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Salem Employment Law Blog

Harassed in the workplace? You do not have to suffer in silence.

When an Oregon employee faces harassment in the workplace, he or she may feel embarrassed or confused about that happened. Often, victims of mistreatment fail to reach out for help and support because they fear retaliation from their employer or are unsure if what they experienced actually qualifies as harassment.

If you believe that you experienced harassment in the workplace that is sexual in nature or due to your religious beliefs, sexual orientation or other factor, you do not have to stay silent. You have the right to speak out, and with help, you may be able to hold liable parties accountable for what you experienced.

Caregivers not given much respect in the workplace

You may prefer not to talk about your home life while you're at work, especially if that life includes caring for an elderly parent or a disabled child. What you may not know is that there are likely others in your workplace who are going through the same thing, holding down a job while providing essential care to a loved one. Some surveys report that over 20 percent of workers over the age of 45 are also caregivers.

It is a labor of love, and while you certainly have your moments of frustration and impatience, you know this is the best situation for your loved one, and you are glad to help. However, your employer may not feel so generous. In fact, the reason many keep their status as caregivers secret at work is because they fear workplace discrimination.

Could business cliches lead to religious discrimination?

As a religious individual, your beliefs may play a significant role in various areas of your life. From the way you dress to the manner in which you conduct yourself in different settings, your religious teachings likely guide you daily. Though you may take comfort in your beliefs, you could also fear the potential for differential treatment due to your religion.

In particular, you may worry about how your employer or coworkers may treat you at your place of employment. Under the Civil Rights Acts, you have protection from unfair treatment based on your religion when it comes to employment, as long as the business meets certain stipulations. Still, you may wonder how your religious dress may come across while working.

Your pregnancy should not give birth to workplace discrimination

Pregnancy is an exciting time, but many women find that, unfortunately, their current condition can lead to certain types of problems at work. While there are both federal and Oregon state laws in place to prevent discrimination, it still happens. If you believe that you are experiencing negative treatment at work because you are pregnant, you do not have to simply accept it.

Pregnancy discrimination is illegal, and you do not have to stand for it. You have the right to fight back, as well as to seek compensation from liable parties. You may feel unsure of your options or uncertain as to whether you should even speak up, but you do not have to walk through this alone.

Ways your discharge could be wrongful termination

You went to work every day, got there on time and diligently performed your job duties. Your performance evaluations were never below average, and your supervisors never seemed to complain about your performance. So, why did your employer terminate you?

You may share this question with many Oregon residents. Could it be that something else was behind your termination? Did your employer wrongfully terminate you?

Has harassment created a hostile work environment?

Anyone can feel uncomfortable due to the actions of another person. While much of the time you may have the ability to avoid the undesirable person, or their actions do not hold such hostility that you feel the need to report them, you could find yourself in a predicament in which an individual at your place of employment subjects you to treatment that could fall into the category of harassment.

When it comes to dealing with harassment, you may have the ability to report the issue to your manager or other supervisor in order for that individual to effectively handle the matter. However, in some instances, your complaints may go unheeded, and the harassment may continue.

Pregnancy, discrimination and your rights as an Oregon employee

Pregnancy is an exciting time for many Oregon families, and if you are expecting, this is a joyous time in your life as you prepare for your family to grow. However, your employer may not view your current condition in the same light, and your work environment may become much more difficult for you over the next several months.

From inappropriate comments to blatant discrimination, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate or mistreat workers and potential hires because of pregnancy. If you believe that you are the victim of unfair hiring practices or workplace discrimination, you may have the right to take legal action against the responsible parties.

Can I be fired for smoking marijuana recreationally?

Oregon is one of eight states in our country in which marijuana is legal for recreational use. While marijuana is legal in our state, it is still illegal at the federal level. These contradictory laws have created a new set of legal battles for organizations and individuals around the state and country. What does this mean for Salem area workers?

Because marijuana is illegal at the federal level, its use is not written into federal protections related to employment law. Therefore, marijuana use must be codified into state law to protect employees who wish to use it recreationally. Until then, businesses and employees may find themselves at odds with a company's marijuana policy.

What to know about age discrimination

Age discrimination is when you are treated differently, unfairly, or less favorably because of your age. Age discrimination is common among workplaces as many employees, job seekers, and even trainees are treated differently because of their age. In most cases, it's always about comparing one employee with another 'younger' or 'older' pertinent and comparable employee.

Although over 50 years ago the federal government enacted a law to protect workers against employment discrimination based on age, a study by the San Francisco Federal Reserve in 2015 showed that the problem still persists. Age discrimination particularly in hiring is still rampant and older job seekers are at a higher disadvantage than younger job seekers.

Bill passed to protect workers from wage theft

Last year, a bill was being discussed that would discourage employers from illegal wage practices in a few ways, such as making it easier for employees to access information about their pay and hours. Many Oregon workers deal with wage theft every year and this makes it very difficult and stressful to provide for a family. While the original bill did not pass, a separate bill with some of the terms from the original is now in effect. So what does this new bill say? And how can employees protect themselves from wage theft?

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