Michelle L. Wein’s employee-side employment practice is dedicated to helping people achieve freedom from harassment, discrimination, and unfair or improper compensation practices in the workplace.  Our clients range from executive-level employees of large corporations to low-wage earning laborers.  Whether you suspect you are getting shorted on overtime, are being forced out the door because of your age, or need help negotiating a severance package, Michelle Wein provides the guidance needed to enforce your employment rights.

The following are examples of the types of disputes the firm routinely handles on behalf of its employee clients:

Unpaid Overtime Compensation.  Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), non-exempt employees are entitled to be paid 1.5x their hourly rate for all hours worked over forty in a workweek.  These claims arise most often when an employee has been misclassified as an exempt employee or an independent contractor.  Contrary to popular belief, salaried employees are not always exempt from overtime wages, and just because you signed an independent contractor agreement does not mean you are truly an exempt contractor.  Other violations can occur when employers unfairly dock time, fail to pay for certain off-site activities or training, or pay employees the same rate for all hours worked instead of the overtime rate for those hours in excess of forty in a workweek.

Unpaid Minimum Wage.  The FLSA requires employers to compensate non-exempt workers at the minimum rate of $7.25 per hour.  Minimum wage violations are usually subtle and include failure to pay an employee his or her last paycheck, improper deductions from paychecks, and low salaries that result in payment of less than the minimum wage once all hours worked are accounted for.

Discrimination and Harassment.  Employees deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their race, age, sex (including pregnancy), religion, national origin, or disability.  If you have been fired, demoted, suspended, or subjected to some other form of adverse action by your employer, you may be entitled to back pay, reinstatement, or other damages as a result of such misconduct.  You may also be entitled to relief if your job has become intolerable due to harassment by your coworkers/supervisors or due to your employer’s failure to provide reasonable accommodations for your disability. We represent employees in disputes arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and various other state and federal laws.

Sexual Harassment.  Employers have a duty to protect their employees from the unwanted sexual advances of other employees, supervisors, or customers, and the failure to do so could result in the employee’s entitlement to damages or other relief.

Retaliation & Whistleblowing.  These cases arise when an employee has been terminated or otherwise punished after having asserted his or her employment law rights.  This often happens when an employee complains of unpaid overtime or reports discriminatory conduct to the company’s human resources department.  If you think you’ve been retaliated against, we can help determine whether a violation has occurred and and what steps you can take to seek relief.

Medical Leave.  The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave each year to covered employees who request leave for serious health conditions, childbirth, or caring for an immediate family member’s medical needs.  Similarly, employers may be required to provide leave as a reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities under the ADA.  Any employer failure to provide leave in situations covered by these laws may result in damages to the employee.

Employment Contracts.  We provide affordable solutions for contract drafting and review of employment agreements, including non-compete agreements, severance packages, and release agreements.  We also represent clients in disputes regarding breach of employment agreements (for example, claims for unpaid commissions or wages not covered by the overtime and minimum wage provisions of the FLSA).

Unemployment Claims.  If you’ve been terminated and your employer is contesting your right to unemployment insurance benefits, we can represent you in hearings and appeals before the Department of Labor to secure those benefits.

Because we are a small firm, we only take a select handful of employee cases at a time in order to provide clients with the individualized attention they need.  Before we decide to take on your case, we thoroughly investigate all facts related to the dispute to assess whether litigation is appropriate.  If you suspect your employer is engaging in improper conduct or violating the law with respect to your state or federal employment rights, contact us today for a free consultation at 404-981-6679.