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A Brief Overview of Employee Rights Under California And Federal Law

San Jose Employee Rights Attorney

While employment law can be extremely complex, below we offer this brief overview of employee rights under California and federal law. For a more detailed overview of employee rights, contact us directly.

As an employee in California, you have certain responsibilities to perform your job effectively. However, you also have certain rights that are protected by the law. Simply because you are an employee does not mean that you sacrifice your liberty. Employers and employees are expected to make a good faith effort at fulfilling their responsibilities. Employers must also be dedicated to protecting the rights of their employees. The law is on the side of employees.

Many employers take advantage of employees because employers know that, often, an employee's income is vital. They may believe that an employee will put up with any treatment to retain their job. In other cases, an employer may be ignorant of the law and may let a hostile work environment thrive. This cannot be tolerated. If you are an employee in a hostile work environment because other employees are violating your rights or you feel harassed, state and federal law are on your side. However, you may need a skilled employee rights law firm to assert your rights and protect you from retaliation. The law is complex. Our attorneys have a deep understanding of the law and an abiding commitment to employee rights.

Higher Education Struggles With Making Clear Policies on Sexual Misconduct

Sex Crime Attorneys Serving Fremont, Cupertino, and Los Gatos

Universities throughout the nation are re-evaluating their codes of conduct policies regarding sexual relationships between faculty and students. These types of relationships can be fraught with challenges but they are not necessarily illegal or unethical. However, a spotlight has been trained on universities in recent years in response to campus sexual abuse allegations and the threat of abuse of power in teacher/student relationships. Though the Department of Education continues to maintain concern about such issues at all schools, the Department has been investigating 55 colleges and universities across the nation. Harvard is one of the schools in the spotlight.

Perhaps as a result of this investigation, Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) is now banning sexual relationships between faculty and undergraduate students completely. Harvard joins Arizona State University in re-writing their policies. According to a recent report by NPR News, "Harvard Bans Sexual Relationships Between Professors And Students," "many U.S. colleges have lacked a formal policy on professors dating students. That has begun to change in recent years, with schools either barring professors from having sex with students they oversee or requiring them to recuse themselves from such situations." In the past, if a professor engaged in a consensual relationship with a student they were evaluating or mentoring, they had to report the relationship and remove themselves from a supervisory role involving that student. Harvard's new policy now makes the relationship itself grounds for reprisal. Harvard is not alone in adopting a new policy.

If You Are Arrested in California, Remain Silent

San Jose Defense Lawyers Recommend Right to Remain Silent

If you have been arrested in California, you need legal assistance immediately. While you are not legally obligated to hire a criminal defense lawyer, it is nearly impossible to know the law as well as a professional attorney does. Perhaps you have been arrested many times before and you are extremely familiar with the California criminal justice system. Your experience will still only be very limited and, for most people, an arrest is a very uncommon experience. An experienced lawyer may have guided hundreds or even thousands of clients through the system and helped many of them avoid conviction. When conviction is inevitable, a lawyer may also know how to get charges reduced. Furthermore, an attorney knows the Constitution and knows your rights. Many people who get arrested give up hope, but the more you know about your rights and the benefits a lawyer can provide, the more hopeful you can be knowing that there are options.

After being arrested and taken into custody for interrogation, your Miranda rights must be read to you. If an officer stops you for simple questioning, for suspected DUI for instance, they do not need to read your rights to you. You also do not have to answer all of their questions. If you are arrested and then the officer asks you questions, this can be considered interrogation. Your rights must be read to you if you are interrogated but you still do not have to answer the questions because, as part of your Miranda rights, you have the right to remain silent and your choice to be silent cannot be reason enough to convict you.

Executive Order Signed in July 2014: Discrimination Prohibited Against Gay and Transgender Employees

Santa Clara County Employee Rights Lawyers

On July 21, 2014 President Obama signed an executive order formally prohibiting discrimination against gay and transgender workers in the federal government and companies that the federal government contracts with. The president faced passionate resistance from religious organizations arguing they should be granted an exception.

While the president encouraged Congress to take action to protect the rights of gay and transgender federal employees and contractors, he apparently decided to use executive power to grant the protections unwilling to wait any longer for the House to act. In 2013, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act passed in the Senate and would have granted more sweeping protections but the Act has not been voted on in the House and there were no signs that it would be any time soon.

Thus far, 18 states, including California, already ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. However, many states have no protections for gay and transgender people and many private companies throughout the nation are not prohibited from hiring and firing people based upon sexual identity. Now, if those companies contract with the United States government, they will be prohibited from such discrimination of they may lose their contracts.

Fired for Being Gay? The Law is Increasingly on your Side

San Francisco Employment Law Attorneys Protecting Your Rights

29 states in the nation do not ban employee discrimination based upon sexual orientation. California has been at the forefront of banning such discrimination so it may seem unbelievable that in many states, a person can be fired simply for being gay. Because such discrimination is illegal in California, if an employee is fired over such discrimination in the state, the victim of discrimination may be eligible for significant compensation. In many other states, including Wyoming, employment discrimination based upon sexual orientation or identity is not illegal. Not yet.

NPR recently told the story of Josh Kronberg-Rasner of Casper, Wyoming. He held his position at a Casper food service company for a substantial amount of time and never faced any issues related to his sexuality. Kronberg-Rasner is openly gay and never considered that to be a threat to his job. In 2012, a new manager arrived and seemed to have issues with Kronberg-Rasner, according to NPR's "For People Fired For Being Gay, Old Court Case Becomes A New Tool" by Miles Bryan. Based upon treatment he received, Kronberg-Rasner is convinced he was fired for being gay. Evidence supports his contention.

Bryan reports that people like Kronberg-Rasner may have new hope to get compensation after being wronged by their employers. Federal and state authorities have been looking at prior law to determine if some existing statutes could be used to protect gay and LGBT people from employment discrimination. According to Bryan's report, the reexamination and reinterpretation of existing law "relies on a legal argument originally designed to defend women accused of not being feminine enough."

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