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Employment Law: Answers To Common Questions

Figuring out your rights under State and Federal employment laws is a daunting task. If you are concerned about your employment status or feel that your employer has taken illegal actions against you, it is in your best interest to have an experienced firm looking out for your interests.

In the Detroit-area, that firm is Schwartz Law Firm. From our office in Farmington Hills, we represent employees from all industries, seeking the best possible outcomes to their employment law matters.

Below, we provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about employment law. For answers to specific questions about your case, contact us online or call 888-757-1681 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Can my employer fire me on a whim?

If you are not protected by an employment contract or collective bargaining, the answer is yes. Employees and employers enter into an at-will relationship that either party can end at any time. It may seem wrong, but even firing someone for a bad reason may not constitute wrongful termination.

Can I be terminated for reporting harassment in the workplace?

If you have been harassed as a result of your gender, ethnicity, race, religion or similar reason, you had very good reason to report it. If your employer is letting you go rather than solving the problem, you could be a victim of retaliation.

How are whistleblowers protected?

There are strong whistleblower protections afforded employees in the United States, because the government has an interest in making sure employees report fraud against the government such as Medicare fraud, money laundering, tax evasion and other illegal activities.

You cannot legally be terminated for blowing the whistle on these actions, and may be entitled to a financial reward for coming forward.

Can I be fired for taking care of my family?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides employees with the option to take unpaid leave to care for a loved one, without fear of losing their job. As long as your leave qualifies under the terms of FMLA, your employer will have to continue paying for their share of your health insurance.

What classes are protected from discrimination?

You cannot be discriminated against for your age, disability, gender, pregnancy, marital status, race, color or national origin, religion, weight or height.

Am I entitled to overtime pay?

The primary factor for overtime eligibility is your employment classification. Exempt, or salaried, employees – such as sales people, executives, and many professionals – are not eligible for overtime. Non-exempt, or hourly, employees are often eligible for overtime. If you think you have missed out on overtime due to being misclassified by your employer, our employment lawyers can help you.