Employers may require legal help in order to resolve wage and hour disputes.
Each state varies in regard to overtime pay, record-keeping laws, and whether an individual should be classified as either an employee or an independent contractor.
Employment lawyers provide their expertise in reviewing employee contracts, informing employees about their rights, and providing guidance about any legal action that might be possible against employers. Furthermore, employment lawyers may help mediate between employees and employers to achieve lasting solutions that benefit both sides.
Discrimination and Harassment
All employees have the right to work in an inclusive, safe, and welcoming workplace, which employers must uphold by adhering to laws against discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin or ancestry, age, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, disability, or family medical history.
Enforcement by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and state agencies also prohibits retaliation when filing complaints or participating in investigations into harassment incidents. You can click the link: https://www.eeoc.gov/ to learn more.
The law defines unlawful harassment as any unwanted verbal or physical behavior directed at individuals for reasons related to protected traits. Harassment may consist of one incident or multiple ones; oftentimes it can be difficult to ascertain if an alleged incident of harassment meets legal criteria.
Discrimination in the workplace takes many forms, from depriving employees of promotions or assignments based on race, religion, or age to retaliating against those filing human rights complaints or refusing to hire people with particular religious beliefs. All such violations are illegal, so an attorney can assist their employee by filing a suit against their employer. You can click here to learn more.
An attorney can also help an employee negotiate with their employer to find a resolution without going to trial, usually because the latter does not wish to risk negative publicity or loss of business due to this matter.
Attorneys can often help employers avoid discrimination and harassment in the first place by ensuring they implement policies to create a safe workplace and address employee complaints.
An attorney may also review any documents signed as part of employment such as arbitration and noncompete agreements to make sure they do not violate employment law.
When an employee suspects discrimination has taken place against him or her, filing an incident report as soon as possible is important before their rights to pursue litigation are lost forever.
Companies looking to reduce employee numbers often resort to layoffs as a means of accomplishing this goal. While in some instances this is a temporary suspension of work, in others it is permanent termination due to mergers, acquisitions, or the economic downturn.
Employers might also need to adjust how they do business – which could affect staffing needs, job titles, and other aspects of employment relationships.
Larger companies that must lay off a significant number of employees must follow certain rules, including the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act which mandates they give 60 days of notice and offer severance pay to affected workers. As this can be an intimidating task for any company without proper legal guidance, consulting an attorney is highly advised for compliance.
An attorney can be invaluable in helping those who have been laid off or fired find the necessary steps to take, such as filing for unemployment benefits. Furthermore, experienced counsel may review an employer’s termination policies to suggest ways to minimize liability exposure.
Layoffs can be extremely traumatic experiences. Employers must abide by certain regulations when dismissing employees, such as providing notice of termination or providing severance pay; an attorney can assist former employees in understanding these requirements as well as other labor laws.
Misclassification of employees by employers is another issue requiring legal counsel’s intervention, with employers often misclassifying workers as independent contractors instead of employees, leading them to miss out on overtime pay as a result of these errors. An employment lawyer in Los Angeles can represent those misclassified as independent contractors to pursue compensation against their employer. This process can be difficult to navigate without the expert guidance of experienced attorneys.
Contracts and Agreements
Employment contracts set out the rules and responsibilities between an employer and employee, so having legal assistance review and negotiate these contracts is invaluable for both sides. Furthermore, an attorney may assist with wage violations or damages claims if an employer breaches any terms in an agreement.
Contracts can help determine whether an employee is considered at-will or has contractual obligations that cannot be breached. An at-will employee can be dismissed at any time without warning; for employees employed under contracts, however, employers must give notice for good cause or at specific intervals in order to dismiss.
Some companies require employees to sign employment contracts to clearly outline the terms of their work. This might include things such as a noncompete clause that prohibits an employee from working for competitors for a period after leaving.
Other provisions might include nondisclosure or confidentiality restrictions that limit how the employee discloses sensitive or proprietary information. You can visit this helpful site for more information about recent changes to nondisclosure agreements.
Contractual obligations often contain provisions regarding compensation details, including salary and benefits such as health insurance or vacation time. Legal assistance can help employees understand these clauses and negotiate better deals for their benefit packages.
If an employer violates their contractual terms by refusing to pay employees overtime wages, an attorney can investigate and take appropriate actions to recover unpaid earnings for employees.
They can file a formal complaint on behalf of their client, or file individual litigation to seek recovery of lost earnings.
If your employer has broken state or federal law, filing a lawsuit may be the way forward. Your lawyer can help assess if there is a valid claim and take the steps needed for justice to prevail.
Existing and former employees often pursue other legal actions short of litigation, including filing an administrative charge with EEOC or similar agencies and appealing an unemployment benefits denial decision.
Sometimes these adversarial processes serve as precursors to more substantial claims being filed in court.
Employment lawsuits often allege discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or other unfair workplace treatments such as refusing to pay overtime wages and failing to adhere to workplace safety laws, as well as firing employees for discriminatory or retaliatory motives.
An action in this area of law frequently relies on written evidence relating to specific laws, facts, and claims made by the plaintiff. Such evidence might include statutes and regulations, court decisions, and witness testimony as well as physical objects, audio recordings, video footage, or expert witness testimony.
Evidence may also include circumstantial and historical facts pertaining to a plaintiff’s work history with their employer. For instance, being fired due to refusing sexual harassment training might constitute sufficient circumstantial and historical proof for retaliation claims.
Once a complaint is filed, both sides will engage in discovery – exchanging information regarding their case and conducting depositions of witnesses – before filing and responding to motions and preparing for trial.
Most cases are usually dismissed or settled before reaching trial; less than 1% of federal civil cases went before trial in 2022!
An experienced attorney can help you understand and defend your rights, protect against retaliation and other forms of illegal behavior, and pursue compensation claims on your behalf. They may also assist with reviewing, negotiating, or drafting contracts in line with employment laws.