Chattanooga Employment Attorney
A dedicated Chattanooga employment lawyer at Employment and Commerce Law Group serves the area to protect employee rights. Laws at the federal, state, and local level protect employees from illegal treatment. This includes illegal discrimination, wage theft (overtime and minimum wage violations), exploitation, and protecting whistleblowers.
Chattanooga, like all of Tennessee, follows the employment-at-will doctrine. Employment-at-will means employees can be fired for almost any reason, whether that reason is just or not. Legal reasons for termination might include nepotism, difference in personalities, or even their personal style in clothes or haircuts. However, there are exceptions to this rule. An employer may not fire, or otherwise affect the employment of an employee for an illegal reason. This means you may not be lawfully terminated or treated unfairly at work if the reason violates certain employment laws. Each case is very different, this is why it is crucial to talk to a lawyer about your particular claim.
If you are being treated unfairly at work, contact one of our experienced employment lawyers. We fight for Chattanooga workers to ensure fair treatment under the law.
Employment Laws that Govern Tennessee Employers
Like other Tennesseans, laws protect employees in Chattanooga from illegal discrimination, whistleblowing, or overtime and minimum wage violations. If an employer violates any of these laws, an employment attorney in Chattanooga could fight to hold them accountable.
Chattanooga employees are protected from discrimination under the following laws:
- The Tennessee Human Rights Act (THRA)
- The Tennessee Disability Act (TDA)
- Title VII
- The American with Disabilities Act (ADA)
These laws shield employees from unlawful discrimination. Discrimination is unlawful if it is based on protected characteristics such as race, age, gender, or disability. These laws also protect employees from retaliation by employers for either identifying behavior they believe to be discriminatory or for taking part in an investigation into alleged discriminatory behavior.
The Tennessee Public Protection Act (TPPA) protects “whistleblowers” from retaliation by employers.
Under the TPPA, an employee must prove that (1) they were an employee (2) they either refused to participate in or remain silent about, illegal activities (3) they were terminated by their employer and (4) this must be the only reason the employee was terminated. Unfortunately for employees, proving that their silence or refusal to participate in illegal activities was the only reason for termination can make cases difficult.
These pitfalls are why it is important to hire legal counsel experienced in employment laws in Chattanooga to assist you with your employment law claims.
Minimum Wage and Overtime Violations
The Fair Labor Standard Act governs the payment of minimum wage and overtime in all of the United States, including Chattanooga. The money you are owed under these statutes is your money by law. If an employer refuses to pay it to you- they are committing what is known as “wage theft”.
Penalties for Violating Employment Laws
If an employer violates employment laws, they may be required to pay back wages, front wages, compensatory damages, and attorneys’ fees. In extreme cases, punitive damages may be awarded. In addition, they may have to reinstate a wrongfully terminated employee.
The type of claim and under what law you make your claim determines the different damages you may seek- that is why it is important to consult an experienced employment attorney familiar with Chattanooga and Tennessee laws about your specific claim.
Our Dedicated Chattanooga Attorneys Are Here to Help with your Employment Law Concerns
If you believe you have an employment law claim, do not hesitate to contact our firm. Our lawyers have experience handling a wide variety of employment cases. Each case is different, and many facts which may not seem important can determine whether or not you have a claim, and to what damages you may be entitled.
Call or e-mail today to schedule your free consultation with a Chattanooga employment lawyer.
Chattanooga Employment Cases We Represent:
Wage Theft- Minimum Wage and Overtime Violations
Wage theft is the denial of wages or employee benefits that are rightfully owed to an employee. It is also illegal to retaliate against employees for asserting or asking about their right to be paid both minimum wage and overtime.
It is illegal under both state and Federal law to discriminate against employees based on gender, race, color, national origin, or religion. It is also illegal to discriminate on the basis of age for individuals over 40 years old. Gender discrimination includes discrimination based on pregnancy.
Many people are denied overtime pay they are owed because they are told they are “salaried” or an “independent contractor” and therefore do not qualify for overtime.
The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal law requiring covered employers to provide employees job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons.
The ADA prohibits discrimination and guarantees people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life. To discuss your legal options consult with our Chattanooga employment lawyers today.
Federal and State laws prohibit punishing job applicants or employees for asserting their rights to be free from employment discrimination including harassment.
The Equal Pay Act requires that men and women be given equal pay for equal work in the same establishment. The jobs need not be identical, but they must be substantially equal. In correcting a pay differential, the pay of the lower paid employee(s) must be increased.
Harassment is a form of employment discrimination that violates Title VII and other state laws. The victim does not have to be the person harassed, but can be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.
Whistleblowers are valued as people who stand up for justice in the face of wrongdoing. Without employees disclosing information when their companies do something wrong, many dangerous and illegal practices would continue without being discovered or corrected.