Standing Up For Your Employee Rights
Washington is an employment-at-will state. This means employers can terminate the relationship at any time and for any reason. The exception is that employers cannot take action against employees for impermissible reasons such as the worker’s race, gender, age or disability, or in retaliation for protected activities.
The Law Office of Robert D. Butler offers strong and compassionate advocacy if your employer has violated your rights or failed to protect you from mistreatment in the workplace. I am Bob Butler, a Bellingham attorney with more than 25 years of experience in labor and employment claims in Whatcom County.
Call me at 360-325-7242 about any employment-related matter including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, unpaid wages or professional license defense.
Unpaid Overtime/Wage And Hour Claims
if you believe you are being cheated out of your full pay by your employer, the Law Office of Robert D. Butler can hold them accountable. If you work more than 40 hours in a week, the employer should pay overtime at the time-and-a-half rate. One of the biggest problems we see is employers misclassifying employees as exempt to avoid paying overtime.
I have helped clients recover compensation for unpaid overtime and misclassification, and for other wage and hour violations such as forcing employees to work off the clock, deducting pay for meal or rest breaks, denying mandated breaks or paying less than minimum wage. Wage violations can add up to thousands of dollars. You may be entitled to back wages plus double damages and attorney fees.
Individuals are protected from discrimination by employers under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Americans with Disabilities Act, Washington’s RCW 49.60.030, and other federal and state laws. You may have legal remedies if your employer’s adverse action (discipline, harassment, passed over for promotion, termination) was based on your race or color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status or military status.
Sexual Harassment/Hostile Work Environment
You may have a claim when management participates in or condones sexual conduct that interferes with the employee’s job. Sexual harassment can range from offensive language, jokes or unwanted advances that create a hostile working environment to physical touching or demands for sexual favors in exchange for perks, advancement or keeping one’s job. Harassment is not necessarily male-to-female; it can be same-sex or female-to-male. The harasser can be an owner, supervisor, co-worker or a customer/client.
Whistleblower Retaliation And Other Reprisal
You are protected by whistleblower laws if you raise the alarm over illegal activity by your company. Employers are prohibited from taking adverse action such as termination, demotion or transfer. You are also protected from retaliation for reporting harassment or discrimination, filing a workers’ compensation claim, getting pregnant or taking FMLA leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Professional License Defense
When you’re facing an allegation or inquiry that threatens your professional license, hiring an attorney early on in the process is imperative. I have represented mental health professionals, physicians, pharmacists, registered nurses, home child care and massage practitioners, and other licensed professionals before their corresponding state licensing boards. I am knowledgeable about the state’s procedures when a professional license is in jeopardy, and I have produced exceptional results for clients by conducting independent investigations, mounting defenses to the charges and packaging creative solutions for resolving cases in the client’s best interest.
Employment Security Appeals
If you are denied benefits following separation from employment, you have the right to request a hearing before the Employment Security Department to review the denial. I can guide you through the appeals process to secure the unemployment benefits you need and deserve.
Personnel Appeal Board
I have represented state employees who have been disciplined, suspended or terminated. The PAB is your first recourse to have the adverse action retracted.
Union Member Advocacy
The Law Office of Robert D. Butler may be able to step in to represent a union employee in an employment or labor dispute (a) when an individual is unsatisfied with the union’s representation or (b) when the union has decided not to advocate on behalf of the member.
Let’s Discuss Your Situation
I have resolved employment matters through negotiation, mediation, arbitration and trial, representing clients in administrative proceedings as well as lawsuits in state and federal courts of Washington.