What is the Difference Between Retaliation and Unfair Treatment?

What is the Difference Between Retaliation and Unfair Treatment?

It can be confusing, but when being treated unfairly at work, it could actually be considered retaliation. Either way, you could have some sort of claim on your hands. Before moving forward with any legal action, speak with an attorney and learn the difference between retaliation and unfair treatment. 

Did you know that retaliation in the workplace is actually very common? The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission receives plenty of complaints each year. 

The EEOC’s official definition states that retaliation in a work setting comprises a narrower set of circumstances than what is considered everyday retaliation. Three things must be present for a valid retaliation claim as stated in the Civil Rights Acts of 1964:

  • You have engaged in protected activity
  • Your employer took adverse action against you
  • Your employer did this because you engaged in protected activity

 Those who have filed a discrimination in the workplace claim are always encouraged to do so and should be protected from fear of being fired or punished for doing so. A retaliation reaction to filing a claim could be in the form of being denied a promotion, denied job benefits, a demotion, a suspension, or even a discharge from your job. 

To move forward with a retaliation claim, you must provide evidence. Keep in mind that direct evidence can be very hard to find, but with the right attorney, like the skilled team at Hernandez Law, they will be able to prove it. 

Unfair treatment in the workplace is when you have either been denied a promotion, denied job benefits, a demotion, a suspension, or even a discharge from your job for no reason and before filing any workplace discrimination claims. When this happens, you should always speak with an attorney to know your rights. 

Steps to Take If You Work in a Hostile Environment

Steps to Take If You Work in a Hostile Environment

Working in a hostile environment can be harmful and can really impact your job performance as well as your health. If you feel you are working in a hostile environment, it is vital to be aware of what you can do to improve the situation.

What is Considered a Hostile Work Environment?

The definition of a hostile work environment is unwelcome comments or conduct related to gender, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, age or nationality that interfere with the work of employees which create an intimidating workplace. These comments or actions can be done by a vendor, client, manager or coworker.

Laws Surrounding Hostile Workplaces

It is unlawful to conduct a hostile, abusive or intimidating workplace, especially in cases where salary and status of an employee may be impacted. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces laws surrounding hostile work environments.

If you are working in a hostile environment, you will need to file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This can be done through the mail, in person, or via telephone. Keep in mind that you must file this within 180 days of the incident.

You will also need to report to the proper person at your place of employment and let them know what you are experiencing and that you have filed a charge of discrimination.

Talking With an Employment Law Attorney

Before taking any action, it is best to talk with an experienced employment law attorney to know your rights. They will be able to walk you through everything to ensure your rights are taken into consideration. At Hernandez Law Firm, we specialize in employment law and can help you deal with working in a hostile environment. We can provide the advice you need to fully understand your rights as well as evaluate the case and aggressively fight for you.

How to Know If You Are Eligible for Unemployment Benefits

How to Know If You Are Eligible for Unemployment Benefits

There are times when the unexpected happens and you find yourself unemployed with no hope in sight. However, you could be eligible for unemployment benefits to help you pay your bills and get you back on your feet during this tough time.

Unemployment Benefits in Arizona

Did you know that Arizona is known for having the second lowest unemployment benefits in the country? On top of that, in recent years, it has become even more strict. Unemployment benefits in Arizona include the ability to collect up to half of what you earned over a 26 week period. However, there are certain limits to the amount you can receive. In Arizona, you are only allowed up to $240 per week in unemployment benefits, however, the least amount you can receive is $122 per week. Your recent work history will always be looked at and taken into consideration when determining the amount you will receive each week.

Eligibility

In the state of Arizona, if you have been laid off or fired, you may be eligible to receive up to four weeks of unemployment benefits. To be eligible, you must have earned minimum wage prior to becoming unemployed. During the four week period, you must be actively seeking employment and be available for opportunities. You must also take any suitable job, as long as it earns more than twenty percent of the amount that you are currently making (this comes out to as low as $15,000 per year).

Reasons for Eligibility

Reasons for eligibility include being laid off due to the company downsizing for economic reasons or being fired for having the lack of skills needed. Keep in mind, if you have been fired over misconduct or negligence, you will not be eligible for unemployment benefits. Additionally, if you quit your job on your own terms, you are not eligible for unemployment benefits. However, you could be eligible for unemployment benefits if you quit due to dangerous conditions if there is a good reason.

