Nashville Bar Association
Tennessee Bar Association
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Vanderbilt Law School

Nashville Employment Lawyer Representing Workers

When you give your time and labor to a company you expect a few things in return: a paycheck, common respect, and to be treated in accordance with the law. Unfortunately, many employers take advantage of good employees in the form of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wage theft, and wrongful termination. You need a law firm that understands the system. The Masker Firm can help you vindicate your rights and collect damages for your wrongful termination.

The Masker Firm was founded on three core principles:

  • 100% Employment Law – Singular Focus
  • Only Represent Employees – Zero Corporate Clients
  • Exceptional Personal Service – Timely Updates and Quick Callbacks

The Masker Firm exclusively represents Tennessee workers in federal and state courts and during the complaint process at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Contact an employment lawyer serving Nashville to schedule a Free Consultation.

Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination occurs when you are 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 wage theft) or asserting legal rights such as requesting medical or military leave.

Discrimination

Unlawful workplace discrimination happens all the time. The law prohibits a company from making employment decisions because an employee has a protected characteristic or asserted his or her legal rights.

Protected classes and characteristics in Tennessee include:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity)
  • Disability
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Age (40 and up)
Leave of Absence Violations

Employers cannot retaliate against you for asserting your rights to protected leave. This includes requests made under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Tennessee Maternity Leave Act (TMLA), and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

FMLA

Under the FMLA, an employee may take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, protected 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, including joint employers. Public employers are covered 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
USERRA

USERRA provides robust 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.

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

TMLA

The Tennessee Maternity Leave Act provides up to 16 weeks of unpaid parental leave, including for fostering, adopting, or birth of a child. To be eligible, your employer must have at least 100 employees at your location and you must give three months’ notice unless the absence is due to an emergency.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is one of the most difficult workplace situations to navigate, especially when the harasser is your boss. You want to report the misconduct but you are afraid of being fired. You need to know what actions to take to stop the harassment while protecting your job and legal rights.

Sexual harassment claims fall under one or both of the following categories:

Quid Pro Quo

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

Hostile Work Environment

“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. 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.

If you are being subjected to unwelcome sexual overtures, touching or comments at work from your boss or a coworker, contact a Nashville Employment Lawyer right away.

Wage Theft

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay most employees overtime for all hours worked over 40. But some employers intentionally misclassify workers as “exempt” from this requirement in an attempt to avoid paying overtime.

Several key exemptions to the overtime law exist. Many “white collar” workers fall under the executive, administrative, or professional exemption. Whether or not you fall into one of these or another exempt category is highly fact specific.

If you have questions about whether you should be paid overtime, call an employment attorney servicing Nashville right away.

Severance Review

If you have been offered a severance package, you probably have several questions. While you are happy about the prospect of being paid for your service, should you ask for more? Should you sign the agreement? What legal rights are you giving up? You need answers, fast.

The Masker Firm provides severance review services for a reasonable flat fee and a 48-hour turn around. We can help you: (1) understand the provisions of your severance agreement; (2) determine if negotiating for a better package is worthwhile; and (3) decide whether or not you can negotiate the severance offer on your own. Contact us today to get the answers you need.

For a great overview of the severance process, review The Ultimate Guide to Severance Packages.

Consult a Dedicated Nashville Employment Lawyer

If you have been discriminated against, harassed, or wrongfully terminated, The Masker Firm may be able to help you. Contact us at 615-823-1737 or via our online form to schedule a Free Consultation. You pay nothing unless you recover.

Meet the Attorney
Attorney Photo
Curt Masker

Curt M. Masker is an Employee Rights Lawyer who has successfully represented numerous workers in employment matters throughout Tennessee. After graduating from Vanderbilt Law School, Curt worked at one of the 200 largest law firms in the United States. Most recently, he worked for The Employment and Consumer Law Group in Nashville. Curt is a relentless advocate for Tennessee workers and he prides himself on getting the best possible outcome in every case. He keeps his caseload as low as possible to maximize the time he can dedicate to each client. Put simply, Curt has a passion for fighting for workplace fairness.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
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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Fill out the contact form or call us at 615-823-1737 to schedule your free consultation.