Employment Law Firm in Tennessee
Most jobs in Tennessee are held by mutual agreement between the employer and worker. At any point, and for almost any reason, an employer can terminate a job with little or no notice.
There are, however, certain situations when firing can be illegal. Tennessee employment lawyers can help workers understand their rights on the job and pursue remedies when these rights are violated. If you believe your rights may have been violated, seek the assistance of an employment lawyer at Employment and Commerce Law Group today to go over your case and assist with filing a claim.
When is a Firing Illegal?
Tennessee is an at-will employment state. This means most workers do not have a contract with their employer that states they must remain employed for a certain amount of time. For this reason, most instances of employee movement, whether due to the employee quitting, the employee being fired, or the job being downsized, are valid in a legal sense.
It is only when an employee is fired for very specific reasons that the worker may have a legal claim. Tennessee state law provides minimal additional protection for certain protected classes in the workplace, but federal law still applies.
According to various statutes such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), workers cannot be fired, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against in the workplace due to their age, sex, religion, national origin, disability, or race.
Any time a worker is terminated from their position, they should examine their employer’s stated reason for doing so in addition to any past comments made by the company. If the employee can demonstrate that their firing was motivated by any of the above factors, they may have grounds for a lawsuit and should consult with Tennessee employment lawyers.
What are the Potential Remedies?
Tennessee law does not provide a way for employers to sue their workplaces directly for discrimination. Instead, the claim must first be handled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC). These are agencies charged with investigating and enforcing all alleged violations of federal and state employment laws.
Both the EEOC and the THRC have the power to investigate allegations and issue remedies to aggrieved workers. Even before this process is finalized, the agencies may attempt to come to a settlement with the employer with the worker’s permission. If the agencies find that discrimination did take place, they have the power to punish the employer and/or order compensation for the worker.
As a Tennessee employment lawyer can explain, legal compensation can take on many forms. In many cases, the worker may want nothing more to do with their previous workplace, and monetary compensation is provided. In other situations, the worker may be re-hired. These remedies are in addition to any civil punishments levied by the agencies.
If the agency investigation reveals no discrimination, the worker then has the right to take their case to court. This civil lawsuit alleges a direct violation of the applicable laws and must define what remedy the worker is seeking.
Our Employment Law Firm in Tennessee is Here to Help
Being the victim of discrimination in the workplace can be a demoralizing situation. You likely depend upon the job for your livelihood and may think that making a complaint can harm you.
Tennessee employment attorneys are here to fight against this happening.
Filing a complaint with the appropriate agencies is often an essential first step to obtaining justice, and our attorneys can help throughout the entire process. Contact an employment lawyer in Tennessee at EC Law today. Let us investigate your case and work to hold discriminatory employers responsible for their actions.
Featured Employment Laws FAQs
Featured Employment Lawyer FAQ
Employers may legally hire, fire, suspend or discipline any employee at any time and for any reason – good or bad – or for no reason at all; however, an employer may not discriminate against any employee on the basis of the employee’s race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, or disability.
Under PPACA, a full-time employee is one who works an average of 30 hours a week or more. Note that salaried employees are usually deemed, full-time employees.
Employers can get permission from the Department of Labor to work their employees 7 days a week, but they can only do that a maximum of 8 weeks a year. See the complete rules here. The Department of Labor also enforces the law on behalf of employees.
In Tennessee, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment.
In all types of cases, the motive is difficult to prove in law. Employment discrimination and wrongful termination cases are difficult to win because the employee must prove the employer acted with a specific illegal motivation (i.e. the employee was fired because of his race, sex, national origin, etc.)