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Employment Lawyer FAQs

  • What does an employment attorney do?

    Employment attorneys represent workers, companies, unions, and advocacy groups. Their primary job is preventing and resolving disputes related to state and federal employment regulations as well as civil rights. They assist with the development of policies, including laws and employee handbooks, and they represent clients in court and during administrative hearings overseen by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and state-level labor agencies.

  • How much should I ask for in a discrimination lawsuit?

    Employment-related claims are among the most complex and time-consuming lawsuits heard in the civil court system. Before workers can file a lawsuit, they must file a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Every year, the EEOC recovers $505 million for victims of workplace discrimination. When cases proceed to court, the average settlement is approximately $40,000. However, roughly 10% of claimants receive at least $1 million.

  • How do I prove discrimination in the workplace?

    Discrimination lawsuits are typically based on an established pattern of behavior in the workplace. Employment attorneys who handle these claims generally advise clients to gather evidence and document all instances of discrimination, harassment, or abuse, as they occur. The following documents are often vital for proving workplace discrimination:

    • Personnel files
    • Payroll records
    • Employee handbooks
    • Diary or journal entries
    • Medical or mental health records
    • Reports from witnesses
    • Photos or video footage
    • Physical evidence

  • Can I sue my company for a hostile work environment?

    Yes, offensive or unwelcome conduct that creates a hostile work environment and affects your terms of employment may give you reason to take legal action. However, rude or abusive behavior on its own isn’t illegal. It must also be tied to other legal issues, such as retaliation for reporting harassment or discrimination directed at members of a protected group.

  • What is the EEOC?

    The EEOC is the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It's a federal agency tasked with helping to enforce laws concerning discrimination in the workplace. Not all employers are covered under the EEOC. Typically, you have to work for an organization with at least 15 employees or for a labor union or agency to be covered by EEOC protections.

  • How do I report an abusive boss?

    If you believe you're being discriminated against, you have several options. First, follow internal reporting procedures with human resources or other leadership. You can also file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. Talking to an employment attorney can help you understand your options and protect your interests.

  • What laws protect employees from job discrimination?

    • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides employees with protection against discrimination based on a wide variety of factors, including national origin, sex, religion, race, and color.
    • The Age Discrimination Act of 1967 applies age to the protected class.
    • The Equal Pay Act of 1963 forbids sex-based compensation discrimination.
    • The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 makes it illegal to discriminate on the grounds of disability in terms of employment decisions.
    • The Civil Rights Act of 1991 adds more protection and power to the federal government to enforce some of these laws.
  • How do I file a wrongful termination claim?

    You can file a wrongful termination claim with the EEOC online, via mail, or in person at various EEOC branch offices. You may be able to file a complaint with a state agency. To determine an appropriate plan of action and which organizations you can file with, speak to an employment lawyer.

  • What is unfair treatment at work?

    Unfair treatment is not the same as unlawful treatment. There aren't laws against unfair treatment, which can include a boss who generally bullies people into action or someone who doesn't make fair decisions about time off because of nepotism or mood. Such issues may not constitute a claim for a court argument or allegation, unlike unjust judgments made on the grounds of race or age. An employment attorney can clarify if unfair treatment is also unlawful.

  • Can an employer force you to work?

    This is a gray area in some cases, which is why it may be a good idea to consult an employment lawyer if you have concerns about your workplace. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration , workers have a right to refuse to work in dangerous situations. But the burden of proof that this is, in fact, the case, can weigh heavily on the employee.

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