Can I File A Discrimination Lawsuit If I’m A Temporary Employee?
All employees are entitled to a workplace where they feel safe and free of discrimination and harassment. There are multiple state and federal laws in place to ensure that this remains the case. But what happens when you’re not an employee? Are you still entitled to the same legal protections if you’re only a temporary employee, assigned to work at a certain business by an agency? In short, the answer is yes.
Temporary Employees Can Sue for Discrimination
Like full-time and part-time employees in California, temporary employees are also entitled to a discrimination-free workplace, and are entitled to take appropriate actions to report harassment and discrimination if they experience it either at the hands of their agency or the company they are assigned to. However, there are many reasons that a temporary employee may be concerned about reporting the conduct and coming forward. In some cases, an employer may be committing quid pro quo sexual harassment where they request certain romantic favors or take advantage of their status with a temporary employee by threatening to terminate or extend their employment contract or offer them permanent employment. Temporary employees also have less job security than other employees, and may worry about retaliation in the form of being fired if they report the problem to their supervisor. However, like regular employees, temporary employees are also protected from retaliation for engaging in protected activities such as reporting discrimination or harassment.
What to do if You are a Temporary Employee Experiencing Discrimination
If you are a temporary employee experiencing harassment or discrimination, it is a good idea to start keeping a detailed record of everything problematic that is unfolding. You should also keep a record of any actions you have taken to call attention to or remedy the problematic conduct, such as reporting it to a superior or human resources. Generally, that is the first step. You can also report it to your temporary placement agency, and they may simply re-assign you to another workplace. However, if the agency and your place of employment both fail to take action after your report, the next step is to file a complaint with the appropriate agency so that they can investigate. At this point, it also makes sense to consult with a lawyer. If your employer fires you at any point as a form of retaliation, it can be hard to establish that the termination was retaliation and not based on another reason, like poor job performance. This is where your detailed record and evidence become critical. If you are unsure of how to proceed, the best thing to do is consult with an employment law attorney who can help you navigate the process.
Schedule a Consultation with the Costanzo Law Firm
If you are working in California and are experiencing harassment or discrimination in the workplace, it can be hard to get the support and justice that you deserve. Contact the experienced San Jose employment law attorneys at the Costanzo Law Firm to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help you hold your employer accountable.