Actions and words that may create sexual hostile environment harassment are only limited by the sick imagination of the harasser, including:
Other actions which may result in hostile environment harassment, not based on sex, include:
The unlawful harassing conduct must be unwelcome and based on the victim’s protected basis. The conduct must be:
Whether the harassing conduct is severe or pervasive is determined on a case-by-case basis in light of,
No, the harassment protections include unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on the employee’s protected basis, such as the person’s,
Hostile work environment harassment refers to an unstable or dangerous workplace created when an employee suffers repeated workplace harassment. The harassing conduct unreasonably interferes with the victim’s work performance or creates what a reasonable person would find an objectively hostile or offensive work environment. If the conduct adversely affects the performance or well-being of the targeted employee, or any reasonable person in the workplace, the conduct may be illegal.
Consider having an attorney familiar with employment law review the document. Your employer almost certainly had its attorney draft this to be favorable to the company. Most severance agreements require you to waive almost any rights you have to bring an action against the company, even if you learn later of wrongdoing. Employment law is complicated. It is entirely possible for you to have been wronged without realizing it. It will cost you between $300 and $500 to have an attorney spend an hour with you to review the document and discuss options. This can be money well spent, and save you a costly mistake.
Most reputable employers won’t do that. In fact, they may recommend that you see an attorney. Regardless, do not let them pressure you into signing. Ask for at least a couple of days to review it.
A lawsuit is started once a formal legal document called a “complaint” is filed in court and then served, usually by hand, on the defendant. Writing letters to your employer or negotiating a severance agreement does not involve litigation and does not create a public record.
No. Although we are trained trial attorneys, many of our cases are resolved simply by contacting the employer.
Yes. Tom Spiggle is an experienced trial lawyer who is not afraid to take your case to trial if necessary. From day one junior attorneys at the firm are trained to litigate and take cases to trial.
Yes. You can talk to an intake specialist or submit information online to be reviewed by an attorney free of charge. After this review you will receive an email from the firm indicating whether yours is an issue we can potentially help with. If yours is an issue we can potentially help with, you will receive an invitation for an in-depth Strategy Conference for $195, which includes an hour with an attorney and review of key documents. The Spiggle Law Firm invites you to review the no-cost written material provided by the firm. The Employment Law Guide for Women, (much of it applies to men, too!) which you can obtain by visiting the Tools and Resources section of our website. Other resources available include:
That depends on the nature of your cases. It could take from $2,000 to $100,000, or more.
For cases that will involve significant legal work, such as, those going to trial, we will make every effort to work out a payment arrangement that works for you.
Again, it depends. Negotiating a severance can take as little as a few weeks. Cases that go all the way to trial can take a year or more.
Unless it is a criminal case, you will rarely have to go to court. In some instances, you will only have to go to court if there is a trial. Of course, you can choose to go to court for any matter involving your case.
A victim of wrongful discharge in Virginia can take legal action against:
The rules in Virginia say that an employee can sue for wrongful discharge if:
Yes. Numerous laws and regulations guarantee protections for reporting wrongdoing and illegal activity on the job. These laws often also protect employees that refuse to commit illegal activity when asked by their employer.
You may be experiencing retaliation for:
The Retaliation Section of this website has more information on your rights regarding retaliation.
You may be protected under The Employment Income Retirement Security Act. (ERISA) This act is also useful when there are issues with COBRA which cause you to lose your health insurance.
You may be protected against defamation (spoken) or libel (written) claims against you. These are state law claims, so need to search the law in your state. These are also state level common or “judge made” law, so you may have to rely on court cases rather than a statute.
Depending on the context, employees may be protected by The National Labor Relations Act. Employees of the US Government are also guaranteed protection of Freedom of Speech under the First Amendment of the Constitution.
You may be protected under these laws:
In cases of pregnancy discrimination, you can learn your rights from the following sources:
The left column lists common employment problems, and the right column lists the applicable federal laws. It also highlights common state law employment issues, as well as federal agencies that regulate that area of the law. *A star beside a law means that you must file an administrative action – like with the EEOC – before you file in court. Note that more than one may apply to your situation. Use these to conduct your own research or to help you find the right attorney to help you. I’ve been treated differently because of my:
You have been wrongfully terminated if you were fired because:
There are a number of other reasons that are illegal under federal or state law which may give you a legal case against your company, but judges generally will not call this “wrongful termination.” Instead, a judge will talk about your termination in a more specific way. Taking the examples above, the judge will say you were fired in violation of:
These examples do not include the many state and local laws that apply to the same conduct. For instance, an employer in the District of Columbia that fires a woman because she is pregnant may be in violation of both the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the District of Columbia Human Rights Act.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is one of the most important governing bodies when it comes to employment law. Learn about EEOC filing requirements, deadlines, and the role the agency could play in your case.
A lawyer can help you prepare for the hearing and achieve a positive outcome, or pursue appeal remedies should you lose.
A performance improvement plan (PIP) can be the first step to losing your job. It is completely your employer’s choice to put you on a plan, so you don’t have much choice about it. If this happens to you, I highly recommend that you consult someone with employment law experience. There are things that you can do that may prevent you from being fired, or, at the very least, maximize your chance to get a good severance agreement.