When is it time to consult an Arizona employment law attorney?
If you have been wrongfully terminated, you need to know your rights and take legal action to recover your financial losses.
If you have been suffering from illegal harassment or discrimination at work, you need to know whether it is time to take the situation to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
If you have have been denied money that you are owed, including unpaid overtime wages or bonuses and commissions, you’ll need help recovering it.
If you were retaliated against for refusing to break the law or for exercising your legal rights you need to defend your rights.
Both Arizona and federal laws provide rights and protections for Arizona employees. As employment attorneys, our job is to use our experience representing Arizona employees to help you enforce these rights and defend yourself when your employer is breaking the law or attempting to harm you. We are passionate about protecting your rights because we know how important your employment is to you. When you retain Fleming & Monroe, PLC, you will work directly with a lawyer, who will spend time learning about your circumstances and goals. Your case will not be passed off to a paralegal
or assistant. We always provide honest and practical advice, including the best options for you moving forward.
Here are some of the situations where our employment attorneys have helped Arizona employees:
Wage and Hour Disputes
Wage and hour laws cover a range of topics about work and compensation including: minimum wage, tips, overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, when employees must be paid, and items employers must pay for such as uniforms. Arizona laws specify when employees must be paid and what liabilities employers have for wrongfully withholding paychecks. Importantly, under Arizona law, if an employer wrongfully withholds wages that you have rightfully earned, your employer may be ordered to pay three times the amount due.
Discrimination in the workplace is against the law in Arizona. Both Federal and Arizona laws prohibit workplace discrimination based on an employee’s “protected characteristics”. Under Arizona’s laws, these characteristics include, but are not limited to: race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, color, physical or mental disability, gender, age (40 and older), and pregnancy.
This list is not exhaustive. If your employer has discriminated against you in another manner, contact our experienced workplace discrimination attorneys to discuss your specific situation.
It is unlawful to harass an employee because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex.
Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex. Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).
The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.
You do not have to tolerate sexual harassment. If you feel that you have been a victim of sexual harassment, call today for a confidential, free consultation.
If you live in Arizona, you have probably heard the term employment “at-will”. Employment on an “at-will” basis means the employment is not covered by a written contract, and the employment relationship may be ended: (1) at any time, (2) by either the employee or the employer, (3) for any reason not prohibited by law or for no reason, and (4) with or without cause. While that may sound like one’s employment can be terminated for any reason, an employee may have a claim for wrongful termination if: (1) the employee is terminated for discriminatory reasons (on the basis of sex, age, religion, ethnicity, national origin, etc.) and has received a right to sue letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), (2) the employee was terminated in retaliation for legally-protected conduct, or (3) the employee was terminated in violation of a written employment contract.
Hostile Work Environment
“Hostile Work Environment” is a phrase that many people have heard. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean what it looks like. A work environment can be “hostile” without violating any employment laws. For example, a supervisor can be hard to work for, but if the supervisor treats everyone poorly and not just you, then the supervisor is not discriminating. If the supervisor is singling you out because of a personality conflict, that may be discrimination against you, but he or she is not discriminating based on a protected characteristic. However, when a supervisor or co-workers engage in repeated acts of discrimination against you because of your sex, race, disability, religion, national origin, or age (over 40), you may be in an illegal “hostile work environment.”
Has your employer ordered you to do something that is against the law? Did you refuse to do it? Were you fired for refusing? If the answers to these questions are “yes,” you may have a claim for wrongful termination under A.R.S. § 23-501(c)(i). Even though your employment may be “at-will” and can be terminated at any time with or without cause, you cannot be terminated for refusing to disobey your employer if the employer is asking you to do something in violation of the Arizona constitution or any Arizona statutes.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Process
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that was created in 1965 to help put into effect and enforce the anti-discrimination laws from the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For many cases of discrimination – for instance, with race, national origin, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age (over 40), or disability discrimination – an employee has to first file a “Charge of Discrimination” with the EEOC. The employment attorneys at Fleming & Monroe, PLC can help you through this process, including assistance with filing the Charge of Discrimination.
For your convenience, if you feel that you have been wrongfully discriminated against, you can find abundance of information about the EEOC and proceeding with a charge here: https://www.eeoc.gov/employees/charge.cfm
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Family & Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) has been a way for American workers to spend more time recovering from a serious medical condition, caring for a newborn, or taking care of a sick family member. By law, employers cannot retaliate against you for needing FMLA leave and cannot interfere with your right to return to work after FMLA leave. The FMLA provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. If your employer interferes with your exercise of your FMLA rights or retaliates against you for exercising your rights, you may be a claim against your employer.