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Nashville Employment Lawyers

A Law Firm for Employees

Our team of experienced Nashville employment lawyers are relentless advocates for Tennessee workers. Our attorneys have worked for some of the best law firms in the United States. We deliver big firm talent with small firm service. We represent employees in a wide range of employment law matters. Contact Rickard Masker, PLC for a free online case review at the number above or online.

Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination means you were fired in violation of a legal right. Although Tennessee is an at-will employment state, many exceptions exist to the at-will employment doctrine.

Common examples of wrongful termination include being retaliated against for opposing an unlawful practice (such as discrimination) or asserting other legal rights. You need a team of employment law litigators who know federal and state laws and who have the experience needed to get you the compensation you deserve.

Our team of seasoned Nashville wrongful termination attorneys fights for employees who have been mistreated by their employers. For an overview of the litigation process, see Stages of an Employment Lawsuit.

Workplace Discrimination

Workplace discrimination happens all the time in the form of discriminatory remarks, unequal pay, failure to promote, and wrongful termination. Fortunately, the law is on your side. The law prohibits your employer from making employment decisions because your race, color, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or after the employee asserted his or her legal rights.

Race Discrimination

You deserve a fair and equal workplace free of race discrimination. Unlawful workplace discrimination happens all the time. Fortunately, the law is on your side. The law prohibits a company from making employment decisions because of an employee’s race or after the employee asserted his or her legal rights.

For example, an African American worker being called the “n-word” or “boy” may create legal liability for the employer, since companies are responsible for the actions of their managers, employees, and agents. If the discrimination and harassment is severe or pervasive, you may be experiencing a racially hostile work environment. Workers who suffer such discrimination and hostilities can seek monetary relief, such as back pay, front pay, emotional distress damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees and costs.

Our Nashville race discrimination lawyers have proven track records of successfully fighting for victims of unlawful workplace discrimination. Many answers to commonly asked questions can be found in Workplace Discrimination FAQs.

Racially Hostile Work Environment

If you are experiencing severe or pervasive racial slurs such as the “n-word,” “monkey,” or “boy,” you are likely a victim of a race-based hostile work environment.

Curt Masker and Caraline Rickard are Nashville workplace discrimination attorneys who fight against racism in the workplace by holding employers accountable in a court of law.

Importantly, in cases involving multiple victims of racially offensive workplace misconduct, the employees can secure aggregate review of their hostile work environment claims. This means that if the employees can show that they were each individually aware of the harassment experienced by the other employees, then the court will treat each employee-plaintiff as having experienced all of the racially offensive conduct occurring in the workplace. In other words, each plaintiff does not need to be the target of, or a witness to, the harassment of others in order for the court to consider that harassment in its hostile work environment analysis.

A racially hostile work environment is prohibited by both Tennessee and federal employment law. Employees who suffer from such an abusive environment can seek monetary and equitable relief, including back pay, front pay, emotional distress damages, punitive damages, and reinstatement.

For an in-depth discussion of damages in employment cases, see our article on the subject.

Sexual Harassment

Enduring sexual harassment in the workplace can be traumatic and devastating, but you do not have to tolerate being objectified and humiliated at work for the sake of “not rocking the boat” or keeping your job. You need an employment lawyer in your corner who you trust and who can take the fight to the company and the harasser.

Federal and Tennessee laws make it unlawful for employers to discriminate against any individual on the basis of sex. Sexual harassment is one of the most common and difficult employment situations to navigate, especially when the harasser is your boss. You want to report the misconduct but you are afraid of being fired or otherwise retaliated against. You need to know what actions to take to stop the harassment while protecting your job and legal rights.

Ready to take action? Contact our Nashville-based labor and employment lawyers for a free online case review.

Sexual harassment often includes one or more of the following types of unwelcome behavior by a supervisor or co-worker:

  • Physical touching
  • Frequent comments about your appearance/attractiveness
  • Sexually explicit text messages or e-mails
  • Sexual “jokes” or innuendos
  • Persistent leering or staring
  • Displaying sexual materials
  • Solicitation of explicit pictures
  • Repeated requests for a romantic date

Sexual harassment claims fall under one or more of the following claims:

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

Quid pro quo (“this for that”) sexual harassment occurs when your employment is conditioned on your submission to unwelcome sexual advances. In other words, your boss attempts to get sexual favors in exchange for your job advancement. If you do not submit, your career suffers.

Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment

Hostile work environment sexual harassment occurs when an employee is subjected to unwelcome sexual advances, touching, or crude sexual language that is so severe and pervasive that a reasonable person in your position would consider your work environment intimidating, hostile, or abusive. Employment laws are on your side. Under the law, an employer is automatically liable for harassment by a supervisor that results in a negative employment action such as termination, demotion, or denial of a pay raise.

In Tennessee, you may have as little as 300 days to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If you are being or have been subjected to unwelcome sexual overtures, touching or comments at work from your boss or a coworker, your legal rights are likely being violated.

Contact our workplace sexual harassment lawyers at the number above or online to vindicate your legal rights.

For answers to many common questions you can review Workplace Sexual Harassment FAQs.

