No one wants to put their job in danger, even if an employer engages in unsafe or illegal workplace activities. This explains the rationale of various whistleblower protection laws, including the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, and the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989. These laws make it illegal to fire an employee who comes forward and blows the whistle.
Despite protections against age discrimination offered by federal and state employment laws, the job security of many skilled workers in their 50s and 60s is still threatened in many workplaces across the country.
Claims of sexual harassment may coincide with an adverse event, such as being denied a promotion or even wrongful termination. However, this is not a precondition.
A worker who is facing unwelcome sexual comments, jokes, pictures, touching or advances may also have a valid claim for sexual harassment. This type of behavior is termed a hostile workplace, and both state and federal laws offer protections.
The 2015 Hawaii Supreme Court case Adams vs. CDM Media dramatically altered the employment landscape in Hawaii. This case is important as it clarified two key factors when employers make hiring decisions. In the last two years, this case has had a major impact on job applicants, employees and employers. Upon closer examination of the case, employees and job seekers can have a better understanding of how employers in Hawaii make hiring decisions.
The facts of the case
A 59-year old woman who had been out of the workplace for the past five years to care for an ill parent applied for an inside sales position with a media company. She earned an interview with an HR manager, but was denied the job based on the company president's decision. Instead of hiring the 59-year old woman who had past sales experience, the company hired four applicants between the ages of 24 and 38.
Our law firm has represented employees of all levels and backgrounds, from CEOs or health care professionals to office workers. Although job duties may vary, the right to work in a lawful workplace is constant. Unfortunately, employees don't always receive fair treatment.
For many workers, one of the biggest hurdles to protecting their employment rights is psychological. A setback, such as a termination, can be emotionally devastating and require time to process. Yet it would be a mistake not to take immediate action.