Discrimination occurs in many forms, whether it be verbal, physical, failure to receive the same wages as others, being forced to do demeaning jobs or work, being treated differently because your spouse is in a protected class, or because you associate with someone in a protected class. We can help you against discrimination based on your age, sex, gender, marital status, race, national origin, pregnancy or child-bearing status. Whatever wrong has come to you, the attorneys at Burgess Sharp & Golden are prepared to fight for you, stand up for your rights, and ensure that it does not continue.
You’ve taken the first step by reporting a violation of the law, or threatening to report your employer, but now you have been demoted, lost pay or other benefits, or received the ultimate retribution for doing the right thing by being terminated. Burgess Sharp & Golden has helped others who have been terminated by their employers for reporting violations of the law, and will help you after taking such a noble step. Remember, if you are a whistleblower in Michigan, you only have 90 days to file a case, so call us today before it’s too late!
Almost all of the federal and state employment laws provide for protection from retaliation. That means it is illegal to fire, demote, harass, or otherwise “retaliate” against people (applicants or employees) because they filed a charge of discrimination, harassment, or participated in an employment investigation, because they complained to their employer or other covered entity about discrimination on the job, or because they participated in an employment discrimination proceeding (such as an investigation or lawsuit). The attorneys at Burgess Sharp & Golden have been very successful in pursuing cases on behalf of their clients who were terminated as retaliation for participating in protected activities.
Family Medical Leave (FMLA)
Regardless if you are sick, a family member is sick, you have just had a baby or need to care for a family member, you have a right to FMLA leave, if you have been employed for more than one year at an employer with 50 or more employees and worked more than 1250 hours in the previous 12 months. If you have been denied your right to take FMLA leave, it has not been offered to you, you were denied your job upon return from leave or were retaliated against for taking leave, the attorneys at Burgess Sharp & Golden will be there for you. In fact, we have had particular success in FMLA cases, receiving a favorable verdict from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2009 in Lafata v. Church of Christ Home for the Aged and most recently we received an arbitration award in our favor in an FMLA case where the arbitrator ruled that the employer had wrongfully terminated our client for taking FMLA leave and granted her client back pay, front pay, interest and attorney fees. If you believe that your FMLA rights have been violated call Burgess Sharp & Golden today.
Disability and Accommodation
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. It also applies to the United States Congress. To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability or have a relationship or association with an individual with a disability. An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such impairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered. An employer also has a duty to reasonably accommodate a person with a disability.
If you are terminated form your job or are forced to leave, the first thing on your mind is how you are going to support your family. Due to changes in recent legislation, unemployment benefits are not automatic, and are harder and harder to obtain. At Burgess Sharp & Golden, we regularly represent unemployed workers before administrative law judges and have a 95% success rate on behalf of our clients in obtaining unemployment benefits. With our knowledge in employment law, particularly unemployment standards, we have represented dozens of employees and employers regarding UIA benefits, achieving success for both, even in very difficult situations such as employees who have voluntary left their employment or employers who have terminated employees.
Whether you are in a union, a management-level employee, or just working together with other employees in your workplace to stand up for your rights, Burgess Sharp & Golden has a long-history of advising union employees as well as holding unions accountable to their members. Attorney Heidi Sharp currently represents local union members and has brought litigation against well-known unions for their failure to represent their membership. Remember, the labor laws apply to both union members and non-union members alike, and we will be there to help you enforce them.