Nevada Employment Lawyer
You might have heard of “whistleblower” and sexual harassment protection laws; these are employment law (i.e. “labor law”) issues that make the news. Labor laws seek to protect workers from unfair pay and abuse, including unsafe and unhealthy working conditions. With the empowerment of labor unions and labor laws, working conditions have improved vastly; however, there remain challenging issues in the workplace.
Employment law attorneys handle all legal issues related to the employee – employer relationship, including hiring procedures, employee job tasks, compensation, advancement, review and ending the employment relationship.
Legal Issues Related to Employment Law You likely have seen headlines regarding controversial immigration laws; most immigration laws have labor law components. No legal issue exists independently; there are always related legal issues. Labor law/employment law encompasses all of these legal issues: workers’ compensation law, wage laws, child labor laws, tax law, privacy laws, contract law, sexual harassment laws, anti-discrimination laws, whistleblower laws, ERISA laws, union formation laws and immigration laws.
Do I have a right to workers’ compensation benefits if I’m injured on the job? Yes, virtually all employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance which pays your medical expenses, short term disability wage replacement, and permanent disability payments, as appropriate, if you are injured on the job. The workers’ compensation system was developed to get injured workers healthy and back on the job, without having to go through lengthy, expensive and antagonizing litigation. If you intend to file for workers compensation, it is important to learn the rules and deadlines for doing so, immediately. Many timeframes for workers compensation can pop up quickly and, if missed, could hurt your chances of a monetary recovery. Your employer should maintain information about these rules and deadlines in your workplace.
What kind of rights do employees have in the workplace? All workers have the right to be safe while working and to workers’ compensation benefits if injured on the job. In addition, workers have a right to fair wages, limited maximum hours, medical benefits and to family and medical leave as well as the right to be free from discrimination. Additionally, all workers are entitled to that which their employer promises them. Commitments made in an employee handbook are viewed as part of the “employment contract” between employers and employees. Workers may be entitled to pursue membership in a labor union, depending on a variety of factors. An attorney in this area should be consulted to evaluate a given situation.
Do child labor laws still exist? Although American children are no longer working in factories or coal mines, child labor laws still necessarily exist. Child labor laws protect children age 17 and younger. They restrict both the number of hours a child can work as well as the actual hours of the day a child, under the age of 16, can work. Due to safety concerns, certain hazardous work is not permitted for children.
How do I know if I should consult with an employment law attorney? If you have any questions or concerns about anything within the scope of the employer and employee relationship, it is likely in your best interest to consult with an employment law attorney. Examples of questions you may have are how to hire employees, how to fire a difficult employee, what benefits must be offered, and how to prevent work place sexual harassment and how to comply with a host of other state and federal laws that govern the workplace (i.e., Occupational Safety and Health, Fair Labor Standards, etc.) Remember that employment law attorneys are also called “labor law lawyers.”
At Will Employment
“Employment At Will” means that an employee can quit a position (i.e. end their employment with an employer) whenever they choose to. From an employer’s perspective, this means that an employee can be fired for a good reason, a bad reason or no reason at all, so long as the reason for the firing does not violate state and/or federal statutes (i.e., anti-discrimination, etc.)
The reasons why an employee leaves a position are often complicated and the subject of great dispute. Lawyers in this area are trained to evaluate situations such as these, to determine if statutes could have been violated.
Discrimination An individual worker cannot be treated differently than any other worker during hiring, in the workplace, or be terminated because of race, gender, pregnancy, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic formation, or veteran status.
Equal Pay Act The “Equal Pay Act” mandates that, regardless of gender, employers must pay all employees who do the same work, the same pay.
This term refers to legal defense plans where employees select the benefits they wish to receive from among several options. Employees then pay only for the services that they consume.
OSHA “OSHA” stands for “Occupational Safety & Health Administration;” it’s the federal agency which creates and enforces workplace safety and health rules. This agency also works in tandem with a state-based Nevada equivalent.
Whistleblower A “whistleblower” is an employee who alerts authorities (i.e. “blows the whistle) to employer misconduct and illegal practices. Both state and federal laws protect whistleblowers.