Labor Laws in Charleston, West Virginia
Employers hold significant influence over their employees, and while most employers maintain an honest and respectful relationship with the people who work for them, some do not. Some attempt to withhold pay that was rightfully earned, discriminate against workers or applicants, and foster a hostile work environment.
Many business owners who engage in these harmful practices believe that no one can hold them accountable, but that’s not the case. State and federal laws protect workers from discrimination, wage theft, and hostile workplaces.
The experienced labor and employment lawyers at Morgan & Morgan may be able to help people in the Charleston area who have been discriminated against or forced to work in a hostile environment. If you or a loved one has been the victim of labor law violations, contact us for a free case evaluation.
Laws That Protect Workers in West Virginia
Federal and state laws protect the rights of workers, requiring employers to uphold certain standards of fairness:
- Minimum wage: The federal minimum wage for non-tipped employees is $7.25 per hour. In West Virginia, though the minimum wage is $8.75 per hour for organizations with six or more employees.
- Overtime: The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay employees 150% of their normal wage (or “time and a half”) for hours worked past 40 in a calendar week. So if you worked 50 hours, you should receive 1.5x your regular hourly pay for ten of those hours.
- Emergency leave: The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers to provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for events such as the birth of a child, personal injury or illness, or a family member’s illness. (Employees must work with a company for at least one year to qualify for family and medical leave.)
- Unpaid Wages: West Virginia law prohibits employers from withholding wages without your permission, unless they are required to do so by law or the withheld wages go to union dues, pension plans, etc.
Employers should hire and promote the best people regardless of age, race, religion, sexual orientation, and other personal attributes is the right thing to do. Unfortunately, though, discrimination in the workplace still happens. Here are some examples:
- Failure to hire or promote
- Refusing to reasonably accommodate disabilities, religious practices, or customs
- Including unnecessary job requirements to weed out protected groups
- Enforcing disciplinary policies inequitably
- Advertising positions in a way that excludes protected groups
If you’ve been a victim of any of these practices, you may be able to recover compensation for lost wages, or even to seek reinstatement.
Hostile Work Environments
Employers are required to maintain a comfortable workplace that is free of discrimination, harrassment, and other toxic behaviors. Even if the employer is not directly responsible for the hostile environment, they may still be liable for it because they have a duty to exercise control over their workplace.
If you experience harassment or discrimination, you should report it immediately. If your employer fails to fix the problem, you should speak to a Morgan & Morgan attorney to explore your options.
Contact a Labor & Employment Attorney
Discrimination and hostile work environments can cause financial losses and psychological distress. You deserve to be treated fairly at work, period. If you experience discrimination or harassment at work, or if your employer denies you overtime or other wages, our Charleston office will fight to protect your rights.
Over the past 30 years, across all of our practice areas, Morgan & Morgan has recovered more than $9 billion for clients nationwide. As America’s largest personal injury law firm, we have the resources and reputation to take on any company and win. Best of all, it costs nothing up front to hire us, and we get paid only if you win.
If you think your employer may have violated state or federal labor laws, contact us for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.