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Why Hire an Employment Law Attorney?

You may not realize it, but when you go to work each day – whether you work at an office, a job site, or you’re allowed to work from home – you have rights. While your employer can rightly give you orders or tasks, there are some lines they cannot cross. When they do, you want an experienced NC employment lawyer.

So, what are your rights, and when would you hire a lawyer?

What Can an NC Employment Lawyer Do for Me?

When you’re dealing with problems at work or the aftermath of losing your job, life gets complicated. There are many, many things to think about. If you’re still employed, you may dread going to work, which can cause anxiety or depression. If you haven’t been paid or got fired, you’ve got bills to pay, and money worries are at the forefront of your mind.

You have rights under North Carolina and Federal employment law. An experienced lawyer can explain your rights as well as help you in many other ways.

#1: An Attorney Can Explain Your Rights and What to Do Next

A lot of the anxiety and stress of an employment case comes from the unknown. Do you have a case? Did your employer break the law? What should you be doing? How can this end well? An employment lawyer knows the law. We can help you understand what your rights are.

By consulting with a lawyer, you’ll get some clarity. You tell us what’s happening. We can let you know what’s next. Depending on your situation, this can include things like:

  • Gathering evidence and paperwork
  • Collecting pay stubs and records
  • Filing complaints with government offices
  • And more – depending on the nature of your case!

#2: You Offload the Stress to Your Lawyer

Dealing with a belligerent employer can be supremely stressful when you’re just trying to make a living. You may still be in a tough spot at work – but you know someone has your back. Your lawyer will help you understand the situation and the proper way to respond while you build your case.

Or, if you’ve been terminated, we can deal with your former employer so you can focus on finding another, better position elsewhere. It’s hard to job hunt when the last job is so heavy on your mind.

#3: An Attorney Can Give You an Idea of What Your Case May Be Worth

It’s a difficult thing for most people to wrap their heads around. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to different forms and amounts of compensation. Lost wages are just the beginning, in some cases.

It isn’t about the money for many clients – it’s about the principle of the situation and fighting injustice. It’s about trying to make sure no one else is treated how they were treated. Clients need to make a living, and the employer who wronged them made that far more difficult than it should have been.

Talk to your attorney and explain your situation. We can tell you what’s possible.

Just call 1-866-900-7078 or contact us online right now and we’ll evaluate your case for free. Since 1997 we’ve helped more than 50,000 clients recover more than $1.2 billion in total compensation, and we may be able to help you!1

When Do I Have a Claim Under North Carolina Employment Law?

The law is in place to protect you and seeks to ensure you are treated fairly, and are compensated for the work you do. The law mitigates some specific problems that employees may face in the course of their employment. If any of these things has happened to you, it’s time to call an experienced attorney.

You Worked and Were Not Paid

What if you worked your hours and did your job but didn’t get paid? What if your check is suddenly short, even though you worked the same hours? And what if your boss told you to work extra hours but didn’t pay you for them? If that’s happening to you, your employer could be stealing from you. You may have a case to claim those unpaid wages.

What to do if you have unpaid wages or overtime:

  • Double-check your timesheets. Ask for a copy if you don’t have one. Confirm you worked and that your hours were recorded correctly.
  • If there’s an error, request that your employer correct it.
  • Should your employer fail to correct the issue or continue to short your paycheck, call an NC employment lawyer.

You Were Wrongfully Terminated

North Carolina is an “at-will” state, meaning that your employer can fire you without reason in most cases. However, the law does protect workers in certain situations. Wrongful termination can be related to many other areas of employment law, such as workers’ compensation law.

In North Carolina, you cannot be terminated:

  • Due to discrimination against you
  • For reporting an OSHA safety violation at your workplace
  • For filing a workers’ compensation claim
  • Outside of the terms outlined by an employment contract, if you have one
  • For refusing to break the law on behalf of your employer
  • For seeking a protective order for acts of domestic violence done to you
  • For taking time off of your job to serve in the National Guard
  • For being a parent who participates in the juvenile justice system

This area of the law can be confusing. If you have any reason to believe you were wrongfully terminated, do not hesitate to consult with an NC employment law attorney.

