Value - is the core concept that describes years of experience providing legal services to clients across the U.S.
Legal Services Employment
Employment Law Practice Areas
Employment law encompasses almost all aspects of employer-employee relationships. Over the past few years jobs and job security have been at the forefront of the issues facing the American worker. Therefore it is essential, and arguably more now than ever, to protect to protect employees from true employment law violations and the employer from baseless claims. No matter which side of the ledger you fall, you deserve experienced attorneys to help you navigate through the many federal and state laws and rules that govern employment relationships. In the past the attorneys at JWE have represented both employers and employees in a variety of employment disputes. We have handled cases involving:
Equal Pay Disputes
Although workplace discrimination has decreased since the civil rights movement in the 1960s and the passage of several laws including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act (EPA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it still persists to today in the workplace. Discrimination has been defined as is the unfair, negative, harmful, or derogatory treatment of an individual based on characteristics such as: Age, Race, National Origin, Gender, and Disability.
The Effects of Workplace Discrimination
Discriminatory practices not only injure both the employee and employer but also negatively impact the economics of business. The grievances to employees range from being denied an employment opportunity, passed over for promotion, paid lower wages, isolation, and to the exclusion of other benefits enjoyed by co-workers. For the employer, these practices can be detrimental to a harmonious work environment ultimately impacting productivity and profits. Clearly a no win situation for either party. Consulting JWE is the first step in protecting both the employee and employer from workplace discrimination by focusing on preemption rather than reaction.
Sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome physical or verbal sexual advances or requests which are implicitly or explicitly tied to the employee's work status, or which unreasonably affect the employee's performance or work environment. Like other forms of illegal employment practices sexual harassment is detrimental to the work environment causing emotional, physical, and sociological problems for the victim and lead to a hostile work environment that impacts business productivity and profits.
Retaliation is any adverse employment action taken by an employer against an employee who has formally or even informally asserted a protected workplace right. For instance, if an employee makes a complaint at the workplace to a co-worker, supervisor, or to the EEOC that he or she has been discriminated against then in response the employer takes an adverse action such as reduces the worker’s hours, changes work hours, reduces pay, changes routes, or takes other prohibited adverse employment action because of the complaint, the employer has engaged in a prohibited workplace practice.
Retaliation can sometimes be difficult to prove if the employer can cite a justified reason for the change in employment condition or status. The assistance of an experienced JWE attorney is the key to defending or prosecuting a claim of retaliation. The following workplace rights are protected by law:
National Origin Discrimination
Whistleblowers are courageous individuals who have the intestinal fortitude to report wrongdoing by their co-workers or employers to protect their fellow employees or the public at large often at great risk to their own livelihood, job security, and safety. There have been several laws passed to protect the whistleblower such as Sarbanes Oxley Act, Whistleblower Protection Act, and the Texas Whistle Blower Act. If you find yourself exposed to an employer’s unethical, illegal, or dangerous business practices that jeopardize, you, your co-workers, or the public, JWE is here to help you navigate through those potentially difficult times.
FLSA Overtime & Wage Dispute
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, and recordkeeping standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. Some employees are not entitled to overtime compensation and are exempt from FLSA requirements. However, covered nonexempt workers are entitled to a minimum wage of not less than $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009 and overtime pay at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for all hours exceeding 40 hours of work in a workweek.
Employers will often attempt to circumvent the law by paying workers entitled to overtime pay on a salary basis, or by giving the worker a title that traditionally is exempt from overtime pay. While a title is a small consideration in determining if you are entitled to overtime the more important controlling factors are job duties and whether or not you supervise other employees. Some employees are paid by the job (“piece rate”) but they may still entitled to overtime depending on their specific job duties. The FLSA does not require overtime pay for work on weekends or holidays, unless overtime is worked on such days. Hours worked ordinarily include all the time during which an employee is required to be on the employer’s premises, on duty, or at a prescribed workplace. Employers must also display an official poster outlining the requirements of the FLSA and must also keep employee time and pay records.
In the past the attorneys at JWE have successfully represented both employers and employees in FLSA disputes, and in collective action FLSA suits. A collective action is very similar to a class action suit. The main difference is that until an employee files a joinder in the collective action, they are not part of the suit and their right to recover continues to erode. The FLSA provides for employees who should have been paid overtime to recover up to twice of what they should have been paid in overtime wages, attorneys’ fees, and court costs.
The Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963 was an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). One purpose of the EPA was an attempt to rectify the disparity between men and women's wages. Congress viewed this disparity as a form of gender discrimination and passed the EPA as part of efforts in conjunction with other laws to address and eliminate wage inequality between men and women. Equal pay is enforced regardless of an employer's intent; even if the employer did not willfully or maliciously discriminate against men or women, wage disparities between the sexes are still illegal, unless instituted under, a seniority system, a merit system, a productivity system, or another non-gender-based system. Despite Congress’ efforts, there still exist situations where disproportion between men’s and women’s salaries persist and when it does JWE is here to help you enforce your rights.?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal act which protects the employment rights of disabled men and women and it applies to employers who are engaged in interstate commerce that have 15 or more employees. The ADA prohibits job discrimination against disabled persons who are qualified for a position that they are applying for or hold. Disability is defined broadly and includes a variety of mental and physical impairments and even includes prohibiting an employer discriminating against a person who they think is disabled but are not actually disabled as defined by the Act. An impairment qualifies as a disability “if it substantially interferes with one or more major life activities.”
The ADA also states that employers are also required to provide reasonable accommodations for disabled or impaired workers. If you are disabled and have been denied your rights under the ADA contact the attorneys at JWE to assist you in keeping or obtaining the job you deserve.