Should I sue my employer? Maybe. Speaking in very general terms, there are three major categories of laws protecting employees. These categories are: (1) discrimination law, (2) leave law, and (3) wage payment law. Below is a very brief discussion of each:
- Discrimination: Discrimination against individuals on the basis of their membership in a protected class is illegal. Protected classes include: gender, race, disability, age, national origin, religion and others. It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on their protected status. The discrimination can be failure to hire, decisions related to pay, discipline and decisions to terminate employment. The principle is that you cannot be treated differently than similarly situated employees on the basis of your protected status.
- Leave: Certain employees are entitled to leave by state and/or federal law. If you are entitled to leave, it is illegal for your employer to interfere with your leave, or retaliate against you for taking leave.
- Wages: There are also many wage payment laws which govern how your employer must pay your wages. These laws relate to payment of overtime lawful deductions from wages, and what constitutes “work” such that you have to be compensated.
If you are having issues with your employer, you should speak to an employment lawyer. You may have a viable lawsuit against your employer, and a good employment lawyer can help guide you in reviewing your situation.