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Moulton & Long PLLC

Attorneys At Law

58 Public Square, Elizabethtown, KY 42701

EMPLOYMENT LAW









Moulton & Long's employment law practice emphasizes commitment, timely and cost-effective service in handling employment-related litigation. We represent employers and employees on a broad range of matters.  Please click the tab below which addresses your needs.


Sexual Discrimination


The firm represents employees who have been discriminated against on the basis of sex, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Kentucky Commonwealth law, as well as under the laws of other states.   In addition, the firm represents employees in asserting their rights under the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which requires that men and women be given equal pay for equal work.  We have represented employees and applicants for employment who have been discriminated against because of their gender with regard to hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions or privileges of employment.  The firm is also committed to representing employees who are subjected to sexual harassment—a form of sex discrimination.

We are especially committed to enforcing the rights of employees who have been subjected to discriminatory decisions in the workplace as a result of  stereotypes and erroneous assumptions about their abilities and performance, which are based upon sex.


Sexual Harassment



The laws prohibiting sexual harassment are clear that unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates a hostile, or offensive work environment.
The fact-specific nature of sexual harassment requires that an attorney review all of the circumstances of the harassment, including the nature of the conduct, and the context in which it occurs.

We are deeply committed to representing employees who have been sexually harassed in the workplace in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Kentucky Commonwealth law, as well as under the laws of other states.
It is important for individuals who feel they are being subjected to sexual harassment to take action immediately to make the harassment cease.  The firm has extensive knowledge concerning the scope of the laws prohibiting sexual harassment, as well as the obligations of employers to put an end to such conduct.


Retaliation


The firm vigorously represents employees and individuals who suffer retaliation for opposing employment discrimination or for participating in an employment discrimination investigation, proceeding or litigation.  State, federal and local anti-discrimination law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees.  Such protection is necessary in order to encourage victims and witnesses to come forward with information relating to discriminatory practices.

An employer is prohibited from taking adverse actions against any employee or individual for engaging in “protected activity” under the anti-discrimination statutes.  Adverse actions include, but are not limited to termination, demotion, refusal to hire, or any other action which has the effect of deterring individuals from reporting discriminatory conduct or otherwise engaging in protected activity under the anti-discrimination laws.


Race Discrimination


The firm represents employees who have been discriminated against on the basis of race and color, in violation of Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Kentucky Commonwealth law, as well as under the laws of other states.   We have represented employees and applicants for employment who have been discriminated against because of their race with regard to hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions or privileges of employment.

Ethnic slurs, and offensive or derogatory racial comments deserve no protection in the workplace.  When such conduct results in an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment or otherwise interferes with an employee's ability to perform the job, such conduct constitutes racial harassment and discrimination.  The firm is especially committed to asserting the rights of employees who have been affected by racial harassment.


Age Discrimination


We aggressively represent individuals who have been discriminated against on the basis of age in violation of The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”) and Kentucky Commonwealth laws, as well as under the laws of other states.

The ADEA protects employees and job applicants who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age.  Such discrimination violates the ADEA when it is applied to terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, including hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments, and training. The ADEA and other laws prohibiting age discrimination also prohibit apprenticeship programs, and job postings or advertisements, which include age limitations as a factor.


Pregnancy Discrimination


The firm represents victims of pregnancy discrimination, which is a form of sex discrimination.  Federal, state and local laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.  We have represented employees who were refused, or terminated from, a position because they were pregnant.  In addition, we have litigated cases involving employers’ use of special procedures only for pregnant employees in making leave request determinations.


Nation Origin Discrimination


National origin discrimination means treating someone less favorably because he or she comes from a particular place, because of his or her ethnicity or accent, or because it is believed that he or she has a particular ethnic background. National origin discrimination also means treating someone less favorably at work because of marriage or other association with someone of a particular nationality. Examples of violations covered under Title VII include:


Employment Decisions

Title VII prohibits any employment decision, including recruitment, hiring, and firing or layoffs, based on national origin.


Harassment


Title VII prohibits offensive conduct, such as ethnic slurs, that creates a hostile work environment based on national origin. Employers are required to take appropriate steps to prevent and correct unlawful harassment. Likewise, employees are responsible for reporting harassment at an early stage to prevent its escalation.


Language


Accent discrimination


An employer may not base a decision on an employee's foreign accent unless the accent materially interferes with job performance.


English fluency


A fluency requirement is only permissible if required for the effective performance of the position for which it is imposed.


English-only rules


English-only rules must be adopted for nondiscriminatory reasons. An English-only rule may be used if it is needed to promote the safe or efficient operation of the employer's business.


Coverage of foreign nationals


Title VII and the other antidiscrimination laws prohibit discrimination against individuals employed in the United States, regardless of citizenship. However, relief may be limited if an individual does not have work authorization.


Disability Discrimination


Federal, state and local laws prohibit disability discrimination in the workplace. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”) prohibits disability discrimination against “qualified individuals with a disability,” which is defined as an individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job in question, despite their disability.  Federal law defines a “disability” as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; a record of such an impairment; or regarded as having such an impairment.  Kentucky laws prohibiting disability discrimination also provide relief under the ADA. 


