If you are considering suing your employer for workplace discrimination, you likely know at least some of your legal rights under California and federal employment laws. But even if your employer is subjecting you to discrimination at work, it is important to know that there are many myths surrounding employment lawsuits. This is why it is crucial for employees to refrain from playing lawyer and understand that they may not want to point fingers before consulting an expert California workplace discrimination attorney.
This article will debunk some of the common myths and misconceptions regarding workplace discrimination lawsuits in California.
Myth: I can file a workplace discrimination lawsuit because my boss is mean to me.
The Truth: If you have a mean boss, it doesn't give you grounds to sue.
It is not against the law to be a jerk to employees. However, if your boss is mean and harasses you due to your membership of a protected class (sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, color, national origin, disability, etc.) then this could constitute workplace discrimination under California law. Basically, if your boss is "mean" and his or her behavior is motivated by a discriminatory reason, then you may be able to file a workplace discrimination claim.
Myth: I can sue my employer for laying me off without severance pay.
The Truth: Your employer only has to provide you with severance pay if they have a severance pay policy in place.
It's true. There are no existing California employment laws that require your employer to give at-will employees severance compensation. While you may be able to negotiate severance pay, you may want to think twice before acting on the urge - especially if you feel that you may have faced wrongful termination. If this is the case, negotiating severance pay could require you to surrender your employee rights.
Myth: My coworkers will step up and become witnesses on my behalf.
The Truth: You should not rely on coworkers to be your witnesses in employment lawsuits.
Even if your closest friends at work witnessed the alleged discriminatory behaviors, or if they have suffered from the same discrimination, you likely won't be able to rely on them to be witnesses. It is very common for fellow employees to lay low in fear of retaliation and losing their jobs. Instead of relying on witnesses, document every discriminatory incident as it happens, be extremely detailed, and supply your attorney with any and all documentation that could help prove your case.
Myth: I don't need an employment attorney to help prove my case. I can do this on my own!
The Truth: You need to consult an experienced California workplace discrimination attorney to help prove your claims.
It is always important to consult a California employment attorney before you begin making accusations. While you may want to file a claim on your own, only a skilled attorney understands the intricate details and deadlines of employment lawsuits. If you want to file a workplace discrimination lawsuit, contact our expert California employment attorneys at Hennig Ruiz for a free consultation today.