State and federal employment laws guarantee employees’ basic rights and protect them from harassment, unfair labor practices, wrongful termination and employer abuse. When an employer violates an employee’s rights, the employee may be entitled to an employment law claim.
At Stanfield Bechtel Law, we represent employers and employees in various employment law matters. We have the knowledge, resources, and skill to represent your rights and guide you through a complex area of law. Whether you’re facing a wage and hour claim or a claim related to harassment or discrimination, we are prepared to represent your interests. Contact Stanfield Bechtel Law to schedule an initial consultation.
Types of Employment Law Litigation Matters We Handle
The attorneys at Stanfield Bechtel Law have experience handling the following types of employment law matters:
- Employment discrimination
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual assault
- Whistleblower claims
- Wrongful termination
- Wage and hour claims
- FMLA violations
- Hostile Work Environment
- Pregnancy Discrimination
Although Connecticut is an at-will employment state, certain types of employment termination are unlawful. An employer cannot terminate you on the basis of your age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, pregnancy, or other legally protected class. Additionally, employers cannot retaliate against employees for pursuing anti-discrimination claims. If you feel you’ve been wrongfully terminated from your position, discussing your case with an attorney can help you understand whether you have a valid claim for compensation.
Connecticut Employment Discrimination Attorneys
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on a person’s race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. Other federal laws prohibit employment discrimination based on age (over 40), pregnancy, and disability. The Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits discrimination based on age, sex, race, color, religion, pregnancy, marital status, disability, gender identity or expression, and sexual orientation. Connecticut and federal law make it illegal for employers to pay people less money than someone of another gender. Although these anti-discrimination laws have existed for years, many job applicants and employees still face unlawful discrimination violating state and federal laws.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Employees have a right to work in an environment free from sexual harassment. There are two main types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment happens when an employer or manager offers an employment benefit in exchange for a sexual act. An example would be a manager telling an employee he will give her a promotion if she goes on a romantic date with him. Conversely, a manager or employee threatening an employee with adverse employment action for not engaging in a sexual or romantic act can also constitute quid pro quo sexual harassment.
Employers cannot allow a hostile work environment to occur. Targeting employees with specific protected characteristics, including race, religion, sex, and sexual harassment, can create a hostile work environment. Isolated incidents or petty slights usually don’t rise to the level of a hostile work environment. Instead, a hostile work environment occurs when the actions or words of a supervisor, manager, or coworker severely or negatively impact another employee’s ability to complete his or her work.
Wage and Hour Violations
Employers are required to comply with, state and federal regulations related to paying employees. Employers must pay employees all the compensation they are owed if they quit or are terminated. They must pay all wages, overtime, bonuses, and commissions. Employees may be owed for vacation pay, sick pay, paid time off, and severance pay. Employers are also required to pay overtime at a rate of one and one half times your regular rate of pay forr any hours worked over 40 in a single work week.
Some employers will wrongly classify employees as salaried employees or independent contractors to avoid paying them overtime and benefits. If you are an employee and you believe you haven’t been fully compensated for your work, it’s essential that you discuss your case with a skilled employment attorney. You may be entitled to backpay and other damages. Our employment attorneys also provide legal services for employers.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Is a federal law that protects workers who need to take time off work to care for sick family members or who are experiencing a health crisis themselves. The FMLA provides employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to address a health crisis without fear of being demoted or fired. The Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (CTFMLA) also provides guaranteed family leave. The Connecticut Paid Leave Authority provides eligible workers with income replacement while they take qualified medical leave. If you have been denied your right to medical leave or retaliated against for taking your leave, you may have a valid claim for compensation from your employer.
Types of Employment Consulting Matters We Handle for Employers:
No two businesses are exactly alike, and every Connecticut employer faces a unique set of challenges. Additionally, employers must comply with different types of regulations depending on their industry and the types of goods or services they provide. Businesses benefit from regularly consulting with employment attorneys who can help them adopt effective and fair practices that safeguard their interests along with their employee’s rights.
Our employment law team can help you review your company’s policies and practices to ensure they are compliant with applicable state and federal laws. We also offer consultation services and can help you address employment issues that arise. Our employment law team can also present seminars to your management and staff members about important employment law topics which can be helpful in preventing potential legal issues from arising. At Stanfield Bechtel Law, we have counseled new and established businesses in a wide range of matters, including the following:
- General employment counseling
- Giving presentations and seminars on topics tailored to your particular business and concerns
- Assistance with handbooks and other compliance and corporate documents
- Assistance and coaching regarding specific employee situations and informal complaints
- Employee discipline matters
- Investigation of issues related to employment law
- Providing legal defense for administrative complaints involving unemployment and the CHRO/EEOC
- Providing investigation and mediation of employee complaints and issues
- Conducting wage and hour compliance reviews
- Drafting employment contracts and severance documents
Types of Employment Consulting Matters We Handle for Employees
If you are a Connecticut employee and you’ve been discharged from your job, disciplined at work, or you’re facing another employment matter, you aren’t alone. The employment attorneys at Stanfield Bechtel Law are prepared to help you understand your legal rights. If your rights as an employee have been violated, we will thoroughly investigate your case and pursue the best outcome possible in your case. Taking the time to consult with one of our employment attorneys can help you determine whether your employer violated one or more employment laws by engaging in unlawful discrimination, retaliation, or harassment. We regularly provide the following types of legal counseling to employees:
- General employment counseling
- Assistance with specific situations at work involving any type of employment claim
- Wage and hour issues
- Discrimination and sexual harassment
- Unlawful termination
- Failure to promote
- Unemployment hearings
- Employee whistleblowing claims
- Negotiating severance packages
- Representation at administrative proceedings involving CHRO and EEOC
- Representation in court to sue an employer, when appropriate
Severance Agreement Review
Many Connecticut employers provide employees who have been terminated with a severance agreement. In exchange for signing the severance agreement and agreeing not to pursue a lawsuit against the employer, the employer usually provides a lump sum payment or multiple payments to the employee who has been terminated. It’s crucial that you understand your legal rights before you sign a severance agreement. For example, if you are an employee who has been wrongfully terminated, pursuing a claim for compensation against your employer may be a better option.
An attorney can negotiate better terms for your severance agreement, including an increase in severance amount, to help you financially as you pursue new employment. The attorneys at Stanfield Bechtel Law also represent employers in drafting and negotiating severance agreements and other employment contracts to ensure they are legally valid and beneficial for the business’s needs.
Employment Drafting Services
Stanfield Bechtel Law assists Connecticut businesses by providing practical, business-oriented advice. We regularly offer clients a significant range of non-litigation advice in many different employment-related matters. We will work closely with your human resources and management professionals to develop and maintain useful and clear employment-related documents and policies. Specifically, every employer can benefit from a thorough, updated employee handbook. We will work with you to create an employee handbook that meets your company’s specific needs.
Additionally, our employment attorneys can help you draft strong, enforceable contracts with restrictive covenants and other provisions that will clearly inform employees’ duties to their employer. Implementing strong employment contracts can help you protect against the loss of customers, confidential information, and other employees. We also provide drafting services for employment policies and procedures, disciplinary documents, such as performance improvement plans, and job descriptions.
Contact an Experienced Connecticut Employment Attorney
Stanfield Bechtel Law has successfully represented employees whose rights have been violated. We also provide employers with legal counsel to help them implement best employment practices in alignment with state and federal regulations. If you are facing an employment law matter, we will carefully investigate your unique circumstances and help you make informed decisions about the best way to proceed. Contact Stanfield Bechtel Law to schedule a free case evaluation.