“Today’s employers, even those with only a scintilla of sophistication, will neither admit discriminatory or retaliatory intent, nor leave a well-developed trail demonstrating it. ... It is a simple task for employers to concoct plausible reasons for virtually any adverse employment action ranging from failure to hire to discharge."
Raymond v. U.S.A. Healthcare Center-Fort Dodge, LLC, 468 F. Supp.2d 1047, 1054 (N.D. Iowa 2006).
What is Employment Law?
Generally, this area refers to any legal claims that arise out of, as a result of, or due to instances that affect, a person’s job or employment. These claims might be based on State or Federal Laws granting employees certain rights, prohibiting discrimination, or requiring employers to pay certain wages and overtime.
Perhaps the most common and well-known reasons to seek out legal assistance for an employment matter are discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment. Discrimination is when an employee is refused hire, is demoted from a position, or is terminated from a position, for reasons the law says are unfair, such as due to race, gender, age, disability, religion, national origin, or ethnicity. Retaliation is when an employee is subjected to a hostile work environment, disciplined, or terminated in retaliation for taking an action that is protected by law. Protected acts include making a complaint of discrimination, filing a worker’s compensation claim, and blowing the whistle on bad behavior. An employee who has been sexually harassed has often been subjected to sexual comments and advances by a co-worker or supervisor, or is forced to work in a sexually charged environment.
Employment law can also encompass contract negotiations for hiring and separation, severance package agreements, ERISA employer insurance claims, pension claims, and wage and hour claims for failure to pay fair wages or overtime. In addition, Federal law recognizes something called a Qui Tam claim, which is similar to a whistleblower claim but concerns situations in which Medicare, the Military, or another Federal agency is being overbilled for products or services.
Types of Employment Law Claims
The types of claims that may be made under the umbrella of employment law widely vary, but may include:
- Race, Gender, Religion, Age, Ethnicity, National Origin, and Disability Discrimination (including unlawful termination for these reasons)
- Americans with Disabilities Act Claims
- Hostile Work Environment
- Sexual Harassment
- Contract Negotiations
- Retaliation Claims
- Wage and Hour Claims
- Whistleblower Claims
- Qui Tam Claims
Why do I Need a Lawyer?
For most employment law claims you will need an experienced attorney who can help you navigate extensive State and Federal laws. In addition, employment law claims typically require a significant amount of legal work, such as investigation, depositions (sworn testimony) of witnesses like employees and supervisors, and often sorting through large amounts of documents to assemble a case.
We have successfully handled a variety of employment law claims, in both State and Federal Courts.
If you feel you are the victim of wrongful termination, discrimination, or harassment, or if you are aware of inappropriate practices in your work environment, please contact us to discuss your situation. In addition, we are experienced in contract reviews and negotiations including, but not limited to, termination agreements and severance packages.