EMPLOYMENT LAW


Cincinnati, Ohio Attorney reviewing commercial litigation and cases related to employment and business law
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In most situations, commercial disputes can be settled out of court, even when a lawsuit is filed. An experienced attorney can negotiate for a fair settlement. Settling your case can be better than litigating it to save court costs and legal fees.

The Lyon Firm has the resources to pursue negotiation and settle cases in the best interest of plaintiffs nationwide. 

Legal claims against employers have been on the rise in recent years, alleging instances of discrimination and harassment at the workplace that often lead to serious misconduct and ultimately terminations and lawsuits.

Employees who have experienced harassment at the workplace have the legal right to sue their employer under certain circumstances, and large financial settlements can help offset the damage caused by emotional trauma and the loss of a job.

However, while “hostile workplace” is a common phrase, few circumstances meet the legal definition required to file a successful claim. There are no federal laws that uniformly protect workers from bullying at the workplace, though there are protections for more specific kinds of harassment and discrimination based on age, religious affiliation, disability, gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity.

Contact an Ohio hostile work lawyer to discuss possible settlements. Anti-discrimination and harassment laws protect employees from being treated negatively in matters of hiring, pay practices, promotions, and training opportunities.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Ohio workplace harassment attorney and Cincinnati employment lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of workplace harassment and labor violation claims. 


Workplace Harassment Lawsuits


A hostile environment can be defined as unwelcome (unwanted) conduct of supervisors, co-workers, customers, contractors, or anyone else with whom and employee interacts with on the job, if the unwelcome behavior renders a workplace intimidating, hostile, or offensive. Examples of an unlawful hostile environment may include:

  • Overt Sexual Harassment
  • Telling jokes concerning race, sex, disability, and religious affiliation
  • Unnecessary personal touching
  • Comments on physical attributes
  • Presenting or posting sexual or racially insensitive images
  • Using indecent or crude physical gestures
  • Damaging or sabotaging an employee’s work
  • Engaging in hostile physical behavior
  • Immigrant Worker Abuse
  • Pregnancy Discrimination

Defining Workplace Harassment


Harassment is unwelcome conduct based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, harassment becomes unlawful when 1) offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or 2) the offending behavior is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that reasonable employees consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.

Petty slights, jokes, and single incidents are typically not on the level of illegality. Offensive conduct may include slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures, and interference with work performance.


Wage Theft Lawsuits


If your employer fails to pay for certain time spent at the workplace and on the job, you may be entitled to years’ worth of unpaid wages and overtime previously unpaid by companies trying to cut corners on the payroll. According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), there are several way employers violate federal and state law—employers that may be targets of wage and hour lawsuits.

Industries that account for the majority of wage violations include retail jobs, restaurant work, construction and manufacturing. In 2012, the Wage and Hour Division of the DOL reported that in more than 1,800 restaurant investigations, they found violations in over 70 percent.

American employees get cheated out of overtime and time on the job, often in already low-wage positions. Ohio workers and local workplace attorneys have filed unpaid wages lawsuits, due to companies failing to pay overtime, time changing into work clothes, misclassifying employees, failure to provide meal and required rest breaks, and time worked setting up equipment.

Such class-action and individual lawsuits in the past have resulted in large settlements and jury verdicts, totaling in the billions in recent years. Unfortunately, employers continue to underpay workers for time on the job, and may be liable for paying unpaid overtime wages.


Labor Law Violations


Under no circumstance can employers expect or allow hourly employees to perform unpaid work. Workers often complain of off-the-clock duties performed, like time spent cleaning up, changing uniforms, preparing and cleaning equipment, and closing out a cash register.

Unpaid overtime is the most common reported labor violation. But when employers are reported to labor agencies and hit with unpaid wages lawsuits, it is usually discovered that the company violated several labor codes. Common violations include:

Unpaid Wages Settlements


There is no excuse for employers who violate labor codes and cheat their workers to fill their own pockets with unpaid wages.

Any violation reported and investigated by a Cincinnati employment lawyer can lead to unpaid overtime lawsuits and settlements to recover past wages and ensure unfair practices are cut short for the benefit of all workers in the future. Some recent defendants in Wage and Hour lawsuits include:

  • Menards
  • Jimmy John’s
  • Cincinnati Bell
  • Sprint
  • Metlife
  • G.I. Fridays
  • T-Mobile
  • Walgreens

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) dictates how employers pay workers and hire and treat employees younger than 18. Workers are encouraged to keep personal time records as evidence when considering filing a lawsuit and discussing labor law with a Cincinnati employment lawyer.


Hostile Work Lawsuits


Understanding when a workplace qualifies as being hostile is important for employers and employees. What can seem like harmless teasing can actually result in huge settlements for victims of constant workplace abuse. The potential liability of hosting a “hostile work environment” is complex and cannot be ignored.

Employers are encouraged to implement clear policies against harassment, and are responsible for not only establishing but also enforcing protocols for reporting and investigating complaints.

