Every day, West Virginia employers violate various employment laws, thinking they can get away with it. If you or a loved one has been discriminated against at work, it’s crucial that you understand your legal options. Multiple federal and state-level laws protect employees from discrimination, sexual harassment, and other unfair actions employers take. West Virginia employers must follow federal and state anti-discrimination laws. If you’ve experienced discrimination, sexual harassment, unfair pay practices, or unfair leave practices, you may have an employment law claim.
Contact a West Virginia Employment Law Attorney Today
The experienced employment lawyers at Hewitt & Salvatore PLLC have an in-depth understanding of federal and state employment laws. We have a proven track record of success when it comes to fighting for employees who’ve been mistreated. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation to learn more about your rights.
Types of Employment Law Claims We Handle
Working for an employer who engages in discrimination or harassment can be emotionally and mentally draining. Whether your claim involves the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the West Virginia Human Rights Act, or another employment law, you can count on Hewitt & Salvatore PLLC. We offer our clients strong advocacy and dependable advice. Our legal team represents West Virginia employees in the following types of cases:
- Wrongful termination/demotion
- Equal employment
- Workplace discrimination
- Sexual harassment
- Disability discrimination
- Workplace discrimination
- Fair Labor Standards Act
- Wage and hour issues
- Family Medical Leave Act
- Overtime and holiday pay
- Sexual orientation harassment/discrimination
- Pregnancy discrimination
- Contract violation
- Defamation of character
West Virginia employers are prohibited by federal and state law from discriminating against employees and potential employees based on membership in a protected class. The West Virginia Human Rights Law also protects employees and potential employees from discrimination based on:
- National origin
- Age (over the age of 40)
Unlawful discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee worse than other employees based on the employee’s membership in a protected class. Unlawful discrimination can occur in a wide range of ways. For example, an employer might refuse to hire a potential employee because of the employee’s race or gender. An employer may discriminate by giving the employee the most unfavorable tasks and assignments due to the employee’s membership in a protected class.
Unlawful discrimination can happen before employees are hired in the job interview or while an employee is working for the company. Many discrimination claims involve employers firing an employee based on membership in a protected class. If you believe you’ve experienced discrimination based on one of the protected classes mentioned above, you may be entitled to remedies.
You can file a claim at the state level through the West Virginia Human Rights Commission, or, if you’d like to avoid going through the administrative process, you can file a lawsuit against your employer for discrimination and retaliation under the Human Rights Act in a West Virginia court. If your employer has violated federal law, you may have a right to pursue a federal claim.
Remedies for Employment Discrimination in West Virginia
The remedies for West Virginia workplace discrimination depend on whether the employer is a public or private entity. If the employer is private, the remedies will depend on how many employees work for the employer. Depending on your case, you may be entitled to the following types of remedies:
- Back pay
- Reinstatement to your position and front pay
- Compensatory damages for emotional or mental distress from intentional discrimination
- Punitive damages to punish employers for discriminatory practices
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Federal and state laws prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace place. There are two main types of sexual harassment. The first type of sexual harassment is called quid pro quo sexual harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment involves one person threatening another person with an adverse employment action if the person doesn’t engage in sexual activity. Alternatively, it could involve a manager or employer offering an employee a promotion if the employee engages in an action of a sexual nature.
Sexual harassment can also occur when an employer allows a hostile work environment to occur. An example of a hostile work environment could mean an employer doesn’t prevent employees from making crude and sexually based jokes, even after being asked to stop. With many employees working from home, it’s important to remember that sexual harassment, including a hostile work environment, can also occur online through text messaging and emails.
Why You Need a Skilled Lawyer on Your Side
Many employees who’ve experienced discrimination and harassment feel like they have no options and are alone. In this uncertain economy, thinking about bringing a claim against your employer could fill you with concern. Many employees are afraid of losing their job or other types of retaliation if they pursue a claim against an employer.
At Hewitt & Salvatore PLLC, our employment lawyers will help you understand your rights and what types of legal claims you can bring. One of our compassionate lawyers will begin advocating for a favorable resolution to your case the day you hire our law firm. You can rest assured that our team will look out for your best interest when you work with us. If you suspect that you’re the victim of retaliation, it’s important to discuss your case with the lawyer, so you don’t miss any filing deadlines.
Discuss Your Employment Case With a West Virginia Employment Law Attorney
Discrimination in the workplace takes on many forms, but it always hurts employees. If you believe that you’ve been discriminated against by your employer, experienced sexual harassment or retaliation, it’s wise to contact an attorney. At Hewitt & Salvatore PLLC, we work hard to hold employers who violate employment laws accountable. We believe victims of discrimination and harassment in the workplace should have their voices heard. Contact us today to discuss your legal options.