Experience is Key in Employment Law Claims
Employment law refers to the collection of laws and regulations that govern the relationship between employers and employees. These laws cover a wide range of topics, including hiring practices, wages and benefits, workplace safety, discrimination, harassment, termination and workers’ compensation.
Employment law aims to protect employers’ and employees’ rights and interests by ensuring fair and equitable treatment for all parties involved.
Employers must comply with all applicable employment laws and regulations, and failure to do so can result in legal action, fines and other penalties. At the same time, employees have the right to a safe and healthy work environment, fair compensation, and protection from discrimination and harassment. They also have the right to form unions and engage in collective bargaining for better wages and working conditions.
Overall, employment law plays a crucial role in promoting a fair and just workplace for all, and it is important for both employers and employees to be aware of their rights and obligations under the law.
Wage and Hour Laws
The U.S. Department of Labor enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act which sets the minimum wage, overtime pay eligibility, and other compensatory time for U.S. employees. Unfortunately, employers sometimes violate labor laws and engage in employee wage theft.
Hostile Workplace – Discrimination, Retaliation and Wrongful Termination
Every worker has a right to work in a safe and supportive environment, but the workplace can be an abusive and sometimes dangerous environment for too many working Americans. Employees may find themselves working under intolerable conditions for other reasons. Some of the most common forms of workplace hostility include:
Several federal and state laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants based on race, sex, orientation, age, disability, or national origin. Despite legal protections, some employers discriminate, either creating a hostile or unfair environment.
Like discrimination, workplace retaliation can make an employee’s work environment hostile and negative. When retaliation occurs, an employer tries to punish an employee for taking part in activities permitted by law but discouraged by that employer.
Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is fired for an illegal reason, such as illegal discrimination or a breach of contract. Federal employment law provides that no employee can be fired based on race, gender, ethnic background, religion, or disability.
Fair Labor Standards Act Lawsuits – Notable Cases
Beasley Allen has represented clients in cases related to executive exemption and independent contractor exemption claims, as well as donning and doffing. Here are just a few examples:
We represented approximately 1,200 assistant managers in the lawsuit against Fred’s, who were managers in name only. Despite spending most of their time performing the same work as hourly employees, these employees were denied overtime pay. A confidential settlement was reached in 2009.
In the case against West, we represented 2,947 telemarketers who were classified as independent contractors. Although classified as independent contractors, West controlled every aspect of their jobs. As a result of being treated as independent contractors, telemarketers were not guaranteed the minimum wage or overtime pay for hours worked over 40 each week. Additionally, West did not have to pay payroll taxes or insurance premiums. A confidential settlement was reached in 2009.
The case against Wayne Farms concerned the donning and doffing of protective clothing at a poultry plant. The donning and doffing of protective clothing were a substantial part of the employees’ jobs. Yet, employees were not compensated for the time spent donning and doffing the protective clothing. The case involved approximately 1,262 plaintiffs, and a confidential settlement was reached in 2009.
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