You very well may and you should consult with an employment or wage and overtime attorney right away. Despite what you believe may be relevant, there could be various reasons for your termination which may be in violation of federal or state law and requiring that action be taken within a certain amount of time.
Hostile work environment harassment occurs when unwelcome comments or conduct based on sex, race or other legally protected characteristics unreasonably interferes with an employee's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
Unlawful harassment is a form of discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other state and federal laws. For instance, sexual harassment, a form of sex discrimination, can arise when a submission to conduct is made explicit or implicit as a condition of individual's employment, or which interferes with individuals work performance, and may create a hostile work environment. If an employee has been sexually harassed, it will likely be necessary to consider facts supporting a hostile work environment claim.
Likewise, the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits inappropriate conduct and comments resulting in severe and harassment because of an employee's disability.
If you feel that you have been subjected to a hostile work environment you should document the time periods of such acts, identity of the person or persons engaging in the unlawful acts, the effect of such acts on the employee, the impact on the employee's ability to perform the job effectively and many others, such as the identify individuals who can support such claims.
There are various forms of discrimination claims to which different sets of federal and state laws are applicable. Therefore, each set of laws require different processes and conditions in order to initiate a claim. For instance, discrimination based on religion and sex under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII) requires considerations different from a charge based on disability or age discrimination brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or under Age Discrimination In Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). For example, Title VII and the ADA apply to employers with at least 15 employees while the ADEA applies to employers with 20 or more employees. Additionally, various forms of discrimination require filing a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") first and obtaining a result prior to bringing a private action. Thus, it is important to contact an employment law or wage and overtime attorney right away if you believe that you have been discriminated against.
While a straightforward analysis for this question requires a more detailed consideration of individual circumstances, both state and federal law provide serious protections to employees to prevent retaliation by employers. For instance, an employer could be held liable for retaliating against an employee (or an ex-employee) for having filed an EEOC Charge. The FLSA also makes it unlawful for an employer to discharge or in any way discriminate against an employee because the employee has filed a complaint, has initiated a proceeding under the FLSA, has testified, cooperated, or is going to testify in any such proceeding, or has served or is about to serve on an industry committee.
The Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") is a federal law enacted in 1993 which entitled eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. The FMLA entitled eligible employees to take up to 12 workweeks of leave in a 12 month period for various family and medical reasons.
The FMLA prohibits employers from interfering with, restraining, or denying the exercise of or the attempt to exercise any right provided by the FMLA. It is also unlawful for an employer to discharge or discriminate against any individual for opposing any practice, or because of involvement in any proceeding, related to the FMLA.
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