April 2014 Archives

Monthly Tip

Monthly TipIf you are having difficulty at work, don’t try to go it alone.  Get help!  There is always a solution and discussing the matter with someone outside of the situation, like an employment lawyer, may help you see the big picture and work out an acceptable way out of your problem, whether it be by transferring departments, speaking with HR, documenting the negative treatment, opposing a negative evaluation etc.

Where to Get Help When You are Being Treated Badly at Work

Where to Get Help When You are Being Treated Badly at WorkWhen you are being treated badly at work, you should get help right away.  Don’t try and tough it out as you may be missing a key opportunity to try and rectify the situation.  The question then remains, to whom should you turn?First, you must review your company’s employee handbook and follow the procedure identified in it.  This means out your supervisor and HR on notice of how you are being treated and allow them an opportunity to fix the situation and stop the harassment.  The law and company procedure require that you give the company the opportunity to address your concerns and your failure to do this will negatively affect your case, should you need to bring one in the future.Second, you should speak with an employment lawyer.  The fact that both your supervisor and the HR department are paid by the employer to protect the company’s best interests means that you are not being protected.  You need an advocate on your side that is responsible for seeing to your best interests.  An employment lawyer will be able to guide you on the strengths and weaknesses of your case and advise you on how to proceed.  In many instances, seeing an employment attorney before the situation gets too bad may help save your job.

Wrongful Termination for Contract Employees

Wrongful Termination for Contract EmployeesCertain employees sign employment agreements at the start of their employment relationship.  These employees are generally higher level employees that the employer wishes to discourage from leaving the employment.   The employment agreement may guarantee employment for a certain period and will generally specify certain circumstances under which the employer may terminate the employee or when the employee may leave.  These employment agreements almost always also contain restrictive covenants such as non-competes, confidentiality agreements and non-poaching agreements to further discourage the employee from leaving the company.When faced with such an employment agreement and a desire to leave the company, you should always consult an attorney before taking any decisions.   The decision on whether the restrictive covenants will be enforceable is a highly fact specific one and should be discussed in detail.

Wrongful Termination and Employment At Will

Wrongful Termination and Employment At WillMost employees are “employees at will,” which means that they can leave their employment when they chose and can be fired for any reason or no reason as long as it is not a discriminatory reason.  An employee at will is any employee who does not have an employment contract that restricts the way in which the employee or employer may terminate the relationship.An employee may feel that they have been wrongfully terminated when they are fired for reasons related to their age, the color of their skin, their ethnicity, a disability, or because they have complained about some improper business conduct.  An employee may also have a wrongful termination claim when they have been fired for engaging in some protected activity such as filing a workers’ compensation claim or attending jury service.  In all of these instances, the Company will offer what they claim is a legitimate business reason for the termination, such as poor performance, reduction in force, job elimination, corporate restructuring etc.  If you disagree with the reason and believe that you are being discriminated against for some protected reason, you should contact an attorney to discuss your options.

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