Employment litigation claims can arise in any occupation, and for any number of reasons. These cases are essential to protecting the rights of workers like you.
Whether your claim is related to a dispute over overtime, sexual harassment, retaliation by an employer or another matter, the experienced New York employment litigation attorneys at The Oshman Firm may be able to guide your case to a successful resolution.
Contact us today to speak with an attorney about your situation and find out what we can do to help you.
Other employment litigation-related topics:
- The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
- New York State ERISA Claims
- Overtime and Wage Disputes
What is Employment Litigation?
Employment litigation arises when an employee sues an employer, or an employer is sued because of an employment-related issue.
Harassment and discrimination in the workplace are the two most common types of employment litigation, though it comes in many forms.
Employment litigation can also be filed by people who do not work for the company involved. For example, someone who applied for a job at a company but feels they were denied a job for unlawful reasons (such as race, religion, etc.) could file a lawsuit alleging that their rights were violated.
Pay, overtime, scheduling and retaliation are all common elements of employment litigation claims. Employment litigation can also includes violations of employees’ whistle blower protections. Claims involving workplace safety or pensions would also be considered employment litigation.
Many employment litigation cases are filed by workers who have been fired or who have left the company. If those departures stemmed from racial, religious or other discrimination, then the employer has acted illegally and can and should be held responsible.
Federal Employment Laws
The following are some of the most important federal employment laws in the country:
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
This groundbreaking law prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating on the basis of gender, race, national origin, color or religion. It also prohibits a hostile work environment and sexual harassment.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The FMLA requires employers with 50 or more employees to allow workers to take as much as 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a close family member who has a serious health condition, for an employee’s own serious health condition or when a close family member is called to active military service. They must be allowed to return to work after the leave.
Equal Pay Act
This prohibits nearly all employers from discriminating, on the basis of gender, compensation paid to employees performing equal work in jobs where equal skill, effort and responsibility are required. The Equal Pay Act does, however, permit pay discrepancies that results from a seniority system, a merit system or a system where earnings are distributed by quantity or quality or work.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act
This legislation prohibits employers with 20 or more employees from discriminating against employees 40 years old or and older.
Americans with Disabilities Act
This well-known law prohibits all employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against any qualified person with a physical or mental disability who can perform the essential functions of the desired position.
Section 510 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
Prohibits discrimination against employees who are seeking legitimate benefits, such as healthcare, pension or welfare.
New York Employment Laws
These are some of the most important employment rules to know at the state and local levels level:
New York State Human Rights Law
Prohibits employers with four or more employees from firing or refusing to hire an individual, and from discriminating against an individual in compensation or in the terms and conditions of employment because of the individual’s age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, gender, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status or domestic violence victim status. Note that not all of these categories are protected federally. New York laws provide greater protection to workers.
New York Whistleblower Law
Prohibits all employers from retaliating against an employee when the employee discloses to a supervisor or to the public an unlawful activity or a policy or practice of the employer that created a danger to public health or safety.
New York State False Claims Act
Employers may not fire, harass, demote or suspend an employee because the employee was part of a lawsuit under the State False Claims Act.
New York City Human Rights Law
This local law reinforces federal and state protections by prohibiting employers with four or more employees from firing, refusing to hire someone or discriminating against someone because their age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or citizenship status.
Employment Litigation Cases: Employers
Employment litigation cases can be brought against employers for a number of reasons. Some of the most common our office sees include:
- Breach of an employment contract
- Unpaid compensation (wages, bonuses, or commissions)
- Unpaid severance, stock-options or retirement benefits
- Unfair and deceptive trade practices
- Breach of contract related to the sale of a business
- Executive compensation and benefits agreements
- Wrongful termination
- Misappropriation of trade secrets
Employment Cases: Employees
Here are some common types of employment litigation cases that relate directly to the treatment of employees:
- Wage and hour disputes
- Sexual harassment
- Reasonable accommodation of disabilities in the workplace
- Violation of family or pregnancy leave
- Whistleblower claims
- Wrongful termination of employment
- Claims of unpaid or underpaid overtime
- OSHA and workplace safety violations
- Claims for commissions, bonuses and other incentive compensation
- Misuse of trade secrets, unfair competition and theft of company property by former employees
Class and Collective Action Employment Cases
Class and collective action litigation can have far-reaching implications. It’s important to proactively litigate these cases. Our team of experienced employment attorneys conducts early case assessments and creates solutions that are both cost-effective and tailored for each of our clients’ needs. This could entail arbitration programs precluding class actions or seeking early mediation. In some cases, it may be best to take a case to trial. Our lawyers are always prepared to take any case to trial if it is in the best interest of our client.
Litigating an Employment Law Claim
The employment law team at The Oshman Firm always fights hard for every client in every case, no matter how difficult the circumstances may seem. Here are some of the key elements we look for when approaching any employment litigation case:
- Getting all the information. What evidence and information our lawyers will be looking for during the discovery process depends on the circumstances of the case. In a sexual harassment case, for example, there may be emails or other inappropriate correspondence from the harasser. In an hour-and-wage dispute, it would be necessary to obtain timesheets and other records. In a case of a breach of contract, we would need to seek drafts of contracts.
- Proving the allegations.This will vary depending on what your employment claim involves. These can vary from factual allegations to more complex requirements, such as in the case of a breach of contract.
- Expert witnesses. Cases of employment litigation often require testimony from experts regarding any number of employment issues. This testimony can be the difference between a win or a loss. Our attorneys do not hesitate to bring in experts if it will help your case.
Contact an Experienced Employment Litigation Attorney
Every employment-related case is complex in its own way. The one thing they all have in common, however, is that they need a skilled employment litigation lawyer to help navigate the case. At The Oshman Firm LLP, we have the experience and passion necessary to seek the best possible outcome for you.