As a law firm that advocates on behalf of individuals, Tadler Law LLP focuses on the rights of employees. Employers commonly mistreat their employees, and this behavior can take many forms, some more obvious than others. While you might believe an employer has run afoul of employment law, you are likely confused about whether the conduct is truly illegal, which would give you the right to sue them in court. This is when employment lawyers can step in, listen to your story, and give you guidance about what steps to take to ensure the employers who act inappropriately toward their hard-working employees are held accountable for their actions and to help prevent them from continuing these illegal practices moving forward.
Whether you remain employed by the offending employer or have already been terminated, you still may have a viable claim and Tadler Law can help. You likely have legal rights that you don’t even know exist, and your employer may have violated the law without you even realizing it. You may never know if your employment law rights have been infringed upon unless you consult with an experienced attorney.
Tadler Law handles claims in several areas of employment law, including:
- Wrongful termination
- Whistleblower and retaliation
- Employment agreements
Employment discrimination occurs when an employer treats an applicant or an employee differently / less favorably because of their race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or status as a protected veteran. Workplace discrimination does not have to be intentional to be illegal. Generally, federal laws and state laws are very similar, so the corresponding responsible agencies, while they operate separately, do similar things on behalf of workers who have been discriminated against.
There are generally two types of discrimination prohibited under federal employment law:
- Disparate treatment: Disparate treatment discrimination occurs when an employer treats some individuals less favorably than others for discriminatory reasons, meaning similarly situated individuals are treated differently only because of their race, for example. Disparate treatment is intentional, is the most common type of workplace discrimination, and is always illegal.
- Disparate impact: Disparate impact discrimination is unintentional, where the process and treatment may be the exact same for all employees but a protected class of workers is negatively affected anyway. Disparate impact discrimination is not always illegal because an employer can have a legitimate, job-related reason for the subject procedures, so these cases are very fact-dependent and need to be reviewed by an experienced lawyer.
Tadler Law is currently representing the United States Women’s National Soccer Team’s (“WNT”) former goalkeeper Hope Solo in her gender-based employment discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation (“the Federation”) in Solo v. United States Soccer Federation, No. 3:18-cv-05215-DMR (N.D.Cal.). Solo alleges significant pay disparities exist between the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team and the WNT. According to the suit and contrary to the assertions of the Federation, there are no legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for this gross disparity of wages, nor can it be explained away by any bona fide seniority, merit, or incentive system, or any factor other than sex.
Workplace harassment is a form of employment discrimination wherein unwelcome conduct that is based on an employee’s protected status affects their ability to work in a safe job. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, harassment becomes unlawful when: (1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of employment and (2) the conduct is pervasive enough to create what a reasonable person would view as a hostile work environment. There are four main types of workplace harassment, explained below by way of example scenarios:
- Verbal harassment: Repeated requests for a date in person or making derogatory comments about someone’s disability to their face
- Written harassment: Sending emails with offensive jokes about race or religion or forwarding an email with pornographic imagery
- Physical harassment: Unwanted touching of a person, their hair, or their clothing or making lewd hand gestures or suggestive facial expressions
- Visual harassment: Wearing clothing with offensive language or displaying photos or other imagery of a sexual nature
In order to recover damages for wrongful termination, you will need an employment attorney to help you prove your termination was illegal because the employer violated an applicable state or federal statute or regulation. Your employer has the power to hide and/or destroy the evidence needed for you to prove your case, so be sure to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible – even while still employed if anticipating termination – to ensure the preservation of these items. In addition to a statutory or regulatory violation, employers may also wrongfully terminate by violating the terms of a written agreement or in some cases even a verbal agreement with the employee.
Whistleblower and Retaliation
Employees who learn their employer is engaged in illegal conduct can choose to become what is legally called a whistleblower and report the unethical activity either internally through the proper channels or to the government. An employer cannot retaliate against you for exercising your legal rights under the Department of Labor’s whistleblower protection laws. Retaliatory actions are numerous but can include being fired, being demoted, having your pay reduced, losing benefits, being reassigned, and more. It is really any adverse action a company takes against an employee because they reported the business either internally or externally for its illegal conduct.
Do you need help understanding and/or negotiating the terms of your employment contract? Regardless of who your employer is, you can still negotiate provisions in any employment agreement—across any industry and any job role. Consulting with one of our attorneys can help save you headaches later. We can negotiate items such as compensation, employee benefits, noncompete provisions, and intellectual property provisions, among other key components.
Employment Law Attorneys
Employment law litigation is very complex and requires a high level of legal representation at each step in the process. If you feel what happened to you at work was potentially a violation of employment law, you should consult an employment attorney to represent you during all phases of the litigation process.