Wages and Hours
Employees are entitled to compensation in accordance with wage and hour laws, including unpaid overtime, minimum wage, and meal or rest breaks. If you have questions about your employer’s policies on wages, rest breaks or other concerns, please give us a call.
Have you been denied overtime, or paid less than required by the law? Sometimes employers will classify an employee as salaried versus hourly to avoid paying overtime, which can lead to workplace abuses. The Fair Labor Standards Act and Connecticut state law sets mandatory minimum wage requirements as well as requiring “non-exempt” employees to be paid overtime for each hour over 40 worked in a single week. “Off-the-clock” work is prohibited. Employers must keep adequate records.
You have the right to file an action against your employer for unpaid overtime, and to seek damages for retaliation if you are fired for doing so. Please call us for a confidential conversation about your situation.
Companies frequently hire employees as independent contractors. This is an ideal situation for short-term or contract work, and allows the employer to increase the number of employees without offering benefits, unemployment insurance, or worker’s compensation. Improper classification occurs when a company treats a worker as an independent contractor, but the workers are for all intents and purposes an employee.
Assessing whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor can be complicated. Companies are under increasing scrutiny in this area. If you have questions about your employment status, or the status of workers you hire for your firm, please call us. We can advise you.
Even in 2015, harassment still happens in the workplace, and can be based on race, religion, national origin, color, or age, in addition to sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is any unwanted sexual advance or contact on the job that creates an intimidating or offensive work environment. It may include unwelcome physical contact, such as a hand on your thigh, or a verbal remark, indicating that hiring or continued employment may be contingent on providing sexual favors.
Does a situation make you feel uncomfortable, or are you offended? People believe that women are most commonlyh the victims of sexual harassment, but men are sexually harassed as well. It is important to act quickly, so call me so we can discuss how to proceed legally.
Are you a “whistleblower?”
A “whistleblower” is an employee who is concerned about violations in his or her workplace, such as health, safety, fraud, or potential danger to the public, who then reports those concerns. An employer may consider that employee to be a “whistleblower,” and discriminate against them in retaliation.
Some typical activities that whistleblowers have reported are environmental damage from releasing toxic chemicals or waste, corporate fraud in publicly traded companies, government fraud by paid contractors, mistreatment of patients in hospitals or nursing homes, or retaliation for filing a wage and hour claim.
Your case may not be a high-profile one, but you are nonetheless protected by law from being discriminated against, fired, demoted or retaliated against for reporting violations in the workplace. Whistleblower cases are often complex, and you need an experienced employment law attorney to advise you. Please give us a call to discuss your concerns.
Retaliation is when an employer takes an “adverse action” against an employee who has complained of discrimination, harassment or has reported what he or she believes is a violation of the law. An “adverse action” can be firing you from your job, reducing your salary, demoting you, changing your job or shift assignment, giving you a poor performance review, or behaving in a hostile manner. In short, your employer may not retaliate against you for complaining about unlawful activity.
The deciding factor in whether an adverse action is retaliation is whether the action taken by the employer would deter the employee from ever making another complaint. If you believe your employer is retaliating against you, please call us immediately.
If you have been fired, laid off, or you believe you may have lost your job for an unlawful reason, you may have the right to bring a claim for wrongful termination against your former employer. Most employment is “at will,” meaning that your job can be terminated at any time, for good reason, or for no reason at all.
There are, however, unlawful reasons for being fired. Some of them include discrimination on the basis of race, age, color, gender, national origin, religion, or disability. It is unlawful to lose your job as a result of “whistleblowing,” or reporting health or safety issues on the job, or instances of fraud. Legal remedies can include financial compensation, or in some cases, getting your job back.
Our review of your potential case will include an examination of your work history, including past performance reviews, duration of employment and the progression of promotions while you were there. Your job security is protected if you take time off to vote, to perform jury duty, or to serve in the military or National Guard. Time is of the essence. Call us to discuss your legal options.
Note: None of the information provided her is an indication of a contract with this law office. Please call us and make an appointment to discuss your case.