TROUBLE ON THE JOB, BUT YOU’RE AFRAID?
People sometimes call me while they are still employed. They’re being harassed, and they don’t know what to do about it. Or, they think termination is looming: it’s just a matter of time. They don’t know if they might get fired, but they’re upset. Or, they’re sure they have unpaid wages coming to them, but they’re concerned about retaliation if they raise an issue.
The good news is that some rights on the job extend past separation from employment. Wage claims are a good example. Former employees who were misclassified, or worked off the clock, or otherwise didn’t get paid all the overtime they earned can still pursue their rights. Just don’t wait too long: check with a lawyer about the statute of limitations.
But what to do if you’re a current employee? How do you protect your legal rights while you’re still working? There’s no perfect solution. But take heart that standing up for your legal rights is legally protected from retaliation and discrimination. Employers know this, or should know it, and should respect your rights or face the consequences.
There’s also strength in numbers. Join with other employees. Being individually brave is good, but you don’t have to go it alone. Groups of employees support each other, and have power that individuals don’t.
And, of course, you should expect your lawyer to stand beside you, for moral and legal support and guidance. You’re not alone!