Can my employer retaliate against me — fire me or demote me — if I file a lawsuit against my employer? What if I am an “at will” employee?
No, not legally. There are federal laws that protect employees from retaliation by their employers for reporting acts that are in violation of federal laws. You are protected regardless of whether you are an “at will” employee.
Most of the blog posts on this website pertain to cases outside the Marcellus Shale region (West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York). Do the same laws apply to wages and overtime pay here?
Yes. The Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law and applies to all oil and gas companies across the United States. Due to the fact that work has only recently started in the Marcellus region, local oil and gas workers are likely unaware that the way they are being compensated likely violates federal law.
Will my employer find out that I have spoken with an attorney about potential FLSA violations?
No, not unless you want them to find out (i.e., filing a lawsuit). As part of the attorney-client privilege, all discussions with an attorney are strictly confidential and will not be disclosed to any third party — like a co-worker or management — without the permission from the client.
Is there any way to file a lawsuit and keep my name out of it?
Yes. An experienced attorney can discuss strategies with you for keeping your name off the lawsuit but still give you your unpaid wages and overtime.
Your office is in West Virginia, but I work in another state. Can you take my case?
Yes. Even though the Law Office of P. Zachary Stewart is located in Weirton, West Virginia, we are licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Additionally, since these cases concern violations of federal law, we can still discuss whether you have a potential FLSA claim and assist you with pursuing an action in other states.