Workers’ Rights Lawyers in Virginia
Representing Employees in Newport News, Roanoke, & Surrounding Areas
As an employee, you have certain rights under the law that must be respected by your employer. Unfortunately, most workers are not aware of the full extent of their rights and do not even know they have legal grounds to fight back when they are unfairly treated by their employer. Knowing your rights is the first step in protecting them.
Kalfus & Nachman PC has the answers. Call (855) 880-8163 to get started. Se habla Español.
Discrimination & Harassment
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the main federal law that protects employees from discrimination based on race, sex, religion, or national origin. Title VII also protects employees from sexual harassment and employer retaliation for complaints about discrimination.
Other laws that protect you from discrimination and harassment include:
- The Age Discrimination and Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA): Protects people ages 40 and above from being discriminated against based on their age. An employer must have 20+ employees for this law to apply.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA): Prohibits discrimination against people with a disability. It may require employers to provide reasonable accommodation to employees who are qualified to perform a certain job, but cannot because of their disability. An employer must have 15+ employees for this law to apply.
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act: Prevents employers from treating a female employee differently because of her pregnancy. In the same vein, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) allows employees to take time off and keep their job for up to 12 weeks in order to attend to a family or personal emergency (including the birth of a child).
Wage & Hour Law
Federal employment law requires employers to pay their workers according to their mutual agreement. When an employer does not take this legal obligation seriously and tries to pay you less than you deserve, you have a right to take legal action. If you are hesitant to speak up about wage and hour issues out of fear of retaliation, our experienced employment attorneys can help protect you legally.
Failure to pay overtime is a common way employers deprive workers of the wages they have dutifully earned. Although certain types of employees (such as independent contractors) may be exempt from time-and-a-half overtime pay, many other non-exempt employees never receive the overtime pay they rightfully deserve, or never receive payment for off-the-clock hours.
Any action you perform for your employer or at their direction should be considered as “on-the-clock” work, which means you get paid for it. However, many dishonest employers instruct their works to clock out for “random” activities and tasks because they are “not work-related.” An investigation from an attorney could prove otherwise.
Common activities that should be on-the-clock but are often counted as off-the-clock hours include:
- Driving in between worksites
- Working beyond a scheduled shift, even for a few minutes
- Mandatory meetings
- Training courses
- Picking up food for your employer
- Certain meals and breaks
If you have been working off-the-clock hours but think you should have been paid all along, then your employer might have violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or Virginia state and federal employment laws. Although you might be exempt from FLSA due to being a volunteer or independent contractor, you are still owed payment for all work performed. Let us know what happened, so we can determine what you should do next.
Failure to Pay Overtime
Under the FLSA, you must be paid overtime if you are a nonexempt worker. When working an overtime shift, you should be paid at least time-and-a-half, depending on where you work and how long you have been working that shift. An employer who fails to pay overtime – either by muddling their timesheets, misclassifying an employee, or through general negligence – can be sued and forced to pay all missing overtime wages and possibly further punitive damages. Failure to pay overtime lawsuits often result in all employees for the company being paid an award because it is assumed that most or all employees have been exploited in the same way.
Most workers in the country are employed at will, which means that they have the right to quit at any time for almost any reason. On the other hand, employers who hire at-will employees and independent contractors can terminate their employment contracts at any time and for almost any reason — with some exceptions.
Your termination could have been “wrongful” if you were fired due to:
- Discrimination against a protected class, such as age or race.
- Retaliation after reporting an unsafe working condition or illegal activity in your workplace.
- An illegal or unlawful reason or method.
If you were wrongfully terminated, then you might have grounds to file a lawsuit against your employer. The outcome of your wrongful termination case could include receiving compensation for wages you lost due to being fired and getting additional compensation in the form of punitive damages used to penalize your employer for intentional wrongdoing. Your case’s outcome could also require that your employer make an expanded effort to improve management training, and the person who fired you could be terminated, too. In other words, your case might help protect your coworkers and future employees from the same discriminatory behavior that hurt you.
If you have been injured on-the-job, you are most likely eligible for benefits through workers’ compensation. However, this system can be notoriously difficult to navigate. Many workers have their claims denied, or their benefits minimized for unfair reasons. Having a Virginia workers' compensation attorney on your side can make all the difference in the success of your workers’ compensation claim – or your appeal.
Kalfus & Nachman PC has been representing hard-working people like you for three decades throughout Norfolk, Newport News, and Roanoke, Virginia. If you believe your employer is breaking employment law or cheating you out of fair wages or benefits, contact us today to schedule a free, private consultation!
Norfolk, Newport News, and Roanoke locations. call (855) 880-8163 for a free case review. Se habla Español.