Discrimination? Wrongful termination? Workplace Harassment? This Michigan lawsuit firm will fight for you
The MichiganLawsuit.com Michigan lawsuit office handles all types of employment and civil rights lawsuits, including, but not limited to, (1) workplace harassment, (2) discrimination of various types, (3) defamation, (4) ERISA claims, and (5) FMLA claims.
Recoverable damages for employment lawsuits may include noneconomic damages for physical and emotional suffering, wage loss, work benefit loss, attorney fees, punitive damages, and more.
1) Workplace Harassment Lawsuits
Workplace harassment can take a wide range of forms from religious harassment to ethnicity harassment, but often takes the form of sexual harassment. If you feel you are the victim of workplace harassment of any kind, it is a good idea to contact MichiganLawsuit.com.
Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical sexual conduct when (a) submission is made (explicitly or implicitly) to be a condition of employment, (b) the reaction to the sexual conduct affects the reacting individual’s employment, and (c) the sexual conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s employment or creating a hostile work environment.
2) Various Discrimination Lawsuit Types
Some of the most common forms of discrimination seen in the courts are height or weight discrimination, marital status discrimination, national origin discrimination, color discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination, and religious discrimination. The primary laws that make such discrimination actionable in court are Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA), which prohibits race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, height, weight, or marital status discrimination, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, color, religion, or national origin. Additional notable protections are also provided by the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Michigan Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Once a claimant has retained a Michigan lawsuit attorney and the appropriate laws applicable to the case have been identified, discrimination-based lawsuits generally proceed under two theories: disparate treatment or disparate impact. Under the disparate treatment theory, the plaintiff is required to prove that he or she was harmed as a result of the employer’s discriminatory intent. The disparate impact theory does not require proof of intent; only results are examined under disparate impact theory. In other words, unlawful discrimination occurs under disparate impact theory when an employer uses a neutral policy or practice that impacts a particular group or type of person more harshly and the policy or practice is not justified by business necessity.
Notably, statutory discrimination claims described above may also give rise to separate common law claims such as intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy, assault and battery, defamation, false imprisonment, etc.
3) Defamation Lawsuits
Defamation claims include libel (false written statements) or slander (false verbal statements) communicated to a third party by someone who did not take proper care in investigating the truth before making the communication. For the case to be successful, the plaintiff must show that the defamatory statements caused harm to the plaintiff’s reputation or economic harm such as loss of an employment position or opportunity. Recoverable damages include economic damages such as lost wages as well as emotional damages.
4) ERISA Lawsuits
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) broadly covers employee benefit plans, including pension and welfare benefit plans. Typical ERISA claims involve actions against employer-sponsored group benefit plans for recovery of benefits owed. Plaintiffs often sue to challenge denial of coverage or reimbursement under an insured or a self-funded medical benefit plan, or to recover disability benefits, severance benefits, or other welfare benefits. However, plaintiffs often seek to enforce substantive rights related to benefit accrual, minimum participation, survivor benefit options, COBRA, or disclosure requirements. Generally, a plaintiff must exhaust the ERISA plan’s internal claim and appeal procedure before pursuing their lawsuit in court. Recoverable damages may include recovery of plan benefits, attorney fees, costs, as well as declaratory in injunctive relief.
5) FMLA Lawsuits
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) gives employees the right to take up to 12 weeks’ unpaid leave to give birth to or care for a newborn child; to care for a child who has been placed with the employee for adoption or foster care; to care for the employee’s spouse, child with a serious health condition; or to deal with a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform one or more of the essential job functions of their job. FMLA regulations apply to employers who have employed 50 or more employees for each working day during 20 or more calendar workweeks in either the current or preceding calendar year (the workweeks do not need to be consecutive). Employees are required to provide notice of their need for unpaid FMLA leave 30 days prior to the leave when the leave is foreseeable. The leave is often considered foreseeable with childbirth and newborn care, placement of a child through adoption, planned medical treatment for a serious health condition, etc.
Employees are not required to specifically state that they are seeking FMLA leave; the employee must simply provide the employer with sufficient information regarding the need for the leave to allow the employer to be able to designate the leave as FMLA leave. Employers should inquire further about the reason for the leave if the employee does not provide enough information about the leave to permit the employer to designate the leave as FMLA leave. Employers must also provide a written response to the employee that designates the leave as FMLA leave, provides information about the employee’s rights and obligations, and explains the consequences of failing to fulfill the FMLA obligations.
Employees on FMLA leave must be returned to their former positions or equivalent positions with the same pay, benefits, and working conditions when they return to work. However, this right does not apply if the employee is unable to perform an essential of the position when they return from FMLA leave.
The time limit for filing FMLA lawsuits is generally two years, though a three year period may be applied for willful violations. Recoverable damages from FMLA lawsuit include lost wages, the value of lost employment benefits, expenses incurred, equitable relief (such as reinstatement, promotion, or employment), and attorney fees. Punitive damages or damages for mental anguish are not recoverable because they are not included in the damages provided for in the FMLA: “wages, salary, employment benefits, or other compensation denied or lost to such employee by reason of the violation.”