Experienced Cleveland Employment Law Attorneys Dedicated to Helping You
If you are facing harassment, discrimination, retaliation, or other mistreatment at your job, you may not know what your rights are, or where to turn for help. If you find yourself in this situation, contact the experienced Cleveland employment law attorneys at Bolek Besser Glesius LLC.
We are employment lawyers. We have more than 75 years of combined experience representing individuals in Cleveland and throughout Ohio with all types of employment law claims, including wrongful termination, employment discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, denial of overtime pay, and many others. Chances are, we have represented someone in your shoes.
But we are more than just an ordinary employment law firm. Our former clients, major attorney rating services, and even the attorneys we have gone up against recognize us for excellence, skill, and integrity in the employment law field. In addition, our attorneys have won numerous cases that helped establish important legal protections for employees in Ohio.
If you are in need of an employment attorney, we’re here to help you understand your legal rights, and are devoted to getting justice for you.
Cleveland Employment Law Attorneys, Recognized for Excellence and Ethics
When looking for an employment discrimination lawyer, you should choose carefully. Employers often hire large defense law firms to protect themselves. You need an attorney with the skill and experience to go up against them and win. Not all attorneys have it—we do.
At Bolek Besser Glesius LLC, our Cleveland employment discrimination lawyers have been repeatedly recognized for excellence in legal advocacy and ethics:
- U.S. News – Best Lawyers has named Bolek Besser Glesius LLC a “Tier 1” Cleveland employment law “Best Law Firm” every year since the firm’s inception. It is the publication’s highest ranking, representing “professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers.” Only a select few Cleveland employment discrimination law firms that represent individuals receive this honor each year.
- Cathleen Bolek, Matthew D. Besser, and Amy S. Glesius have each achieved the prestigious “AV Preeminent”® rating from the respected attorney rating service Martindale-Hubbell. An “AV” rating means that an attorney possesses the highest level of legal excellence and professionalism. The rating is earned only through careful review of an attorney’s skill and ethics, as evaluated by numerous other attorneys.
- Ohio Super Lawyers Magazine has repeatedly named each of our attorneys to its list of Cleveland “Super Lawyers” in the field of employment law representing individuals. Super Lawyers uses both independent research and peer reviews by attorneys in the relevant practice area to determine whom to include. Ultimately, no more than 5 percent of attorneys in Ohio are selected for inclusion in Ohio Super Lawyers Magazine in any given year. All of our employment law attorneys have been repeatedly selected, and for 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 our entire firm was selected.
- The publication Best Lawyers has named each of Cathleen Bolek, Matthew D. Besser, and Amy S. Glesius its “Lawyer of the Year” for Cleveland employment lawyers who represent individuals. Amy S. Glesius has received this honor twice, in 2013 and 2016.
Before choosing an employment law attorney, you should find out whether their awards, honors, or recognitions were earned, or bought. At Bolek Besser Glesius LLC, we do not buy our accomplishments. All our awards, honors, and recognitions are earned through an independent process, typically involving reviews from the attorneys who know us best, and just as importantly, from our former clients.
Representing Employees in Discrimination, Retaliation, and Harassment Cases
Ohio employees who have been fired or are facing a difficult situation at work often have a few common questions:
- Do I have a claim for wrongful termination?
- How do I know if I have a discrimination case?
- Can I be fired for reporting my boss for breaking the law?
- What do I do if I am being sexually harassed?
- Can I be fired for taking medical leave, sick leave, or family leave?
At Bolek Besser Glesius LLC, we have successfully represented employees facing each of these issues, and many others, in Cleveland, Lorain County, Medina County, Lake County, Akron, and elsewhere in Ohio. Our attorneys focus their practice on helping employees facing all sorts of employment law issues, including:
- Wage and hour violations
- Wrongful termination
- Employment contract and severance contract disputes
Various federal and Ohio employment laws provide employees protection in the workplace. Perhaps the most well-known of those laws is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal law that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Passed in 1967, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits discrimination against employees because of their age, if they are 40 years old or older. Similarly, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act forbids employers from discriminating against employees because of pregnancy or issues related to childbirth. And the Americans with Disabilities Act protects employees from discrimination because they have a disability, a history of a disability, or are mistakenly regarded as disabled by their employers. Each of these federal laws has a counterpart under Ohio law, found in Chapter 4112 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Because employees often fear retaliation if they complain about employment discrimination, both the federal and Ohio employment discrimination laws provide protection for employees who report discrimination at work. Employers cannot take negative action against an employee because the employee has complained about discrimination or harassment, been a witness in a discrimination or harassment case, or refused to participate in discriminatory behavior. If an employer fires, suspends, demotes, harasses, or otherwise takes negative action against an employee for standing up to employment discrimination, the employee may have a claim for retaliation as a workplace whistleblower.
