If you have an employment issue, you should contact an attorney, as the law and its requirements for filing a case, depending on the type of employment case, include filing with a specific agency prior to filing a lawsuit in federal court. The federal court allows an individual to file a case himself, but you must follow its rules of procedure, or your case could be dismissed.
Employment law is often complicated, especially when more than one issue is involved, such as the firing of an older employee who did not receive all of her final pay. Not only will the Department of Labor become involved because of the non-payment of wages issues, but there could potentially be an age discrimination issue.
Another issue is the Family Medical and Leave Act. Certain employers are required to comply with the act, while most small businesses do not have to comply. Compliance depends on the number of employees a business has, among other things.
Discrimination in the workplace comes in many forms, including sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, race and/or creed discrimination and age discrimination. All of these are covered under federal law, and the conditions of your case must meet certain requirements as defined by Federal Statute and case-law, or your case will be dismissed.
Retaining an experienced discrimination attorney is the best way to save money in the long run. The attorney will be able to tell you whether you have a case, and if you do, if it is a strong case or one that is difficult to litigate.
A whistleblower case involves an employee that “blows the whistle” on his employer, who is usually a contractor for a federal agency. For example, if a branch of the military hires a firm to do contract work, then that firm steals from the military and employee of the firm alerts the military to the theft, the contracted firm cannot fire or commit other retaliatory actions against its employee.
- Whistleblowing Laws: Know Your Rights
- Hazards of Whistleblowing: What to Watch Out For
- What Happens to Whistleblowers?
Family and Medical Leave Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act provides for unpaid time off for employees of qualifying employers of up to 12 weeks. The most common use for this is maternity leave. A parent can take the time off without fear of losing his job if a child or spouse is ill, or if the employee is ill with a long-term illness.
- What a Small Business Owner Needs to Know About FMLA
- Employment Rights & Sick Leave
- Explaining the Key Employee Provision of FMLA
- Don't Take Your Sick Leave Entitlement For Granted: FMLA Tips
- A Human Resources Guide to Maternity Leave
- Avoid Discrimination – Best Practices in Sick Leave Processing
- FMLA Leave for Fathers
- FMLA and Flexible Work Hours
- FMLA and Holiday Pay: What Does the Law Say?
Discrimination in the Workplace
Several forms of discrimination exist in the workplace, all of which are covered by state and federal laws, including sexual harassment, age discrimination, race and creed discrimination and weight discrimination. Discrimination can cause poor work moral and other problems in the workplace. Discrimination could also take place during the hiring procedure.
- Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Policy: Free Templates
- Discrimination and Sexual Harassment: Tips for Project Managers
- Crippling Effects of Workplace Discrimination
- Avoiding Discrimination in Employment Background Checks
- Genetic Discrimination and the BRCA1 Gene
- Age Discrimination Against the Younger Crowd
- Understand the Root Cause of Discrimination at the Workplace
- Laws Related to Discrimination Against Special Needs in the Workplace
- Is Your Boss Obesity Intolerant?
“At Will” Employment
Most states hire employees on an “at will” basis. This means that the employee can fire the employer and the employer can fire the employee without a good reason. Most employers will put an “at will” clause in their employment agreements, but those companies that do not require an employment agreement do not have such a clause. In this case, each employer and employee should know the employment laws regarding at will employment. While these laws are state-based, the U.S. Department of Labor often gets involved in these disputes.
- Defining Employment-at-Will: Avoiding Wrongful Termination Lawsuits
- Employment-At-Will States: How Does Each Differ?
- How Does an At-Will Employment Cause Protect You?
- At-Will Employment: What Are Employees' Rights in Your State?
- Pros and Cons of the Employment-At-Will Doctrine
- Privacy Rights of Off-Work Employees
- Firing an Employee: Understanding Federal Employment Laws
- Can You Terminate an Employee for Lying? Learn the Proper Steps Here
- Probationary Period and At-Will Status
Laws regarding payment of overtime are federally mandated, and include when an employer must pay overtime. Certain employees are exempt from overtime, usually those in white-collar jobs.
- Strategies for Preventing Overtime Abuse
- Understanding Overtime Labor Laws
- Overtime vs. Offering Comp Time at a Later Date
- Are Salesmen Due Overtime Pay?
- Distinguishing Between Exempt and Non-Exempt Employment Classification
- 10 Common Employer Mistakes That Lead to Employee Lawsuits
Employment breaks are good for employee morale and are not covered in federal law. Breaks are covered by the U.S. Department of Labor rules in that an employer cannot “charge” an employee for a 15 minute break — it must pay the employee for those breaks, but is not required to pay the employee for a meal time. Also, if an employee abuses break time by taking more than the allotted break time, the U.S.D.O.L. will step in.
- How Long Can People Work Without a Break?
- Laws Governing Employee Breaks
- FLSA Requirements: Breaks for Breast-feeding Mothers
- Legally Required Employee Benefits
- Photo: Anti Discrimination by Beta m under PUBLIC DOMAIN
- Author's own knowledge and information supplied in links in article
- Photo: At-Will Employment: What Are Employees' Rights in Your State? by Cburnett under GFDL
- Photo: Whistleblower Poster by United States Office of Special Counsel under PUBLIC DOMAIN