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For Employees

I feel discriminated against at work. Is this illegal?

I have worked for the same company for over 20 years. Last month, I was laid off due to downsizing. Am I entitled to a severance package by law?

Can companies monitor the internet usage of their employees?





Q: I feel discriminated against at work. Is this illegal?

Discrimination is illegal if you belong to a protected class as outlined by federal or state law. These legally protected categories include age, disability, gender, pregnancy, race, national origin, military status and religion. California also defines sexual orientation as a protected category. Favoritism or nepotism in the workplace may be unfair but treatment of this sort is not necessarily illegal.


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Q: I have worked for the same company for over 20 years. Last month, I was laid off due to downsizing. Am I entitled to a severance package by law?

Unless your employment contract or company policy specifies the presence of a severance package in the event of discharge, you are probably not entitled to a severance package. In many instances, employers offer a severance package in exchange for your agreement to a confidentiality or noncompetition contract, or to secure release of any employment-related claims you may make. Before signing any severance agreement, it is important that you contact an employment attorney to ensure your rights are protected.


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Q: Can companies monitor the internet usage of their employees?

The courts have ruled that employees have few privacy rights when using their employers’ computer systems. All websites visited by workers may be tracked and non-work related sites may be blocked. All employers should have an acceptable use policy which outlines internet use in the workplace and any sites which may not be visited. If an employee knowingly violates this policy, he or she may be disciplined accordingly.
 


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The Law Offices of G. Samuel Cleaver, provides legal services throughout California, including the cities of Los Angeles (L.A.), Glendale, Santa Monica, Burbank, Anaheim, Costa Mesa, and Irvine; Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, San Diego County, Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, Kern County and Fresno County; and the Inland Empire.



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