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Employment Law

There are several key federal and state laws covering the employer/employee relationship. These laws govern a ride range of activities within this relationship, including employer actions such as discipline and discharge, workplace safety, harassment, discrimination, pay, classification and employment agreements. If you are an employee experiencing an issue in any of these areas, or you own a small business and would like guidance on conducting your business in accordance with the law, call Guarascio Law Group.

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Discrimination

Not every adverse employment action that may seem grossly unfair necessarily is illegal. However, an employer is prohibited from discharging, suspending, or disciplining an employee, or failing to promote or any way treat an employee the same as others, because of the employee’s: – race – age – gender – religion – national origin and/or – disability. In addition, where there appears to be discrimination due to an employee’s disability or perceived disability, there is also a potential FMLA claim. Often times, an individual with a disability, or who is affiliated with an individual with a disability, requests FMLA leave. An employer is prohibited from interfering with an employee’s right to take FMLA or from discriminating against an indvidual for taking such leave. Guarascio Law Group has represented many individuals who have a disability discrimination claim concurrent with an FMLA claim.

Harassment

Unfortunately, sexual harassment is still quite prevalent these days. Often times, employees think that it is just part of the workplace culture and do and say nothing about it. An employee who is the victim of sexual harassment often feels too embarrassed to report it to anyone. If you are an employee and are experiencing situations at work that make you uncomfortable, you should consult with Guarascio Law Group to determine whether these situations are actionable. Consulting with counsel early on can help you determine when and how to document certain conduct thus preserving your potential claim. Conversely, you may be a small employer with a small staff. It is imperative that you educate your staff on how to conduct themselves within your business in order to avoid any potential liability and maintain harmony within your workforce.

Severance & Non-Compete Agreements

Severance Agreements – Sometimes it is necessary to seek legal counsel in regard to your employment even if you are not experiencing any issues at work. If you are leaving your job, your employer might ask that you sign a Severance Agreement in return for a sum of money such as several weeks or months of your salary. It is important that you understand the terms of that Agreement and the rights you may be giving up by signing the contract. Non-Compete/Non-Solicitation Agreements – Employers are increasingly asking employees to sign Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation Agreements. Many employers and employees do not realize that some of the Agreements may not even be enforceable. There are many different factors involved in determining the validity of the Agreements, including, the scope of these Agreements and the timing as to when an employee is asked to sign such Agreement. Consult counsel if you are an employee who has been asked to sign one of these Agreements or you have a small business and want to know if the current Agreements you are using are valid and enforceable.

Wage & Hour Violations

Wage and hour violations can arise in a variety of contexts. There has been an increasing rise in litigation over whether non-exempt employees should receive overtime pay for certain work related activities before and after shifts such as security checks, etc.. If you feel you are entitled to pay for similar work related activities, call Guarascio Law Group for help. Employers often misclassify workers as exempt employees or independent contractors. In such cases, an employee who should be paid overtime pay does not receive it. Classifying an employee’s status is a fact specific inquiry. If you feel you have been misclassified by your employer, or you have a small business and need help determining an employee’s status, call Guarascio Law Group for further guidance.