Employment law is a complicated practice. Small businesses have a lot to worry about and rules and regulations from the United States Department of Labor should not be one of them. The Atlanta employment attorneys at Mays & Kerr LLC offer all of the legal assistance that small businesses need to comply with and understand federal employment law.
We are in the business of helping you minimize conflict within your company. Every day we encounter the problems of small businesses: sexual harassment claims, unfair pay and wrongful termination. These are serious issues that can quickly impact the success and reputation of your business in a negative way. We understand the solutions to these problems and can use them to resolve the employment law issues you are facing.
Your business will continue to grow and, eventually, an issue may arise where you need legal counsel. The attorneys at Mays & Kerr can help small businesses with the following common areas of conflict:
- Wage and Hour
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Business Development
- Employee Relations
General Corporate Counsel
At Mays & Kerr, we believe that client relationships are of the utmost importance. Understanding how your company operates, your business goals and future plans are paramount to providing legal counsel that makes sense for your firm.
Our personalized legal services are tailored to benefit your company where you need it most, from proactive business planning and in-house counsel to risk management—we have you covered.
Unfortunately, as businesses continue to grow, so do the number of employment related-claims. Employment law is one of the fastest growing areas of law and in the past few years, federal court has seen a steady increase in the number of employment claims that are filed.
A business plan is developed as soon as an idea for a new business is born. That is because business development is vital to a high functioning and profitable company. Often, business owners do not address an issue until it becomes a problem. The Atlanta business development lawyers at Mays & Kerr can foresee these issues and implement the correct policies and procedures to prevent conflict in the future.
Wage & Hour Law
There are laws in place that establish minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping and youth employment standards for business owners. If you suspect that your employer owes you money, or has violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, you should reach out to the employment lawyers at Mays & Kerr.
You should never work for free. If you are owed money, or think you are owed money, let us help you secure the funds you are entitled too.
There is a difference between a subcontractor and employee. Your paycheck and benefits hinge on your employment classification, so it is important that your role is classified correctly. Below are some classifications of workers:
- Independent Contractors
- Salaried Employees
- Administrative Employees
- Executive Employees
- Professional Employees
For every minute you spend on the clock, you are entitled to compensation. Sometimes an employee is unclear about what is considered "on the clock." Your employer should pay you for:
- Travel Time
- Pre-shift and Post-shift Work
- On-Call Shifts
- Work During Deducted Breaks
- Work completed from Home
Since the recession, many employees are seeking legal counsel to get payment for work that was completed while working at home, or traveling back and forth. A Georgia employment lawyer at Mays & Kerr can help determine if you are working additional hours in which you should be compensated for.
Many employees earn a fixed salary. This means they will be paid a certain amount of money every week or month no matter how many hours are spent working. Flex pay is legal, but there are some limitations.
The Portal-to-Portal Act of 1947 clarifies the law in regards to employee travel time and other activities that occur during the work day, including coffee breaks and fire drills. Most employees are paid for these activities because they are generally considered “work.”
Wage disputes for employees who are classified as tipped employees are among the most common claims filed. This area of the law can be complex and it is best to consult with an employment lawyer to determine if you are considered a tipped employee and receiving legal compensation.
Employees have the benefit of certain protected acts, like refusing to follow an order that is perceived as discriminatory. It is within the employee’s right to refuse to partake in these protected activities. If and when an employee exercises their right of refusal, it is against the law for the employer to retaliate in the form of firing or harassing the employee.
Equal Pay Act Violations
A man and woman doing the same job, with equal experience and success should be paid the same, according to The Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it illegal for gender to affect a person’s earning potential.
Work is hard enough. As a business owner, the last thing you need is internal employee disputes affecting the proficiency of your workplace. The development of policies, procedures and popularization of workplace expectations and rules can go a long way in keeping the peace at the office.
The attorneys at Mays & Kerr assist clients in developing the paperwork that supplements your business plan. If an issue does arise, our lawyers can help. We offer a variety of services in relation to employment litigation. Individual and Collective Actions
Wage and hour conflicts can often be prevented when the proper policies and procedures are in place. A complex area of the law, it is best to contact our employment lawyers to determine if you are being compensated fairly or to determine if you are paying your employees legally.
When it comes to overtime there are illegal practices and exemptions. Depending on your job you may or may not qualify for overtime.
There are both federal minimum wage laws and state minimum wage laws that employers must comply with. Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 of pay for every hour of work.
An employee can be wrongfully terminated for a variety of reasons, including discrimination, breach of contract, family or medical leave and / or retaliation. Discrimination
Employers should take claims of discrimination very seriously. The rights of individuals are protected by The United States Constitution. There are many different types of discrimination, including:
- National Origin Discrimination
- Race and Color Discrimination
- Disability Discrimination
- Sex Discrimination
- Religious Discrimination
- Age Discrimination
- Employment Discrimination
If you suspect that you have been discriminated against, you need to proceed carefully. The first thing you should do is contact an employment lawyer who can help you develop a solid case.
Sexual Harassment/Hostile Work Environment
The employment attorneys at Mays & Kerr take sexual harassment claims very seriously. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to foster a safe work environment. Mays & Kerr can help you develop the paperwork you need to ensure that you are doing everything within your power to prevent the sexual harassment of your employees.
When an employee leaves a workplace, the employer is responsible for paying the employee all unpaid compensation, including earned vacation time and any applicable travel time. Unpaid commission laws are different depending on the state, so consult an employment lawyer for advice regarding your unique situation.
Severance Package Negotiation
If you have an inkling that you may be next in line to lose your job at work, you should consider negotiating a severance package. Being prepared early is the best solution, so consult an employment lawyer at Mays & Kerr to begin drafting the necessary paperwork.
If you have proven needs, your employer is required to make reasonable accommodations in the workplace. There is a right and wrong way to inform your employer of a request for accommodation. We recommend consulting your employment lawyer before making requests of reasonable accommodation.