The best way to prevent litigation in the area of employment law is to communicate well with all employees regarding the expectations for behavior and performance at work at the outset of the employment relationship. Part of that communication can be through an employee handbook, or other documents, which can make the employer’s expectations clear. An employment law attorney from Morton McGoldrick can help you draft these documents or review your existing policies and procedures.
The team at Morton McGoldrick has expertise drafting and reviewing job descriptions, employment handbooks, drug and alcohol policies, social media policies and more. Solid enforceable documents can provide protection for employers and act as a method for preventing potential employment claims.
An employment law attorney can also help with your employment agreements. Whether you need an offer letter at the start of employment, a severance agreement when employment ends, or something in between, our attorneys have the experience to help.
The help of an employment law attorney is particularly important when you terminate an employee. Employers often desire to finalize employment with a severance agreement, which has become a practical and prevalent way for employers to recognize an employee’s dedication and years of service at termination. Because they generally contain a “release”, they protect the employer against the risk of employment-related claims being made later. Our Tacoma employment law attorneys have experience drafting these agreements for employers to minimize the risk of claims following termination.
With the increasingly diverse workplace, you may need a lawyer to assist you regarding a claim relating to ongoing employment conditions or termination of employment. Morton McGoldrick has defended employers on claims related to discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, gender (including pregnancy and sexual harassment), age, religion, sexual orientation, and disability. In addition, we have defended claims of retaliation and wrongful termination. Our team of employment law attorneys has years of experience successfully defending these types of claims in federal and state court. We also have experience with arbitration, mediation, and administrative proceedings conducted by the EEOC, Washington State Human Rights Commission, and other state and local agencies. We are passionate and determined in our defense of employers who are unfairly and improperly accused of wrongdoing.
Not all employers are subject to this federal law so when an employee has a serious health condition that necessitates leave from work, an employment law attorney from Morton McGoldrick can assist employers with determining whether the law applies and if so, how to comply with its requirements. We can also help you determine if there are other laws that need to be addressed.
Even if the federal law does not apply to a particular employer, other state and local laws can impact absences from work for medical conditions. Washington State law, for example, provides that women who take leave from work for the period of disability associated with child birth are entitled to have the employer hold their position so that they may return to the same or a similar position. In the cities of Seattle and Tacoma there are laws regarding required sick leave. Depending on the number of employees that are employed in a particular business, employees accrue paid sick leave for use when an employee or family member needs to take time off from work due to illness.
Because of the multiplicity of federal, state and local laws that impact an absence from work due to a serious health condition for employees or their dependents, employers are best served to work with our legal team as early as possible to ensure compliance. In the event of litigation regarding a failure to comply with the FMLA or other state and local laws regarding medical leave or sick time, our employment law attorneys have the expertise to defend you and your business.
Morton McGoldrick’s employment law attorneys have experience litigating claims involving violations of the federal and state wage and hour laws. These violations can occur if an Employer improperly misclassifies an employee as exempt from overtime, even if the misclassification is a mistake or unintentional. Claims can also arise if improper deductions are made from an employee’s paycheck or if they are not paid timely. These types of claims can be costly because they can involve not only payment of the overtime but also double damages and attorneys’ fees if the claim is successful. In addition, if the misclassification extends to many employees, the claims can result in a class action suit.