The Leichter Law Firm’s Labor & Employment Law practice group represents clients in a wide range of employment related areas. In keeping with the firm’s tradition of representing physicians, nurses and other licensed professionals rather than hospitals, corporations and other large businesses, we typically limit our practice to the representation of employees in cases against employers. Our clients receive the attention of a Board Certified Labor and Employment Law Specialist and an entire team of qualified professionals dedicated to leveling the playing field and bringing justice to those willing to stand up for their rights. Our attorneys represent clients in the following areas:
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law which requires that most employees who work more than 40 hours in a week receive overtime pay. This law is often ignored or misapplied by employers and employees are often denied payment of overtime wages to which they are legally entitled. Common misconceptions are that all salaried employees, licensed professionals, and independent contractors are not entitled to overtime. While these assumptions are sometimes true, they often are not and the worker is unlawfully denied earned wages. Our qualified overtime attorneys can help you recover these amounts when they are in fact owed.
Many states, such as Texas, are “employment at-will” states. This generally means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any lawful reason. This does not mean that and employer can terminate an employee for any reason. A variety of state and federal laws protect employees from discrimination in the workplace. For example, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because he/she is of a certain race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
Whistleblowers serve a very important role in society. Employees who report an employer’s illegal or unethical conduct protect others from financial fraud and physical danger. Therefore, to encourage employees to report illegal activity, financial fraud, and safety violations, the government has enacted “whistleblower” laws to protect (and sometimes compensate) employees who report such conduct. Examples of protected whistleblower activities are:
- Reporting the falsification of financial documents and other fraudulent accounting activities by corporations.
- Reporting of safety and environmental concerns to agencies such as OSHA.
- Reporting Medicaid fraud and other illegal billing practices by hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare providers.
- Reporting by physicians, nurses, and other healthcare workers of abuse, neglect, or other substandard medical care provided to patients.
Breach of Contract
Although many states, including Texas, are employment at-will states, employment and other business relationships may not be terminated in violation of an enforceable contracts. Licensed professionals are often employed or otherwise associated with a group or partnership by means of a valid enforceable contract. When that individual is terminated or ousted from their group they will have legal remedies available such as claims for money damages and possibly injunctive relief. Our qualified employment law attorneys can assist clients in this area of the law.
Employment agreements often contain provisions provision prohibiting an employee from practicing their chosen profession within a particular geographic region for a certain amount of time. These agreements may also seek to prohibit the solicitation of the former employer’s clients or patients, the disclosure of its confidential information, and the “raiding” of its employees. Enforcement of these non-compete agreements can effectively deny a person the ability to earn a living. The law in this area is complicated and open to various interpretations depending any given factual scenario. The law is even more complicated when it comes to non-compete agreements when they pertain to physicians. Whether these agreements are enforceable turns on a number of different factors. Our employment law attorneys are qualified to counsel clients regarding these issues and to challenge the enforcement of these agreements under appropriate circumstances.