Employment law is a vast area covering all areas of the relationship between employees and employers. Employment law encompasses thousands of state and federal statutes, judicial decisions, and regulations held by administration.
Everyone should feel safe at their place of work, however, that is not always the case. Employment law claims happen when an employee experience unfair labor practices or discrimination from their employer. These can include but are not limited to wrongful termination, harassment, wage and/or hour violations, employer retaliation, and more. It is common for instances of these violations to stay silent, due to the victim not knowing their rights or being afraid of speaking out. These violations tend to create more problems for the victim, including missed wages and benefits, lost opportunities for personal career growth, and even mental, physical, and emotional problems.
Instances of wrongful termination of an employee happen when they are fired and then claim that their employment contract or an existing law was broken. The “at-will employment” rule, that states both employer and employee can terminate the relationship at their own wills. Many states default to this rule in instances of wrongful termination. However, there are many scenarios in that qualify for a wrongful-termination lawsuit, such as using a form of retaliation as means to fire an employee or discrimination.
Harassment in the workplace occurs when the relationship between the employee and employer violates the rights of the employee. When employees are subjected to mistreatment including intimidation, assault, slurs, ridicule, threats, unwanted sexual relationships or advances (physical or verbal), or requests for sexual favors (quid pro quo), it can be considered harassment in the workplace. This creates a hostile and often abusive environment for the victims. Victims of workplace harassment can be any gender or of any sexual orientation and can be the victim’s supervisor, boss, co-worker, or even a customer or client.
Wage or hour violations happen when the employer does not follow state laws regarding limitations on the amount of time someone can work or the compensation exceeding state limitations. These state laws vary and can cover lunch and/or rest breaks, compensation of overtime, and minimum wage. In addition, these laws also cover the damages due to the employee when the regulations are ignored. Some employers cut back on budgets by not giving their employees rightful compensation through methods of deceit.
Employer retaliation happens when an employer or organization punishes a worker for taking part in certain activities that they have the right to participate in. For example, it is illegal for an employer to punish or terminate an employee for filing a complaint against their company or employer. Although workers are fully and legally protected by state law against retaliation, this is still a very common form of employment law violations.