Common Employment Law Issues

Employment law is a broad area that covers several legal areas that any employee may run into during their career. Consulting an employment lawyer doesn’t mean you’re going to ‘have it out’ with your employer, you may simply need clarification on what is legally covered under federal labor laws. Some of the most common reasons you may talk to an employment lawyer are listed below.

FMLA & Family Leave

If you’ve worked for your employer for more than a year, you may take up to twelve weeks a year of unpaid leave to care for a family member (parent, spouse or child) and your job will be protected.

Employment Contracts

Are you being asked to sign a contract at work and you don’t know what it means? Are you afraid that what you’re being encouraged to sign could cause problems down the road? Contact Sinkevich Law Firm for answers to your questions.

Overtime & Minimum Wage Pay Issues

There is a federal minimum wage as set by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), but your city or state may also have a minimum wage law set in place. For instance, Seattle has a minimum wage law ordinance that took effect on April 1, 2015, that sets a $15 minimum wage for people working within the Seattle city limits.

Age Discrimination

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) forbids discrimination against any employee or applicant over the age of 40. This law does not protect anyone under 40. Some cities and states may have laws in place to protect younger workers, depending on your jurisdiction. This is covered by the EEOC.

Disability Discrimination

This is also a federal law covered by the EEOC. An employer may not treat a qualified applicant or employee less favorably because he or she has a disability. This is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The law requires the employer to provide reasonable accommodation to the employee or applicant unless doing so would be expensive for the employer or cause significant difficulty for the employer.


The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) makes it a federal law that all employers must verify the employee’s identification and eligibility for all employees. This law makes it illegal to hire and employ illegal aliens, and your employer will have an I-9 form for all employees on hand. Note – It is illegal to discriminate against illegal aliens by harassment or with less than minimum pay.

Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnancy, childbirth and other related medical conditions are covered under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978. Pregnancy and related issues are not covered under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) as pregnancy is not considered a disability. This means an employer cannot discriminate against a qualified woman because she’s pregnant, or other terms of employment including pay, promotions, assignments, training, layoffs, benefits or firing.

Gender Pay Differences

Discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status, is protected by the Equal Pay Act (EPA) this is also covered by the EEOC under Title VII, the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This means an employer cannot discriminate against a qualified employee or applicant based on gender identity in the areas of hiring, pay, promotions, assignments, training, layoffs, benefits or firing.

Military Leave

Our military servicemen and servicewomen are protected under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). This law states that employers may not discriminate against employees who are called to active duty, or volunteer for active duty. When reservists return from active duty tours of less than five years, an employer must reinstate their old jobs or move them to equal jobs

Workplace Safety

A safe working environment is ensured by OSHA, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act. Your employer must provide a workplace safe from any recognizable hazards, and fix any safety hazards as soon as possible to avoid injury.

Job Discrimination

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) prohibits discrimination or sexual harassment in the areas of hiring, firing or compensation based on a person’s race, religion, sex or national origin. This is monitored by the EEOC.

If you feel your rights have been violated or you’re being discriminated against in the workplace, email or call Sinkevich Law Firm for a free fifteen-minute consultation. We’re here to help!


This page is provided for informational purposes only and not to be used as legal advice. Contact Sinkevich Law Firm for more information.

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