creates an intimidating work environment
    Hostile work environment is slightly more difficult to recognize than quid pro quo. Instead of a supervisor suggesting a sexual favor in return for employment benefits, a hostile work environment means that you have to deal with offensive sexual comments or physical contact on a daily basis from coworkers.

    If you’ve been faced with unwelcomed sexual advances or comments at work, you may have grounds to file a sexual harassment claim against your employer. Since 1994, the Advocacy Center For Employment Law has helped San Jose residents in matters of employment law. For more information about our sexual harassment lawyers, call (408) 600-1972 today.



    A Brief Look at California Employment Discrimination Laws

    Last updated 10 months ago

    In every state, it is against the law for an employer to discriminate against an employee or potential employee on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin, or age. The state of California also prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, medical condition, or political affiliation. If an employee experiences workplace discrimination, he or she can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission field office in California. 

    California employees are legally allowed to speak with representatives of the office of the California Labor Commissioner or any other government agency about discrimination issues affecting their employment status. Additionally, employers are unable to fire, demote, or suspend an employee for contacting one of these agencies. If an employee wishes to file a discrimination complaint or an employer retaliation complaint, he or she must file the complaint within six months after the incident occurred.

    For more information on California employment law, contact the experienced employment and discrimination attorneys at the Advocacy Center for Employment Law. You can reach our San Jose office at (408) 600-1972. You may also contact us online to schedule a consultation to discuss your case. 

    Grounds for Challenging Your Termination

    Last updated 10 months ago

    Most employment is “at-will” employment, meaning that the employer can terminate an employee at any time, as long as the reason for termination is legal. However, there are some notable exceptions to the at-will employment rule that can help an employee keep his or her job or file a wrongful termination lawsuit. Here’s a look at the legal grounds for bringing a wrongful termination lawsuit.

    Written promises
    If the employer and employee have signed a written contract that guarantees job security, then this provides a strong legal argument that the employee was never an at-will employee to begin with. For example, an employee may have a contract that states he or she can only be fired for specific causes outlined in the agreement. Additionally, the employee may have letters or documents that make promises of continued employment. If someone has any written documentation of promised employment, this can be used in a wrongful termination lawsuit.

    Implied promises
    Another exception to the at-will rule is when an employer verbally makes promises of continued employment. This can be more difficult to prove than written promises because the employee doesn’t have any letters or documents to point to. However, implied contracts sometimes exist when an employee is promised permanent employment and the employer has specifically outlined career progression in an employee manual. 

    Public policy violations
    It is illegal for an employer to violate public policy when terminating any employee, regardless of his or her employment status. Most state and federal laws specifically outline what kinds of employment-related actions violate public policy laws. For example, it is illegal for an employer to fire an employee for serving in the military, taking time off to serve on a jury, or notifying authorities of wrongdoing by the company that could cause public harm.

    Call (408) 600-1972 to schedule a consultation with the Advocacy Center for Employment Law of San Jose. Our firm specializes in labor and employment law, emphasizing on employment harassment and discrimination cases. We treat each of our clients with respect in a professional, comfortable office environment.   

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