Employment Attorneys Located in Parkersburg, WV
If your rights have been violated, we know how to help
At Klie Law Offices, we realize that a hostile work environment or employment dispute can be the source of a tremendous amount of anxiety and stress. At the same time, if you are the victim of an unlawful termination, workplace discrimination, harassment, wage discrepancy, breach of contract, or have some other type of complaint against your employer, it’s important to remember that you do have rights.
Labor laws exist in every state, primarily to ensure your rights as an employee are protected and you are treated fairly at your job. When your boss, supervisor, manager, or someone else in the workplace violates those rights, you may be able to take legal action and file a lawsuit to recover appropriate compensation for your damages.
A legal team standing up for workers throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley
With more than 15 years of experience with the West Virginia justice system, our attorneys have answered many questions about workplace harassment and discrimination. Below are answers to some of the questions we are most frequently asked.
The information provided here is general, not advice about your specific situation. To learn more about how the law applies directly to you, contact our law offices for a free case evaluation. You can come to our Parkersburg office, or we can come to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are examples of illegal harassment and/or discrimination at work?
Some examples of potentially-legally actionable conduct in the workplace are:
- Verbal and non-verbal remarks - Discriminatory ridicule, insults, jokes, comments, or drawings
- Sexual harassment - Explicit or implicit propositions, “quid pro quo” arrangements for sexual favors, threatened, attempted or actual sexual assault
- Intimidation - Psychologically or physically threatening actions
- Ostracizing – intentionally excluding or leaving someone out
- Embarrassment and humiliation
- Overburdening with work
- Stopping someone from doing their full work
- Retaliation for filing complaints
- Questions about an employee’s private life
- Intentional touching such as embracing, patting, or pinching
- Destructive criticism
Is my workplace toxic and actionable, or just bad?
Not all bad work situations rise to the level of legally-actionable harassment and discrimination. Typically, a discrimination or harassment lawsuit may be filed when an employee has been treated differently on the basis of a legally-protected category, such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, or in retaliation for taking a protected action (such as reporting misconduct in good faith).
Work harassment and discrimination can affect all aspects of employment including:
- Fringe benefits
- Vacation and sick time
How much can I get for a wrongful termination lawsuit?
Wrongful termination is when someone is fired for an illegal reason, such as a violation of anti-discrimination laws or retaliation for a protected action. Settlements for wrongful termination can vary greatly, but, on a national scale, they average around $40,000. However, every case is unique, depending on the circumstances and the level of income of the employee who was wrongfully terminated.
What are the West Virginia laws that protect me from workplace harassment and discrimination?
In addition to federal workplace protections, West Virginia has many laws that aim to create a safe work environment. It is illegal to discriminate against someone based on their sex, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, or in retaliation for a protected activity (such as filing a complaint against your employer in good faith).
What if I’m being harassed by someone at work who isn’t my boss or even an employee?
Your employer is responsible for all your working conditions, not just the conduct of your coworkers. Hostile work environments can be created by vendors, clients, and other non-employees with business relationships. If your employer doesn’t take prompt steps to shut down the harassment, they can be held legally liable.
Do I need to file a lawsuit?
Not necessarily. Talking to an attorney isn’t a commitment to file a lawsuit or take any other specific legal action. Many employment issues can be resolved via negotiation. Sometimes an employer is simply ignorant of the law instead of actively malicious. Klie Law Offices can investigate your claim and advise you on all your legal options.
How can an employment lawyer help me? How do you win workplace harassment or discrimination lawsuits?
It’s unfortunate, but many victims of workplace harassment and discrimination do not file claims over the abuse they suffer. There is a fear that no one will believe them or that they don’t have the right evidence to win.
At Klie Law Offices, we put employees first. Our West Virginia employment attorneys understand the great lengths people who discriminate and harass others will go to cover up their bad behavior. And we know how to overcome attempts to hide the truth. We stop at nothing to get justice for victims of toxic workplaces.
If you are facing harassment and discrimination, it is important that you document instances of abuse. This will help establish your claim later. Keep personal records of workplace harassment and discrimination. Write down when harassment happens. Describe the actions, time, place, and participants involved.
Our law firm will thoroughly investigate your claim and gather evidence that may include:
- Personnel files
- Pay records
- Employee handbook, contract, guide, job description, etc.
- Physical evidence of harassment or discrimination such as pictures or items left on your desk, emails, voice messages, handwritten notes, and photos or videos you have taken documenting the harassment
- Mental health and medical records
- Witness statements. There are often bystanders to harassment. Our attorneys know how to identify people who can help your case
How much does it cost to see an employment lawyer?
Klie Law Offices offers free case evaluations to people who know or suspect they are victims of illegal treatment at work. At no cost to you, a member of our legal team will listen to the details of your case, explain how the law applies to your situation, and help you weigh your options.
What do I do if I’m suffering in a hostile or toxic work environment?
You have legal recourse and protection. West Virginia law requires employers to provide employees with workplaces free from sexual harassment and discrimination based on sex, race, age, or disability, among other things. Sometimes, workplace abuse takes the form of missed promotions, low wages, inability to access the full range of benefits offered, and wrongful termination.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, then you need a Parkersburg employment law attorney on your side. Contact Klie Law Offices right away for a free case evaluation with a member of our team. You can count on us to stand up for your rights.