Attorney Employment Law Wyoming by Marymenti


									Employment Law and Attorney in Wyoming
Pre-employment/Promotion Hiring Under federal law, an employer doesn't have to hire, or promote, the most qualified applicant. But the employer cannot base decisions on personal characteristics that are not job-related. These characteristics often include:
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Age Race Sex Religion National origin Disability

An interviewer isn't allowed to ask questions relating to these characteristics. Interview questions that aren't allowed include:
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Are you married? Are you planning to get married? Do you have children? Are you planning to have children? Where were you born? What's your sexual orientation? Have you ever been arrested?

An interviewer can, however, ask about a personal characteristic if it could hinder your ability to fulfill the job's requirements. Some examples might be:
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Have you ever been convicted of a crime? Can you prove that you are eligible to work in the US? Can you do this job with, or without, reasonable accommodations?

References A previous employer is free to provide any non-confidential information about a previous employee, as long as it's true and isn't provided to maliciously harm the employee. An employer, who provides false information that disparages the employee, may be liable for defamation. In order to avoid potential liability, many employers often refuse to comment on a past employee's job performance and confirm only dates of hire and separation, plus wage or salary information. Employment At Will In the majority of states, employees not working under an employment contract are deemed to be "at will." Wyoming follows the employment at-will doctrine, which provides that at-will employees may be terminated for any reason, so long as it's not illegal. There are numerous illegal reasons for

termination. Typically such reasons fall into one of two large categories: illegal discrimination or illegal termination in violation of a public policy. Generally, employees who work under an employment contract can only be terminated for reasons specified in the contract. Employee Handbooks While an employer is not required by law to have an employee handbook, in most cases, it is recommended. An employee handbook provides a centralized, complete and certain record of the employer's policies and procedures. An employee handbook also provides more convenient access by employees and managers. At a minimum, an employee handbook should include:
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A statement regarding the at-will employment relationship An equal employment opportunity statement A policy regarding sexual and other types of harassment in the workplace Internet access, e-mail, and voice mail policies The Family Medical Leave Act

The laws regarding an employer's duties and responsibilities arising under an employee handbook are complex, and a licensed attorney should be contacted to review individual circumstances. Workplace Safety Federal and state laws require that most employers furnish a place of employment that is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees. In most instances, an employee may anonymously complain about an unsafe work environment and be protected against employer reprisals. The Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Subdivision is the responsibility of the Wyoming Workers' Safety and Compensation Division. The purpose of the organization is to assure safe and healthful working conditions. It offers educational programs to assist employers and employees in accident and occupational disease prevention. Workplace Injury Workers' compensation laws are designed to compensate employees who have been injured or killed in work related accidents according to a fixed monetary scheme, without having to resort to litigation. Dependents of a fatally injured employee may also be entitled to benefits. Employers may be protected by limits placed on the amount of an employee's recovery. You may qualify for the following benefits under Wyoming workers' compensation:
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Medical treatment is covered if it is directly related to your injury or condition caused by the work activities and it is reasonable and necessary. You may qualify for temporary total disability benefits if you are unable to work as a result of your work-related injury or condition. You may qualify for permanent partial impairment benefits if you sustained permanent physical impairment as a result of your work-related injury or condition. You may qualify for vocational rehabilitation benefits if you have a permanent physical impairment due to a work-related injury and you are unable to return to any work in which you were employed during the three years before your injury. You may qualify for payment of permanent partial disability if you have been awarded a permanent partial impairment award and you are unable to work at any occupation at a comparable or higher wage for which you are suited by experience and training.


You may qualify for a permanent total disability award if the work-related injury permanently incapacitates you from performing any gainful employment for which you are suited by experience and training.

Sexual Harassment An employer may be liable to an employee for instances of "sexual harassment," which can include unwelcome sexual advances, conduct or other physical or verbal acts of a sexual nature, which occur in the workplace. The following conduct is generally considered sexual harassment:
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Direct sexual conduct - an employer makes sexual advances or statements "Quid pro quo" - job-related benefits are offered in exchange for sexual conduct Hostile work environment - an employer maintains an overly sexual work environment

Because the laws determining what conduct, or pattern of conduct, constitutes actionable sexual harassment are complex, a licensed attorney should be contacted to review individual circumstances. Discrimination and Wrongful Termination Employers are not allowed to terminate or discriminate against employees for the following reasons:
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Age Race Sex Religion National origin Disability Pregnancy Promotions Job assignments Termination Wages For refusing to break a law In retaliation for filing a discrimination or safety claim For taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act Without following its own stated procedure or policy For reasons not contained in the employment contract, if one exists

It's illegal for an employer to consider these characteristics with regard to:
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And it's illegal for an employer to terminate an employee:
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Family and Medical Leave The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides 12 weeks of unpaid leave to qualifying employees who need time off from work to care for their own or an immediate family member's serious health condition. This allows for continued medical benefits and restoration of their original position upon return. An employee is eligible when they:
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Have worked for the same employer for the previous 12 months Have worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months Are employed by a "covered" employer, which is:  All federal, state, and local governments and agencies Private employers with 50 or more employees for 20 weeks in the calendar year and engaged in interstate commerce

An injury or illness qualifies as a "serious health condition" if it either requires an overnight stay in a medical facility or constitutes "continuing treatment" by a health-care provider. Continuing treatment requires either the employee's incapacity for more than three calendar days and at least two subsequent treatments, or treatment by a health-care provider that results in continuing supervised treatment. Post-employment Unemployment Benefits Unemployment benefits are based on combinations of federal and state statutes. Unemployment compensation programs are administered by the state and normally provide monetary compensation to workers who have been terminated without cause, through no fault of their own. Employees who voluntarily terminate their employment for "good cause" may also be entitled to benefits. You may file for unemployment insurance if you are partially or totally unemployed. You qualify if you meet all of the following:
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You have earned sufficient wage credits You are partially or totally unemployed through no fault of your own You are able to work You are available to work You are actively seeking work

The amount of your benefits varies and depends upon how much you have earned during your base period, which is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the beginning of your claim. Full benefits can be paid no longer than 26 weeks during your benefit year, which is one year from the effective date of your claim. COBRA Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), which is a federal law, employees may be allowed to continue their health insurance benefits, at the employee's expense, for up to 18 months after either voluntary or involuntary termination, if the employer has 20 or more employees. To qualify for COBRA continuation coverage, an employee must have a qualifying event that causes the employee to lose group health coverage. The following are qualifying events: For employees  Voluntary or involuntary termination of employment for reasons other than gross misconduct Reduction in numbers of hours worked For spouses  Loss of coverage by the employee because of one of the qualifying events listed above Covered employee becomes eligible for Medicare Divorce or legal separation of the covered employee Death of the covered employee For dependent children  Loss of coverage because of any of the qualifying events listed for spouses Loss of status as a dependent child under the plan rules


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Wyoming has enacted a "mini" COBRA law similar to the federal COBRA law. It provides state employees of employers that have from two through 19 employees the option to qualify for 18 months of continuation coverage.

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