Arizona Employment Lawyers
Weinberger Law Firm litigates and counsels clients on employment issues ranging from:
- Non-competition and confidentiality agreements
- Cases involving allegations of racial, age, religious and gender discrimination
- Cases under the Arizona Employment Act
- Violations of the Arizona Civil Rights Acts
- Violations of the Family Medical Leave Act
- Requirements and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act
We handle complicated cases involving issues such the interplay between employment and corporate law, as well as discrimination claims before the United States Equal Opportunity Commission and Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
Employment Law FAQ
What Is Employment Law?
Employment law encompasses a wide array of topics: written employment contracts, at-will employment relationships, wrongful termination, non-competition agreements, confidentiality agreements, claims under the Arizona Employment Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, sexual harassment, overtime pay, wage disputes and accrual of benefits are but a few. Other classic examples of employment law matter are claims for discrimination. It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the basis of race, religion, age, gender or disability. Many jurisdictions also have laws that make it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender-identity. The law in this area changes often. If you have any questions about a possible discrimination claim, it is best to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you are doing everything necessary to protect your rights.
Is It Necessary to Have a Written Employment Contract?
Answer: It depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you are trying to enforce an employment agreement or wish to sue for breach of an agreement, the agreement needs to be in writing in order to be enforceable. Oral agreements or the proverbial “handshake deal” on matters such as compensation, benefits and duration of employment will not be enforced. The contract can either be contained in a separate document or in an employee handbook or manual. The employee handbook or manual should state whether or not it is intended to serve as a contract of employment. Many employee handbooks and manuals state that they are not intended to be construed as a contract.
What Does Employment “At-Will” Mean?
It means that both the employer and employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time unless both the employee and the employer have signed a written contract to the contrary that either (1) states that the employment relationship shall remain in effect for a specified duration of time, or (2) lists other restrictions on the right of one or both parties to terminate the employment relationship. At-will employees can be terminated for no reason at all, but they cannot be fired for an illegal reason. Examples of illegal reasons are where the employee is terminated in retaliation for exercising a legal right, or for refusing to violate a law, or if the termination violates a state or federal law such as the laws against discrimination or the Family Medical Leave Act.
Is Arizona a “Right to Work” State?
Yes, but that term is often misunderstood. Being a “right to work” state means that if employees decide to form a union, an employee cannot be fired for deciding not to join the union or for deciding to leave it. Right to work laws prohibit union security agreements, or agreements between employers and labor unions, that govern the extent to which an established union can require employees’ membership, payment of union dues or fees as a condition of employment, either before or after hiring. Right-to-work laws are not designed to provide a guarantee of employment to people seeking work, but rather, are designed to prevent employers and labor unions from agreeing to exclude non-union workers or require all employees to pay union fees.
My Employer Says I Have to Go to Arbitration: Is That True?
Many employers have their employees sign agreements in which they agree to waive their right to a jury trial and agree that all disputes between them will be resolved through arbitration. Arbitration is a more informal legal proceeding in which the case is decided, but often under a different set of rules than would apply if the case was tried in state or federal court. Agreements to arbitrate are often enforced, but can be challenged on several grounds depending upon the specific language of the arbitration provision and whether the provision creates a hardship for the employee.
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