Employment & Labor Law
Do you have questions about your legal rights as an employee or your legal responsibilities as an employer? Do you need to know the rules on job interviews, hiring practices, laws on employment termination, firing and layoffs, or requirements for overtime? Do you feel that you may have been improperly fired, had your job terminated or been the subject of employment discrimination? Are you having difficulty with issues concerning family and medical leave, or unemployment benefits? Do you need assistance in forming or negotiating with a labor union?
The legal team at Muller & Mannix can help. We have more than 50 years of combined experience in representing employers, municipalities, unions, laborers, workers and employees in matters involving hiring and firing of employees, wage and hours laws, employment and job discrimination, wrongful termination and layoffs, medical leave from work, health insurance and retirement benefits, formation of unions and union representation, disciplinary actions against employees, grievances and arbitrations, negotiation and preparation of collective bargaining agreements.
At Muller & Mannix, we understand that it is difficult and confusing for both employers and employees in keeping up-to-date with and understanding your rights and responsibilities under the current employment and labor laws. Our office can help you understand your rights and obligations under: ‚
- Fair Labor Standards Act – (the FLSA establishes standards for minimum wages, overtime pay, record-keeping, and child labor); ‚
- Consumer Credit Protection Act – (the CCPA protects employees from discharge by their employers because their wages have been garnished); ‚
- Occupational Safety and Health Act – (OSHA standards may require that employers adopt certain practices, means, methods, or processes reasonably necessary and appropriate to protect workers on the job);‚
- Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act – (the MSPA safeguards most migrant and seasonal agricultural workers in their interactions with farm labor contractors, agricultural employers, agricultural associations, and providers of migrant housing); ‚
- Family and Medical Leave Act – (the FMLA allows employees to take unpaid leave for certain medical issues affecting the employee or their immediate family); ‚
- Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act – (the WARN Act protects certain workers, their families, and communities by requiring employers to provide notification 60 calendar days in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs); ‚
- Employee Retirement Income Security Act – (ERISA sets uniform minimum standards to ensure that employee benefit plans are established and maintained in a fair and financially sound manner. In addition, employers have an obligation to provide promised benefits and satisfy ERISA's requirements for managing and administering private retirement and welfare plans); ‚
- re Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act – (COBRA gives workers and their families who lose their health benefits the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, and other life events); ‚ Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act — (HIPAA provides rights and protections for participants and their beneficiaries in group health plans. HIPAA includes protections for coverage under group health plans that limit exclusions for preexisting conditions; prohibit discrimination against employees and dependents based on their health status; and allow a special opportunity to enroll in a new plan to individuals in certain circumstances); ‚
- Age Discrimination Act of 1975 — prohibits discrimination on the basis of age. ‚
- Americans With Disabilities Act — (the ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against cover employees or potential employees. The ADA covers a wide range of mental and physical impairments that substantially limit or restrict a major life activity such as hearing, seeing, speaking, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, caring for one's self, learning or working. ADA also requires the employer to provide the disabled employee with a reasonable accommodation to allow the employee to maintain his or her job).
WHAT IS THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT?
The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against “qualified individuals with disabilities” in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. The ADA makes it unlawful to discriminate in all employment practices such including:
- hiring and firing;
- job assignments;
- lay off;
- leave; and
- all other employment related activities.
It is also unlawful for an employer to retaliate against you for asserting your rights under the ADA. The ADA also protects you if you are a victim of discrimination because of your family, business, social or other relationship or association with an individual with a disability.
IS MY EMPLOYER REQUIRED TO FOLLOW THE ADA?
Your employer is required to comply with the mandates of the ADA if your company employs 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. The ADA also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations. The ADA’s nondiscrimination standards also apply to federal sector employees under section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, and its implementing rules.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM A “QUALIFIED EMPLOYEE WITH A DISABILITY”?
An “individual with a disability” is a person who either (a) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of his or her major life activities (such as walking, talking, seeing, hearing, or learning); (b) has a record of such an impairment (such as cancer that is in remission); or (c) is a person regarded as having a physical or mental impairment that is not transitory (lasting or expected to last six months or less) and minor (even if he does not have such an impairment).
A “qualified employee” or “qualified applicant” is an individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job in question. Reasonable accommodation may include, but is not limited to, making the existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities; or job restructuring, modifying work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position; or acquiring or modifying equipment or devices, adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies; or providing qualified readers or interpreters.
WHAT IS MY EMPLOYER REQUIRED TO DO UNDER THE ADA?
An employer is required to make a reasonable accommodation to the known disability of a qualified applicant or employee, provided that the reasonable accommodation would not impose an “undue hardship” on the operation of the employer’s business.
A Reasonable accommodation is any change or adjustment to a job or work environment that permits a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the job application process, to perform the essential functions of a job, or to enjoy benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by employees without disabilities. For example, reasonable accommodation may include:
- providing or modifying equipment or devices,
- job restructuring,
- part-time or modified work schedules,
- reassignment to a vacant position,
- adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies,
- providing readers and interpreters, and/or
- making the workplace readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities.
An employer is required to provide a reasonable accommodation to a qualified applicant or employee with a disability unless the employer can show that the accommodation would be an “undue hardship” -- that is, that it would require significant difficulty or expense. ” Undue hardship is defined as an action requiring significant difficulty or expense when considered in light of factors such as an employer’s size, financial resources, and the nature and structure of its operation. An employer is not required to lower quality or production standards to make an accommodation; nor is an employer obligated to provide personal use items such as glasses or hearing aids. An employer generally does not have to provide a reasonable accommodation unless an individual with a disability has asked for one. If an employer believes that a medical condition is causing a performance or conduct problem, it may ask the employee how to solve the problem and if the employee needs a reasonable accommodation. Once a reasonable accommodation is requested, the employer and the individual should discuss the individual's needs and identify the appropriate reasonable accommodation. Where more than one accommodation would work, the employer may choose the one that is less costly or that is easier to provide.
What To Do If You Think You Are Being Discriminated Against?
If you think you have been discriminated against in employment on the basis of your disability, you should contact the legal team at Muller & Mannix, PLLC. for a private and confidential review of your case.