Termination and Treatment of Employees
States vary somewhat in the area of employment law and if you have an employment-related issue, please contact your local lawyer referral service to be connected with a qualified employment attorney who can advise you.
Generally, an employee who is not part of a union, doesn’t have a contract, or doesn’t work for the federal, state or local government is considered an “employee at will.” The employee is free to leave a job, in most cases, with no penalty. The other side of this equation is that employers in these instances may also terminate employment without notice or a particular reason. There is no law that requires an employer to treat an employee “fairly”.
However, a person who loses a job, or suffers a demotion, lost wages, or is not given an earned raise, promotion, or otherwise suffers any other adverse job action in violation of specific state or federal laws about other issues may be able to sue the employer to recover what was lost.
For example, an employer may not discriminate against an employee because of race, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, handicap, age, national origin, ancestry, or religion. Discrimination occurs when an employer takes action against an employee because the employee falls into one of the protected categories listed above. In order to prove a discrimination claim, the employee will have to be able to show that the employer acted due to status and not for another reason, such as performance.
State and federal statutes impose other rules on employers – under certain circumstances – such as requirements to provided family leave, military leave, severance pay, and disability accommodations; and protection of the employees’ ability to complain about conditions or workplace violations without retaliation.
If you feel you have a claim against your employer, it is important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. There are statutes of limitations that apply that are as short as six months, and if you wait too long, you may be unable to sue no matter how strong your case is.
Employment Law Sub Topics
Can you sue your former employer for “wrongful discharge”? According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “[e]mployment relationships are presumed to be ‘at-will’ in all U.S. states except Montana. … Read More
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces the federal law that prohibits discrimination. You can reach them at http://www.eeoc.gov/ The United States Department of Labor enforces many federal employment… Read More