According to Fast Company, employees are beginning to speak up regarding wages, disparities in pay and racist practices. Although illegal, discrimination in hiring and firing, job assignments, promotions, job training, pay and layoffs is still present, leaving you to wonder why this type of discrimination occurs in California businesses and around the United States.

The balance of power is an issue. Proving that they were fired because of race, color, religion or sexual identity is a problem for the employee. They also have to prove that they were retaliated against or there was a breach of contract from their employer. This very action could violate human resources policies, making it more difficult to prove. Additionally, being hired as an “at-will” employee means that the employer can fire you for any reason as long as you cannot prove discrimination.

Many companies require employees to sign non-disclosure agreements. Originally to keep trade secrets within the company, it prevents employees from speaking up about pay or discriminatory policies. It also invites a lawsuit when former employees speak up. Additionally, the non-compete agreement keeps those who have left a company from moving on to a better job in their chosen field.

When it comes to protecting employees from age discrimination, harassment and wage and hour pay issues, it may seem like the employer has the upper hand through silencing the employee. However, employees have rights and should know when rights have been violated. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney might be a valuable course of action. If you feel you have been the subject of the influence and power of your employer, it may be time to seek legal counsel and advice on your rights.