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San Francisco Employment Law Blog

Inappropriate material should not be tolerated in the workplace

When you are an employee in the working environment, you have the legal right to a workplace that is not hostile. This means that you should be able to feel free to concentrate on your work without feeling threatened, embarrassed or uncomfortable.

One topic that is becoming a common issue is the presence of inappropriate sexual material in the workplace and the effect that it can have on workers. Many workers have had uncomfortable experiences in which they are sent pornographic material by another worker, or they witness another worker watching pornographic content in the workplace. Inappropriate material such as this has no place in the working environment, and in many cases, it can constitute sexual harassment.

What are reasonable work accommodations for mental illness?

Most people are familiar with anti-discrimination laws regarding those with disabilities, such as being in a wheelchair or being deaf. Because physical disabilities tend to be visible or more concrete, it can be easier for employers to determine how to accommodate employees. 

But what about mental health issues? Mental illness of all ranges also receives protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act. These needs may be less noticeable and harder to understand, but they still warrant accommodations in the workplace.

The link between wrongful dismissal and safety

All workers in the United States have the right to a safe working environment. This right is in place regardless of whether you work in a corporate office or on a construction site. As an employee, you also have the right to speak up if you believe certain conditions in the workplace pose a danger to yourself or others.

If you have had your employment terminated in the state of California after you raised concerns about safety, your termination might be interpreted as a form of retaliation. It is, therefore, important that you consider the circumstances around your employment termination carefully. It is also important to learn whether you acted within your rights.

Common questions about genetic discrimination at work

With ever-advancing technology, it is now possible to know a great deal about your own genetic information. This can give insights into the likelihood of developing certain diseases in the future. While this information can be very helpful when it comes to planning your lifestyle and health care, such information may be interpreted differently by employers.

Employers may be persuaded by an employee's genetic information, if they have access to it when it comes to hiring and firing decisions. Because of this risk, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) was passed in 2008.

When can I take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act?

Sometimes, unexpected issues can arise in your personal life that make it difficult or impossible to continue working for awhile. This could be a personal illness, an illness suffered by a parent or child, or another family emergency.

When you are dealing with such an issue, you may wonder whether you have the right to take unpaid leave from work without risking losing your job. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides workers with the opportunity to do just that under certain circumstances. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions concerning the FMLA.

3 key things all employees should know about FMLA

One federal law that requires many San Francisco employers to offer certain protections to their employees is the Family Medical Leave Act. FMLA offers additional sick time and job protection to workers who need time off to manage their own or their loved ones' health concerns. Workers who are denied FMLA, wrongfully terminated or experience retaliatory actions from their employers may pursue FMLA litigation

You do not have to have an active FMLA request to benefit from learning about common issues that other encounter when using it. After all, you never know when you might need it. Here are some factors about FMLA all workers should keep in mind. 

Dealing with a wrongful demotion

Being demoted can in some ways be more emotionally straining than a firing. This is because, at the end of the day, you will likely have to continue to interact and work with the people who demoted you. This can be upsetting and demoralizing, especially if you believe that you were wrongfully demoted.

One of the most common reasons why employees are wrongfully demoted is due to sexual harassment in the workplace. It is common for employees to reject or turn down inappropriate sexual advances in the workplace, and then consequentially find themselves demoted just a short time afterward. They may or may not have made a complaint about the inappropriate sexual behavior at the time. However, whether they made a complaint about the behavior is irrelevant when it comes to determining whether the demotion was wrongful.

3 red flags your job has a glass ceiling problem

If you are a woman in the workplace, you likely are aware of the "glass ceiling." This is a term that refers to the widespread difficulty women experience when trying to advance in their jobs and careers. The glass ceiling is evident in the fact that women only earn seventy-five percent of the salary of their male counterparts. 

Sometimes, a workplace that is unfair to women is not immediately obvious; discrimination and mistreatment may be subtler. Here are some red flags that the organization you work for has a glass ceiling problem.

Unsafe working conditions and the right to refuse work

Some types of work have the potential to be very dangerous. Construction or mining are two examples of industries that have many risks, and workers can be faced with new challenges and new dangers every day. As a result of the risks posed in workplaces, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has regulations in place to protect workers from unsafe work environments.

If you have concerns about the safety of your workplace, whether you work in an office or a construction site, it is important that you take the time to learn about how OSHA works to protect you. In certain instances, you may have the legal right to refuse to work. If you refuse work and are fired as a result, this might constitute wrongful termination.

It is possible to be successful in age discrimination lawsuits

It has been reported that in the last 10 years, discrimination regarding age discrimination has dropped by almost 20 percent. Some would interpret this statistic as evidence to suggest that age discrimination is less prevalent in the working environment. However, many know anecdotally that this is simply not the case. With ever-advancing technological developments and a demand for younger workers, many experienced employees over the age of 40 experience wrongful termination and discrimination simply because of their age.

If you are a worker over the age of 40 in the state of California and you believe that you have become victim to age discrimination at work, you should not hesitate in learning more about your legal rights.

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