Defining Unfair Treatment In The Workplace
Most employees have experienced grievances against their employer at some point. Be it a disagreement about payment of wages or lack of opportunities, you may feel that you have been unfairly treated in the workplace. However, not every grievance translates to unfair treatment in the legal sense. There are certain breaches of contract or policy that have to take place for it to be considered unfair treatment.
Unfair treatment is a broad term and can refer to one or more of the following:
- Being dismissed for no good reason
- Being paid less for doing equal work
- Being passed over for promotion despite being equally or more qualified than the other candidate
- Being consistently stuck with the graveyard or weekend shifts
- … and much more.
At Will Employment
A large number of employees are under “at will” employment, which means that the employer does not need a reason to fire them. Exceptions would be when the employer and employee enter into an employment contract, where the reasons the employee can be fired are explicitly stated. If you are an at will employee, your employer does not have to provide a reason for letting you go.
Breaching Employment Contract
Employees who have signed an employment contract are not considered “at will” employees. Your contract will state clearly the compensation you are entitled to monthly as well as other benefits and the reasons your employer can fire you. If you have been fired for a reason not stated in the contract, you could have a case of wrongful termination.
Even if you are not protected under a contract, at will employees are protected from unfair treatment due to discrimination. This means that if you have been treated unfairly due to your race, national origin, age, gender, disability or pregnancy status, you could have a legal case. In some states, this extends to cover factors such as marital status, previous military service, arrest and conviction record and more.
It is not uncommon for employees to find themselves the target of unfair treatment after reporting a company’s illegal activities or refusing to take part in them. Employers do this hoping to deter others from interfering with their illegal activities. However, there are laws in place to protect employees who report or assist in the investigation of their employer’s illegal activities.
Carcich O’Shea Will Listen to Your Unfair Treatment Claim
If you have been the recipient of unfair treatment at work, you may be unsure if you have a legal claim. At Carcich O’Shea, we are here to listen and assist you. We believe that everyone deserves to be treated equally at work and any unfair treatment can result in great emotional distress. If you believe you are being treated unfairly at work, please do not hesitate to contact us for legal advice. Our experienced attorneys specialize in employment law and will advocate tirelessly on your behalf.