If you are considering a new job, you may be wondering what an employment contract is. If you already have an employment contract, you may have concerns related to enforcing it. In general, an employment contract is a written agreement between an employer and an employee. Most employment arrangements are at-will arrangements that do not involve an employment contract. In an at-will employment relationship, the employer can fire the employee at any time provided it is not illegal or subject to certain limitations. When there is an employment contract, the terms of employment are largely governed by the agreement.
Retaliating against a worker for reporting illegal and inappropriate activity in the workplace is illegal. Employer retaliation is prohibited by both state and federal laws. Employees should enjoy a safe work environment and not fear retaliation when a safe workplace has not been provided and is pointed out. Employees who have been unlawfully retaliated against for reporting sexual harassment, workplace discrimination or for whistle blowing enjoy important legal protections.
Rhode Islanders who have exercised their rights to take time off from work by using the Family Medical Leave Act must also remember that they have certain rights when returning to work. Unfortunately, there are still employers who violate employment law with certain activities that might be used to dissuade an employee for using FMLA and do so in an underhanded manner. Or they simply do not grant an employee his or her rights when returning to work. For example, a worker has the right to return to the same job he or she left when using FMLA or one that is nearly identical. If an employer does not allow a worker this right, it could be the basis for a legal filing.
Employer retaliation can take on many forms, and it is illegal in any form. When employees experience this type of treatment, they may feel unsure of how they should react and what action they should take next. Despite these reservations, any Rhode Island employee who experiences employer retaliation has the right to fight back.
Shortly after hearing news about the popular ride-sharing company Uber's internal issues concerning sexual harassment, we are now hearing that the car company Tesla is also accused of widespread sexual harassment in the workplace.