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Salem Employment Law Blog

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. 

Are you the victim of constructive discharge?

You need your job. Your family depends on your income, and you have plans for your future that require funding. Nevertheless, you may be like many in Oregon and elsewhere whose job is not what you expected it would be. Perhaps the work itself is rewarding, but the people you work with make it nearly intolerable to get out of bed some days.

If you wake up some mornings and feel like you would be better off if you just quit your job, you are not alone. Probably everyone has days like that. However, if you are ready to resign from your position because of constant hostility in the workplace, you may be facing a different kind of termination.

How gender plays a role in workplace discrimination

Every person has the right to a workplace that is free from harassing behaviors, mistreatment and discrimination. Unfortunately, some employers and co-workers do not always acknowledge these rights. If you are experiencing mistreatment, unfair treatment, harassing words and actions, or other types of unacceptable behavior, you could be a victim of gender discrimination.

Gender discrimination is one of the most common types of mistreatment that Oregon workers experience in the workplace. Often, women are victims of various types of unacceptable treatment from male co-workers and employers. As a victim, you have the right to speak up and speak out about what you are experiencing and fight to hold the liable parties accountable.

A miserable job is not necessarily a hostile environment

Movies and TV shows often make fun of workplaces in which a boss or employees behave incompetently or inappropriately. While such situations make for hilarious entertainment, if you are working in such an environment, it might be anything but funny.

If you work with people who are difficult to get along with, have bad personal hygiene or have annoying habits, you may hate your job. You may even consider your workplace hostile. However, can you take legal action? There are certain factors that must exist for a workplace to legally be a hostile environment.

Have you become a victim of retaliation at work?

You deserve a workplace free from harassment and discrimination. Oregon and federal laws aim to protect you from these circumstances, but this assumes that your employer complies with them.

When an employer fails to follow these laws, a hostile work environment fraught with inappropriate, and often illegal, behaviors from co-workers, supervisors or managers could exist. If you complain about these behaviors or reject advances, you could find yourself a victim of retaliation, which also violates existing employment laws.

Fighting for your rights in the workplace after age 40

You may accept the number of candles on your birthday cake with grace and humor. After all, growing older is one of those facts of life you can't change, so keeping a good attitude is important. However, you may grow weary of the subtle comments about your age from co-workers.

Perhaps your younger colleagues assume you are not tech savvy because you are over 40. Maybe they never miss an opportunity to point out your graying hair or to make joking references about TV ads for products marketed to senior citizens. While you try to be a good sport about the jokes, it may be no laughing matter if your employer discriminates against you because of your age.

Was your job termination legal?

Whether it came out of the blue or you have felt something brewing for months, the day your manager fired you was likely one of the most stressful days you have gone through. Despite the humiliation of clearing out your desk, the main thing you focused on was the overwhelming worry about how you would pay your bills and provide for your family.

Your employer may have given you reasons or excuses for your termination, and Oregon follows most states that have "at will" employment. This means your boss usually does not need a reason to let you go. However, something about the situation is nagging at you. Was your employer within his or her rights to fire you? How can you tell if you lost your job unfairly?

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