Your job not only provides an income and security for you and your family, but it is also a source of satisfaction and pride. Losing your job can be a serious emotional blow as well as cause serious financial stress.
Kentucky is an at-will employment state which means that an employer can fire an employee for nearly any reason. But employees do have rights in the workplace that are guaranteed by state and federal law. For example, employees cannot be fired because of their gender, race, religion, national origin, disability or age (“protected characteristics”). They cannot be fired for complaining about discrimination or harassment. They cannot be fired for filing a workers compensation claim. They cannot be fired for helping a co-worker with these issues. And they cannot be subjected to an “adverse employment action” such as demotion, reduction in pay or a transfer to a distant location because of their protected characteristic or because they have made a complaint of harassment or discrimination.
Employees also have the right to leave work to care for family or themselves when experiencing a serious medical condition, the birth or adoption of a child or a pending military deployment under the Family and Medical Leave Act. It is a violation of that law for an employer to deny leave to an eligible employee who has a qualifying condition. It is also wrong for an employer to interfere with an employee’s leave by insisting she perform work during the leave period or by refusing to reinstate the employee at the end of the leave to the same or a comparable position.
If you believe you have been terminated illegally or have been denied your rights in the workplace, call us to discuss your situation confidentially.