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Salem Employment Law Blog

What actions constitute retaliation?

Everyone has bad days at work. During those times, it can feel as though everyone is out to get you. However, there are times when one or more people at work actually may be out to get you.

You may be one of many people here in Oregon and across the country who made a complaint regarding some form of discrimination or harassment. As you should, you expected your superiors to look into your allegations. Whether you have heard anything or not regarding your complaint, at least some people around you began treating you differently. The question is whether you are the victim of retaliation.

You have legal rights as an employee even before being hired

Though most people in Oregon and across the country need a job to meet their financial needs, it is not easy to find employment. Even if you have the education and experience necessary to qualify for a position, you could still easily not get the job. In some cases, this could happen because another candidate was a better fit for the position, but in other instances, discrimination could play a role in a prospective employer passing you over.

You may think that there is nothing you can do if you face employment discrimination during the hiring stage. However, you still have legal rights and protections during the hiring process. If you believe that discrimination played a role in someone not hiring you, you may want to thoroughly assess your circumstances to determine whether any potentially illegal actions took place.

Do you suspect your employer is violating employment laws?

Having a job is important to you. You, like many other Oregon workers, likely need your job to generate the income you use to purchase your necessities and keep up with your lifestyle. Because your job is so important to you, you may have let certain questionable actions in the workplace slide by in efforts to avoid causing problems or putting your job at risk.

Many workers across the country are in the same boat as you. They fear that they will experience retaliation or other mistreatment for speaking up about actions that they feel are wrong. Similarly, some workers may not even realize that the way their employers treat them is illegal.

Do you believe that your firing was unlawful?

When you landed your job, you may have intended it to be the one that started you on your life-long career path. You may have had visions of getting promotions, having a bigger office, being the boss' right-hand employee and eventually reaching all the goals you had in mind for your career. Unfortunately, you found out much quicker than anticipated that you would not reach those goals within your current company.

When your employer fired you, you may have felt caught unaware, or you may have anticipated such action because you faced other mistreatment, such as discrimination, during your time of employment. Now, you may wonder whether the termination was unlawful and whether you have options for having the matter addressed.

Reasonable accommodations allow you to do your job

Not everyone can meet the qualifications for every job, so if you have the skills, education and experience to do the work, you should feel proud. Often these qualities come through hard work, dedication and paying your dues. This is why it can be frustrating when your disability prevents you from meeting your employment goals.

Fortunately, the Americans with Disabilities Act forbids employers from discriminating against qualified applicants or employees simply because of a disability. If you would be able to complete the essential elements of a position with some reasonable modifications, the law requires your employer to make those modifications. However, it is not always easy to achieve the accommodations you need.

Sexual harassment remains rampant in the farming industry

It's that time of year again here in Marion County and Polk County. That means the number of people working to process crops rises dramatically. Many of those workers are women.

What many people outside this industry don't know is that sexual harassment appears rampant. Women face the danger of sexual advances, harassment and violence every day they work, but they need their jobs, so many stay quiet.

Discrimination in your employer's dress code

When you started your job, your may have spent the better part of your first day signing contracts, learning about your duties and meeting your coworkers. Your new employer probably gave you a stack of booklets to review, one of which was an employee handbook. Even if your boss did not explain the dress code for your job, he or she may have made a point to direct your attention to those pages in the handbook.

Were you surprised at some of the stipulations in the book? Did you feel the policies were unbalanced or downright unfair? It is easy to shrug it off and believe that the boss can make any policies he or she wants to, but this is not always the case. When it comes to dress codes, employers may cross the line into discrimination.

Can a potential employer ask about that?

If you are struggling to find work, you are not alone. Many in Oregon and across the country are looking for a better job or even any job at all. For some, it is a more difficult quest than for others. Even someone who is well qualified for a job may find it difficult to attain if the interview questions cross the line.

The laws are very clear about the questions a potential employer may or may not ask you during an interview. This is to protect you from discrimination that may occur during the hiring process. Although these laws have been in place for decades, some employers still may not respect your rights during a job interview.

Lesser known types of harassment you may experience at work

Oregon workers understand that harassment in the workplace is unacceptable in any shape or form. When you think about harassment, you may think about things such as sexual or verbal harassment, but there are other types you may not really think about. There is no excuse for any type of mistreatment in your place of work.

It is smart for you to know about the different types of harassment you may experience in the workplace. You have the right to speak up, no matter what kind of mistreatment you are experiencing on the clock. If you think there is a problem, you will find it beneficial to take immediate action to figure how you can make the mistreatment stop and possibly move forward with legal action.

Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is unacceptable

Women are often subject to various types of discriminatory treatment in the workplace, and often, it is because of issues related to pregnancy. Your pregnancy or potential future pregnancy does not preclude you from working, excelling at your job and getting paid what you deserve. Even in 2019, women sometimes find it necessary to fight for their rights and protect their interests in the workplace.

If you believe you are the victim of pregnancy discrimination in your place of employment, you are not alone. You have the right to fight back, taking action to hold your employer accountable and seek appropriate compensation. Pregnancy discrimination in any type of Oregon workplace is unacceptable, and you do not endure it alone. You can speak up and fight to put a stop to this type of treatment. 

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