Work lawyers (or “employment law lawyers”) handle diverse claims and lawsuits involving workplace disputes. They often file and review claims such as:
- Discrimination lawsuits
- Wrongful termination
- Wage and hour claims
- Conflicts over benefits
- Retaliation and whistleblowing cases
- Harassment/hostile work environment
- Various other employment-related violations
Employment attorneys may also perform other tasks like helping to negotiate or redo employment contracts, reviewing salary/bonus terms, and arranging other employment matters.
What Type of Evidence Is Usually Involved in a Work Dispute Lawsuit?
Most work conflicts generally concern a loss of wages, benefits, or other monetary amounts. Therefore, evidence is typically geared towards proving damages. This evidence can include items such as:
- Payment receipts
- Work stubs
- Time logs
- Vacation or leave records
- Witness statements
- Terms in an employment contract
- Transcripts of interviews or other communications
What Is Wrongful Discharge/Termination of Employment?
If you sense you have been wrongfully fired from a job or let go from an employment position, you may wish to discover more about your state’s wrongful discharge laws.
What Are Wrongful Discharge/Termination Laws?
Wrongful termination or wrongful discharge laws differ from state to state.
Some states are “employment-at-will” states, which means that if there is no employment contract (or collective bargaining agreement), an employer can let an employee go for any reason or no reason. An employer can fire an employee with or without notice if the discharge does not break the law.
If you sense you have been wrongfully discharged or terminated from employment, you may:
- Contact your State Labor Office for more info on wrongful termination laws in your state.
- Seek legal counsel if your employer terminated you for any reason not protected under state or federal law.
You may also be qualified for unemployment compensation and your health care benefits extension.
Employer Guidance for Discharge/Termination
Suppose you are an employer seeking information about the legal termination of workers. In that case, you may wish to contact both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and your State Labor Office to confirm you do not infringe any federal or state labor laws. You may wish to consult with a licensed lawyer.
What Is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal labor law that permits qualified workers to take an extended leave of absence from work.
What Situations Are Included Under the FMLA?
The situations covered by the FMLA include:
- Caring for a qualifying sick family member
- The birth or adoption of a child
- Military caregiving or other emergencies related to a family member’s active duty service
This unpaid leave is guaranteed by law and is open to businesses with 50 or more workers. FMLA fact sheets can help you comprehend your rights and coverage.
How Do I Report a Violation of the FMLA?
If you have unanswered questions about the FMLA or you think someone has infringed your rights under FMLA, contact the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division for help.
What Are Employer Duties Under the FMLA?
Employers with FMLA-eligible workers have distinct rights and obligations under the law.
If you’re an employer with uneasiness about false FMLA leave, contact your business’s legal and human resources department. You can also contact the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.
Minimum Wage, Overtime, and Misclassification
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issues and implements some of the nation’s most extensive labor laws. These include the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
These regulations oversee:
- Minimum wage
State Labor Laws
In addition to the federal laws, each state has its own labor laws, which differ from state to state.
What Is Minimum Wage?
The federal minimum wage is the lowest permitted hourly wage for many employees. Tipped workers may have a different wage.
The minimum wage is $7.25 per hour for covered nonexempt employees.
Many states and cities also have minimum wage laws. Where federal and state laws have different rates, the higher wage applies. Employers should find their state’s minimum wage laws for tipped workers.
What Is Overtime Pay?
An employer may instruct or enable a worker to work overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act expresses that employees who clock more than 40 hours per week get overtime pay. There are a few exceptions to this rule.
What Is Misclassification?
An employer says a worker is an independent contractor. The law says the worker is an employee. That’s misclassification, which can:
- Concern a worker’s compensation, protections, and benefits
- Cause tax issues for both companies and employees
If you’ve been misclassified, contact your state labor office or file a complaint with the Department of Labor.
What Are Workers’ Safety Rights?
Employees are entitled to certain rights in the workplace – particularly ones that keep them safe. These include the right to:
- Be trained in a language that the employee comprehends
- Be equipped with the required safety equipment
- Report injury or illness
- Voice concern over dangerous working conditions without fear of retaliation
What Is Workers’ Compensation for Illness or Injury on the Job?
Workers’ compensation regulations safeguard workers who get hurt on the job or sick from it. The rules appoint workers’ comp, a form of insurance that employers pay for. These laws differ from state to state and for federal employees.
What Are the Benefits Provided by Workers’ Compensation?
In general, workers’ comp provides:
- Coverage for workers’ medical costs
- Payment for lost wages while a worker is out recovering
- Benefits for dependents of workers who died from job-related hazards
What Are Workers’ Compensation Laws for Private Sector Employees? What About State or Local Government Employees?
If you get injured working for a private company or state or local government, seek assistance through your state. Your state workers’ compensation program can help you file a claim. If your claim is rejected, you can appeal.
What If I Need to File a Work Dispute Claim?
If you need to file a work dispute claim, you may wish to approach the conflict from several angles. First, it may be possible to settle the dispute through a meeting with management or with human resources employees. If that is not adequate, it may be necessary to file a complaint. This can be done either through a government body such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or by filing a private lawsuit.
These types of prospects for legal relief will depend on the nature of the legal issue. For example, most discrimination claims require an EEOC filing before the plaintiff can file a lawsuit. There are, however, some exceptions to these prerequisites. Nevertheless, hiring a lawyer to assist with an employment dispute legal proceeding is usually necessary.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Work Dispute Claims?
Employment law claims can often be complex and may take time to resolve. You may wish to hire a workplace attorney in your area if you need help with any legal issue.
Your lawyer can provide you with legal advice and representation when filing a case. Also, if you need to appear for a hearing or court meeting, your lawyer can guide you during those as well. Use LegalMatch to find the right lawyer for your needs today.