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Smart, Schofield, Shorter & Lunceford Attorneys at law - A Professional Corporation
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Salt Lake City Attorneys Understand Employment Law

Employers and employees need to know and understand their respective rights in the workplace.  Utah is an at-will employment state, which means an employer or an employee may terminate the employment relationship at-will.  There are some factors that can change this dynamic in significant ways.  Some of these factors include: employment contracts, union involvement, public policy, and employment manuals and policies.

Smart, Schofield, Shorter employment attorneys can provide employers and employees with advice and competent representation. Employment law is complicated and employers should have the tools and knowledge in place to avoid unnecessary litigation or claims against them. Most litigation can be avoided through planning and preparation.

Comprehensive counsel for employment law 

While Utah is an at-will employment state, employees do have rights and often need representation to ensure those rights are protected.

Smart, Schofield, Shorter represents clients in all areas of the workplace, including but not limited to:

  • ADA claims
  • Immigration
  • Unemployment matters
  • FMLA
  • ERISA
  • Discrimination claims
  • Sexual harassment claims
  • Wage and hour issues
  • Workers compensation
  • Occupational disease claims
  • Avoiding retaliation liability
  • Employee benefits law
  • Wrongful termination cases
  • Non-competition/non-solicitation
  • Reduction in workforce
  • Drug testing policies
  • Employee handbooks and personnel policies
  • Representation before administrative agencies

Providing services for employers

As an employer, there are several things that you need to keep in mind to avoid civil, criminal, and agency action. Some of these areas include: proper designation of employees and independent contractors, withholdings of taxes, payment of unemployment, workers’ compensation insurance, record keeping, discipline of employees, hiring, employment manuals, drug testing policies, compliance with UOSH and OSHA, Family and Medical Leave, and payment of wages. The difficulty involved is only made more evident when you look at the several governing bodies that can become involved, including the Utah Labor Commission, the US Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the US Federal Trade Commission, and the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This list is not exhaustive.

Contact us if you are at a critical stage in the employment process, like hiring an employee under a contract or drafting employment manuals or policies. Planning and forethought are keys to successfully and effectively running a business. The old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure has never been truer than it is in the employment setting.

If you have been sued by one of your employees, contact us immediately. As en employer, time is not on your side. Several provisions in the code create short time limits and with hefty penalties for non-compliance. There are different forums with different rules depending on the claims and they are not always easily navigated without an attorney. Unemployment hearings are usually done over the telephone, discrimination claims usually go through an investigative process and a determination is made before a judge even sees the case, and the strictures of state and federal courts can be taxing and overwhelming. If your business is other than a sole proprietorship or a partnership, you will likely be required to be represented by an attorney pursuant to Utah law.

Advocacy for employees

Being an employee in the State of Utah does not always put you in the best position and you are far from even ground with your employer.  Despite working in an at-will state, you still retain some rights.  You are entitled to receive benefits and medical care for work place injuries and diseases.  Your employer is required to carry adequate workers’ compensation insurance that covers you.  Reporting requirements must be fulfilled by you in a short period of time.

Utah law governs regular paydays and limits the employer’s ability to deduct money from your wages. Federal law governs overtime pay, which entitles many employees to payment at 1 ½ times the current rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week.

At-will employment generally means your employer can terminate you for any cause or no cause at all.  However, state and federal law prohibits an employer for taking negative employment action against you because of your race, sex, pregnancy status, religion, national origin, disability, age (for workers over 40 years old), bankruptcy, or military service or affiliation.  There may also be other prohibited grounds for termination that violate public policy.  Protecting your rights and steps are needed to be made in order to do so.  Contacting us early can help your preserve your claims and it is not too early to contact us while you are still working.

One form of redress from being terminated without just cause is unemployment.  If your employment has been terminated you must promptly file for benefits.  If the investigator denies your claims, you need to contact us immediately because the process goes very quickly.

Depending on the size of your employer, you may also be entitled to medical insurance and family and medical leave.  You may also be covered under a short term or long term disability plan if you are unable to work.  Requesting and addressing the denial of leave is not always easy.

Most claims by employees must be brought or preserved within a relatively short period of time.  If you believe that your employment or its termination was unlawful, contact us for a free consultation.

Speak to firm who can provide information and representation for your employment-related matters

Whether you are an employer in need of advice or representation or an employee whose rights have been violated, please call our firm at 801-747-0647 or contact us online today to set up a free consultation.

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