Employment – Discrimination

The Law Offices of Joshua N. Garick, P.C. has extensive experience in all aspects of employment law litigation. Mr. Garick received specialized training in labor and employment law issues while attending the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. As a practicing attorney, Mr. Garick has drawn from this training to aid both employees and employers in resolving workplace disputes.

Not all employment disputes will result in litigation. Most employment relationships are “at will,” meaning an employer can discipline, demote or terminate an employee with or without good cause. There are, however, some situations where an employer’s misconduct means an employee is entitled to damages for back wages, future wages, emotional damages, attorney’s fees and punitive damages. These situations are limited to those in which an employer acts with discriminatory animus, retaliates against an employee for making a complaint about their workplace conditions, and other situations that violate the public interest. Under these circumstances, it is important to retain a seasoned employment attorney to aggressively fight for your interests.

We will litigate and advise clients in the following areas of employment law:

Employment Discrimination: We have represented both employers and employees in employment discrimination claims based on age, disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, pregnancy, race, religion or sexual orientation. We have also litigated claims of retaliation in which an employer penalizes an employee for making a claim of workplace discrimination. We have extensive experience litigating claims under the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) before the Equal Employment Opportunity Council (EEOC), the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), state and federal courts.

Wrongful Termination: We have experience litigating wrongful termination claims in which an employee was terminated for matters considered against the public interest, including claims under whistle blower laws.

Family and Medical Leave Violations: We have successfully litigated claims for violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act and Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act in which employers failed to provide medical leave as required by law or to allow an employee to return to their position after taking a leave of absence for medical reasons, including pregnancy.

Wage & Hour Violations: We have represented employees in claims against their employers for unpaid wages, failure to pay overtime, minimum wage violations, and other violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). We have argued cases where employers misclassified employees under the FLSA in an effort to avoid paying minimum wage and overtime wages, and we have represented employees who were misclassified as independent contractors, rather than employees. Please view our WAGE & HOUR page for more information.

Sexual Harassment: We have represented employees who were subjected to sexual harassment at the workplace. We have litigated claims of quid-pro-quo sexual harassment, where a sexual advance is made in order to receive a promotion or prevent termination, and represented employees who were subjected to a hostile, intimidating or offensive work environment.

Duty of Fair Representation: Unionized employees pay a portion of their hard earned wages to their union. In turn, their unions are required to zealously represent their interests during grievance hearings, arbitrations and other matters at the workplace. However, the reality is unions often have conflicting interests with its members. When a union does not represent an employee’s best interests and acts arbitrarily, discriminatorily or in bad faith, the result can be the loss of promotion, lost wages and discipline that could have been avoided. Under these circumstances, a unionized employee has the right to sue the union for breaching the duty of fair representation.

Severance Agreements: We have successfully negotiated severance agreements for terminated employees, including “at-will” employees who were unlawfully terminated. We are also experienced in reviewing severance agreements to inform and explain to a terminated employee the rights they are waiving in exchange for a severance package. Before you sign a severance agreement is important to have it reviewed by an attorney to make sure you understand the full scope of the agreement and the repercussions for signing it. Our experience negotiating and reviewing severance agreements will ensure you are protected as you leave your job to pursue other employment endeavors.

Unemployment Insurance: We have appeared at Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) hearings and DUA Board of Review appeals, and we have filed actions for judicial review in District Courts concerning the payment or denial of unemployment insurance benefits. Our extensive knowledge of unemployment laws, including those that address eligibility, benefits, rating, training programs and eligibility exemptions, will aid both employers and employees through the administrative process to ensure a successful disposition.

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