If you or someone you love was treated unfairly at work or wrongfully lost a job in West Virginia due to circumstances that seemed unnatural, you should know that you aren’t alone. Employment laws exist to protect individuals in your situation. A West Virginia employment lawyer may be able to help you open a claim against your employer and give you peace of mind as well as ensure your employer doesn’t break any laws again.
At the law firm of DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, we pursue justice for hardworking men and women in West Virginia who are mistreated by their employers. We file cases against employers who subject their employees to such abuses as:
- Sexual harassment
- Retaliating against a worker for reporting a safety violation at work, for reporting sexual harassment or discrimination, or for filing an injury claim against an employer
- Firing an employee for missing work when an illness or injury caused the absences
- Firing an employee after a work-related injury occurred
- Firing an employee either for a reason not permitted under the law or because the employee took some action consistent with the law and public policy
- Discriminating against an employee based on disability, age, sex, race, national origin, religion, pregnancy, or marital status (see below for more information)
Types of Employment Laws in West Virginia
Workers in West Virginia are protected by both state and federal employment laws and acts which prevent employers from acting wrongfully or mistreating employees. These laws are crucial to the U.S. economy and change often as new policies are adopted and the expectations of society shift forward.
Some of the most common employment laws and acts that govern West Virginia workers include the following (but are not limited to):
Fair Labor Standards Act – This act ensures standards are in place at companies regarding minimum wage, overtime pay, youth employment policies, and recordkeeping.
Mine and Safety Health Act – This helps ensure health and safety standards are in place for miners. If a miner is injured due to an employer that breaks any of these laws, they may be able to file a claim.
Employment Nondiscrimination & Equal Opportunity Laws – These laws are in place to ensure workers are not discriminated against for their age, sex, marital status, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, blindness, or color. If a victim of discrimination can prove that the discrimination took place, it may be possible for them to sue.
West Virginia Minimum Wage Laws – Employers in West Virginia are legally bound to pay salary-based workers $8.75 or more an hour as of January 1st, 2016. Refusing to do so can result in negative consequences for that company.
Employee Retirement Income Security Act – This federal act ensures that private industries follow the minimum standards for pension plan establishment and development.
Family & Medical Leave Act – This federal law protects workers by requiring employers to provide employees with job protection and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons.
Contract Work Hours and Safety Act – This act protects construction workers by ensuring they’re not overworked or do not work in hazardous, dangerous, or unsanitary conditions.
Types of Discrimination
Employee treatment and decisions about hiring, promotion, termination, compensation, or demotion based on any of the following factors is illegal:
- Disability – Under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers may not discriminate based on physical or mental disability. Employers are also required to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified disabled individuals.
- Age – Individuals over the age of 40 are protected from unfair treatment and harassment per the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
- Sex – Decisions based on gender are illegal, whether they involve outright exclusion of women from the workplace, unequal pay for equal work performed, or more subtle discrimination such as inadequate healthcare benefits for women employees.
- Race – Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects employees from unfair treatment based on skin color, including direct harassment, racial slurs, segregation, or withholding career advancement.
- National Origin – It is illegal to discriminate against individuals based on birthplace, culture, ethnicity, citizenship, language, or accent.
- Religion – It is against the law for employers to discriminate based on religious, philosophical, or moral and ethical grounds. Political beliefs are not included.
- Pregnancy – When an employee is terminated, pressured to quit, or passed over for a job or a promotion because she is pregnant, it is a violation of federal law.
- Marital Status – Unfair treatment or harassment based on marital status, whether married, divorced, widowed, single, or in a domestic partnership, is unlawful.
Types of Labor Law Violation Claims
There are a wide variety of claims which can be filed against an employer for any of the labor laws or acts that have been violated. Some example claims we may be able to file on your behalf include the following:
- Discrimination claim
- Sexual harassment claim
- Failure to pay overtime
- Wage and hour violation
- Breach of contract
- Wrongful termination
- Dismissing a worker while they collect workers’ compensation
If you think your rights are being violated at work, you should contact an experienced West Virginia employment attorney as soon as possible. Don’t wait to be fired. We can help you document your concerns and protect your right to compensation.
Find the Right West Virginia Employment Lawyer Today
DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC has a long history of representing all kinds of employees from office workers, clerical employees, and nurses to coal miners and other industrial workers. We also represent various professionals– including doctors, professors, and lawyers– in all types of ethics, employment, and licensing matters. Our record of accomplishment speaks for itself. Our lawyers have obtained some of the largest jury awards and settlements in West Virginia. We also have helped numerous employees in being reinstated to their former jobs after persuading the employer involved that the firing was unlawful.
We handle all employment claims on a contingency fee basis. Under the contingency fee arrangement, you don’t have to pay us anything upfront for our legal services. If we are successful, our fee will be a percentage of the jury award or settlement we obtain for you. Many of these claims also allow for the court to award attorneys’ fees and costs, which is credited against any contingency fee. If we aren’t successful in obtaining compensation, you owe us nothing.
The Charleston labor law attorneys at DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC serve clients throughout West Virginia. Contact us today for a free consultation and evaluation of your claim.