For a long time, in South Carolina and throughout the United States, employees, especially manual laborers and factory workers, were often ill-treated. Even worse, they had few, if any, bodies of employment law to protect them. Fortunately, today both at the state and federal level and sometimes at the local level as well, there are laws to regulate employment conditions and provide mistreated employees with legal recourse.
Whether you are the owner of a company, a supervisor, salesperson, executive, clerk, factory worker, or manual laborer, you are now bound by, as well as protected by, employment law. Statutes like the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) are only some of the acts defining appropriate behavior for both employers and employees.
Willcox, Buyck & Williams, long a well-known and highly regarded business law firm in South Carolina, is able to provide in-depth and comprehensive knowledge of employment law to employees so they will understand the benefits they’re entitled to and the regulations they must follow. In the same way, our skilled employment attorneys are well-prepared to guide employers to maintain compliance with all legal requirements for workplace environments and to understand under what circumstances they can legally terminate an employee.
Acceptable Workplace Conditions
Workplace environments must meet current standards for matters of employment law such as minimum wage, safety, non-discrimination and sanitation standards and to avoid claims of wrongful termination. By the same token, employees must meet the regulations set out in their employee handbooks and can be, in South Carolina as throughout all 50 states, terminated at will, with or without cause.
Besides having to keep the workplace clean and safe — e.g. outfitted with fire alarms, free of unmarked dangerous sites or equipment, and free of contaminated water or air — employers are required to create and maintain an atmosphere that is equally comfortable to employees of all ages, races, religions, and other protected characteristics. Our employment law practice is dedicated to ensuring that both employers and employees understand, and benefit from understanding, the dos and don’ts of employment law.
What Our South Carolina Employment Attorney Can Do To Help Employees
No matter who you are or what kind of work you do, you are entitled to be paid minimum wage.
If you’re an employee or even an applicant for a job, you may have experienced discrimination. Don’t hesitate to contact Willcox, Buyck & Williams if you have been discriminated against or harassed in your workplace because of any of the following conditions:
- Country of Origin
- Familial status (including pregnant women and nursing mothers)
Taunting, name-calling, derogatory cartoons and, symbols of derision are all forbidden, as are: relegating a worker to an inferior workspace, or making the targeted worker do more menial work than other employees.
Employers are responsible not only for their own behavior in regard to protected classes of employees but the behavior of their other employees once misconduct has been reported. Also, pregnant women and nursing mothers must be accommodated by employers by, for instance, by being given less heavy physical work, getting altered hours, and being provided with a safe, clean, private place in which to nurse their babies (not a bathroom stall).
Sexual Harassment is also taboo in American workplaces. There are two types of sexual harassment:
- Quid pro quo harassment is an unscrupulous arrangement in which an employer covertly or openly asks an employee for sexual favors in exchange for being hired, promoted, or obtaining other employment benefits.
- Hostile work environment is one in which one or more employees are subjected to offensive sexual comments, inappropriate touching, sexual jokes, sexual gestures or sounds, words or pictures of a sexual nature. It is sometimes challenging to differentiate an off-color joke, double entendre or harmless teasing from a hostile work environment, but if even one person is offended by the action the chances are that the rest of the group needs training about the parameters of objectionable social behavior.
It is important to be aware that as an employee you are also legally protected by so-called “whistleblower” laws. These laws keep you from being demoted, terminated or otherwise mistreated because you have lodged a complaint within your business or to a government agency, or you have exercised any legal right.
Willcox, Buyck and Williams Assists Employers in All Matters of Employment Law
The competent, well-informed employment law attorneys at Willcox, Buyck & Williams are equally committed to ensuring that employers they serve keep their businesses strong by:
- Meeting wage and hour regulations
- Complying with environmental and safety rules and anti-discrimination laws
- Having all their employment documents (confidentiality, non-compete, severance agreements) drafted so that they are legally binding
- Developing employee handbooks that contain and clarify company policies
- Avoiding potential litigation, whether for discrimination or wrongful termination or by being proactive
Willcox, Buyck & Williams — Employment Law Attorneys Par Excellence
No matter whether you are an employer or an employee, in current distress or trying to avoid future problems, feeling attacked or unfairly treated, our successful practice is here to help. Our South Carolina employment law attorneys have a well-deserved reputation for serving, protecting and defending all members of the business community. Call us for an appointment or get in touch with us through our website. We are eager to help.