Unlawful Workplace Retaliation

Doing what’s right takes courage. You want to report wrongdoing but you’re afraid of losing your job. Retaliation is the most common form of wrongful termination. Several employment laws protect employees from retaliation after they have engaged in protected activity.

Common examples of protected activity include:

  • Opposing unlawful discrimination or harassment
  • Opposing wage and hour violations
  • Reporting violations of the False Claims Act
  • Reporting Workplace Safety Violations
  • Requesting or taking protected medical or military leave
  • Filing a worker’s compensation claim

If you were fired, demoted, or suffered another adverse action after you spoke out against what you believed was unlawful conduct by your employer, then you may be the victim of unlawful workplace retaliation. For answers to commonly asked questions, be sure to review our Unlawful Workplace Retaliation FAQs.

Sex and Gender Discrimination

If you have been treated unfavorably compared to coworkers of the opposite gender, you may be the victim of unlawful gender discrimination. Employees who face sex and gender discrimination may pursue legal action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Tennessee Human Rights Act. Title VII covers employers with 15 or more employees whereas the THRA covers employers with 8 or more employees. Employers generally cannot use sex or gender as a motivating factor for an adverse employment action such as demotion, termination, or lay off.

Wage Discrimination

Federal and Tennessee laws require equal pay for equal work. Nashville discrimination lawyers Curt Masker and Caraline Rickard are dedicated to closing the gender pay gap in Tennessee one client at a time. Unequal pay claims are highly nuanced and speaking with an experienced employment attorney to review the specific circumstances of your situation is a good first step.

Pregnancy Discrimination

Your pregnancy and related conditions are off limits to your employer when making decisions about your job. Still, pregnancy discrimination is a widespread problem in the United States. If you were fired or otherwise mistreated after your employer learned of your pregnancy, you may be the victim of unlawful sex-based discrimination under federal and state law. Employees who suffer pregnancy discrimination can seek monetary and equitable relief, including back pay, front pay, emotional distress damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees and costs.

LGBTQ Discrimination

Sexual orientation discrimination occurs when an employee suffers an adverse employment action based on their status as lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, or pansexual. The discrimination encountered by transgender workers often has no connection to the employee’s sexual orientation, but rather is related to societal stereotypes of gender roles and norms. In both situations, employers are prohibited from basing employment decisions on your sexual orientation or gender identity.

Age Discrimination

You do not have to tolerate being fired or harassed on the basis of your age. If you are age 40 or older and have been fired or otherwise mistreated compared to younger coworkers, contact our age discrimination attorneys serving Nashville for a free online case review.

Disability Discrimination

If you have a disability and are qualified to perform your job, federal and state laws protect you from workplace discrimination based on your disability. Do not let your employer’s discriminatory actions stop you from achieving your personal and professional goals. If you have been fired, demoted, or otherwise mistreated based on your actual or perceived disability, contact Rickard Masker, PLC today to discuss the specifics of your case.

National Origin Discrimination

National origin discrimination occurs when you are harassed, ridiculed, or otherwise discriminated against because of real or perceived traits of your race, ethnicity, or religious group, including physical, cultural, or linguistic characteristics. For instance, it is unlawful discrimination for an employer to pay an employee less because of prejudicial stereotypes surrounding the employee’s ethnic background or because the employee has a dark complexion. Under federal law, discrimination based on accent can also constitute national origin discrimination.

Religious Discrimination

Our Nashville religious discrimination lawyers fight for workers who have been discriminated against based on their religious beliefs or customs. If you have been treated differently by your employer based on sincerely held beliefs, you are likely the victim of unlawful religious discrimination.

FMLA Discrimination

Life is unpredictable and medical emergencies happen. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides employees with job-protected leave so they can seek treatment or tend to a sick loved one without risking their job. If you have been discriminated against or denied rights or benefits related to medical leave, your legal rights may have been violated. Our Nashville-based FMLA attorneys are dedicated to seeking the maximum compensation possible for victims of FMLA discrimination.

Under the law, an employee may take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, protected employment leave in a given 12-month period for any of the following reasons:

  • A serious health condition makes you unable to perform the functions of your job
  • Birth of a child and to bond with the newborn child within one year of birth
  • To care for and to bond with an adopted child within one year of placement
  • To care for your spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition
  • Military leave exigencies such as changing child care arrangements, attending military ceremonies and events, spending time with a military member on Rest and Recuperation leave during deployment, etc.

Covered employers: The FMLA covers private employers with 50 or more employees. Public employers are covered under the law regardless of the number of employees.

Covered employees: For you to be covered by the FMLA, your employer must employ at least 50 employees at your worksite or at multiple locations located within 75 miles of your worksite. Also, you must have worked for your employer for 12 months (non-continuous) and worked at least 1,250 hours (about 24 hours per week, on average) within the preceding 12 months to be eligible for FMLA leave.

