Types of Employment Claims in Wasta
Denevan Falon Joyce
Experience That Matters
Disability Discrimination: Our attorneys represented an individual who was terminated for various unsubstantiated allegations that he had violated company policy after he requested accommodations for a mental health condition.
Employment Litigation and Advising
Can I fire this employee right now?
Our team can help you proactively address problem employees or workplace disputes. Too often, when clients call with questions about these situations, the issues with the employee have not been adequately addressed or documented for a long period of time, and a proactive approach would have gone a long way to address the issue before it became a serious problem. Our attorneys have experience drafting and updating employee handbooks; auditing personnel policies and procedures; providing employee training on topics such as discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment; and providing guidance on difficult employment situations, including offering advice when a termination of employment is considered.
I got something in the mail from the EEOC. Now what?
Our team can also help you respond to allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Not only do these claims involve unique state and federal laws, but emotions run high when allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation are made. Our attorneys have experience conducting internal investigations of reports or complaints of wrongful workplace conduct, responding to Charges of Discrimination, and, of course, defending lawsuits. We have litigated cases involving federal employment statutes and regulations, such as Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, wrongful termination claims, and labor disputes.
What can I do to stop my employee from stealing my business information and competing with me?
Employees have access to customer lists, trade secrets, and other confidential business information, which they can use to compete with their former employer. Our attorneys have experience drafting employment agreements that can afford you protection against this scenario, and they also have experience litigating claims involving breaches of covenants not to compete, non-solicitation agreements, confidentiality agreements and involving violations of state and federal laws protecting trade secrets and other confidential business information.
Am I doing enough to keep my employees safe?
Workplace safety is a priority of nearly every employer. Employers want to ensure that they are doing everything they can to send their employees home safely at the end of every day, and they also want to ensure that they are complying with federal workplace safety regulations to reduce risk and liability. Our attorneys can assist with providing advice and ensuring compliance, preparing for and managing OSHA inspections, and addressing citations.
What is the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation responsible for?
The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR) is a state agency responsible for overseeing various aspects of labor, employment, and economic development in the state of South Dakota. The DLR's mission is to promote economic opportunity and well-being for South Dakotans by ensuring fair and safe workplaces, providing workforce development services, and facilitating business growth. The department plays a crucial role in maintaining a balanced and productive work environment for both employees and employers. Here are some of the key responsibilities and functions of the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation:
• Workforce Development
• Unemployment Insurance
• Workplace Safety
• Wage and Hour Compliance
• Human Rights and Fair Employment
• Apprenticeships and Training Programs
• Business Services
• Economic Development
• Licensing and Regulation
• Dispute Resolution
• Data Collection and Analysis
What is the South Dakota Human Relations Act?
The South Dakota Human Relations Act (SDHRA) is a state law that prohibits discrimination in various areas, including employment, housing, and public accommodations. The SDHRA is designed to ensure that individuals are treated fairly and without discrimination based on certain protected characteristics. The Act provides legal protection against discrimination in South Dakota and establishes mechanisms for addressing complaints and enforcing the law.
Key points about the South Dakota Human Relations Act include:
Protected Characteristics: The Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, ancestry, disability, national origin, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Employment Discrimination: The SDHRA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants based on the protected characteristics mentioned above. This includes hiring, firing, promotion, compensation, terms of employment, and more.
Housing Discrimination: The Act also prohibits housing discrimination based on the protected characteristics. Landlords, property managers, and housing providers are prohibited from discriminatory practices in renting or selling housing.
Public Accommodations: The SDHRA ensures that individuals have equal access to public accommodations such as restaurants, hotels, theaters, and other places of public use without facing discrimination.
Enforcement: The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation's Division of Human Rights is responsible for enforcing the South Dakota Human Relations Act. Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against can file complaints with this division.
What is workers' compensation, and how does it work in South Dakota?
Workers' Compensation is a system designed to provide benefits to employees who are injured or become ill due to their job-related activities. It serves as a form of insurance that covers medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages for employees who experience work-related injuries or illnesses. The goal of Workers' Compensation is to ensure that employees are protected and financially supported when they are unable to work due to job-related injuries or illnesses.
In South Dakota, the Workers' Compensation system operates as follows:
Coverage and Eligibility: Most employers in South Dakota are required to carry Workers' Compensation insurance, with a few exceptions. Generally, all employees are covered under this system, including full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary workers.
Report the Injury or Illness: If an employee is injured or becomes ill due to work-related activities, they should report the incident to their employer as soon as possible. This is an important step to initiate the Workers' Compensation process.
Medical Treatment: The injured employee is entitled to receive necessary medical treatment for their work-related injury or illness. The employer's Workers' Compensation insurance should cover these medical expenses.
Temporary Disability Benefits: If the employee is unable to work while recovering from the injury or illness, they may be eligible for temporary disability benefits. These benefits typically cover a portion of the employee's lost wages during the recovery period.
Permanent Disability Benefits: If the injury or illness results in a permanent impairment that affects the employee's ability to work, they may be eligible for permanent disability benefits. The severity of the disability will determine the amount of compensation.
Vocational Rehabilitation: In cases where an employee's injury or illness prevents them from returning to their previous job, Workers' Compensation may cover vocational rehabilitation to help the employee acquire new skills or find alternative employment.
Death Benefits: If a work-related injury or illness leads to the death of an employee, their dependents may be eligible for death benefits, which can include compensation for funeral expenses and ongoing financial support.
Filing a Claim: To receive Workers' Compensation benefits, the injured employee needs to file a claim with the state's Workers' Compensation agency. This involves submitting relevant documentation and medical records to support the claim.
Dispute Resolution: If there are disputes regarding the claim, such as disagreements over the extent of the injury or the eligibility for benefits, there are mechanisms in place for resolving these issues. This might involve mediation or formal hearings.