Problems that arise during employment law cases
A company may claim that since they hired an employee in the first place, they can’t possibly be biased. However, sometimes, a new supervisor is hired, who is different from the supervisor who originally hired the employee, and this new supervisor may harbor a bias against certain employees due to age, race, or gender.
Through the discovery process, we are able to figure out who was involved in these decisions and show that discrimination is the real cause.
Invariably, in a pregnancy case, the employer will try to claim not to have known about the pregnancy. This is especially a problem because women are often hesitant to admit that they are pregnant early on in their pregnancies, even though the best thing that they can do to save their jobs is to tell their employer right away, in writing, that they are pregnant.
Oftentimes, it will be obvious to an employer that an employee is gaining weight, or suffering from morning sickness, yet the employer is still able to deny knowledge of the pregnancy, and then provide a false reason to terminate the employee, before she is able to tell them about her pregnancy. She never realizes that the employer knew she was pregnant, but that turns out to have been the reason for her termination.
If you are pregnant, tell your employer, in writing, that you are pregnant and that you may need extra break time in the mornings or accommodations to use the restroom more often. Whatever you may need due to your pregnancy, your employer is required to accommodate you, but your employer has the right to request a doctor’s note.
By telling your employer about your pregnancy in writing, you eliminate any possibility that the employer might try to claim that they never knew of your pregnancy. Similarly, employees should tell their employer as soon as they know that they are suffering from a physical or mental disability that requires frequent time off work.
The key is that the medical issue in question must qualify as a physical or mental disability. For example, a broken leg may not qualify, but a broken ankle does, so it is not always obvious. Find out whether your condition qualifies before you notify your employer.
In a case of sexual harassment involving a co-worker, the employee has an obligation to complain first and allow the employer a short time to act to prevent further harassment. This is different from cases where the harassment is committed by a supervisor, and in such cases, there is no requirement that the employee complain.
In a sexual harassment case involving a co-worker, without a written complaint, the employer might try to deny knowledge of the harassment. Then it becomes difficult to prove that the employer knew that this particular co-worker acting inappropriately. Unless, of course, there were previous incidents involving that particular employee that the employer was previously made aware of, which we can use to show that the employer was already on notice of this particular co-worker’s propensity to sexually harass his co-workers.