Claims under the FMLA include:

  • Interference – Employer tries to stop or discourage you from taking or trying to take FMLA leave
  • Retaliation – Employer fires or discriminates against you for exercising your FMLA rights
Military Status Discrimination

USERRA provides robust employment and worker protections for our nation’s servicemembers who answer the call to serve. Under USERRA, civilian job rights and benefits for are protected under the “escalator principle,” which requires military members to be reemployed in the job they would have attained had they not been called to serve. In other words, if you would have been promoted but for your service, you are entitled to be reinstated to the promoted position upon your return. This includes the same seniority, status, and pay as well as other rights and benefits. In addition, an employer cannot retaliate against a servicemember for asserting his or her rights under USERRA. You need a labor lawyer serving Nashville on your side.

Likewise, Tennessee law protects members of the Tennessee National Guard who are called to serve, e.g., for drill weekends, annual training, and mobilization by the Governor during a state emergency.

Hostile Work Environment

A hostile work environment is a workplace that is permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment and create an abusive work environment. This type of harassment is a form of employment discrimination. You need an employment law advocate dedicated to fighting against abusive employment practices by holding employers accountable in a court of law.

In the legal sense, a workplace must be “abusive” to be a hostile work environment. To be “abusive,” the offensive conduct must be severe or pervasive and the work environment must be objectively and subjectively offensive. Factors that courts use to evaluate whether or not a work environment was abusive include “the frequency of the discriminatory conduct; its severity; whether it is physically threatening or humiliating, or a mere offensive utterance; and whether it unreasonably interferes with an employee’s performance. Ladd v. Grand Trunk W. R.R., Inc., 552 F.3d 495, 496 (6th Cir. 2009).

Answers to many common questions can be found in our Hostile Work Environment FAQs.

Nashville Overtime Attorneys

You deserve to be fully compensated under the law for your hard work. Unfortunately, some employers intentionally fail to pay overtime and compensate employees for all hours worked. If your employer has engaged in wage theft, the first step is fully understanding your legal options.

Contact our overtime lawyers serving Nashville to learn your legal rights.

Executive Wrongful Termination

Executive wrongful termination cases are high stakes affairs that can severely impact your professional and financial future. These claims often arise from the breach of an employment contract or unlawful retaliation for pushing back on unlawful employment practices. Your reputation is at stake, so you need skilled workplace litigation counsel on your side from the onset.

Executive Severance Agreements

As an executive, you accept significant risks when leading large organizations. In exchange, your compensation, benefits, and reputation should be fairly protected at the outset through a term employment contract. Executives can often negotiate favorable severance terms that take into account the unique equity benefits conferred to executives, including equity interests, especially during the recruitment process.

Severance Agreement Review

Your employer has been presented you with a Severance Package. In addition to the fear and uncertainty of being terminated from your job, you now have mere days to figure out what to do. You are happy about the prospect of severance pay, but should you ask for more? What employment law claims and legal rights are you giving up? You need answers fast.

Contact Rickard Masker, PLC today to speak with a Nashville severance package attorney.

Whistleblower Attorney

Doing what’s right takes courage. Retaliation is a very real concern for employees who wish to speak out against a company’s fraudulent medical billing practices. Do not be discouraged. Learn your legal rights by calling an employment lawyer today.

EEOC Lawyer

Filing a complaint with the EEOC is a required first step for many discrimination and harassment claims in Tennessee.

Our firm files EEOC complaints for employees in Tennessee.

Remember that your employer has a team of employment law lawyers representing its interests at the EEOC – you need to protect yourself by hiring an attorney and leveling the playing field.

For more information on the EEOC process, read about the Top 5 Reasons to Have an Attorney File Your EEOC Complaint and Filing an EEOC Complaint in Tennessee.

Nurse Breach of Employment Contract

Nurses are often threatened with legal demands from their healthcare employers when they chose to resign to pursue better opportunities. These threats may include demands for payment of thousands of dollars in bonuses, training costs, or other bogus fees. You need to know your legal rights before responding to such demands.

Do You Have an Employment Law Case? Take Action Immediately

If you have been the victim of workplace discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, contact our Nashville employment attorneys for a free online case review.

Attorneys for Workers
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Rickard Masker, PLC is a law firm for employees. From wrongful termination and discrimination claims, to unpaid overtime and severance reviews, we provide highly skilled legal services to everyday working people across Tennessee. Our Nashville employment lawyers have been recognized by their peers in Super Lawyers® and Best Lawyers® for their work in labor and employment litigation.

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Client Reviews
Curt worked diligently and maintained excellent communication with my case. He made sure to keep us updated about any and everything. I highly recommend Rickard Masker, PLC. Would give more stars if possible. Jeffrey
Curt really came through for me when a previous employer had reported my job title and hire dates incorrectly, he got it corrected within 12 hours of speaking to him about it! I would recommend him for any of your legal needs as he is quite efficient! Renee
Curt was very responsive from the beginning. He made it a very easy process, and he provided excellent guidance in the review of my severance agreement. Due, in part, to Curt's thoughtful suggestions in regards to changing some key language in the agreement that would protect both me and my former employer, they agreed to the changes. To protect yourself during job transition, a review of a severance agreement is a smart thing to do, and Curt will do an excellent job on your behalf. Thomas
Curt handled a case for me and did an unbelievable job in getting a resolution and a great settlement. I would highly recommend him to anyone. Teena
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