Employment Law FAQs

“Hostile work environment” has become a catch-all term for any uncomfortable work situation. It is actually a controlled term that only applies when certain conditions are met. If you are being treated poorly in a systematic and/or pervasive way based on illegal discrimination, you may be the victim of a hostile work environment. If your boss shouts at you once, it would not qualify as a hostile work environment.

At-will employment is a type of employment in which both the employer and the employee may terminate the working relationship at any time and for any reason, so long as that reason is not discriminatory. If your employment is terminated based on a protected class, then it was wrongful termination, and you likely have a case. If you were terminated suddenly due to performance or personality conflicts, that termination would be legally allowed under your at-will employment agreement.

An exempt employee does not qualify for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). A non-exempt employee does qualify for overtime pay so long as certain conditions are met. Generally speaking, salaried employees are exempt, and hourly employees are non-exempt. If you are non-exempt, you are legally entitled to time and a half pay for every hour more than 40 worked in a single workweek under federal law. State laws regarding overtime differ. Federal law does not require overtime pay for weekend or holiday work; those decisions are left up to each individual employer.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy status in all areas of employment, including hiring, termination, pay scale, job assignments, promotions, training, and fringe benefits like leave and health insurance. Also, if you work for a company with more than 50 employees, you are entitled to 12 weeks’ leave for mothers of newborns or mothers with newly adopted children as stipulated by the Medical Leave Act.

The expert team at Gutierrez Law can help you determine whether you have a viable employment law case.

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