Has your employer mistreated you? Do their actions contradict what they said in an employee handbook or employment contract? Have you been subjected to wrongful discrimination, sexual harassment, or unlawful retaliation and/or termination?
If so, you might qualify for a legal remedy under either Michigan or Federal law.
To determine the full nature and extent of the rights you have under Michigan and Federal employment laws, you should retain the services of a serious Michigan employment law attorney for legal representation.
On this page, you’ll learn more about:
- Wage and Hour Disputes
- Employer Retaliation
- Workplace Discrimination
- Workplace Sexual Harassment
- Wrongful Termination
WHY CALL FIEGER LAW?
Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Recovered for Clients
Sexual harassment, discrimination, unjust termination—these are just a few of the abuses that employers inflict upon their employees. In most cases, it’s a violation of your civil rights, and it’s not acceptable.
Geoffrey Fieger and the employment law attorneys at Fieger Law don’t tolerate these types of abuses, and neither should you. We have represented hundreds of workers whose civil rights were trampled upon in the name of corporate greed and profits. We fight for the truth and we win.
Our Michigan Employment Law Attorneys Protect Your Rights
Employment laws are intended to keep employees safe and ensure they get treated fairly in the workplace. They began in the early 20th century and have continually expanded and evolved in an effort to create safe working environments, non-discriminatory hiring practices, a minimum wage and more.
Millions of workers benefit from these laws, but employers don’t always observe or follow them. When workers get victimized by greedy employers, they need experienced advocates on their side to help them get the money they deserve.
Our firm can help you with many employment law issues, including:
- Minimum wage violations
- Wrongful termination
- Employment contracts
- Sexual harassment
- Discrimination (gender, race, religion, age, pregnancy, military service)
- Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) violations
- Retaliation and whistleblowing
- Overtime pay disputes
- Workplace violence
- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) violations
- Unfair or unenforceable non-compete contracts
- Required tip sharing
- Forced to work off the clock
- Misclassified as an independent contractor
- Improperly paid by the job/piece/install
Whether you are transitioning to a new job, leaving an old job, or simply encountering unfair changes in your employment, the team at Fieger Law will protect your civil rights.
WAGE AND HOUR DISPUTE LAWSUITS
In many employment lawsuits, employees or former employees are entitled to back pay for any money rightfully owed to them by an employer. This is especially common in minimum wage and overtime disputes.
Tip pooling is common in the restaurant industry, but also occurs in any industry where tipping is common. It involves employees putting their tips in a pool, which is then gets distributed to a larger group of workers.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, tip pooling is only legal when it includes employees who customarily and regularly receive tips. That means it can’t include managers, dishwashers, cooks or janitors. Employers must also notify workers of tip pool contribution requirements.
Though the above practices are illegal, they are still far too common in the service industry. In some cases, they happen at large chain restaurants located throughout the U.S.
Truck Drivers Misclassified as Independent Contractors
In the trucking industry, misclassification of workers is a serious problem. Trucking companies save costs when they classify drivers as contractors instead of employees. That’s because they aren’t legally required to offer the same pay and benefits to contractors as they are to employees.
Establishing misclassification in the trucking industry can be complex. The Department of Labor says one of the biggest factors that determines whether a driver is a contractor or an employee is the level of economic dependence the driver has on a company giving them work.
Typically, employees are workers who follow the “usual path of an employee” and are dependent on the business they serve. The Supreme Court considers the following six factors important when determining the appropriate classification of a worker:
- The extent to which the worker’s services are an integral part of the employer’s business.
- The permanency of the relationship between the worker and the company. For truck drivers, this might include how long they have worked for the trucking company.
- The amount of the worker’s investment in facilities and equipment. That might also include the driver’s investment in their vehicle or vehicle components.
- The nature and degree of control by the company versus that of the driver.
- The worker’s opportunities for profit and loss.
- The level of skill required in performing the job and the required amount of initiative, judgment, or foresight in open market competition with others for the claimed independent enterprise to succeed.
