Practice Areas

columns.jpgAll employees are protected from discrimination by employers on the basis of being a member of a protected class.

Below are descriptions of the different protected classes and what constitutes discrimination.

Employment Discrimination
All employees are protected from discrimination by employers on the basis of being a member of a protected class. Below are descriptions of the different protected classes and what constitutes discrimination.

Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that can consist of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. To qualify as harassment, such conduct must affect an individual’s employment, unreasonably interfere with an individual’s work performance, or create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

Harassment due to sex is unfair to both male and female employees. If a female is promoted or receives benefits more favorable than a male co-worker who is more talented, the male worker is affected unfairly. Sexual harassment can cause severe emotional trauma and even physical sickness. Further, if a female refuses to provide requested personal favors from a supervisor or co-worker, she may be subject to retaliation. Such retaliation can and often does cause serious emotional and personal harm to that female worker and her family.

Race
Employers may not discriminate against employees on the basis of their race or color. If you have experienced some kind of adverse employment action on the basis of your race or color, your employer may have violated federal and state statutes that prohibit such discrimination.

Sex
It is unlawful to discriminate against any employee because of his/her sex. Also prohibited are employment decisions based on stereotypes and assumptions about abilities, traits, or the performance of individuals on the basis of sex.

Pregnancy Discrimination
Discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions constitutes unlawful sex discrimination. Women who are pregnant or affected by related conditions must be treated in the same manner as other applicants or employees with similar abilities or limitations.

Equal Pay
All workers have the right to receive equal pay for equal work. As such, there are federal and state statutes that require employers to pay men and women equal salaries for equal work in the same establishment. While the jobs need not be identical, they must require substantially equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and must be performed under similar working conditions.

National Origin
Regardless of ancestry, all workers are entitled to the same employment opportunities as anyone else. National origin discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favorably because he/she comes from a particular place, because of his/her ethnicity or accent, or because it is believed that he/she has a particular ethnic background. National origin discrimination does not occur on the basis of citizenship. If you have experienced some kind of adverse employment action, whether it be a demotion, pay cut, or termination, on the basis of your national origin, your employer may have violated federal and state statutes prohibiting such discrimination.

Religion
Employers are prohibited from discriminating against individuals on the basis of religion. Employers must reasonably accommodate employees’ sincerely held religious practices unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer. However, employers are not required to accommodate an employee’s religious practices if doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employers’ legitimate business interests.

Age
If you are over 40, federal and state statutes protect you from being discriminated against on the basis of your age. Under these laws, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his or her age with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment. If you have experienced some kind of adverse employment action, whether it is a demotion, pay cut, or termination, on the basis of your age, your employer may have violated these statutes.

Disability
For workers who are disabled, finding and keeping employment can be difficult. Therefore, federal and state statutes protect qualified workers from being discriminated against on the basis of disability. An individual with a disability is a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, someone who has a prior record of having such an impairment, or someone who is regarded by others as having such an impairment. A person is a qualified worker if he/she, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job in question. Employers are required to make a reasonable accommodation so long as it does not pose an “undue hardship” to the employer. If you have experienced some kind of adverse employment action, whether it be a demotion, pay cut, or termination, on the basis of a disability, or your employer has refused to provide a reasonable accommodation, your employer may have violated these statutes.

Retaliation
It is unlawful for an employer to terminate, demote, harass, or otherwise “retaliate” against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination or participating in any other protected activity. Retaliation occurs when an employer takes an adverse action, whether it be a demotion, pay cut, or termination, against an employee because he/she is engaged in a protected activity. Protected activities may include, but are not limited to, complaining about alleged discrimination, talking to a lawyer about discrimination in employment, filing charges against the employer on the basis of discrimination, or protesting against an employer’s discriminatory policies.

Family Medical Leave Act
In the event a loved one in your immediate family or you yourself become seriously ill, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can provide you with the time you need off while keeping your job available for you. So long as your employer has at least 50 employees, and you have worked there for at least one year and put in at least 1250 hours, you may be entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave.

Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was designed to protect four areas of employment practices: overtime wages, recordkeeping and minimum wage. This federal law, among other things, requires employers to pay employees a minimum-working wage, and also time and a half for all hours worked over 40 per week. While there are some exceptions to the overtime standards for professionals and other specified types of workers, this statute largely governs fair working standards.

Criminal Law
When you find yourself in trouble with the law, you need an attorney who will listen to you and who will defend your legal rights as a human being and a citizen. Whether you find yourself in a legal situation that arises from a car accident or from a far more serious incident, you will want lawyers behind you with the expertise and the determination to represent your legal rights and best interests.

Family Law & Divorce
Family law and divorce involve sensitive, emotional and other difficult issues. Whether it is a child custody issue or an issue related to estates, professional legal expertise is imperative.

Bankruptcy
There is nothing easy about declaring bankruptcy. Whether you need to declare bankruptcy for yourself or for your business, or if you just want advice, having a legal expert as your advisor through this process is key.

Consumer Law Violations
As a consumer, you are sometimes vulnerable to the whim of corporations. Every day, trusting consumers are harmed or injured by the illegal conduct of others who have taken their trust at discount rates. If you have been harmed or injured by the conduct of others who have sold you product or services, we can provide the expertise you’ll need to right such wrongs.

Medical Malpractice
Every day, people just like you place their lives and health in the hands of medical care professionals, trusting that the care they receive satisfies community standards. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. If you have been harmed by the negligence of health care professionals, you will need an attorney with the experience and tenacity to fight to get you fair compensation.

Personal Injury – Wrongful Death
When injured due to the negligence or recklessness of another person, the injured person often feels lost and confused. If this happens to you, we can provide the guidance you need to advocate in your best interest and get what you deserve.

Automobile Accident & Injury
When an accident happens, there are many people who suddenly spring out of the woodwork. From insurance agents to medical professionals, we can help alleviate some of the stress that automobile accidents and their resulting injuries. If you have been hurt in an automobile accident, you’ll need an attorney with the ability to get you compensated for your losses.