In addition to prohibiting discrimination in connection with job applications, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment, the ADA, state and local laws require that employers provide a “reasonable accommodation” to employees who require such in order to perform the essential functions of their jobs.


Religious Discrimination


The firm represents employees who have been discriminated against on the basis of religion in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Kentucky Commonwealth law, as well as under the laws of other states.   We have represented employees and applicants for employment who have been discriminated against because of their race with regard to hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions or privileges of employment.  The firm is also committed to representing employees who are subjected to religious harassment—a form of religious discrimination.


The law prohibits employers from treating employees or applicants for employment less, or more, favorably because of their religious beliefs and practices.  Moreover, employers cannot require employees to participate or not participate in religious practices as a condition of employment.  Generally, an employer is required to reasonably accommodate the employees’ sincerely held religious beliefs or practices, provided that the employer does not suffer an undue hardship on the employer’s legitimate business interests.


We have represented individuals who, because of their religions, were discriminated against at work or subjected to a hostile work environment as a result of their religion. We vigorously litigate claims in which an employer attempts to retaliate against an individual for exercising their rights under the anti-discrimination laws.  Indeed, it is unlawful to retaliate against an individual for opposing employment practices that the individual in good faith believes are discriminatory on the basis of religion.  In addition, an employer may not retaliate against an individual for filing a discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or litigation involving religious discrimination.


Family and Medical Leave


The federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 requires that covered employers permit employees to take up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave for serious health conditions, to care for a close family member with a serious health condition, and for the birth or adoption of a child.  A covered employer generally cannot refuse to permit such a qualifying leave.  Moreover, a covered employer is generally required to reinstate the employee upon return from leave.


Wage Compensation


Overtime Wage Payments.  The firm has substantial experience in representing employees in recovering overtime pay.  The regulations interpreting the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) have undergone substantial changes in recent years.  Moulton & Long PLLC is on top of the latest developments under the FLSA, which requires employers to pay non-exempt employees at a rate of not less than one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of forty in a workweek.  The law does not protect all employees, however, since there are certain exemptions that apply based upon the type of work being performed and/or the type of business involved. In some instances, employers misclassify employees as "exempt" from the FLSA's coverage in order to avoid overtime pay obligations. Moulton & Long PLLC can evaluate whether you are, in fact, entitled to overtime payments and assist in recovering such amounts.


Moulton & Long PLLC aggressively handles matters in which employees are denied minimum wage payments required by federal and state laws.  In some instances, employees may not even be aware that their effective hourly rate is less than the minimum wage such as when employers require them to pay for their own work supplies and uniforms.  Such conduct violates the Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires employers to pay their employees a minimum hourly rate of not less than $6.15. 

Unlawful Wage Deductions.  We assist employees in recovering amounts unlawfully deducted from their pay.  Under Kentucky law, employers are prohibited from making deductions from an employee's wages for such things as breakage or spoilage of materials.  The law only permits deductions from wages for limited purposes:  First, the deduction must be for the benefit of the employee and second, the employee must have agreed to the deduction in writing.  Unless these two requirements are met, the employer has violated Kentucky’s unlawful wage deduction law.


Nonpayment of Wages.  Whether the obligation to pay wages, commissions or salary is based in contract or law, we aggressively pursue claims for failure to pay such amounts.


SNon-Complete/Non-solicitation Agreements and Disputes


The firm assists individuals in negotiating and limiting the terms of non-compete and non-solicitation agreements. In addition, once a dispute arises concerning the scope or enforceability of such agreements, the firm vigorously represents clients in enforcing their rights under the law.


Trade Secret Agreements and Disputes


Severance Agreements


We have assisted employees in obtaining severance pay upon termination of employment.  In addition, we counsel clients on their rights under applicable laws, including the Employee Retirement Income Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), and enforce their rights if necessary.


Whistleblower Law


A "whistleblower" is an employee who reports a violation of law by his or her employer. The violation may be against the reporting employee or may be a general violation such as unlawful pollution practices. The federal government and many states, including Kentucky, have laws protecting whistleblowers from retaliation for filing a claim or reporting a violation.


Federal Law Protections for Whistleblowers


The federal Clean Air Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), Energy Reorganization Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act, Toxic Substance Control Act, and Water Pollution Control Act contain protections for employees complaining of safety and/or health hazards caused by an employer in the workplace or the environment.  To be protected, an employee must have a good-faith belief that the employer is violating the law, and must complain either to the employer or to a federal agency about the apparent violation.  The employee is protected even if the employer is ultimately found to be in compliance.  An employee who believes he or she has been retaliated against for making a complaint, must bring a complaint to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration within thirty days of the retaliatory action.


State Law Protections for Whistleblowers


Employees are also protected in most states, including Kentucky, by general statutes or common law barring discrimination or retaliation against whistleblowers. The Kentucky Statute is KRS 61.102.  As under federal law, in order to qualify for whistleblower protection an employee generally must have a good-faith belief that the employer or its employees are in some way violating the law.


Legal Help for Whistleblowers


If you are an employee who has reported a violation of law by your employer, and believe that you have suffered retaliation because of that reporting, you should contact us to set up an appointment to evaluate your claim.

REPRESENTING EMPLOYEES    | REPRESENTING EMPLOYERS  
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