If you want to find out, “How do I file a lawsuit against my employer?” Morgan & Morgan can help. Cases our employment lawyers handle include, among others:
- Workplace harassment
- Wage theft
- Wrongful termination
- Workplace injury
As an employee, you have various rights and protections under federal and state laws. Unfortunately, some unethical corporations and employers try to deny workers their legal rights, pay, and benefits. However, you do not have to put up with this and could recover compensation.
Morgan & Morgan is here to help America’s workers. Our committed labor lawyers can fight for your best interests and hold employers accountable.
Common Lawsuits Filed Against Employers
There can be many different instances where employees could have a case against their employer. Some examples of common employment litigation include:
Discrimination and Harassment
Employees are protected from discrimination and harassment at work by several federal and state laws, such as Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 1981, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). In general, employers must not discriminate against workers based on their:
- National Origin
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation and gender identity
- Genetic information
Examples of unlawful discrimination can include denial of a promotion or raise, wrongful termination, harassment, refusing benefits that other employees receive, and others. Retaliation by an employer for filing a complaint or assisting with another employee’s claim is also unlawful.
Discrimination at work is upsetting and frustrating for victims and can have a devastating impact on their careers, income, and family lives. If you were discriminated against at your workplace, you could potentially sue your employer and receive compensation.
Generally, you cannot sue your employer for a workplace-related injury if they have workers’ compensation insurance. Employees covered by workers’ comp waive their right to file a lawsuit in most circumstances. However, there are two notable exceptions to this rule:
Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Unavailable
Some employers fail to pay for workers’ compensation insurance despite it being a mandatory requirement in all states except Texas. If you get hurt at work and are unable to claim workers’ compensation benefits, you could file a personal injury lawsuit and receive damages for your work injuries. You could also sue if your employer hinders your workers’ compensation claim, for example, by withholding evidence or maliciously delaying your claim.
An Employer’s Actions Were Egregious or Malicious
If you suffered an injury due to your employer or manager’s intentional actions, you could hold them liable and pursue compensation. Likewise, if an employer willingly put you in a situation where an injury was inevitable, you could also have grounds for filing a lawsuit against them.
Importantly, with a personal injury lawsuit, you could claim damages that are unavailable with workers’ comp, such as pain and suffering, loss of life quality, and other so-called non-economic damages.
Wage and Hour Violations
Some employers cheat workers out of their pay and benefits. Shockingly, some of America’s largest corporations, such as Walmart, Tyson Foods, UPS, and others, have found themselves defending lawsuits alleging wage theft, off-the-clock work, and other violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Some of the most common wage and hour violation lawsuits against employers include:
Working off the clock is not only unpaid labor, but the time is also not contributing to overtime. Common types of off-the-clock work can include:
- Assisting coworkers after the end of your shift
- Warming up and loading a truck
- Stocking shelves before your workday starts
- Checking emails or answering work phone calls at home
- Cleaning up your workspace after your shift
Failure to Pay Overtime
According to the FLSA, employees working over 40 hours per week must be paid overtime at one and a half times their normal hourly pay. If your employer underpays you for your overtime hours or fails to pay you at all for working extra hours, you could sue and recover up to three years of unpaid overtime.
Employers may misclassify employees as independent contractors to save on benefits and payroll taxes. However, this is a violation of wage and hour laws. Being misclassified denies employees their benefits and protections such as workers’ compensation. If an employer misclassified you, you could sue them and receive damages.
Illegal Wage Deductions
Employers should generally not deduct any amounts from paychecks except for taxes, health insurance benefits, and court-ordered garnishments. However, deductions for an employer’s overheads, and others, can be illegal depending on state and federal laws.
Since there can be numerous other wage and hour violations that could allow you to sue your employer, consider seeking legal advice. Our experienced employment lawyers know the labor laws and can determine whether you have a case against an employer.
Before Considering Litigation
Before filing legal action against your employer, consider taking the following steps, depending on your circumstances:
- Talk to your employer or HR department to try and resolve the issue internally.
- Identify the state agency dealing with your type of dispute.
- File a complaint with the responsible agency, such as your local Department of Labor (DOL) office or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
- Gather evidence for your claim.
- Contact an employment lawyer to determine your legal options.
How to File a Lawsuit Against Your Employer
Going it alone against an employer can be stressful and frustrating. However, with a determined attorney in your corner, you can rest assured that your best interests and legal rights are protected.
Finding and Hiring a Great Employment Attorney
Handling a lawsuit against your employer can be exhausting and time-consuming. Moreover, if your employer is a large or perhaps even global corporation, they might have unlimited resources and teams of lawyers on retainer ready to fight lawsuits.
Finding a seasoned employment lawyer can be critical for the outcome of your case. Some of the best ways to find a lawyer include:
- Asking friends and coworkers for referrals
- Searching online for employment lawyers near you
- Scheduling free consultations with prospective lawyers
How Morgan & Morgan Can Help Sue Your Employer
Our tenacious employment attorneys can help you with all aspects of your case, including:
Explain Your Legal Rights
Knowing your employment rights is crucial for making informed decisions. Our attorneys can explain your rights and clarify your options for getting justice, which could include negotiation, mediation, and litigation. We can fully explain all the advantages and disadvantages of your options and determine your next best steps to get justice.
File a Complaint
In most employment disputes, employees must first file a claim with a government agency, such as the EEOC, before being allowed to file an individual lawsuit. Our employment lawyers can direct you to the appropriate agency and help you file a claim.
Fight a Lawsuit on Your Behalf
Morgan & Morgan’s employment lawyers can assist you with litigation against an employer or former employer. We represent employees in a variety of lawsuits, such as discrimination, wage and hour claims, wrongful termination, and others. Some of the tasks your lawyer will work on can include:
- Gathering evidence to prove your case
- Calculating your damages accurately
- Negotiating a fair settlement
- Fighting vigorously for what you deserve at trial
Get in Touch With Us Today for Help and Advice
We want to help workers assert their legal rights and get what they deserve. If you are mistreated at work, unable to receive the workers’ comp benefits, or experience wage and hour violations, Morgan & Morgan is here for you. When we take your case, you have access to an army of experienced attorneys and legal team members ready to fight on your behalf. The fee is free unless and until we win. If you need legal advice regarding your specific employment situation, contact us now for a free case review.