Employment Law: Understanding Your Rights and Responsibilities

Employment law has exacting specifications for contractors, employers, and employees alike. Mr. Ted Troutman has over 30 years protecting the rights of both employers and employees in labor disputes. At Troutman Law Firm, P.C. in Portland, OR, we are equipped to handle all aspects of employment law and will make sure your rights as an employer and the rights of your employees are well protected.

Why Businesses Need Thorough Employment Agreements

HR Policies and ProceduresNearly every company, large or small, has an employee handbook that is provided to new hires. This handbook contains company policy on topics such as overtime, vacation and sick days, IT requirements, and disciplinary procedures. But a simple handbook is not always enough to convey the rights of both employer and employee. Instead, businesses need thorough employment agreements to memorialize:

  • Specific Terms: This type of content protects all employees from an assembly line worker all the way up to the highest level of executives. When clear needs—such as job duties and skills required—are specifically outlined, each party can understand their duties and expectations.
  • Work-Related Grievances: It is not uncommon for work-related grievances, such as injury on the job, harassment, or a challenge to discipline to occur. Having a process in place for filing these claims can protect both the employee and employer. When procedures are clearly outlined, it is difficult to claim proper protocol was not followed. The key here is to document the steps along the way and have a plan in place to store documentation should it be needed in the event of litigation.
  • Safety Standards: These must be clearly communicated to all levels of employees at a company, and both state and federal law dictate that potential hazards must be clearly outlined. Inclusion of safety procedures is a must for any employment agreement, as safety is a number one concern for all workers. Having a clear policy on emergency procedures and safety requirements reduces the risk of injury and provides clear instruction on what to do in an emergency situation.

We are equipped to handle all aspects of employment law and will make sure your rights as an employer and the rights of your employees are well protected.

  • Expectations of Independent Contractors or Work-for-Hire Employees: These types of employees are typically not given the same benefits as full-time employees, but they are still entitled to certain protections. Having a policy in place that defines delivery dates, project timelines, and pay guarantees protects each party.
  • Compliance Labor Laws: Both state and federal compliance labor laws must be conveyed clearly to all employees. Thus, inclusion of these policies in an employment agreement is essential. Failing to abide by state and federal laws places an employer at risk for a lawsuit. However, transmitting labor law requirements through a well-written employment agreement decreases that risk.

Why You Need Legal Representation For Employment Issues and Disputes

The Department of Labor is charged with enforcement of the many labor laws of the country. These laws are designed to protect employees, but many employers also require legal assistance with employment issues and labor disputes, such as:

  • Pay Disputes: Regular and overtime pay rates are a matter of federal law. When an employee is not paid properly, a dispute can be made. Defense of this dispute requires a working knowledge of the labor and employment laws, as does pursuit of a claim. 
  • Health and Safety Regulations: Workplaces are required to be safe and healthy. When an employer does not provide that environment, legal action can be taken. 
  • Family Medical Leave Act: This is a federal act covering instances where an employee may be off work, but receive full or partial pay, or be guaranteed a position upon returning to the office. 
  • Work-for-Hire Jobs: When part of the work done at a business requires the use of independent contractors, those workers are entitled to a separate agreement outlining the terms of the work to be performed. An employee handbook is not designed to cover this type of worker, and thus an artfully drafted agreement for the specific terms of the “for hire” worker is needed.

Mr. Troutman has been working with clients in business law and employment law matters for many years. As a result, he is well-versed in the issues that face both employers and employees, and he can help you understand your rights. 

Contact Our Office for More Information

If you need help understanding your rights as an employer or an employee, we can help. We will work to protect your interests and secure a desirable outcome. To schedule a consultation, contact us online or call (503) 292-6788.

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