Hernandez Law Firm

At Hernandez Law Firm, we specialize in employment law and fully understand unemployment benefits in Arizona. If you have recently become unemployed, we can provide the advice you need to fully understand your rights and find out if you are eligible for benefits. Also, if you have found yourself denied for unemployment benefits, but believe this is a mistake, Hernandez Law Firm will be there to evaluate the case and aggressively fight for you.

How to Know if You Are Dealing with Workplace Discrimination

How to Know if You Are Dealing with Workplace Discrimination

Workplace discrimination is unfortunately not uncommon. From age discrimination, to gender discrimination, to religious discrimination, all different forms of discrimination can be present in the workplace. So, how do you know you are a victim of workplace discrimination?

Age Discrimination

Age discrimination is one of the most common forms of discrimination in the workplace. The signs of age discrimination include: harassment about your age, frequent patterns of encouraging your retirement, and even eliminating your position all together, yet giving the responsibilities to a younger employee. Always be aware of these kinds of signs in the workplace and speak up if you feel that you are being treated differently.

Religious Discrimination

If you are being treated differently or unfavorable because of your religious beliefs, then you are experiencing religious discrimination, which is against the law. You are not allowed to be fired or paid less because of your religion. Keep an eye out for your employee not promoting you or giving you benefits along with giving you tougher assignments. These could all be signs of religious discrimination.

Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnancy discrimination occurs when a woman is treated unfavorable because she is pregnant. This is where the Pregnancy Discrimination Act comes in, which forbids discrimination based on pregnancy during any aspect of employment. This includes hiring, firing, job assignments, promotions and layoffs. If you feel like you are being treated differently due to your pregnancy, you might be experiencing pregnancy discrimination.

Gender Discrimination

Another very common workplace discrimination is gender discrimination. This occurs when you are being treated differently because of your gender. Signs include: not getting paid as much as a coworker who is of a different gender, constantly losing promotions to coworkers of another gender or being assigned tougher assignments.

If you feel like you are a victim of workplace discrimination, it is important to speak with an employment attorney as soon as possible. They can help you fight to get the justice you deserve.

Hernandez Law Firm

The legal team at Hernandez Law Firm understands employment law and can provide the advice you need to fully understand your rights. Employment law issues are timely matters and may need attention immediately. It is best to get the legal advice you need as quickly as possible.

What Does Arizona Employment Law Say if I Need to Take a Medical Leave of Absence?

What Does Arizona Employment Law Say if I Need to Take a Medical Leave of Absence?

Have you suffered from an illness where you need to take time off of work? Or maybe you just had a baby and need some time to adjust. As an employee in Arizona, you should know your rights and what the employment law says about taking a medical leave of absence.

Family Medical Leave Act

The Family Medical Leave Act, also known as FMLA, is available in Arizona. This program allows for eligible employees to take unpaid and job-protected leave. Some states have other laws surrounding medical leave, however, Arizona is not one of those states. This means employees in Arizona only have rights to FMLA.

Who is Eligible

To be eligible for FMLA, your company must have at least 50 employees for at least 20 weeks in either the previous or current year. Employees that are eligible have worked for the company for at least one year and worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous year.

Eligible Reasons to Take a Leave of Absence

The following reasons are covered by FMLA.

–       Recoup from serious health conditions

–       Care for a family member with serious health conditions

–       Bond with a new child

–       Handle qualifying situations for a family member that is in the service

–       Care for a family member that is in the service and has been injured

Length of Leave of Absence

The length of time off varies and depends on the circumstance. Employees are allowed up to 12 work weeks in a 12 month period for serious health conditions, bonding with a child or handling family member issues. This renews every 12 months. If you have suffered a personal injury or need to be a caregiver to a family member in the service, you are allowed up to 26 weeks in a 12 month period.

While on Leave

While on leave under FMLA, you will still receive health insurance. The time off is unpaid, but if you have PTO hours saved up, those can be applied. Once your leave is over, you are entitled to be reinstated to either the same or an equivalent position.

If you do need to take a medical leave of absence, you should inform your manager or human resource department right away. Obtain a copy of the FMLA policy and complete all necessary forms. Always speak with an attorney if you have any questions or concerns with your leave of absence. Hernandez Law has the employment law experience you need to provide sound legal advice and representation when needed.

 

Photo by Pexels