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When something goes wrong at work it may feel like a big step to seek the assistance of an Employment Lawyer, but as an employee, you are within your rights to be armed with legal advice if you feel you are being victimised, taken advantage of, or have been treated unfairly.
Here are some common situations in which you may want to hire an employment lawyer.
If you are being discriminated against or harassed
Discrimination can occur in the workplace when an employee or a candidate in the running for an advertised position is treated unfairly based on personal characteristics including gender, age, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or pregnancy. These and other characteristics are protected by law, and it is, therefore, illegal for you to be fired, overlooked for a role, or otherwise mistreated by the company based on these characteristics alone.
If your employment is terminated or you believe you were not hired for a role you were otherwise a suitable candidate for based on discriminatory grounds, you should seek the advice of an employment lawyer to gain a clear understanding of your options. Similarly, if you are being discriminated against at work or are being harassed or bullied because of a protected characteristic, you should also seek the advice of a legal professional.
If your employment is terminated illegally
Wrongful or illegal termination occurs when an employer unlawfully terminates the employment of one of their workers. Penalties for wrongful termination can include compensation for the employee and/or the employee being re-employed.
Termination due to an employee’s misconduct is not considered wrongful or illegal if it is in line with relevant laws, however, some instances where wrongful termination may have occurred include terminating an employee in retaliation for attending jury duty, participating in an investigation into the company or its employees’ conduct, following whistleblower protocol or filing a complaint or claim with a body such as Fair Work Australia.
If you do not receive benefits that you were promised
When you commence a new job you may be promised benefits in addition to your salary, superannuation and paid time off. Benefits may be financial, such as a guaranteed pay rise once you have been with the company for a certain amount of time, medical benefits, bonuses or commission, or additional time off.
If the employer fails to make good on these promises, an employee may need to seek the help of an employment lawyer to be able to pursue them using legal avenues.
If you are asked to sign something you don’t understand or do not agree with
It is usually not necessary to have an employment lawyer review a standard employment agreement, but if you are confused by any elements of the contract then there is nothing to say you cannot seek the help of a professional who can walk you through what your contract entails.
If you are being asked to sign any other type of agreement during the course of your employment which you do not fully understand or that will mean you are waiving your right to a benefit you would otherwise be entitled to, you should also seek the assistance of an employment lawyer.
If your employer forces you to sign an agreement by threatening you with termination, reduced hours, a demotion, or the removal of a benefit you should also contact an employment lawyer.
If you feel as though you are being treated unfairly by your employer for a reason that was not listed above, contact our experienced employment lawyers on (07) 4052 0763 to discuss what is happening at your workplace and whether you have any recourse.