Are you considering leaving your job to start your own business or joining a competing company? You’re far from alone as employees and employers continue to navigate “The Great Resignation“. You’re also not alone in worrying about your non-compete agreement and potential litigation resulting from your move.
There will never be a risk-free transition, but you can take steps to minimize your risk. A knowledgeable employment law attorney can advise you on specific circumstances, but the following tips apply to most transitions.
Read Between the Lines
You may not officially have a non-compete agreement, but overbearing non-solicitation and trade secrets agreements often masquerade as non-compete agreements. An attorney can advise you about your rights and obligations before you switch jobs.
Don’t Leave In a Firestorm
Many employees have exposure to non-compete litigation but aren’t sued; don’t give your current employer a reason to feel good about raking you over the coals on your way out. If you have nothing nice to say about your current employer, don’t say anything. Also, avoid any actions threatening your employer, such as taking your coworkers with you.
Don’t Take Any Unnecessary Data
Taking customer lists that the company owns and other sensitive data is a red flag for employers, making litigation more likely. Of course, there are legitimate reasons to take data with you – such as ownership of customer lists or preservation of evidence – but you should consult an attorney to ensure you are going about things the right way.
Be Aware of Geographical Restrictions
Many non-compete agreements contain geographical restrictions. This issue is starting to wane due to more remote positions, but starting a new business in the same geographic market as your current company can create an additional risk of litigation.
Don’t Let Fear of a Non-Compete Limit Your Career Aspirations
It’s good to be thoughtful and cautious when considering a career move. However, don’t let fear of a potential non-compete lawsuit stop you from pursuing your career goals. Seek the advice of a proven employment lawyer to put your mind at ease and ensure you have the information you need to make a confident decision about your next step.
If you’re over 40, the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects you from age-based discrimination at work. This law prohibits employers from treating you unfairly because of your age when it comes to hiring, firing, promotions, or benefits.
It’s worth emphasizing that age discrimination isn’t just about being fired. It can also happen if you’re passed over for a promotion or don’t receive the same training opportunities as younger coworkers. If you believe an employer has discriminated against you due to your age, you can file a lawsuit to stand up for your rights and seek justice.
Filing an Age Discrimination Lawsuit
If you face age discrimination at work and decide to take legal action, your case will likely proceed through the following typical stages:
- Consulting a Lawyer: First, you should find a knowledgeable employment law attorney. They will guide you through the legal process and represent your interests.
- Gathering Evidence: Next, your lawyer will collect any evidence supporting your claim of age discrimination. This might include emails, witness statements, or examples of younger employees receiving better treatment.
- Filing a Charge with the EEOC: Before bringing suit, you must file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Your lawyer will handle this step. The EEOC will review your case and decide if it should investigate.
- Waiting for the EEOC to Investigate: If the EEOC investigates, they’ll gather more information from you and your employer. Their goal is to understand if age discrimination occurred.
- Receiving EEOC’s Decision: After investigating, the EEOC will decide whether it can act on the information it’s undcovered. This might involve working with the employer to correct its behavior or taking them to court.
- Filing a Lawsuit: If the EEOC doesn’t find evidence or if a settlement isn’t possible, you can sue. Your lawyer will handle the legal work, like preparing documents and representing you in court.
- Attending Mediation or Trial: Depending on the case, you might go through mediation to reach a settlement or proceed to trial. Your lawyer will argue on your behalf, presenting evidence and witness testimonies that support your claim.
How an Age Discrimination Lawyer Can Help
If you have experienced age discrimination at work, a lawyer can listen to your story and determine if you have a strong case. Then, they can gather and organize evidence, like emails or witness statements, to support your claim. After preparing your case, your lawyer will file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on your behalf, following all filing procedures as necessary.
If your case goes to court, your attorney can represent you and handle all the administrative details of your lawsuit. Throughout the process, they communicate with you, keep you informed, and offer advice. With their knowledge and support, an age discrimination lawyer empowers you to stand up against unfair workplace treatment based on age.
Contact a Michigan Age Discrimination Attorney
If you’re facing age discrimination at work, remember you’re not alone. Just Right Law is here to help you fight for the respect and fairness you deserve. Our experienced age discrimination lawyers understand the challenges you’re facing and are ready to provide the support and guidance you need.
Don’t let age discrimination in the workplace hold you back any longer. Contact Just Right Law today for an initial consultation.
Whistleblowers play a vital role in discovering and prosecuting illegal acts such as fraud in our economy. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure whistleblowers can come forward with the confidence that state and federal laws will protect them from retaliation.
Fortunately, many laws protect whistleblowers who uncover misdeeds such as fraud, wage theft, and discrimination, including:
- OSHA whistleblower protections
- MIOSHA workplace safety enforcement
- Michigan Whistleblower Protection Act
- Discharge in breach of public policy common law protections
- False Claims Act
- Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
- IRS whistleblower protections
- Affordable Care Act protections for healthcare whistleblowers
Other industry-specific laws protect some workers or cover specific types of violations. A knowledgeable employment law attorney can help you protect your rights under all whistleblower protection laws.
Act Quickly to Protect Your Legal and Financial Interests
Each source of protection has its legal limits, administrative or procedural processes, and applicable reporting deadlines – some as short as 30 days. If you are a whistleblower, it is crucial to move quickly with the help of experienced counsel who understands how to navigate the justice system for your benefit. Contact us today for a consultation.