Schiller Barnes Maloney has advised and represented numerous clients in employment-related matters before all federal and state courts in Kentucky and Indiana, and we have experience resolving various issues that center around the employer-employee relationship. SBM has defended clients on all types of employee claims such as wrongful termination, hostile work environment, unemployment compensation and sexual harassment.
Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is wrongly fired by his or her employer. In Kentucky, employees work at-will, which means an employee can generally be fired at any time for any reason. However, there are exceptions to the at-will employment doctrine. Federal and state anti-discrimination laws prevent the termination of an employee on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) also provides employees with job protections when they are taking time off work to deal with FMLA-protected illnesses or family situations. There are numerous other public policy and common law exceptions to the at-will employment doctrine that employers should be mindful of before terminating an at-will employee. Our extensive experience allows us to quickly and efficiently employ specific strategies in defending employers against wrongful termination claims.
Hostile Work Environment
The United States Department of Labor defines a hostile work environment as a supervisor, co-worker, customer, contractor or other individual exhibiting unwelcomed conduct that renders the workplace atmosphere intimidating, hostile or offensive. The harassing conduct must be unwelcomed, based on the victim’s protected status and objectively severe and pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would find hostile or abusive. Employers have numerous affirmative defenses to hostile work environment claims. Our experience in developing these legal defenses has proven to be an effective strategy in defending employers against hostile work environment claims.
Unemployment compensation is a program of benefits paid to an employee who has lost his or her job and is actively seeking a new employment position. Not all employees are eligible to receive unemployment compensation. Employees who have been terminated due to misconduct or dishonesty or employees who voluntarily quit without having good cause that is associated with their employment are also not eligible for unemployment compensation. In addition, there are numerous employment positions that are not eligible for unemployment compensation. Our experience has proven that thorough, timely and well prepared responses to unemployment claims greatly improves an employer’s chances of prevailing in a disputed unemployment claim.
Federal and state laws prohibit employers from discriminating in employment on the basis of sex, including pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as unwelcomed sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that explicitly or implicitly affect an individual’s employment, work performance, or work environment. SBM can provide you thorough representation and develop an effective strategy to defend against sexual harassment claims.