It’s never fun to think about being fired, but the truth of the matter is that at one point or another, almost everyone loses their job. Whether it was due to poor performance, health concerns, issues with your boss, or any other reason, your employment status can change quickly and dramatically.
If you find yourself in such a situation, an employment lawyer can help make sure your rights are protected and that you receive compensation if appropriate. In this article, here are three ways an employment lawyer can help you keep your job and continue providing for yourself and your family financially.
Legal Brief: Why do you need an employment lawyer?
If you’re in the process of starting a new job, it’s important to know your rights as an employee. If you’re terminated from employment, there are certain steps that must be taken before you can receive your last paycheck. For example, if you are fired without cause and still have sufficient time under your contract to serve out the remaining term of employment, then the employer is required to pay you all wages due at the time of termination.
The employer may also provide you with written notice (usually at least ten days) of intent to terminate, along with the anticipated date for such termination. As long as no other agreement has been reached between the parties, upon receiving such notice or on the date specified in said notice, whichever comes first, employees who have not yet received payment for their final workweek are entitled to be paid immediately for all hours worked up until and including their final workweek.
If you’re not quite sure what your rights as an employee are, or if you believe that your rights were violated in any way, it’s a good idea to seek legal help. A qualified employment lawyer will be able to advise you on any possible action you can take. For example, if your employment contract is violated, they can draft and file suit to have those contractual obligations enforced by a court of law.
Keeping your job with the help of an employment lawyer
However, there are some ways an employment lawyer can help you keep your job (or get back on track if you’ve already lost it), as well as ways you can search for one without breaking the bank.
Understand Fair Labor Standards
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees are entitled to a minimum wage of $7.25/hour. Employees must also be paid overtime at one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek, unless they are exempt from the FLSA.
Protect Against Discrimination in the Workplace
In order to protect yourself against discrimination in the workplace, it is important to know what types of discrimination are illegal. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), or national origin. It is also illegal for an employer to discriminate against a person because that person has filed a complaint or participated in any proceedings under the anti-discrimination law.
Handle Issues Related to Workers Compensation
If you are injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. In order to get this compensation, it is important that you report your injury as soon as possible. A lawyer can help with this process and ensure you receive the medical care and money you deserve.
Good Faith and Bad Faith
In today’s world, it is not uncommon for employees to be terminated for no reason other than that the company needed to cut costs or some other vague reference. Oftentimes, these terminations come as a surprise to the employee. But whether you are fired because of poor work performance, company restructuring, or just because the employer wants to see if he can do better with someone else in your position, you have legal rights and options that should be considered before you make any decisions about how to proceed.
The ‘Just Cause’ Rule
The just cause rule is a legal standard that says you can only be fired if there’s a legitimate reason, like skipping work without notice or using drugs on the job. If your employer doesn’t have just cause to terminate you, they’ll owe you severance pay. In many states, including California and New York, employers are required to provide workers with one week of wages for every year of service.
The ‘Reasonableness’ Standard
The reasonableness standard is one of the most widely-used tests in employment law. Basically, if you believe that your employer has violated your rights and you can prove that the action was unreasonable, then you will likely be able to win a lawsuit against your employer. A reasonable person would agree with you!
‘Severe or Pervasive’ Standard
It is not uncommon for employers to make seemingly small mistakes that are actually illegal. For example, in New York, if an employer violates the law by cutting someone’s pay rate without first getting their consent, they could be liable to pay damages of up to double the difference between what they were paid and what they should have been paid (plus interest). Similarly, if you were denied a promotion because of your race, religion, sex, or other protected trait in violation of federal law, you may be entitled to compensation for the injury sustained.
In conclusion, a lawyer can help you in a variety of ways. If you’re dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace, they may be able to negotiate a settlement with your employer. They can also write up a contract that outlines what is required of both parties during and after employment. They can also represent you if you are faced with wrongful termination. Additionally, if you think your company has violated any laws, such as those prohibiting age discrimination or retaliation for whistleblowing about illegal activity, they can file a complaint on your behalf.