Whistleblowers have been in the news lately, and though they may seem far removed from you and your job, you too could become a whistleblower. If you suspect fraud, discrimination, safety violations, or other illegal activities in your workplace, you’ll have to decide if you want to bring these wrongdoings to light. Whistleblowers are protected from retaliation by the law, but it’s still wise to hire an employment attorney located in San Jose once you choose to blow the whistle. You may have a number of different reasons to be a whistleblower. Some people choose to do so because of a suspicion of fraud or because the wrongful activities are dangerous to employees, shareholders, or the general public. Whistleblowing can also come with a financial reward, which motivates some people to speak up. Explore this infographic to learn more about a few of the most common reasons for whistleblowing. Please share with your friends and colleagues.
1. Understanding Wrongful Termination and Your Rights
If you’ve recently been fired and you feel the action was unjust, you may wish to consider consulting an employment lawyer to determine whether you were the victim of wrongful termination. As your labor law attorney near San Jose can explain to you, most jobs are based on at-will employment. This means that as long as an employee is not fired for an illegal reason, an employer may fire him or her without having a good reason or even having a reason at all. Your employment lawyer can identify exceptions to this rule and file a complaint on your behalf if you were indeed wrongfully terminated.
You may not be an at-will employee if you signed a written contract when you took the job. Your wrongful termination lawyer can review your contract to determine if there is a clause that spells out legitimate reasons for the firing. However, even if you lack a written contract, you may be able to prove wrongful termination based on an implied contract. An implied contract occurs when your employer says something or acts in a manner so as to make you believe that you can continue your employment for a certain period of time.
3. Good Faith
You may have grounds for a wrongful termination complaint if your employment lawyer determines that your employer may have breached the duty of good faith and fair dealing. For example, your employer may have fired you to prevent you from collecting sales commissions. Or, you may have been repeatedly transferred to dangerous or undesirable assignments in an attempt to force you to quit before you could collect benefits.
4. Public Policy
Violations of public policy can vary from state to state. For example, you might be protected from being fired because you volunteer as a firefighter. You are also protected from termination because of whistleblowing, taking time off to vote or serve on a jury, and serving in the military or National Guard.
Wrongful termination because of discrimination is another reason to consult an employment lawyer. If you feel you were fired because of your gender, religion, age, disability, race, color, national origin, or pregnancy status, your lawyer can file a complaint with the appropriate agency and then help you file a lawsuit against your employer.
Attorney Spotlight: Steven Paul Cohn
Steven Paul Cohn is an employment lawyer who is dedicated to providing San Jose residents with exceptional legal representation. He has been practicing law since 1980, and in 1994, he founded the Advocacy Center for Employment Law. If you’re in need of a labor attorney in San Jose, you can find the expertise you need at our law firm. Our team thoroughly investigates complaints related to civil rights violations, unfair business practices, and sexual harassment. Mr. Cohn also handles cases related to all other aspects of employment law, including complaints of discrimination because of gender, age, and disability.
At the Advocacy Center for Employment Law, we believe our results speak for themselves; however, we invite you to explore the credentials of our employment lawyer. Mr. Cohn demonstrates his commitment to professional development by authoring numerous publications in the field, serving as a continuing education lecturer, and serving as a guest speaker at employment law symposiums. In addition to serving as a law professor at the University of Santa Clara, he is also an American Arbitration Association Arbitrator. Mr. Cohn has received numerous recognitions for his dedication to excellence, including being designated as the 1992 California State Bar Wiley W. Manual Award recipient. This award recognizes lawyers who provide outstanding legal representation on a pro bono basis.
Get the Facts on Sexual Harassment
Everyone has the right to a work environment that is free of threatening behaviors such as sexual harassment. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is far more common than you might think. It can happen to anyone at any time. Getting the facts about sexual harassment and understanding your right to speak with a sexual harassment attorney can both empower you and protect you. If you have been the victim of these types of unacceptable behaviors in the workplace, a sexual harassment attorney in San Jose can explain your legal options.
It’s a common misconception that sexual harassment only affects women and is only perpetrated by men. In fact, both men and women can engage in sexual harassment and they may both be the victims of it. Likewise, a person who commits sexual harassment may be a co-worker, supervisor, or even a non-employee. A victim of sexual harassment may not necessarily be the direct target of it. For example, a sexual harassment attorney may represent someone who has a job in a workplace characterized by a hostile environment.
Sexual harassment is a broad area that can encompass any verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature that is unwelcome. Employment law recognizes that behaviors such as leering, sexual innuendo, lewd letters, and unwelcome touching are all forms of sexual harassment. A person might “accidentally” brush up against another person, or he or she might display pornography at work. Sometimes, unwanted sexual advances may be blatant , such as requesting sexual favors, or they may be subtle, such as spreading sexist cartoons in the workplace.
Each workplace should have an established sexual harassment policy. This policy should explain that sexual harassment is not tolerated in the workplace and it should inform employees how to report sexual harassment. Unfortunately, filing a complaint with an employer doesn’t always stop the behavior—particularly if the supervisor is the person committing the offense. Victims of sexual harassment should consult a sexual harassment attorney. The lawyer can file a complaint against that employer or company.