Phoenix Employment Lawyers
No worker should have to suffer from illegal termination, breaches of employment, or unlawful harassment and retaliation. If you or a loved one are experiencing problems in the workplace, you should obtain legal counsel.
Our attorneys at Shields Petitti & Zoldan, PLC, are outstanding and compassionate Arizona legal professionals dedicated to finding you justice. We are not your average Phoenix employment law firm. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping their clients with virtually every kind of employment law issue. In addition, our attorneys have an outstanding legal track record. Some have obtained Martindale-Hubbell’s coveted AV Preeminent rating. Others have received multiple “Lawyer of the Year” awards in employment law from The Best Lawyers in America. As all these honors show, our Phoenix employment attorneys know how to help their clients succeed. We stand ready to help you protect your rights. Take a moment to review the kinds of employee legal services we offer. Then give us a call or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.
What is Employment Law?
Employment law is a broad term that refers to the legal rules and regulations that govern the relationship between employers and employees. It covers a wide range of issues, including hiring and firing practices, wage and hour laws, discrimination and harassment prevention, and employee benefits. Employment law is designed to protect the rights and interests of both employers and employees, and to promote fair and just treatment in the workplace.
Employment law is regulated at the federal and state levels, and it can be complex and constantly evolving. It plays a critical role in shaping the relationship between employers and employees. Therefore, it is important for both employers and employees to be familiar with their rights and responsibilities under employment law, and to seek legal guidance when necessary.
How Can We Help You Today?
Employment is a complicated area of the law. Fortunately, we handle virtually all kinds of employment cases.
Wrongful termination occurs whenever someone is terminated for an illegal reason. Arizona is an “at-will” employment state. That means an employer can fire an employee for almost any reason unless the employee has an employment contract that says otherwise. However, various federal and state laws prohibit firing employees for discriminatory reasons. More specifically, an employer cannot terminate the employee based on:
- Gender identity,
- Sexual orientation,
- National origin, or
It can be difficult to prove that your employer fired you because of one of these illegal reasons. If you suspect you were wrongfully terminated, consulting an employment law attorney is one of the best ways to collect evidence that supports your claims.
Sexual Harassment and Assault
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.” Sexual jokes, comments, innuendos, and crude sexual signs can also fall under the umbrella of sexual harassment. Sexual assault, on the other hand, is any coerced or otherwise non-consensual sexual conduct. Victims of sexual harassment and assault are often shamed into compliance or acceptance by psychological abuse and “gaslighting.” Contacting a lawyer discreetly is the best way to stop abusive behavior and hold your employer accountable.
Whistleblower Retaliation/EEOC Whistleblowers
A whistleblower is any employee who “brings wrongdoing by an employer or by other employees to the attention of a government or law enforcement agency.” When an employee reports their employer’s unethical or illegal behavior, it can open them up to all kinds of retaliatory acts, including adverse actions and dismissal. However, the law expressly protects whistleblowers from retaliation. Whistleblower protections apply to all whistleblowers, including those who report violations of Equal Employment Opportunity laws, federal laws, and state laws.
Wage and Hour Violations
Wage and hour disputes revolve around an employer’s failure to properly compensate an employee for their work. Such violations arise when an employer pays less than minimum wage or forces an employee to work long hours without compensation.
As mentioned before, the default employment arrangement in Arizona is “at-will” employment. However, many employees sign employment contracts with their employers that specify unique terms and conditions of employment. When an employer fails to follow the contract, an employee can sue to recover damages. Common contract disputes stem from unpaid wages, job duties, or poor working conditions.
Federal anti-discrimination laws prevent your employer from treating you differently because of things like your color, gender, race, age, or sexual orientation. These laws allow you to hold your employer accountable for any discriminatory treatment related to your employment. Specific examples of workplace discrimination include things like:
- Receiving extra work duties because of your race,
- Having your job transferred to another office because of your religious beliefs,
- Being taken off of prestigious projects because of your sex,
- Having your pay withheld because you reported your boss for unethical conduct,
- Not receiving the training you need because of your national origin, and
- Being denied a promotion because of your age.
If you have any suspicions you are suffering discrimination at your workplace, get an attorney immediately.
Harassment is closely related to discrimination and includes any unwelcome conduct based on your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. Although the law does not punish minor annoyances or isolated incidents, it does prohibit harassment that becomes severe or pervasive enough to create a hostile work environment. Offensive jokes, slurs, physical threats, mockery, and insults are behaviors that contribute to a hostile work environment.
Congress passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to mandate minimum standards for group employee health insurance and disability insurance plans. For instance, all plans subject to ERISA need to give participants the right to sue for breaches of fiduciary duty. ERISA additionally outlaws retaliation against employees to prevent them from receiving their insurance benefits.
Medical and Disability Leave
Several federal laws, including the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), grant employees the right to take unpaid leave for health-related reasons. FMLA, in particular, allows employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave every year to care for ill family members, handle a serious health condition, or care for a newborn child. Any attempt to prevent employees from invoking FMLA may be illegal, as potential retaliation against employees who take leave under FMLA.
Consult One of Our Phoenix Employment Attorneys Today
If you have experienced any of the situations listed above, you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer and seek compensation for your damages. However, employment law cases are complex, so it is always a good idea to consult a qualified lawyer.
Fortunately, our lawyers are skilled in providing effective and personalized legal counsel for all our clients. We pride ourselves on providing outstanding customer service and on helping our clients win their cases.
Even if you don’t think you need a Phoenix employment lawyer for your case, set up an appointment with us today. You can either call us or contact us online.