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Separating Myth from Fact in California Employment Law

Separating Myth from Fact in California Employment Law

How much do you know about employment law?

Separating Myth from Fact in California Employment Law

Many of us got our first jobs when we were teenagers. In most cases, no one ever sat us down and talked about our rights. Because employment law is so complex, it can be hard for the average worker to know if what their employer is doing is legal or illegal.

As a California employment attorney can explain, understanding your rights is important to protecting them. In this post, we are breaking down some common myths about employment law in California.

Myth 1: Workplace Harassment Is Always Illegal

Being bullied or harassed at work happens too often. Yet just because you have been treated unfairly doesn’t mean that the behavior was illegal. California and federal law only protect against harassment based on a person’s membership in a protected class. In other words, unless the harassment or bullying was because they are in one of more protected classes, such as race, disability, religion, national origin, or age.

Myth 2: My Boss Can’t Fire Me Without a Reason

California is an “at will” state. As such, employers can fire almost any employee for any reason, as long as that reason is not illegal. There are exceptions, such as if the worker has an employment contract, is in a union, or works for the government. Otherwise, employers can generally terminate a person’s employment for almost any reason.

Myth 3: Sexual Harassment Laws Only Protect Women

Although most sexual harassment cases are filed by women, men can experience sexual harassment at work. Federal and state law prohibit all workplace harassment, no matter the gender or sex of the employee. Sexual harassment may involve both same gender and opposite gender harassment.

Myth 4: It’s Always Illegal to Fire Some Because of Their Age

Age discrimination is illegal under both California and federal law. However, these laws only protect people who are over the age of 40. If an employer fires someone who is under the age of 40 based on their age, then they probably have not acted unlawfully.

Employment law is complicated, and there may be exceptions to these general rules. For example, you might think that your firing was not illegal because your employer didn’t specifically say that you were being let go because of your race. However, a California employment attorney may be able to see patterns that show that your termination was based on race. If you have a question about whether your employer acted unlawfully, it may be worth your time to consult with an experienced lawyer who can listen to your story, advise you of your legal rights, and talk through your options for moving forward with a claim.

At PLBSH, our legal team is highly experienced in all aspects of California employment law. We are aggressive advocates for our clients, and will work hard to help you achieve the best possible outcome. To learn more or to schedule a consultation with a California employment attorney, contact our law firm today at (800) 435-7542 or info@plbsh.com.

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