The Complexities of the Law Can Require Knowledgeable Legal Representation
Federal and state laws protect numerous aspects of working life. However, when employers or co-workers create an uncomfortable working environment or treat employees unfairly, obtaining experienced legal assistance can make a difference in resolving the situation. With more than two decades of focused experience, the labor law attorneys at Freking Myers & Reul, LLC in advocate on behalf of working people to achieve fair resolution through settlement, mediation, arbitration, or in state or federal court.
Labor law contains many gray areas that create concerns for employees. Even when employers attempt to stay within the boundaries of the law, their misinterpretation can create unfair treatment of workers, as in the following examples:
- Misclassification of employment status. Many considerations determine whether a worker receives exempt or non-exempt status, including the nature of the work and level of income. While each classification has certain advantages when applied correctly, hourly workers classified as exempt employees can lose overtime pay and other benefits.
- Discrimination. While the law expressly prohibits unfair treatment based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, employers may use these and other factors to avoid hiring certain individuals, pass them over for promotion, or give them higher priority when a company must go through a reduction in force. However, discriminatory behavior can be open to interpretation due to other considerations, such as qualifications, time on the job, or even behavioral issues. Workers may need to rely on legal intervention to help ensure fair treatment.
- Sexual harassment. While some employees experience blatant sexual harassment—such as an offer of promotion in exchange for sexual favors—many workers experience much more subtle types of direct or indirect harassment that creates an uncomfortable working environment. However, identifying illegal sexual harassment provides challenges. For example, while receiving a single dirty joke via email may not qualify, overhearing constant derogatory statements can meet the requirements of harassment, even if those statements do not directly target a specific worker.
- Retaliation. In many cases, workers attempt to correct these and other situations by complaining to their supervisors or human resources representatives. While these actions can alleviate their concerns, they can result in retaliatory behavior on the part of some employers. However, since retaliation is illegal, this behavior can also be subtle and difficult to interpret.
Each labor law attorney at Freking Myers & Reul, LLC in offers an evaluation to help assess your legal options if you experience these or other issues on the job. Call us for more information regarding our consultations.