Employment law defines the dynamics of employment rights and obligations, and it establishes the rules and guidelines that govern these areas. Areas of employment law come under dispute when federal and state statutes are violated.
At James & Carter, PLC, our Arkansas employment attorneys focus on representing individuals and businesses in litigation of a variety of employment issues, primarily dealing with discrimination, sexual harassment, employment contracts and noncompete agreements.
State and federal laws prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on race, color, nationality, religion, sex, pregnancy status, age, disability and/or HIV/AIDS. Many aspects of employment are influenced by anti-discrimination laws which include job advertisement, hiring, hours and wages, promotion and termination.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, is a federal agency established to oversee and enforce civil rights regarding discrimination in the workplace.
Individuals that have been subjected to discrimination may be required to file for relief through the EEOC before they can bring a discrimination lawsuit in federal court against an employer. In Arkansas, ordinarily a claim for employment discrimination must be filed with the EEOC within 180 days of the discriminatory action. Once the EEOC carries out an investigation of the claim, if probable cause is determined, then the individual may either take action through an administrative hearing conducted by the EEOC or through civil court litigation.
More information regarding the EEOC may be viewed at www.eeoc.gov/.
Unwanted sexual behavior that offends, creates hostility or intimidates an employee is considered sexual harassment. Title VII under federal law and the Arkansas Civil Rights Act prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace. Examples of sexual harassment include unwelcome propositions, flirtations or sexual advances; bodily contact or touching; sexually suggestive pictures or objects; sexually suggestive gestures or verbal abuse; sexual favors demanded for employment benefits and degrading sexual references made about an employee.
Employment contracts define the circumstances and set the parameters for rights and obligations of employment between the employee or independent contractor and the employer. These contracts often contain conditions and terms for termination, hours and wages, severance, nonsolicitation and noncompete clauses. Breaches of employment contracts can result in disputes that require legal representation through dispute resolution such as mediation or arbitration as well as litigation.
Noncompete And Nonsolicitation Agreements
A noncompete agreement is an agreement or covenant that an employer and employee enter into guaranteeing the employer that the employee will not compete in a similar business for a stated period of time after leaving the company. These types of agreements are frequently used with independent contractors or employees that have professional skills, such as executives, technicians, sales and marketing specialists and so on. The noncompete or nonsolicitation agreement may also extend to trade secrets or confidential, proprietary information. Our attorneys represent clients in noncompete or nonsolicitation disputes where violations of the agreement are being alleged, either by the client or his/her former employer.
Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal labor law of general and nationwide application, including overtime and minimum wages. The FLSA requires overtime compensation (at time and one-half) for all “hours worked” over a prescribed “threshold” (typically 40 hours per week) for “nonexempt” employees. FLSA overtime cases seek recovery for unpaid or underpaid back wages plus double damages (called “liquidated damages”) and attorneys’ fees. An Arkansas employment attorney with James & Carter, PLC, can help you pursue a claim if you are an individual or defend a claim if you are an employer.
We welcome the opportunity to be of service. To arrange a consultation to discuss your employment issues with an Arkansas employment lawyer from our firm, please call our office at 501-588-3584 or contact us online through our website.