Common Legal Issues You Might Face in Your Career

Common Legal Issues You Might Face in Your CareerAs you grow in your career, there are a few legal issues that you may encounter in the workplace. You may run into these legal issues regardless of the work you do. It’s always a good idea to learn about your rights as an employee so that you can stand up for yourself whenever your employer tries to violate them, knowingly or unknowingly. 

In this post, you’re going to learn the five most common legal issues you might face in your career in Chicago. If you unknowingly experienced any, you can seek the counsel of an employment attorney in Chicago.

Workplace Discrimination

Discrimination in the workplace can happen in many forms. Your colleagues can discriminate against you based on sex, age, gender preference, race, even ethnicity. They can also discriminate against you due to a disability, pregnancy or sexual orientation. 

The employment laws enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) forbids and prohibits discrimination in the workplace. If an employer discriminates against you, they are in violation of your employee rights. 

Wrongful Termination

Whenever an employer fires you, they need to have a justifiable legal reason for why they did so. You should also know why your employer fired you. 

Terminating someone’s employment contract without cause or a justified reason is a violation of employee rights. You have a right to sue the employer. 

Your employer has a right to fire you because of lateness, insubordination, and poor performance in the workplace. They, however, can’t fire you on the grounds of:

  • Race, color or gender
  • Religion or nationality
  • Sexual orientation 
  • Whistleblowing
  • Failing to commit an illegal act

Safety in the Workplace

You should feel safe as you work for your employer. If you work in an environment that threatens your security, your employer should provide protective equipment and conduct safety training to ensure your safety. They should also provide warnings, for example, slippery stairs or wet floors. Any falls or injuries caused due to an employer’s negligence are grounds for a workplace lawsuit. 

Harassment

Harassment in the workplace is illegal, not just at the state level but under the federal employment law. According to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), your employer or colleague should not harass you based on:

  • Age, race, color or ethnicity
  • Gender or gender identity
  • Sex or sexual orientation
  • Marital and military status 
  • Mental or physical disability

Overtime Issues

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA), your employer should pay you overtime for any hours worked above 40 hours in a week. The pay should also be 1.5x the regular pay rate.

Forty hours per week involves working eight hours a day for five days. This means that you may be eligible for overtime pay if you work for six days at the same eight-hour rate or work for more than eight hours a day for five days. 

There are a few exceptions to the overtime rule, such as if you are a manager, executive, or professional. 

If you feel that your employer is violating any of your employee rights, it’s important to seek legal counsel. You can contact an employment lawyer in Chicago for more information.