Alabama Employment Lawyers
Many employees in Alabama spend more hours at work with their coworkers than almost anyone else. Unfortunately, legal disputes often arise between parties who have a close relationship. Our firm is one of the few that spends the large majority of their time focusing on disputes arising between employers and employees.
When you are facing issues at work that are out of your control which could compromise the relationship you have with your employer, it can be tremendously disruptive to both your productivity and your personal well-being. An Alabama employment lawyer knows that your relationship with your employer impacts your livelihood and reputation. An experienced employment attorney at Employment and Consumer Law Group could strive to help you resolve employment matters as swiftly and effectively as possible.
What are the Alabama Labor and Employment Laws?
Labor laws serve to protect workers by ensuring employees receive fair compensation, unbiased treatment, a safe work environment that is free from harassment, and equal opportunities. Federal and state employment laws, as well as other agencies and previous court decisions, outline the rights and obligations surrounding the relationship between employers and employees. It can be a complicated process to try to maneuver with so many agencies, courts, and lawmakers playing a part in defining these rights.
How Do State Laws Differ From Federal Laws?
Federal laws, in particular, grant many protections to employees. They shield employees from employer harassment, discrimination, unlawful retaliation and termination. Even if an individual is only a potential employee, they may still have enforceable rights and be able to pursue legal remedies under these Federal laws.
The number of employees an employer has will determine the applicability of certain employment laws as well as what actions may be permitted. Some very small companies may not be required to adhere to all employment laws, and special rules exist for very large companies sometimes as well. An experienced employment attorney could provide clarification on this issue and guide you through the process.
Employment law violations are matters that should not be brushed aside by employees or employers. Employers can face criminal or civil penalties for violating labor laws—but they are complicated laws for sure. Solid experienced legal advice is needed to help you through the process.
Common Employment Cases
Employment law is an expansive topic that encompasses a variety of matters. A seasoned Alabama employment lawyer may have experience with cases involving:
- Wage theft
- Wage and hour violations
- Wrongful termination
Resolving Employment Disputes
Alabama employment attorneys want to help clients preserve their employment relationships whenever possible by using the most effective means of dispute resolution for their clients. This may be as simple as assisting an employee effectively frame their issues and present them to their employer. It may mean you will be required to work with an agency such as the Department of Labor or Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) to resolve your matter. It could also mean a lawsuit needs to be filed to preserve your rights.
Unresolved Employment Matters
If employment matters are not resolved internally, several options exist for the employee. Arbitration, mediation, working with agencies such as the Department of Labor or EEOC, or litigation are all possible options. Mediation is a less formal—although potentially effective—means of alternative dispute resolution.
Mediation involves the two parties meeting with a neutral mediator to try to come up with a mutually agreeable solution. If mediation is not appropriate, our legal team may file a legal claim with the court, an arbitration agency, or other agency depending on the types of claims and the particular set of facts around your claim.
We often file claims with the EEOC which is a federal agency that both investigates claims and enforces many federal employment laws. Going through the process at the EEOC is required before you are allowed to file many different kinds of lawsuits in federal court. Many employment issues are not addressed by Alabama state law, so lawyers generally seek recovery for clients under federal law.
Defining the At-Will Employment Doctrine
Employees in Alabama are generally considered at-will employees. This means that employers and employees are generally free to terminate or leave a position for any reason without notice. Even though Alabama is an at-will employment state, employees who are fired may still have valid grounds to initiate an employment claim.
The freedom for employers to terminate employment for any reason ends when the reason for firing is illegal or violates the terms of an existing employment contract. For example, if someone is terminated as the result of discrimination or reporting illegal conduct at the workplace, the at-will doctrine may not apply.
When you depend on your job for income and benefits, it can be nerve-wracking to speak out about injustices. Working with a knowledgeable attorney may help you decide whether initiating legal action is appropriate and ease your mind about coming forward. To find out if we can help you, please call or email our office today to schedule an appointment with an Alabama employment lawyer.