Hayber Law Firm
If you've been fired or laid off, you may feel as though your world is crashing down around you. You may have no idea how you're going to provide for yourself, much less meet your financial obligations. You might be fuming about how unfair your termination was, and how you were wronged.
Connecticut has powerful laws that protect workers from wrongful termination and other unfair practices by unscrupulous employers. Even if your termination was not illegal, your may still have been deprived of wages and overtime pay that you earned andwhich is now owed to you.
Hartford Employment Law Attorney
The team of Hartford wrongful terminations lawyers at Hayber Law Firm can represent you with your illegal firing, harassment or other employment law claim. Your employer must treat your fairly under the law. Our lawyers will fight for your rights. Fill out our online form today, so we can look at the details of your employment case.
We are experienced employment attorneys and have represented the victims of wrongful termination, harassment, wage and hour claims, denial of leave and other violations of Connecticut and federal employment law. We have helped our clients get reinstated to their old jobs, collect back pay wrongfully denied to them, win compensatory and punitive damages and secure promotions they deserve.
We are based in Hartford, and represent employees throughout Connecticut, including in Bridgeport, New Haven, Stamford and Waterbury.
Experienced Connecticut Employment Lawyers Fighting For You
Richard E. Hayber, who leads the team at Hayber Law Firm, takes pride in representing underdogs in tough cases. He takes on powerful companies, and wins. Richard E. Hayber has represented a wide range of employees, from waiters and truck drivers to the vice presidents of companies.
He has represented clients in front of the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and the U.S. Department of Labor. He has also represented large groups of employees in class action lawsuits, where the employer’s illegal wage practices have wronged many employees.
Attorneys Maggie B. Ferron and Erick I. Diaz are Connecticut employee lawyers with a wide range of experience fighting for workers to recover after wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment and other violations of employee rights.
At-Will Employment in Connecticut Does Not Mean No Wrongful Termination
Connecticut is an "at-will" employment state. That rule means that employers can terminate employees for any legal reason, or for no reason at all. The termination does not have to be "fair” to be permissible. An employer could fire a worker simply because he or she doesn't like the employee.
There are limitations, however, to how an employer can discharge an employee. Connecticut wrongful termination law generally prohibits firing employees when the firing is due to one of several reasons.
For example, employment discrimination is an illegal reason to fire someone. It is illegal in Connecticut to discriminate against an employee on the basis of his or her race, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or other protected trait. That includes termination.
If you were laid off suddenly after becoming pregnant, disciplined differently than employees of a different race, fired after telling your boss you were gay or dismissed because your boss said you couldn't "keep up" (a thinly veiled reference to age), you might have a claim for wrongful termination due to discrimination.
Employers May Not Wrongfully Retaliate by Firing Employees in Connecticut
Sometimes, an employee may notice something illegal or wrong going on at work, and his or her natural reaction will be to report it to management. It could be because the employee sees discriminatory practices, because he or she spots an unsafe working condition, or because he or she sees someone breaking the law.
Assuming the best, that employee may report it to high-ups in the company, hoping to see it fixed, and may report it again when it's not. Some employers, however, may view that employee as a "troublemaker" and fire him or her. Connecticut courts, though, have made it clear that there is a public policy exception to at -will employment that prohibits termination because of internal complaints.
An employee may also take those complaints to government agencies, like the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, for witnessed discrimination, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, for unsafe working conditions. However, the law also protects them. Under Connecticut law, an employee may not befired for being a whistleblower.
It is also illegal to retaliate against employers with termination or other negative employment action for a legally protected right, like taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, filing for workers' compensation or exercising free speech on matters of public concern. When it happens, employees have a legal claim and may make a claim for reinstatement, back pay and compensatory damage and, sometimes, punitive damages.
Connecticut Employees Wrongfully Denied Overtime Pay
Under both federal and Connecticut wage and hour law, employees must be paid for the amount of time they worked, and must be paid overtime, or time-and-a-half, for any hours worked over 40 in a week. Some employees may be exempt from these laws if their jobs meet certain narrow criteria.
Some employers, however, misclassify their employees as "exempt" to deny them overtime pay. They may "promote" an hourly employee to a salaried position but not really change his or her job responsibilities much. That employee will be on a salary basis working far more than 40 hours per week, and not have the opportunity to make overtime pay.
When illegal misclassification occurs, the employee who was denied overtime may seek back pay for the money he or she is owed. If the employee was fired, it does not change the fact that he or she is owed that money. And if he or she was fired because he or she demanded it, that employee may also have a separate retaliation claim.
At Hayber Law Firm, our Hartford wage and hour lawyers represent employees wrongfully denied overtime. Some particular fields are particularly prone to this violation: Employers may claim the "executive" exemption for assistant managers, even though their job duties may not change from when they were associates.
Insurance underwriters, loan underwriters and loan officers may be called "exempt" by their employers, when, in fact, they are more like production workers because their work relates to their employers' product (the loans or the insurance policies). We are proud to take these cases at Hayber Law Firm and advance these workers’ rights to overtime pay.
Workplace Harassment is Illegal in Connecticut
Discrimination can come in all forms. Just as it is illegal to discriminate against a person in hiring, firing, promotion and pay, it is illegal to discriminate against a person by making them feel uncomfortable or threatened because of who they are. Connecticut law takes workplace harassment very seriously, and we, at Hayber Law Firm, are proud to represent the victims of on-the-job harassment.
Sexual harassment is the most common type of harassment. Sexual harassment can include threats to procure sexual favors, unwanted advances, explicit comments, crude jokes, subjecting the victim to pornography, or many other wrongful actions. Harassment can be subtle or explicit, but it's always illegal, and victims deserve justice.
Hayber Law Firm | Connecticut Employment Lawyer
At-will employment does not mean employers can get away with whatever they want. You may have been terminated for an illegal reason, such as due to discrimination or in retaliation for complaints or exercising a legal right. Or, you may have been wrongly denied overtime pay. Or, you may have been harassed at work. Federal and Connecticut law gives you rights as an employee.
At Hayber Law Firm, our Hartford employment lawyers are proud to help workers exercise their legal rights against the bad actions of their current or former employers. If you have been mistreated at work, fill out our online form today, so that we can review the details of your case.