Facing workplace issues can be confusing and challenging, especially when you are not sure of your legal rights. Based on our combined experience of 53 years, our legal team offers you the following tips to guide you. These tips should not ever be a substitute for seeking legal advice for your specific situation.
1. Don’t quit your employment before speaking with an employment lawyer. Quitting your job could affect your legal rights, especially in a wrongful discharge case.
2. Don’t file for unemployment compensation before speaking with a lawyer.
3. If you are subject to a grievance procedure, be sure to contact a lawyer promptly, before you file your grievance, and make sure you meet all deadlines for filing a grievance.
4. If you believe you have been the target of harassment, discrimination or retaliation based on your age, sex, gender, religion, ethnicity, or other protected characteristic, you may have deadlines for filing a charge of discrimination. You may also have to file time-sensitive complaints with administrative agencies. It is important that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible following any adverse action taken against you.
5. Don’t expect that your computer at work, your work email, or your work cell phone will be private. Exercise caution to make sure any sensitive communications are made only from your personal computer or personal cell phone on your personal email.
6. There are short deadlines under some whistleblower laws. If you believe you have been subject to retaliation following your expression of concerns over a potential violation of the law, it is important that you act quickly to seek the guidance of an employment attorney.
7. If you are a federal employee or an employee of a federal contractor, you may have very short deadlines for preserving your legal rights. In some instances, a deadline of 45 days applies to file a charge of discrimination. Act quickly to consult an employment attorney to preserve your legal rights.
8. Social media can be an avenue for your employer to discover things about you in any lawsuit you may ultimately file. It is important that you exercise caution not to discuss your employment disputes online.
9. Before you sign a release of your claims or accept severance, contact us today. You may have legal claims which may be waived if you accept the severance. We may also be able to negotiate a higher severance.
10. Before you sign an arbitration agreement or a contract with an arbitration clause, contact us today. Arbitration clauses require you to give up your right to a jury trial.
11. If you earn bonuses or are paid a day rate as an employee, your employer may be required to calculate your overtime by including these amounts. Contact us today to discuss your wage rights.
12. If you have received a “Notice of Right to Sue Letter” from a federal agency such as the EEOC, be sure to contact us promptly upon receipt of the letter. Your legal rights are time-sensitive, and it may require some time for us to obtain your file from the EEOC.