Civil Rights

A. Sexual Harrasment

Sexual harassment is considered to be a form of discrimination. This is un-welcomed sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other sexual verbal or physical conduct which explicitly or implicitly affect someone’s employment, unreasonably interferes with that person’s performance or creates a hostile or offensive environment. There are usually two types of harassment that can be curbed: Quid pro quo harassment which occurs when someone in authority request some sexual favor in exchange for a promotion or the maintenance of employment; and an hostile work environment which occurs when the environment itself is hostile or wreak with inappropriate conduct.

B. Discrimination

Discrimination can be based on disability, age, sexual orientation, sex, religion, pregnancy, equal pay… What this means is that the law does not allow discrimination based on certain class. People have the right to rent a place and not be faced with discrimination just because they are black. In the same way, people should be free from discrimination in the workplace… There are many laws and government agencies in place to make sure you are not discriminated.

C. Severance Agreement

Employers are not obligated to give you a severance pay when terminating your employment. But, if you have grounds to sue your employer for wrongful termination, you should seek the advice of an attorney, since signing a severance agreement usually means that you are agreeing not to sue your employer in the future for any alleged wrongdoing.

D. Whistle Blowing

There are many federal and state laws which are set up to protect a person reporting malfeasance on the part of his employer or the government. Between the False Claim Act (FCA) and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, many employees are protected against retaliation from disclosing their employer’s malfeasance, and many private persons are rewarded from disclosing wrongdoing. The FCA protects employees who work for the federal government from harassment and retaliation, as well as other people who disclose malfeasance on the part of the federal government. Anyone who knows about wrongdoing on the part of the federal government can sue on behalf of the US and take a significant portion of the damages if the suit is successful. Many states have their own FCA version, and many more are likely to enact FCA like laws with the passage of the Deficit Reduction Act which gives monetary incentives to states for enacting FCA like laws. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act protects corporate employees of publicly traded companies as well as employees of private companies who hold information which could significantly affect a publicly traded company.

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