Questions Employees Frequently Ask About Employment Law
If you have been facing issues at work, it is important to know your rights and legal options. At Olds George Law LLC in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, our attorneys primarily handle employment law issues. Here are some questions and answers our clients commonly ask.
Should I sue my employer?
One of the hardest questions our clients face is deciding whether to initiate legal proceedings against their employer, while still working. The decision to sue a current employer is fraught with uncertainty and involves complex legal and practical questions. Will there be retaliation? Will they be forced to leave? When is the right time to make such a decision? All of these questions must be addressed in the context of potential life changing challenges. Our clients’ jobs and livelihoods are at stake. These are difficult decisions. At Olds George Law LLC, our lawyers carefully counsel clients in making this difficult decision, while keeping in mind, at all times, that whatever decision a client makes can have profound consequences.
I want to report misconduct to HR, can my supervisor retaliate against me if I do?
The civil rights laws prohibit retaliation against individuals who report or oppose discrimination. Yet, we all know that sometimes people ignore the law and proceed down an illegal path. At Olds George Law LLC, we explain and counsel our clients about the risks associated with reporting misconduct, and how to best insure that if a client is going to make a report that it is done in such a way to minimize the possibility of retaliation.
What steps do I have to take to preserve my rights to go to court?
Generally, victims of discrimination must file charges of discrimination with an administrative agency before proceeding to court litigation. Where to file, how to present the claim of discrimination and what to say when filing a charge are all topics on which the lawyers at Olds George Law LLC counsel and advise their clients. If you believe that you have a claim, then you should consult one of our lawyers about how to proceed.
Are there time limits that govern when I have to file a charge of discrimination?
Laws prohibiting discrimination all contain time limits that govern when charges of discrimination must be filed. Some of the time limits require action within 180 days of when a discriminatory or retaliatory act occurred. If a client misses the time within which to present a charge, they might be barred from ever pursuing their claim. If you believe you are a victim of discrimination or retaliation, you should contact OOlds George Law LLC as quickly as possible, so that we can counsel and advise you when your statute of limitations begins to run and on the steps that you must take to preserve your claim.
How can I prove my discrimination or retaliation case?
Oftentimes discriminatory or retaliatory motives are concealed. But there are certain common-sense signposts that point to discrimination or retaliation. Have you been treated differently than others? Have you been falsely accused of misconduct? Has there been a pattern of antagonism directed against you? Did things start to change shortly after you made a report of discrimination or requested medical leave? At Olds George Law LLC, we analyze the details of your employment situation, using our 50 years of experience and practice to determine whether circumstantial evidence can be used to prove your claim.
Am I protected from bullying in the workplace?
While there are no laws requiring employers to create a friendly and respectful work environment, discriminatory treatment, including the creation of a hostile work environment, based on a protected characteristic is prohibited under the law. Therefore, if you believe the bullying behavior is based upon your age, race, gender, religion, national origin or the fact that you have a disability, then you may have a claim. You should contact one of the attorneys at Olds George Law LLC to discuss your situation and determine whether or not you may have a legal claim.
How do I know if I have been discriminated against by my employer?
Oftentimes, it is not self-evident that you have been discriminated against. Employers have learned that overt discrimination will result in a lawsuit. In addition, some individuals may not be aware of their own biases against certain groups. Therefore, you should speak with one of our attorneys, who can discuss some of the more subtle or nuanced ways that employers can discriminate against someone and help you determine if you may have been subjected to discrimination.
Is my employer required to have a good reason for terminating my employment?
In Pennsylvania, most individuals are classified as at-will employees, which means you do not have an employment contract and you do not belong to a union. In such instances, your employer can terminate you for any reason, as long as it is not motivated by a discriminatory motive.