Discrimination

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.

Whistleblowers

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!

Retaliation

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.

Unemployment

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.

Labor Law

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.

Sexual Harassment

No one deserves to be sexually harassed, period. The attorneys at Burgess Sharp & Golden are particularly sensitive to the needs of clients who have been sexually harassed. We will be there to listen, guide, counsel and aggressively represent you throughout the litigation process.

Federal Employees

Whether your work for the Post Office, IRS, Social Security, Department of Justice, Army or any agency of the Federal government, Burgess Sharp & Golden knows and understands that you have deadlines and rules that must be adhered to when it comes to enforcing your employment rights. We have represented many federal employees, and have appeared successfully before MSPB judges and EEOC judges on behalf of our clients, receiving both settlements and opinions in our favor. This is a specialty area of the law; do not waste your time with someone who does not understand the intricacies of the federal system and call an expert at Burgess Sharp & Golden today. Attorney Heidi Sharp has spent particular time learning and studying MSPB cases and deadlines to assist federal employees. She is available to help you today.

Pregnancy Discrimination

An employer cannot refuse to hire a pregnant woman because of her pregnancy, because of a pregnancy-related condition, or because of the prejudices of co-workers, clients, or customers.  An employer may not single out pregnancy-related conditions for special procedures to determine an employee’s ability to work. Pregnant employees must be permitted to work as long as they are able to perform their jobs. If an employee has been absent from work as a result of a pregnancy-related condition and recovers, her employer may not require her to remain on leave until the baby’s birth. An employer also may not have a rule that prohibits an employee from returning to work for a predetermined length of time after childbirth. Employers must hold open a job for a pregnancy-related absence the same length of time jobs are held open for employees on sick or disability leave. If you believe that you have been subject to any of these violations of the law, contact Burgess Sharp & Golden, where we will guide you to justice on behalf of you and your child.

Civil Rights

Burgess Sharp & Golden is acutely astute to our clients Civil Rights needs.  In 2009, Rex Burgess won a jury verdict against two Secret Service agents who violated our clients’ Fourth Amendment rights after entering her home without a warrant and searched it, taking belonging and possessions which were never returned. Further, over the last ten years Burgess Sharp & Golden has brought litigation against multiple local municipalities enforcing the civil rights of their clients from discrimination to fourth amendment search and seizure violations. Each of these cases have settled in out-of-court settlements in favor of our clients.  If you believe that the police, Secret Service, FBI, or other government entity has over stepped their bounds, call us today.

Sales Commission

The Michigan Sales Representatives Commission Act (“SRCA”), provides protection for independent sales representatives from manufacturers or suppliers who improperly refuse to pay commissions for goods sold.  The SRCA requires that commissions be paid to sales representatives on a timely basis. The terms of the contract between the principal and the sales representative will determine when a commission becomes due. However, if the agreement does not state when the commissions are due, the past practices between the parties will control. If there are no past practices between the parties, the custom and use prevalent in the state for that business controls. If a sales representative’s contract is terminated, all commissions that are due at the time of the termination must be paid within 45 days after the date of termination. If commissions become due after the termination date of the agreement, they must be paid within 45 days after the date in which they became due. The requirements of the SRCA cannot be waived by contract. Burgess Sharp & Golden has helped many sales representatives get the money they are owed, and will be there for you if your employer owes you commission.

Severance Review & Negotiation

When the time comes to leave your employment, you want the best possible deal.  Burgess Sharp & Golden will get you that deal.  Whether you are trading a possible claim against your employer or an executive employee negotiating stock options, we understand your interests. If you have already been offered a severance agreement or believe that you should be, feel free to call Burgess Sharp & Golden to discuss your options today.

Employment Contracts

If you have been given a contract to sign or are an employer who would like their employees to sign a contract, we can help you.  All of the attorneys at Burgess Sharp & Golden have extensive experience in non-compete agreements, arbitration agreements, confidentiality agreements, nondisclosure agreements and similar contracts. In fact, in 2010, Heidi Sharp argued and briefed a case before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals regarding employee arbitration agreements and their validity. In Alonso v. Huron Valley Ambulance, the 6th Circuit ruled in Burgess Sharp & Golden’s clients’ favor.