Kentucky is an “at will” employment state, meaning that an employer can terminate an employee at any time, for any reason or no reason at all. Most employees are considered “at will” employees, unless they have entered into a written contract with their employer dictating the length and terms of their employment. However, there are a number of exceptions to the “at will” employment doctrine. An employer cannot terminate an employee for:
-Filing a workers’ compensation claim
-Complaining about discrimination or harassment
-Reporting illegal activities in the workplace
-Refusing to violate the law in the course of employment
-Requesting medical leave or an accommodation
-Pregnancy and related medical conditions
There are many exceptions to “at-will” employment that could render your termination wrongful or illegal. If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, you may be entitled to compensation from your employer. Call The Zoppoth Law Firm to discuss the facts of your case with an experienced employment law attorney. As an advocate for employees in the workplace, The Zoppoth Law Firm will work hard to ensure that you receive the maximum recovery possible from your employer.
Both state and federal law protects employees from discrimination based on certain protected characteristics or classes of individuals. An employer cannot discriminate against an employee based on any of the following:
-Sex (including pregnancy)
-Disability (physical or mental)
-Age (40 or older)
It is illegal for an employer to discriminate in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, promotion, job assignment, training, compensation, layoffs, and benefits. If you’ve been a victim of discrimination in the workplace, you may be entitled to compensation from your employer. Workplace discrimination can occur in many forms – make sure you understand your rights and protections under the law. Call us today for a free consultation and an experienced employment attorney will review the facts of your case.
Sexual Harassment is a form of sex discrimination and occurs when an employee is subjected to unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Both state and federal law prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. It is also unlawful to retaliate against an employee who complains about or reports sexual harassment. If you are or have been the victim of sexual harassment, contact The Zoppoth Law Firm and discuss your legal options with an experienced employment lawyer.
Employees have the right to engage in many legally protected activities.
It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for: filing a workers’ compensation claim, complaining about discrimination or harassment, or refusing to engage in illegal activities or reporting those activities. The law also protects employees who oppose or refuse to participate in employment practices that discriminate based on age, race, sex, religion or disability.
Retaliation can include any unfavorable employment action, such as termination, discipline, demotion, reduction in salary, or job reassignment. Retaliation can also be directed at family members of employees who oppose or complain about illegal discrimination. If you suspect your employer is retaliating against you, call The Zoppoth Law Firm and learn what you can do to stop it. An experienced employment lawyer will provide a free consultation and review the facts of your case.
In some terminations or layoff situations, an employer may offer a severance package or agreement which includes the outgoing employee’s agreement not to sue the employer for wrongful termination or related legal claims in exchange for the employer’s agreement to give the employee some form of additional compensation. Employers are more likely to increase your severance or benefits if you have an attorney negotiating on your behalf. You should contact an attorney immediately after receiving any type of severance agreement. All severance agreements include a deadline in which to respond or accept and an attorney will need a reasonable amount of time to create a strategy and list of demands upon your previous employer.
Our experienced employment lawyers can assist you in negotiating an enhanced severance package and protect your rights as an employee. Employers write severance agreements to protect themselves. Your employer will most certainly be represented by legal counsel (they very likely drafted the severance agreement for your employer), thus you should have your own legal counsel too. We will help you negotiate the best severance package available from your employer and ensure that your rights for future employment are protected. Do not sign any agreement from your employer until you’ve had the agreement reviewed by an attorney. Tell your employer that you need some time to consider the agreement and call one of our employment attorneys immediately. There is no fee for an initial consultation. We’ll review the circumstances surrounding your termination and determine if your employer engaged in any unlawful acts related to it. Depending on your situation, you may be entitled to more than what your employer is offering. The Zoppoth Law Firm has handled numerous such severance negotiations for employees and in the majority of these negotiations, we have been able to obtain additional severance and benefits than what was initially offered by the employer.
Contact The Zoppoth Law Firm to discuss your severance options with one of our experienced employment lawyers right away. We will negotiate with your employer or the employer’s attorney to ensure that you receive the best possible severance package and that your legal rights are protected.
-Unemployment Insurance Appeals
The Zoppoth Law Firm has maintained one of the highest success rates in obtaining unemployment insurance benefits for their clients. The unemployment insurance appeals process can be an arduous task. If you’re facing an unemployment insurance benefits issue, please feel free to contact our office.
An individual who has been discharged by their employer may apply for unemployment insurance benefits if the individual has met the qualifications established under KRS 341.350 and KRS 341.355. An individual may apply through the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, Unemployment Insurance claims system by telephone, or online.
Once an individual has applied for unemployment insurance benefits, the individual’s former employer will be contacted and allowed an opportunity to provide a statement. If the statement of the prior employer does not match the statement of the applicant, the applicant may be denied unemployment benefits.
After the initial application process has concluded, the Commonwealth of Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet’ Division of Unemployment Insurance will issue a Notice of Determination. In that Notice, the Cabinet will determine whether the claimant is qualified or disqualified from receiving benefits. If a claimant receives a Notice of Determination that states he or she is not entitled to receive unemployment benefits, the individual may appeal that decision within fifteen (15) days from the date the Notice was mailed. If you have received an adverse Notice of Determination and would like to appeal the decision, please contact our office immediately to discuss the possibility of representing your interests during the hearing process. Please note that if a claimant is determined to be qualified for benefits, the former employer also has the right to appeal that decision.
Once a timely appeal has been submitted to the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Branch, a representative from that office will issue a hearing date. You do have the right to have an attorney represent your interests at this hearing. Unemployment Insurance Appeals Hearings are conducted via teleconference. Each party will be questioned by a Referee and will have the opportunity to testify, call witnesses on their behalf, and submit relevant evidence for the Referee to consider. Once the Referee has heard all testimony and reviewed all evidence submitted, he or she will issue a Referee’s Decision. A party who is adversely affected may appeal the Referee’s Decision to the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Commission. Once an appeal is timely filed, each party will have the opportunity to submit statements outlining why they believe the Referee’s Decision should be affirmed or reversed. Please note that the Commission will not allow new evidence to be presented and new hearings are rarely granted. The Commission will review each party’s statement as well as the evidence and testimony given during the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Hearing and will issue their own decision. If you have received an adverse Referee’s Decision and would like to submit an appeal to the Unemployment Insurance Commission, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Going through the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Hearing can be time consuming, overwhelming, and stressful. If you, a loved one, or a friend would like our assistance, please feel free to contact our office to discuss your options going forward. The phone call is free.
The Zoppoth Law Firm’s labor and employment law practice assists individuals who have been terminated from their job due to work related issues.