Managers and employers who make a concerted effort to promptly and adequately resolve a complaint can save themselves substantial time and money, and can create a reasonable and comfortable work environment for all employees.

An employer is automatically liable for harassment by a supervisor that results in a negative action such as termination, failure to promote or hire, and loss of wages. If a supervisor’s harassment results in a hostile work environment, an employer can avoid liability only if they can prove that they reasonably tried to prevent and promptly correct the harassing behavior.


Labor Trafficking Lawsuits


Labor traffickers and foreign labor recruitment agencies often take advantage of vulnerable immigrants and migrant workers. Labor recruiters, U.S. employers, contractors, and others utilize unlawful employment tactics to collect manpower from overseas, and abuse the workers in the process.

Some labor recruiters use deceptive job promotions for skilled workers, yet when the workers arrive in America, they find the position they were promised is something drastically different, and much worse than what they imagined.

Labor trafficking lawsuits have the ability to thwart illegal labor practices, and bring the biggest human trafficking perpetrators to justice, as well as compensate victims under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA).

Foreign labor recruiters usually charge high fees for job placement, and more often than not, the workers are placed under debt bondage, and forced to work their way out of debt with a very low wage, and few resources and legal counsel to assist them escape their situations.

Employers have been known to threaten their workers with future employment blacklisting, physical abuse, and financial ruin should they choose to seek jobs elsewhere or contact attorneys and law enforcement.


Labor Recruiter Abuse


Labor recruiters all over the world use threats, deception, debt, or other forms of coercion to entice foreign workers into unfair work placement programs. The employers and recruiters make money and the workers are left with very little in the end.

This is especially a reality in the hospitality (hotels, resorts, restaurants), agriculture, landscaping, domestic service, nursing home and long-term care facility, nail salons and spas, and construction industries.

Labor traffickers and recruiters often make false promises of good opportunities in America, and workers wind up in terrible living and working conditions with little pay. Employers control passports and the workers’ finances to the point where they have no choice but to stay.

This is forced labor in America, a problem for millions of migrant and overseas workers. Racial and sexual discrimination are among the serious problems facing the nation’s migrant workers. Since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has received reports of over 7,800 labor trafficking cases inside the United States.


Pregnancy Discrimination


Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace exists more than 40 years after the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed by Congress, and the lives of working women are still largely interrupted by unlawful and unethical employer behavior.

Work discrimination results in economic and financial losses, as well as careers derailed and destroyed. Between 1997 and 2011, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported a 50 percent increase in the number of pregnancy discrimination claims. The number of discrimination claims hasn’t changed much since that legal report.

Fortunately, victims of pregnancy discrimination can come forward, contact a Cincinnati work discrimination lawyer and file lawsuits against a negligent employer and company.

Contact a Cincinnati employment lawyer and hostile work environment attorney to review a wide variety of workplace harassment and discrimination claims.


What is Pregnancy Discrimination?


Workplace pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employer discriminates against an employee on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related time away from work. Discrimination claims may be a result of a denial of time off or unreasonable demands from pregnant employees.

Employers may be liable for the firing or demoting of a pregnant employee, restricting a pregnant employee at work, and taking actions against an employee for a pregnancy-related medical condition.

Pregnancy discrimination is prohibited under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and can be enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Discrimination can include the following actions:

  • Refusing to hire a pregnant applicant
  • Terminating or demoting a pregnant employee
  • Denying the same or a similar job to a pregnant employee when she returns from leave
  • Treating a pregnant employee differently than other temporarily disabled employees
  • Failing to grant a male employee insurance coverage for his spouse’s pregnancy related conditions if a female employee’s husband has comprehensive health insurance coverage through the same company plan

Lawsuits have been filed and large settlements have been reached following cases of workplace discrimination. Recently, Humana Inc. agreed to pay $500,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination case to a former field service coordinator.

The plaintiff was promoted three times, and reached the position of regional executive director. In 2014, she took a leave of absence  under the Family and Medical Leave Act. When she returned to work, the Humana supervisor canceled numerous appointments with her, and was later terminated wrongfully.


Uber Employment Lawsuits


Uber and Lyft have been targeted by several lawsuits in recent years for driver fatigue accidents, misclassification of employees, defective autonomous cars, and now for discriminatory hiring and illegal pay practices.

Federal labor officials are currently investigating allegations in Ohio and nationwide that Uber discriminates against women in hiring and pay. If you have experienced sexual discrimination when working with Uber or Lyft, contact an Ohio Uber Attorney to review the case.