As you can see, truck drivers often exhibit attributes of an employee, though they are often classified as independent contractors. This leads to an untenable work environment where trucking companies get the perks of having an employee without the costs of paying them adequately.
Minimum Wage Violations
Your employer is required to pay you either the federal or state-mandated minimum wage, whichever is higher. Workers in Michigan older than 18 are entitled to at least $9.87 per hour. Even full-time salaried workers must have an annual pay that satisfies the minimum wage when accounting for a 40-hour workweek.
Whether you are salaried or hourly, if you work longer than 8 hours in a day, 40 hours in a week, or more than 7 days consecutively, you are entitled to overtime—period.
You are not required to have “approval” for overtime, nor are employers required to be aware that you worked overtime. As soon as they know you have worked extra hours, you deserve that extra pay for those hours.
If your employer has refused to pay you your rightful wages, turn to Fieger Law. We have taken on big businesses that thought they could get away with cheating their employees. We won’t let that stand—we’ll file a claim to make your employer pay every dime they owe you, as well as potential penalty fees based on how long their violations went unaddressed.
In the U.S., employees have many guaranteed rights. When they exercise those rights, employers can’t retaliate against them by firing, demoting, wage reductions, excluding them from activities/events, or reassigning or rescheduling them to impose an undue hardship.
Some of the most common types of an employee’s legally protected actions that can result in retaliation include:
- Refusing to perform illegal activities at the employer’s request, including those that would result in discrimination against another employee
- Filing for workers’ compensation benefits
- Being a witness in a lawsuit against the employer
- Filing a complaint about discrimination or harassment
- Asking for a leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act
- Resisting sexual advances or intervening to protect others
- Requesting accommodation of a disability or for a religious practice
- Asking managers or co-workers about salary information to uncover potentially discriminatory wages
Workplace discrimination is a common source of employment lawsuits. It may include discrimination against a worker because of their:
- National origin
- Sexual orientation
In practice, workplace discrimination often includes:
- Refusal to hire
- Failure to promote
- Failure to raise pay
- Failure to provide equal opportunities
- Having company policies that discriminate against certain groups of workers
Employees and job applicants in the U.S. have protections against harassment based on their sex. Sexual harassment claims often, though not always, involve actions or words that are sexual in nature. That includes:
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Requests for sexual favors
- Verbal harassment of a sexual nature
- Physical harassment of a sexual nature
Not all cases of harassment are directly related to sexual advances. Harassment can also include making offensive remarks about a person’s sex. Even teasing or making offhand comments about a person’s gender can be illegal if it causes a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in a negative employment decision, such as demotion or termination.
If you lost your job on illegal grounds, you’re entitled to sue your employer in a wrongful termination lawsuit. Wrongful termination is the most common basis for employment-related lawsuits and includes firing someone based on their membership in any protected class (i.e., for having a disability, for being a certain race or gender, for belonging to a certain faith, for reaching a certain age, etc.).
Workers are also protected from termination as a form of retaliation. This includes getting fired for:
- Reporting an employer’s workplace violations
- Filing a workers’ compensation claim
- Suing an employer for discrimination
- Taking family or maternity leave
- Filing a sexual harassment complaint
You may have been subjected to wrongful termination if you took any of the above actions and subsequently got fired. Your employer will never admit their wrongdoing, but Fieger Law knows how to handle big businesses and employers. We will conduct the investigations that reveal your firing for what it is: discriminatory and wrong.
CONTACT OUR EXPERIENCED MICHIGAN EMPLOYMENT LAWYERS
An individual’s ability to pursue an honest and decent livelihood is so important that both federal and state laws have established legal standards to ensure employers don’t take advantage of their employees.
At the offices of Fieger Law, we’re passionate about representing employees in Michigan in various employment law matters. We are dedicated to making sure you can earn a decent living and that your hard work gets properly rewarded.
If you or a family member’s civil rights have been violated at work, Geoffrey Fieger and the Michigan employment lawyers at Fieger Law can help.
Call 1-800-294-6637 or tell us about your case using our simple online form. In a free consultation, we can explain your options and tell you how we can help you.