As an employee in any form of occupation in the state of California, you have rights. These rights are enshrined in the civil law statutes of the California Code, as well as being covered by Federal law. Decoding your rights, knowing when they have been violated, and what action you should take, can become a complicated matter. The personal circumstances in which the alleged violation has taken place need to be carefully measured against the exactness of state and federal laws, which are themselves subject to constant revision. In fact, California is often considered to be the state which has the most deviations from Federal Law in the area of employee rights. These include further reaching antidiscrimination protections, a higher-than-average minimum wage, family leave entitlements, and paid sick leave.
The role of an employee rights attorney is to function as your advocate in navigating, protecting, and prosecuting any violations of your employee rights. The circumstances in which you may need the services of an employment lawyer are diverse. They may include disputes over wage and hours, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, and retaliation. An employee rights attorney can assist you if you have been discriminated against under any protected category such as race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, pregnancy, and disability. You may require employee rights legal representation if you are a whistleblower, or if your employer is in breach of a contract or severance agreement.
If you don’t know much about your rights as an employee, there’s an abundance of informative resources available for self-study in the area. The Society For Human Resource Management (SHRM) may be a good place to start. SHRM are a worldwide organization operating in numerous locations around the globe. Their California chapter provides members with up-to-date information and analysis on employee rights and any policy changes affecting employer/employee relationships. State government agencies such as The Department of Industrial Relations also produce their own educational materials aimed at safeguarding employee rights. Arming yourself with the right information means you’ll be in a stronger position to know if an employer has breached your rights or those or a colleague, family member, or friend.
Understanding you have rights as an employee is fundamentally important and knowing how to access information about your rights is useful. However, it’s identifying when to enlist the services of an employee rights law firm that is most crucial. If you’re a Californian whose rights have been violated in your workplace, you can arrange a confidential and free consultation with the Employee Rights Attorney Group to discuss your situation.