The EEOC is examining whether Uber has intentionally and systematically paid women less than men and discriminated against women in their hiring process. Uber has faced numerous accusations of workplace sex discrimination and harassment, and management has pledged to reform the company. But high-ranking Uber officials have resigned following accusations that they improperly handled complaints of racial discrimination

An Uber spokeswoman recently said that Uber had made changes in the past 18 months, including new salary and equity rules and a new performance-review process. Unfortunately, that may have come too later for some victims, and those affected by Uber’s faulty hiring practices may have a legal claims with a highly-rated Ohio Uber attorney.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission started investigating Uber last year, and further discrimination claims have been reported to labor authorities and lawyers. Victims of discrimination at the workplace may be able to file lawsuits and recover rightful compensation.

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The proper respresentation for your business

Why are these cases important?

Businesses need to be held accountable for the way they treat and compensate workers. Discrimination, unpaid wages, harassment and labor law violations can be litigated in order to properly compensate employees and prevent others from experiencing the same violations in the future. 

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Questions about Product Liability & Case Types

What types of business law do you commonly represent?

Our attorneys represent plaintiffs in a wide range of business law, including the following practice areas:

What is Intellectual Property litigation?

Below is a summary of the various types of intellectual property laws that are relevant to the permissions process.

  • Copyright. Federal copyright law protects original creative works such as paintings, writing, architecture, movies, software, photos, dance, and music. A work must meet certain minimum requirements to qualify for copyright protection. The length of protection also varies depending on when the work was created or first published.
  • Trademark. Brand names such as Nike and Apple, as well as logos, slogans, and other devices that identify and distinguish products and services, are protected under federal and state trademark laws. Unlike copyrighted works, trademarks receive different degrees of protection depending on numerous variables, including the consumer awareness of the trademark, the type of service and product it identifies, and the geographic area in which the trademark is used.
  • Right of Publicity. A  patchwork of state laws known as the right of publicity protects the image and name of a person. These laws protect against the unauthorized use of a person’s name or image for commercial purposes—for example, the use of your picture on a box of cereal. The extent of this protection varies from state to state.
  • Trade Secrets. State and federal trade secret laws protect sensitive business information. An example of a trade secret would be a confidential marketing plan for the introduction of a new software product or the secret recipe for a brand of salsa. The extent of trade secret protection depends on whether the information gives the business an advantage over competitors, is kept a secret, and is not known by competitors.
  • Right of Privacy. Although not part of intellectual property laws, state privacy laws preserve the right of all people to be left alone. Invasion of privacy occurs when someone publishes or publicly exploits information about another person’s private affairs. Invasion of privacy laws prevent you from intruding on, exposing private facts about, or falsely portraying someone. The extent of this protection may vary if the subject is a public figure—for example, a celebrity or politician.

resource: https://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/introduction/intellectual-property-laws/

 

What is Mercantile Law?

Mercantile law is more commonly known as trade law or commercial law—and it describes the body of law that applies to the rights, relations, and conduct of persons and businesses engaged in commerce, merchandising, trade, and sales.

Commercial law focuses on the sale and distribution of goods, whereas business law focuses on the other aspects of business, including mergers and acquisitions, shareholder rights, employment disputes and property issues. Business law is regulated by both Ohio law and federal law. The federal government primarily governs finance, workplace safety and employment issues, though state laws can differ slightly.

What is a Non-Compete Lawsuit?

Non-compete disputes involve contracts in which former employees agree not to compete with an employer for a specified period of time. Most non-compete lawsuits involve former employees soliciting business from the employer’s customers and not disclosing confidential information.

Properly drafted non-compete contracts are critical for enforceability and adequate protection. Even if litigation cannot be avoided, non-compete agreements in place will help make litigation and settlements easier for all parties.

What are Breach Lawsuits?

Two common types of breach lawsuits include: 

  • Breach of contract lawsuits: 

A contract, or any legally binding agreement, presupposes that both parties must fulfill the terms of the contract. If a contract breach occurs, the affected party can seek legal action and compensation for any actual past, current or future losses.

Commercial attorneys negotiate contracts and commercial agreements, and file lawsuits when the following contracts are broken:

    • Commercial B2B Contracts
    • Buy-Sell Agreements
    • Manufacturing Agreements
    • Partnership Agreements
    • Maintenance Agreements
    • Employment Agreements
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Breach of fiduciary duty generally involves allegations that an individual or company breaches a duty to others.  A fiduciary duty requires a level of loyalty and there are both legal and ethical implications. A breach of fiduciary duty commonly includes claims of fraud and breach of contracts.

Breach of Duty claims should be addressed as soon as possible with the help of business litigation attorneys experienced in commercial law.

What is Business Fraud?

Business fraud occurs through the omission, deception or misrepresentation of a contract, prospect, investment, project or other business entity. Business fraud litigation can result in monetary damages and irreparable damage to the reputation of a company or brand. Victims of fraud should consult an experienced business law professional. Fraud disputes involve various areas of law and may involve:

  • Fraudulent Inducement or Concealment
  • Misrepresentation, Omission, and Non-Disclosure
  • Intellectual Property Issues
  • Tortious Interference
Why should I hire The Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

 Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Business Litigation Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Business lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence cases.  The cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world

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