Points to Consider When Suing Your Employer
May 13, 2019 09:14 PM EDT
As an employee, you are protected by State and Federal laws that ensure your well-being and guarantee your rights in case of mistreatment by your employer. However, having these rights doesn't mean you can always sue your employer for anything that happens in the office. Without proper care and preparation, launching a half-baked lawsuit could backfire on you.
Certain situations, however, can form the basis of a legal complaint against your employer. These could involve some of the following situations:
You may have a case if your employer decides to terminate your contract without any cause or legal basis. Firing an employee purely on personal grounds is considered a violation of workplace rights, and so is laying off someone to open up a new position for a favored applicant. You can use these cases against your employer unless of course, the contract you signed has special provisions with regards to termination. Then again, modern labor laws have been put in place to prevent terminations violating State and Federal labor standards.
Workplace discrimination remains a critical issue modern businesses will need to address. Employers, for one, are expected to maintain diverse, prejudice-free office environments where there is equal opportunity for everyone regardless of race, gender, political leanings, or religion. Discriminatory acts based on these traits are a clear violation of civil rights laws, which could put a business in the crosshairs of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The body oversees the implementation of anti-discrimination laws and investigates non-compliant businesses.
3. Personal Injury
Injuries in the workplace can be directly caused by employers, in which case a personal injury lawsuit is possible. In some states, however, employers are not liable for any injuries caused by negligence on their part. What you can do is sue your employer or the Workers' Compensation carrier if you are unable to receive your claims to pay off your medical bills, as well as compensation for all the lost income while you were confined in the hospital.
Once you have the right grounds to launch a lawsuit, you still need to consider a few extra takeaways before you get the ball rolling:
Make an attempt to resolve the issue prior to launching a lawsuit
Even if you have all the right reasons to sue your employer, it's still best that you attempt to settle the dispute informally through collective bargaining or other internal remedies. A lawsuit is only in order if you and your employer have exhausted all other means of reaching a settlement.
Hire a lawyer with experience in local labor laws
When looking for a lawyer, opt for someone who is equipped with the right legal expertise and local experience. For instance, an attorney specializing in Virginia worker's compensation laws would be preferable if you're working for a Richmond-based business, since that state has special regulations covering employer-employee relationships.
Do your research and work closely with your lawyer
Local labor laws are convoluted at best, so it's important that you heed as much advice from your attorney as possible. Gather your pieces of evidence and have your lawyer sift through the possible strategies to use in court.
If anything, suing your employer is like walking through a minefield. But with proper advice, you will be able to avoid any and all risks.