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Discrimination at Work

It is an unlawful employment practice to discriminate against an individual because of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or age.

Discrimination involves treating someone less favorably because of their protected classification. Both state and federal laws protect employees against discrimination. The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

Although the law doesn't prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment based on a protected classification is unlawful when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted). The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.

If you believe you have been the victim of discrimination at your place of employment, please contact us. We are here to help.

Whistleblower Retaliaiton

The law protects employees who in good faith attempt to report violations of laws or regulations they witness in their workplace. If you believe that you were retaliated against for reporting workplace violations, give us a call.

Sexual Harassment and Violence

You have the right to a workplace and learning environment free from sexual harassment and violence.

As a victim of sexual harassment, abuse or assault, your world is turned upside down. The thought of taking legal action can be daunting. Survivors may feel reluctant to tell what happened for many reasons, but in order to hold the assailant accountable legal action is required. A criminal case can lead to fines and jail time. A civil claim can help you recover compensation for emotional trauma, medical expenses, and other losses you’ve sustained.

If you have been the subject of inappropriate sexual advances, violence, or any unwanted behavior of a sexual nature, we can help.

We have experience in working with survivors of sexual assaults, sexual harassment, Title IX investigations, and other predatory behavior. We believe that all survivors should feel safe, and we strive to make sure that you are heard, believed, and protected.

LGBTQIA+ Discrimination

In Oregon, an employer may not discriminate or retaliate against an individual based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.

On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in Bostock affirming that the prohibition on sex discrimination in Title VII extends to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This decision resulted from three cases: Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda and Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, in which gay men were fired because of their sexual orientation, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission, where a transgender woman was fired because of her gender identity. The Supreme Court combined these cases and issued a single opinion—Bostock v. Clayton County—in which it held that “an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII.” Bostock v. Clayton Cnty., Georgia, 140 S. Ct. 1731, 207 L. Ed. 2d 218 (2020).

The attorneys at Cambreleng & Marton take pride in being allies with the LGBTQIA+ community as well as members. We take a person’s individual autonomy seriously and work to make sure that you are not discriminated against because of who you are.

Severance Negotiations and Separation Agreements

Occasionally, when layoffs or terminations occur, an employer may offer departing employees severance payments. In other cases, an employer may be willing to negotiate severance after termination in exchange for a release of claims an employee has raised against the employer.

Strategies for pursing and negotiating severance vary with each case. Moreover, severance packages often contain very restricting language, and the employee should have a complete understanding of the effect of the severance on their ability to address claims against the employer, accept employment with a competitor, solicit business, and/or file for unemployment benefits before signing a severance agreement.

At Cambreleng & Marton, our attorneys are able to help you navigate these negotiations to make sure your rights are protected and ensure a smooth transition to your next place of employment.

Non-Compete Agreements and Proprietary Information

In some cases, an employer may require their employees to sign non-competition agreements, non-solicitation agreements, or non-disclosure agreements. Such “restrictive covenants” often impose serious barriers to employees attempting to find work in their fields following separation from employment. Such clauses may or may not be valid depending upon several factors set out in state employment laws.

At Cambreleng & Marton, our attorneys are able to help you navigate these negotiations to make sure your rights are protected and ensure a smooth transition to your next place of employment.

Medical and Other Protected Leave

The Family Medical Leave Act and the Oregon Family Leave Act provide protected leave for the serious health conditions of the employee or their family members.

Oregon law also provides leave for victims of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking to pursue protection in the criminal justice system.

Whether an employee is eligible for certain leave depends on length of employment, size of the employer, and other factors.

We are here to help you determine if you qualify for leave, if you have been terminated or disciplined because you asked for or took leave, and how to navigate requesting leave.

 Wage & Hour Violations

State and federal laws dictate minimum wage obligations, overtime requirements, and lunch and break schedules. Under most circumstances, employers are required to pay non-exempt employees at least minimum wage and overtime wages per pay period.

We are here to help when your employer fails to pay minimum wage, fails to pay overtime, or fails to pay any other wages earned.

Injured Workers Retaliation and Discrimination

If you are injured at work, you have a right to reinstatement to your former position if physically able to return to your previous duties. You also may be entitled to reemployment to another position within the company that you are physically able to perform, so long as such a position is or becomes vacant.

An employer is not allowed to discriminate against a worker because of their injury.

We are here to help you navigate this system and advocate for your rights as an injured worker.

Wrongful Termination

Sometimes there is no statute specifically addressing your termination. If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, please reach out so we can work with you to determine the best recourse for any unlawful termination.

Small Business Advice, Counseling & Litigation

Whether you are a sole proprietor, partnership, or LLC, the attorneys at Cambreleng & Marton can help you with your employment law needs and questions.

We provide advice and counseling on matters of hiring, discipline, and termination of employees, or removal or withdrawal of a partner/member.  We create customized employee handbooks to fit your particular business and can help when you face potential litigation.

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