Lawsuits are becoming more and more common in today’s workplace. Whether you are an employee, or an employer, it is important to know whom you can trust in the event you need to file or defend a lawsuit.
Failure to pay proper wages or overtime (“Wage Theft”) as well as deprivation of rights like Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), Illinois’ Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (“VESSA”) and comparable acts in other states, Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”) and similar legal protections for employee rights.
Civil Rights in Employment
Violations of employees’ civil rights take the form of an “adverse employment action”. The ultimate adverse employment action is termination or failure to hire, but lesser adverse employment actions may involve retaliation or any adverse change in the terms or conditions of employment, for example, failure to promote, a hostile environment, harassment or unwanted sexual advances, etc. The common thread of civil rights violations is usually that they are motivated by an immutable characteristic: Race, Sex, Age, Disability, Religion, Ethnicity, Sexual Orientation.
If an employee thinks their rights have been violated, retaining an employment attorney quickly can help diffuse volatile situations, negotiate resolutions quickly, gather and preserve evidence for use in litigation and filing charges of discrimination with the appropriate governmental agency or court.
Large corporations usually have a Human Resources Department knowledgeable in employment laws. Those corporations frequently have employment policies stated in an Employee Handbook which, when it is followed, can avoid violations. But sometimes, even with corporations truly interested in protecting employee rights, lower level managers can cause violations without their superiors’ knowledge.
When running your own business, there are many risks, especially when it comes your employees. Smaller companies have less resources, and hence more exposure. They cannot afford a full department staffed with HR specialists. As early as possible after starting their company they need outside help to establish employment policies and write a good Employee Handbook. An employment attorney can be very valuable at this point, preventing problems before they occur.
Most importantly, if an employee asserts a compensation or civil rights claim an employer, large or small, needs an experienced employment attorney right away to get the issue resolved. Even if the employee’s complaint is determined to be meritless, the employer will still have incurred legal expenses. An employment attorney experienced in negotiating settlements early in a case can be invaluable.
Consult With Our Employment Attorneys
The employment attorneys at Maduff & Maduff have been specializing in employment law and civil rights cases for more than 20 years. If you are experiencing an employment or employee issue, contact us immediately to see how we can help to resolve your employment law needs today.