Protecting The Rights Of Employees
You spend most of your day at work, so workplace conditions significantly impact your quality of life. Physically, mentally and emotionally dangerous working conditions harm millions of people every year in the form of lost wages, physical injury, mental and emotional distress and reduced quality of life.
Many workers fear pursuing a claim against a current or former employer. At DeWitt Law, LLC, I help employees get justice from abusive employers and co-workers and hold these parties accountable for harassment, wrongful discharge and other types of mistreatment.
Holding Employers Accountable For Retaliation
Employment retaliation occurs when a supervisor or another senior company representative takes adverse actions against employees for complaining about unlawful employment discrimination, asserting their rights or participating in legally protected activities, such as alerting authorities to company wrongdoing (otherwise known as whistleblowing). Examples of punitive measures include:
- Reduction in salary
- Reduction in benefits
If you suspect that the loss of your job, reduced pay or other negative actions may be acts of retaliation, contact me, attorney Michael W. DeWitt, for a thorough discussion of your situation.
Get A Lawyer To Look At Your Employment Contract
If your employer offers you an employment contract, I can help you negotiate a deal that protects your current and future career prospects. If your employer asks you to sign a restrictive covenant agreement, then I will review it and ensure that you understand the nature and scope of any restrictions. If you have already signed a contract, then I will help you determine whether and to what extent it is enforceable.
Ensure A Fair Severance Agreement
Many companies offer severance packages to terminated employees. While these appear to be gestures of goodwill, their purpose is actually to get the former employee to refrain from suing the employer. Stressed workers often accept the package blindly without understanding what they are signing.
If you received only a few weeks of severance, it may be in your best interests to decline it and consult me at DeWitt Law, LLC. I will advise you on whether accepting the severance is the best course of action given the circumstances of your termination.
Dealing with challenging situations at work can often leave you with more questions than answers. Here are a few answers to questions I get most often.
What is at-will employment, and how does it work in Ohio?
At-will employment means that an employer can terminate an employee’s employment at any time without any reason and without warning. In Ohio, at-will employment is the default rule, which means that employers are generally free to terminate an employee’s employment at any time unless there is a contract, a collective bargaining agreement or another legal exception.
Can my employer fire me for filing a workers’ compensation claim in Ohio?
No. Ohio law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who file workers’ compensation claims. If your employer retaliates against you, then you may have a legal claim for wrongful termination or retaliation.
Can my employer require me to take a drug test?
Yes, but there are some restrictions. Ohio law allows employers to require drug tests as a condition of employment. However, the testing must be done in accordance with state law. For example, the employer must have a written drug testing policy, and employees must be notified of the policy in advance. Employers may only test for certain drugs and may not discriminate against employees based on their legal use of prescription medication or other demographics.
What is the Family And Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and how does it work in Ohio?
The FMLA is a federal law that requires covered employers to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for specific family and medical reasons. In Ohio, the FMLA covers employers with at least 50 employees. To be eligible, employees must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and must have worked at least 1,250 hours in the past year. During FMLA leave, the employer must maintain the employee’s health benefits and restore the employee to the same or an equivalent position upon return from leave.
What behaviors are considered sexual harassment in Ohio?
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by state and federal law. It can take many different forms but generally involves unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is severe or pervasive enough to create a hostile or abusive work environment. Some behaviors that may constitute sexual harassment include unwanted touching, sexual comments or jokes, displaying sexually explicit materials, and making threats or promises based on an employee’s submission to sexual advances. It is important to note that not all sexual-related conduct may be considered harassment, and the determination of whether certain conduct rises to the level of harassment depends on the specific circumstances of each case. Employers have a legal obligation to take reasonable steps to prevent and address sexual harassment in the workplace.
Free Consultations About Protecting Your Rights
If your employer has harmed you, then you deserve compensation, and you deserve to hold them accountable. To schedule a confidential consultation in which you can talk to me about your situation, please call my Columbus office at 614-762-9641 or send an email. I proudly serve the areas of Columbus, Delaware, Marysville and Lancaster as well as Delaware County, Union County and Fairfield County.