Employment Lawyer in Montgomery, AL
If you are employed in the state of Alabama, or any state in the nation for that matter, you have certain rights. These rights are granted to you by a series of state and federal employment laws. When your employer violates employment law, you have the right to certain legal remedies. Working with an experienced employment law attorney can help you to understand both your legal rights and the remedies available to you. Before you bring forth a civil action, it is important to consult with strong legal counsel to ensure that your best interests are fully protected.
Employment Law Practice Areas
There are both state and federal employment laws that protect workers within Alabama. Chip Nix, Attorney at Law, is well-versed in all of these laws and understands employer compliance, how to prove breach of law, and how to pursue various remedies and forms of compensation when an employee’s rights are violated. If you have an employment law matter that falls into one of the following categories, please do not hesitate to call our law firm.
- Wrongful Termination. Most employees in the state of Alabama are at-will employees, which means that they can be terminated at any time and for any reason. However, there are exclusions to this rule. To be sure, employees cannot be terminated in an act of retaliation for certain legally-protected actions (such as reporting a safety violation to OSHA or filing a workers’ compensation claim), nor can wrongful termination be discriminatory in nature.
- Various forms of discrimination are prohibited under federal law, including discrimination based on gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, national origin, age (if a person is age 40 or over), race, color, religion, genetic information, disability, or because of a person complaining about or reporting an act of discrimination.
- Whistleblower Claims. A ‘whistleblower’ is a person who exposes information or activity that is illegal, unethical, or otherwise improper. Whistleblowers, in this context, often refer to those who report unsafe work conditions or workplace harassment or discrimination. Whistleblowers are protected under federal law, and employers are prohibited from taking adverse action against such employees, including engaging in such acts as firing the employee, demoting the employee, intimidating the employee, and more.
- Wage and Hour Disputes. Because Alabama has not set a minimum wage, employers in the state are required to adhere to federal minimum wage requirements; the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. In addition to paying a minimum wage, certain employers are also entitled to overtime pay, commonly referred to as time-and-a-half (1.5 times their hourly wage) for any hours worked over 40 hours in a week. When employees are not paid the minimum wage or are asked to work more than 40 hours a week without additional compensation, their employers are in violation of the law, and the employees maintain the right to take legal action.
- Workers’ Compensation Claims. Workers’ compensation is a state-based insurance program that provides coverage for employees who are harmed on the job. Not only does an employee have the right to seek compensation following a workplace accident, but they also have the right to not be retaliated against as a result of their injury or filing a claim.
- Employers are legally prohibited from retaliating against employees who file workers’ compensation claims, file discrimination complaints, file wage and hour complaints, report unsafe work practices or conditions, or otherwise act as ‘whistleblowers.’
- The U.S. Department of Labor explains that there are two prohibited forms of workplace harassment: Quid-pro-quo harassment, in which employee treatment or employee-based decisions are based on rejection of or submission to unwanted sexual conduct, and harassing, offensive conduct that is so pervasive as to create a hostile work environment.
- In many cases, employees are entitled to leave–either paid or unpaid–without being fired or retaliated against. These include situations in which an employee is a victim of a crime, when they are obligated to take jury duty or military leave, when they require leave in order to exercise their right to vote, or when the leave is protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
- Breach of Contract. Finally, a complicated area of employment law that surely requires representation from a knowledgeable attorney is any case that involves a breach of employee-employer contract. If your employer has breached a contract that you two had entered into and you have suffered damages as a result, you may have a cause of action.
It is critical to note that the above laws do not apply to all employees uniformly; rather, certain rights and protections extend to some employees, yet are not always afforded to others. Speak with a lawyer to learn more about the protections relevant to your position.
Remedies Available When Employment Laws Are Breached
When employment laws are breached, employees have the right to pursue certain legal remedies. These remedies are designed to make right the wrong that the employee has suffered. Potential remedies that may be available in your case include:
- Reinstatement to your original position;
- Transfer, promotion, restoration of benefits, tenure, etc.;
- Monetary relief in the form of back-pay;
- Compensatory damages;
- Attorneys’ fees; and
- Punitive damages.
The types of damages that are available are specific to the act of discrimination and the degree of harm the employee suffered. For a more comprehensive answer to your questions about remedies available if you are the victim of a breach of employment law, call Attorney Chip Nix today.
Speak to a Skilled Employment Law Attorney in Montgomery for Counsel
Even if you are quite certain that your rights as an employee have been violated, you may be hesitant to pursue any course of action out of fear of retaliation, including the fear of losing your job.
Our lawyer understands that powerful employers, especially those who run big companies, can be intimidating. When you work with our firm, you will immediately gain a formidable advocate who is committed to protecting your best interests.
To schedule your free consultation with our employment lawyer, please contact Attorney Chip Nix today at 334-279-7770. Our office is located on Halcyon Pointe Drive in Montgomery and we welcome walk-ins.