The Hamilton Law Blog

Filing a complaint may bring an end to a hostile workplace

Most New Jersey residents have mixed feelings about going to work. Some people may love their jobs, and others may dread the mundane activities they have to complete. You may have obtained the type of job you always wanted, but you still find yourself not wanting to go to work most days. The actions of your supervisors or co-workers may contribute to these feelings.

You may be the victim of serious mistreatment on the job. Other people with whom you work may treat you unfairly due to your religion, gender, race or other protected characteristics. As a result, you may feel anxiety and stress before going into work because of the hostile environment that supervisors or co-workers have created.

Unnecessary age concerns could lead to age discrimination

When you first started your career path, you likely did not expect to find yourself looking for a new job at an older age. You may have worked at the same company while garnering valuable experience for years only to have the company close or other issues result in your needing a new job. Of course, because of your experience and hard-working nature, you likely did not expect it to be a problem.

Unfortunately, you could face a number of issues when it comes to finding a new job over the age of 40. You certainly may have younger competition for the same job, and though you have more experience, your prospective employer may seem more inclined to opt for younger workers. However, if you face age discrimination even during the hiring process, you may have cause to file a legal claim.

Avoiding religious discrimination at your business

You may be one of the many people in New Jersey for whom the practice of religion is of highest importance, providing the principles that guide your every decision. On the other hand, maybe it's not for you. You may feel that religion has its place, and those who practice it should not force others to believe the same way.

If you are an employer, however, the faith of your employees should not factor into the way you treat them. This includes everything from your decision about whether to hire someone to the reasons why you terminate a worker. In fact, the law protects workers from discrimination based on their faith.

Is handing out severance agreements necessary?

Letting go of employees is difficult. Knowing how you should handle it can certainly be a challenge. Many business owners in New Jersey and elsewhere may not be sure if handing out severance agreements is a requirement or when it is appropriate.

A severance agreement is basically a compensation package given to an employee when a company lets him or her go. Severance agreements are not a requirement for every termination. For example, it is not necessary when firing an at-will employee. It is generally necessary when firing an employee under contract, in exchange for the employee waiving his or her rights to sue or for post-employment control.

Are you creating implied contracts with your employees?

Your employees' perceptions of the policies in your office may be very different from the policies you actually have in place. This may be inadvertent on your part but resulting from certain actions and behaviors your employees witness routinely. Despite having in mind specific protocol for disciplinary actions and terminations, for example, you may project an entirely different philosophy in the way you handle such matters in real life.

These perceptions and others may result in your employees believing an implied contract exists in the workplace. Implied contracts can be dangerous to you if an employee believes you have treated him or her differently from how you treated others in the same situation. The employee may feel you have breached an unspoken contract that you established by your actions toward those other employees.

Did a bun in the oven leave you feeling burned by employers?

Being pregnant can be one of the happiest times in many New Jersey residents' lives. You and your partner may feel excited about having a baby on the way and cannot wait to get the house in order so that your child's arrival will go as smoothly as possible. Of course, with the excitement likely also comes apprehensions. These feelings are normal as anyone can feel nervous about caring for a child, but you may also have concerns about how your pregnancy may impact your career.

Whether you are looking for a job while pregnant or already have a job and become pregnant, discrimination concerns may have you feeling wary. Unfortunately, some employers or potential employers may show signs of bias against you when they learn of your pregnancy. However, if they treat you unfairly due to your expectancy, they may have broken the law.

3 factors to consider when choosing business successors

Because many New Jersey business owners often look at their companies as an important part of their lives that they took the time to create, it can feel strange to think about handing the business off to another person. Even though you may wish you could continue running your company until it closes its doors, that may not be a feasible hope. If you want your company to continue to thrive, you may want to carefully think about business succession.

Choosing the right individual or individuals to take over leadership roles within your business can have its challenges. You certainly want to make sure the right candidates are up for the tasks and that you feel as if you are leaving your company in good hands when the time comes. Therefore, you may want to consider certain factors when determining your potential successors.

Don't terminate potential future opportunities if you get fired

Whether you've been employed at the same New Jersey company for a while or you have barely had a chance to settle in and get to know your co-workers, losing a job is never easy. The former is often more challenging than the latter since the longer you spend at a certain place, the more likely you are to be emotionally attached as well. Just because you lose a job, however, doesn't mean life will be all downhill from there.

If you know ahead of time where to turn for support and can persevere through the challenges you may face in the aftermath of job termination, you may wind up finding an even better opportunity that makes you wish you'd have left your old job sooner. If, on the other hand, you believe you were wrongfully terminated from your position, the road ahead may get a whole lot worse before it gets better.

When the boss doesn't play fair

The law protects New Jersey workers from various forms of discrimination in the workplace. Perhaps you've heard stories of people whose bosses wrongfully terminated their positions for one reason or another. For instance, more than one woman wound up losing her job just after telling her boss she was pregnant. Others say they were only trying to protect the community at large when they reported safety violations to the appropriate officials, only to later learn their positions had suddenly been made obsolete.

Another issue that often causes workplace contention is gender. Do you always feel like your boss treats you differently simply because you're the opposite gender?  The idea of gender bias in a 21st century work environment may seem a bit ridiculous to some. However, if you're the subject of this type of discrimination, you understand that it's anything but silly. In fact, it can be a very serious matter when it negatively affects your ability to carry out your workplace duties.

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