An Increase In Employment Law Claims Directly Related To A Bad Economy For Employment Lawyers

I found this article relating to Employment Law which I thought may be of interest. So here it is for you

According to The National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession ended in June 2009.  Yet to many, talk of “recovery” seems to be just that: talk.  Unlike in previous recessions, our 2010 economy never “bounced back”, and encouraging investment and manufacturing levels haven’t translated into more jobs.  In past recoveries, manufacturing gains force down the cost of goods, which drives spending and increases profits.  But in late 2010, spending remains at an all-time low.  The figures underscore a growing concern among financial experts: at a time when our sluggish economy desperately needs stimulus, Americans’ spending habits have been altered by fear.  The term ‘jobless recovery’ begs an obvious question: how can the economy recover without jobs?  The dismal statistics forecast a sobering truth: the US economy is still suffering, despite drastic measures that had little effect on our prospects.  We will likely be in recovery for years to come.

With unemployment at record levels, US laborers increasingly fight for legal recourse against unfair treatment by employers.  This marks an escalating trend in the field of Employment Law.  In the past twenty years, employment litigation has risen drastically; more than 60% of US companies are sued by employees or former employees each year.  As the economy worsens, these numbers continue to climb.  The second quarter of 2010 saw a 62 % increase in employment lawsuits in federal courts, and these numbers are expected to increase.

We asked Employment Lawyer Timothy Kolman, Principal at Kolman Ely, P.C. an employment law firm located in Pennsylvania some questions.

Q-Has the economy impacted the amount of employment law claims filed in 2010 ?

A- The economy has significantly impacted the number of employment law claims filed in 2010.  As a consequence of the down turn in the economy and the resultant loss of jobs, employers have used the recession as a means to terminate employees who otherwise should be protected, using the recession as an excuse.  As a  consequence, we have seen far more claims filed.  Employers are targeting employees who are older and therefore sometimes more highly paid.  They are also targeting employees who are eligible for Family Medical Leave or who are disabled, having determined that these employees are less productive or may miss more time.  We have also seen increases in employers exploiting employees by not paying them overtime or requiring more hours for less pay.  Sometimes, employers have “reorganized” their companies using the recession as an excuse and have terminated the employment of minorities and longer tenured employees, sometimes even rehiring them at less money or negotiating their salaries and compensation downward, in the knowledge that if the employee does not accept the pay cut, there are plenty of workers willing to take their place.

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At the same time, we are seeing some employees reluctant to assert their legal rights because they are afraid of retaliation.  They are particularly scared that the employer will retaliate against them and they will be unemployed and unemployable. Unfortunately, there is some truth to these fears.  In my view, employees can either assert their rights or continue to be exploited.  I would urge them to have the confidence to give an unemployment lawyer a call to at least determine if they have a case and whether the employment lawyer can safely strategize to assert the employees rights without the significant downside of retaliation.

Q-What are the most basic employment law violations employers engage in
due to ignorance ?

A-We notice that some unsophisticated employers, sometimes in more rural areas and farther from urban areas often have what can only be described as a “redneck mentality”.  We have seen employers use or tolerate ethnic slurs, sexually harass employees or permit it, permit racial prejudice and simply not understand or want to understand that these activities by either themselves or the employees they hire are significantly unlawful as well as being bad for business.  Often the mom and pop businesses have little or no understanding of what is or is not permitted in the workplace.  They are shocked and surprised when they get sued, even after an employee has complained on an ongoing basis of discrimination or unlawful conduct.  This is not to say that larger companies necessarily conduct themselves perfectly but, this kind of willful ignorance is more often found with the smaller businesses farther from the urban areas.

Q-How important is it to obtain or consult with an employment lawyer
prior to filing any claims on your own ?

A-It is absolutely essential that an employee consults with an employment lawyer prior to filing any claim.  There are very many reasons for this.  The employee can really make a major mistake by going at it alone and can end up losing their job as a result.  You need an employment lawyer who really knows what he is doing to properly navigate the employee’s complaint so that the employee is properly protected and the employer is properly on notice regarding the unlawful violation.  Once the employee messes up their claim, it is much harder for the lawyer to correct the matter.

For more information about your rights and options you can contact Timothy Kolman directly  at Employment Lawyer Philadelphia .

 

 

 

 

Jenny Lewis Independent Author
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