You Suffered Discrimination

The law protects workers from employers from certain behaviors. Discrimination is a very sensitive subject, and some employers may be discriminating without even realizing it. It’s a challenging situation to be in – it’s very stressful and uncomfortable for workers who are suffering discriminatory behavior.

Some companies have human resources (HR) departments to which you can direct complaints. Employee manuals and similar materials may outline a company policy and a process for reporting such behavior. However, many employers have no such policies in place nor effective oversight. That’s why you may need to hire an employment law attorney.

If you have suffered discrimination, you should immediately contact us.

You Suffered Harassment

Anyone can be the victim of workplace harassment. It’s often thought of solely as sexual harassment, and that is certainly still a problem. However, harassment includes any behavior that renders the workplace hostile to you because you are a member of a protected class such as race, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), religion, age, and disability.

Any activity that makes someone feel unwanted, uncomfortable, or in the worst cases, unsafe, could very well be harassment if it is connected to one of those protected traits. Some possible examples include hazing by coworkers, unwanted sexual advances, mockery, and so on.

Did you know: Even subtle behaviors, like innuendo-laden emails and behavior, can be harassment.

What to do if you are suffering harassment at work:

  • If you have an employee manual, refer to it and follow the process outlined for reporting harassment (if there is one).
  • If your employer has an HR department, that’s probably the first step, but you shouldn’t just expect the issue to resolve magically.
  • If your coworkers are the source of the problem, report their behavior to a supervisor.
  • Keep evidence of the behavior if at all possible. Sometimes the supervisor is also the harasser, so you have to go over that person’s head to report the behavior. Bypassing such a supervisor can lead to even more harassment.
  • Keep a log or journal of harassing behaviors, when they happen, and who is doing it. Keep any evidence of harassment you can. Then explore your options with NC employment lawyers.

You Suffered Retaliation

Employment retaliation is sort of “revenge on the worker” from an employer’s perspective. It can take many forms. They may fire you for reporting a safety violation or filing for workers’ compensation benefits (see: wrongful termination above). Those are forms of retaliation.

It can take other forms. Demotions, transfers, baseless write-ups, unearned disciplinary action, reduced hours, reduced benefits, and many more behaviors could be considered retaliation. However, your employer does have the right to refuse vacation requests, assign you unpleasant work, and other things that may seem retaliatory, as long as it is not for a retaliatory reason.

The key to retaliation is it usually involves something you did that triggered a change in behavior from your employer. That could be an employer’s new harassing behavior, or the escalation of an existing behavior, resulting from your action (which your employer could perceive as harmful). These cases can be very complex, and we recommend you seek the guidance of an employment lawyer.

Your Employer Breached or Violated Your Employment Contract

While most workers in North Carolina are employed “at will,” some still enter into contract work with their employer. The details of who can do what and for what reason are part of employment contracts, and the contracts themselves are often written to the benefit of the employer.

However, it is still possible for an employer to breach these contracts. For example, your contract may define a certain number of hours you will work per week – or even a total number of hours. If the employer makes you work more than you should by contract, that’s likely to be a breach. Employers can also breach the contract by not paying you the agreed wage at the agreed time, terminating you outside of the contract’s stipulations, or a host of other possible breaches.

Sometimes disagreements arise about the terms of a contract, interpretation of the contract, and so on. We recommend that you hire a North Carolina employment law attorney to assist you in all of these cases.

Why Hire the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin for Your Employment Law Case?

We’ve built our firm by fighting against the “big guys.” From insurance companies to big corporations to the U.S. government, we stand up to power on behalf of our clients. The leader of our employment law practice, Attorney Noël Harlow, fights to try to restore the balance of power using the law. She’s practiced employment law since 2007, working for the underrepresented and abused.

At the firm level, we took on one of the largest discrimination cases in US history when we tackled the US government in a famous class action discrimination case, recovering a $1.25 billion total settlement for more than 18,000 Black farmers.1

Don’t suffer abuses and transgressions by your employer. Tell them you mean business. Call us any time, 24/7 at 1-866-900-7078, or contact us online for a free, confidential case evaluation. We never charge an attorney’s fee unless we collect for you.2

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