You wake up in the morning and the sun is shining right in your face. You put on clothes that make you feel confident. Then drink your favorite coffee doesn’t matter if it is an Americano, an espresso or even if it is tea. Then you move on with your day and you go to the office, probably to the job of your dreams. One thing that is important to understand is that if you have a problem in your workplace, meaning if you are discriminated, bullied or harassed, not the sun in your face, not the fancy clothes and not even your morning coffee will help you start your day better. Employment discrimination is based on race, gender, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation and gender identity by employers. When you are dealing with the above-mentioned circumstances, then you most definitely have an employment case.
Define your situation to yourself
Usually, whenever we are in an uncomfortable and unfamiliar situation, we don’t know what to do; how to get out. So the most important first step is to know where to start. Think to yourself: understand your feelings. Do you believe that an employer has harassed you, discriminated against you and violated your civil rights? Then you should get a formal permission to sue them. This is how it works: you file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). After, you will receive an official letter stating that you have the “right to sue” before filing a lawsuit against an employer.
The dreadful process
The next important step is to find an appropriate lawyer who will be able to protect your rights accordingly. Your lawyer will file a number of papers with the right court. The first document presents your whole case: your complaint or petition. This document also establishes the court’s jurisdiction, explains the legal basis for your lawsuit and defines you outcomes you want from your employment case. The following step should be your employer’s. He/she will file a document responding to your case, presenting his view of the case, which is known as “the answer”. If your employer has a complaint arising from the situation, he/she can also file a counterclaim against you.After all the parties have expressed themselves the process goes to discovery and fact-finding stage.
What outcomes should you expect
Usually, the outcomes of an employment case include reimbursements. They could vary from reimbursement of legal costs to back pay, monetary damages and even reinstatement at your old job. The most interesting part is collecting your reimbursements. Most of the time, when your employer is financially in a good place, he/she will pay the judgment which the jury awarded. Meanwhile, if your employer is not in a good place financially, he won’t be able to pay the repayment amount. In this case, you have a couple of options for collecting your money. One option is that you can garnish the company’s bank accounts. Another option is to seize physical assets that your employer has.
Know your rights!
Want to be able to protect your rights? Know some of the main laws that provide worker protections. The law that covers wages and overtime pay is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The law that requires employers to get up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for family issues is the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) states the minimum standards to protect workers from workplace dangers and injuries. And lastly, and most importantly for our future wellbeing, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) defends employee pension and benefit plans.
Employment cases are usually a reason of wrongful termination of your job. As the two topics are closely linked to each other you should gain better knowledge on wrongful termination cases. And remember that every employment case is unique. You shouldn’t take into consideration your friend’s or your parent’s example and come to a conclusion on how your case will close. Some employment cases are settled before trial. Other cases are settled through mediation. And only a few cases reach the jury trial stage.