The recent economic downturn adds urgency to individuals looking for employment or ensuring they retain the jobs they have. Many employers now require more time and effort from their employees. In addition, with a larger labor pool to choose from, employers may base their hiring decisions on issues unrelated to qualifications. However, federal laws protect the civil rights of job seekers and employees. When employers infringe on these rights, you may need the support of attorneys experienced in employment law to help protect your job and your future.
What job seekers should know about their rights
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides good summary information about the employment practices that constitute discrimination under a number of federal laws. However, these laws apply even before you establish an employment relationship, such as in the following situations:
- Job advertisements cannot show preferences based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disabilities or even genetic information or pregnancy.
- Recruitment must avoid discrimination, such as might be the case if an employer selects applicants based on recommendations of employees sharing a national origin that result in hiring of individuals because they belong to the same group.
- Interviews cannot include potentially discriminatory questions, such as asking about marital status or plans to marry or have children. And employers cannot ask direct or indirect questions pertaining to age, such as when an applicant graduated from high school.
Although job seekers can file a complaint with the EEOC when they believe an employer violated their rights, these claims require substantial evidence. Most individuals achieve the best results by retaining an employment law attorney who can develop an effective case that pursues appropriate remedies, including the legal fees associated with the case.
Understanding your rights on the job
The law holds employers responsible for ensuring their employees receive fair treatment. And they must take appropriate action when they receive employee complaints of discriminatory treatment for such issues as the following:
- Fair pay and benefits
- Discipline and discharge
- Reasonable accommodation for disabilities and religion
Further, employers cannot take any punitive action against employees who report discriminatory issues, whether the employee is reporting about discrimination against themselves or other workers.
Contact an experienced Media, PA employment law firm to protect your rights
Employment law in Delaware County and elsewhere has many complexities that require experienced legal support. The Media employment law attorneys at DiOrio & Sereni, LLP have decades of experience providing skilled legal advice and representation to employees and to private and governmental employers. Whether you need us to informally intervene with an employer, or if you need full legal support for violations of your civil rights, contact our Media, Pennsylvania office.
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