Filing a complaint against your employer is never a good feeling, and you aren’t always in the position to “just quit”. From having issues with your wage payments, to disagreements about state laws regarding breaks, sometimes these problems cannot be resolved through conversation. Luckily, there are a few methods of filing a complaint against a particularly stubborn employer through government resources.
There are cases where you may need to pursue legal action in order to achieve a resolution with your employer.
Look into your local department of labor
Depending on the nature of your concern with your employer, you should look into your local department of labor’s guidance on the subject. There may be certain stipulations involved under your department of labor complaint system. In North Carolina, for instance the department of labor won’t take wage complaints under 50$ in value. Review your local laws governing labor and if you’re able to contact your labor department to investigate for you. The benefits of utilizing a department of labor are that they are cost-free resources that the government uses to regulate workplaces within the country. They can cover everything from work-schedules, wages, or breaks within the state. They can also provide information over the phone, but they should not be mistaken for legal consultation. It would be best if you attempted to solve the dispute with your employer prior to filing a complaint against them.
Employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation
There may be instances where you are working with an employer who doesn’t have workers’ compensation even though they are required to by law. This can be dangerous as if you are hurt on the job, you will not be covered for medical expenses incurred from the physical injury. Any employer hiring 3 or more employees is required by law to have workers compensation insurance, but if they don’t, you’ll be on the hook for lost wages and medical bills. You can complain to your department of labor about this if you don’t currently have coverage and your employee is required to.
If you’ve already been hurt on the job, and your employer was required to have workers compensation and didn’t in North Carolina, you may be wondering “can I sue my employer?” The answer is that you can sue your employer in certain circumstances, and gaining professional advice from a lawyer is for the best in order to develop an understanding of your situation. While there may be costs with using a lawyer, it can be more expenses to be without work, and to be paying medical bills.
When is my employer liable to damages?
There a few cases where your employer is liable to pay for damages, namely; they do not have workers compensation and they are required to, they put you in harms way, knowing it was dangerous, or their current insurance amount will not be enough to cover the damages that you’ve incurred. Talking to a legal representative to see if your employer would qualify to pay damages in a suit is recommended. Employer’s have a responsibility to ensure their workers are practicing in a safe environment, and make sure they are protected from any injuries on the job.
What damages are employers required to pay
If your employer does not have workers compensation and they are required to, or the insurable amount is insufficient, they may have to cover your medical expenses currently, as well as future medical expenses. Lost wages may also need to be recovered, and potentially your legal costs. Workers’ compensation generally only offers a percentage of your wages for a temporary duration. In rare cases, punitive damages designed to punish the employer if they were acting particularly negligent may be charged. Always speak to a lawyer in order to see if you may be entitled to these damages.
Prior to filing a complaint against your employer with the labor board it is always recommended that you speak to your employer about the issue first. This will show you’re attempting to reach a resolution without directly going to a government agency. If this is unsuccessful speak to your department of labor and gain more information about the issue. In cases regarding workers compensation you may be required to seek legal assistance if you’ve already been hurt on the job. Your employer is required to insure you under the law in most circumstances, and you are entitled to certain damages if your employer was at fault, or did not insure you properly. Getting legal advice from a professional is invaluable if you’re dealing with a complex case and you need some help.