In addition to the employment discrimination and retaliation laws, our Cleveland employment law attorneys represent employees with claims under other important federal laws that protect employees.
When an employee needs medical leave, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, or “FMLA,” might protect the employee’s job. The FMLA provides certain employees with job-protected leave when necessary due to: the employee’s own serious health condition; the serious health condition of a parent, child, or spouse; pregnancy; maternity leave or paternity leave; for family emergencies caused by military deployment; and, a few other reasons. Although the FMLA provides many employees with critical job protection at a time when they need it most, it does not protect all employees under all circumstances. Thankfully, in some situations, an Ohio employee who needs medical leave and does not qualify under the FMLA may be entitled to additional protection under the disability discrimination laws.
Sometimes employees are required to work more than forty hours per week but do not get paid overtime. Sometimes employers make illegal deductions from an employee’s pay, resulting in the employee making less than minimum wage. In either scenario, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) may entitle employees to be paid what they are owed. Ohio has a similar law that essentially tracks the FLSA, found in Chapter 4111 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Under the FLSA and Ohio wage law, employers are generally required to pay their employees time-and-a-half their usual hourly rate for every hour worked over forty hours per week. Employers must also pay their employees at least the federal minimum wage. For tipped employees, the FLSA provides special rules regulating the minimum amount employers must pay per hour. Although there are many exceptions from the overtime and minimum wage pay rules, if you have been denied overtime pay or minimum wage, you should contact an experienced Cleveland overtime pay attorney to determine whether you are entitled to fair compensation that you have not received.
Employment Law Attorneys Who Know the Law
Despite all the statutory legal protections for employees, in some cases, no employment law statute will cover the unique facts of an employee’s case. It is in those situations that the skill and experience of the attorney you hire can make the difference between whether you will be able to recover or not.
If an employment law statute does not protect an employee, the employee might be able to bring a claim under Ohio common law for “wrongful termination in violation of public policy.” A wrongful termination claim prohibits employers from firing employees for reasons that would jeopardize a clear public policy contained in Ohio or United States law. However, these claims are notoriously complex. An employee needs the help of a skilled attorney to have the best chance of winning a wrongful termination claim.
Navigating the Complex Employment Law Field
Many attorneys list employment discrimination as an area of practice, but lack the experience handling these cases needed to navigate the complexities of employment law. For several reasons, choosing an attorney who only “dabbles” in employment law can be very dangerous for the employee.
Employment law in Ohio is very complicated. There are unique procedural steps that employees must follow before they can bring certain employment law claims. Taking the wrong steps can mean you lose your right to bring a claim altogether. In addition, there are strict time limits for bringing employment law claims. The length of time an employee has to bring a particular claim can vary greatly, and failing to move quickly enough will forever bar the employee from bringing the claim. Some of these time limits are extremely short, requiring action in as short as thirty days or less. Besides these procedural traps, there are many defenses employers use to avoid liability. You need a lawyer who has enough experience to spot—and avoid—those traps and defenses. Just as importantly, evidence in employment discrimination cases can be difficult to find. Without enough experience, an attorney may not know where to look. You need an attorney who knows where evidence of discrimination “hides,” and how to get it.
At Bolek Besser Glesius LLC, we are employment lawyers. Representing employees is what we do—and we have more than 50 years of combined experience doing it.
Contact an Experienced Employment Attorney for a Free Consultation
Whether you work in an office or factory, in a hospital or hotel, if you are thinking about meeting with an employment discrimination lawyer, you are likely going through an extremely challenging time in your life. You are facing difficulties that threaten your career and your family’s financial future. We have probably helped someone in your situation before, and we are here to help you.
At Bolek Besser Glesius LLC, we take great pride in helping our clients understand their legal options and protect their rights. We know it can be scary going into the legal process, and we will help you through it to the end. We are devoted to justice, and to helping you get it.
If you need help from an experienced Cleveland, Ohio employment law attorney, please contact us or request a consultation today.