Legal Issues In Employment Law

Employers have several ways to unfairly exploit their power over workers including misclassifying employees, denying overtime wages, not maintaining a safe work environment, discrimination, and harassment. The lawyers at Tipp Coburn & Associates PC have over 130 years of combined legal experience to help workers who were taken advantage of by employers and offer a free consultation to review their case. Call an employment law attorney in Missoula, MT, today for help if you believe you have been unfairly treated in the workplace. 

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Discrimination, harassment, and other unfair employment practices are causes for legal retribution. 

An Overview of Employment Law

Laws regarding the employer-employee relationship have been put in place to protect both sides of the equation. For the worker, the laws provide protection against unfair treatment and other discriminatory practices. For the employer, the laws provide a blueprint of what workers are entitled to receive and what actions are permissible within the confines of the employer-employee relationship. When a boss oversteps these boundaries or commits a violation of the employment law rules and regulations, aggrieved workers have recourse for their damages.

Employment law issues consist of complex rules and laws. When employees suffer at the hands of their employers, aggressive strategies are needed to maximize damages.

What to do about Workplace Harassment or Discrimination

Being treated unfairly or poorly  at work based on race, ethnicity, or color is a discriminatory practice. Employers are required to provide safe work environments, and this means a workplace free from this type of discrimination. A safe work environment is also one where workers are not subjected to harassment of any kind. The most common form of harassment is sexual harassment, and it is defined as any unwanted sexual or inappropriate advance in exchange for favorable treatment at work. When companies allow these practices to persist after having been made aware of the discrimination or harassment, the employer is responsible for any damages suffered. An employment law attorney can help establish these damages by outlining the offensive behavior and pointing to a pattern by the employer in engaging or promoting the behavior.

Issues Relating to Pay Structure

The purpose of going to work every day is to get paid, and workers can be paid in a variety of ways:

  • Independent contractor: This type of worker has the flexibility to accept or reject a job, and is not a true employee of the company. Independent contractors are paid on a per job basis, and are responsible for payment of all income taxes rather than having the employer withhold these sums.
  • Salaried employees: This is the most common type of worker, where employees are given a specific set of job duties and are expected to report to work at a set time every day. Employers typically provide insurance and other benefits to salaried employees and withhold taxes from each paycheck. Depending on the job description and classification, a salaried employee may be eligible to receive overtime pay.
  • Overtime pay: The Federal Government sets forth defining factors for exempt and nonexempt employees. A nonexempt employee is entitled to overtime pay for any hours over 40 hours worked per week. 

Proper classification of employment type is essential to employee pay. If an employer tries to cut corners or avoid payment of employment taxes by improperly classifying a worker, the worker has the right to make a legal challenge to the employment type classification. Doing so gives workers an advantage by ensuring the pay is proper and that appropriate benefits are in place.

Whistleblower and Wrongful Termination Issues

When an employer violates any of the employment laws and a worker makes a report of same, that employee has the right to expect not to be retaliated against by their employer by being fired or given a lesser position. When a boss punishes a worker for exercising his or her legal right to report (or whistleblow) and issue, the employee can exact legal recourse against the employer. Wrongful termination suits are common in this area, and should be pursued when a worker believes he or she is the victim of this unlawful practice by their employer.

Enlist the Help of an Employment Law Attorney

If you have experienced a legal issue related to your job, we know what to do to help. To schedule an initial office consultation, contact us online or call us at (406) 549-5186.

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