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Are You Being Wrongfully Terminated? 8 Signs

Are You Being Wrongfully Terminated? 8 Signs

About 40% of Americans have been fired from their job at some point in their life. Getting dismissed from your job is upsetting and something no one wants to face. Indiana is similar to many other states because it recognizes the at-will employment doctrine. A company can fire its employees at any time for almost any reason. However, this does not mean businesses are free to treat their employees however they like. American workers have certain protections and rights afforded them through law and regulation. The team at Goodin Abernathy represents dismissed employees whose former employer violated these protections, resulting in a wrongful termination. If an employee suspects they have been wrongfully terminated, they should look for one of these eight signs. 

1. The Reason Is Vague 

An employer should be able to provide its employees with a clear explanation as to why they are dismissing an employee. If an employee requests the reason and the employer can’t or refuses to provide one, this could signify wrongful termination. As an employee, you have the right to request the reason in writing from the employer. However, if the employer refuses to provide them with this information in writing, it could be helpful to speak with a lawyer about a potential wrongful termination claim. Because every situation is different, an attorney will work with an employee to determine the viability of their potential claim. 

2. Suspected Discrimination 

It is illegal for an employer to fire someone solely based on their membership of a protected status. In addition, an employer cannot fire someone based on the perception that they belong to a protected group. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces anti-discrimination laws in the United States. These laws include the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and The Civil Rights Act of 1991, and others. Each of these laws protects individuals in the workplace to prevent discrimination based on the protected classes below. 

  • Race
  • Sex
  • Gender 
  • Nationality
  • Disability
  • Religion 
  • Skin color
  • Ethnicity
  • National origin
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual orientation

It is important to understand that an employee can belong to a protected class and still be fired for lack of performance or another reason. Speaking with an experienced employment lawyer can help determine if an employer violated one of these employment protection laws. 

3. Fired For Doing a Protected Activity 

As a matter of public policy, employers cannot fire someone for performing a protected activity. This would include an incident of harassment or cooperating with an EEOC investigation. This is to protect people, so they don’t have to worry about their employment when tending to personal matters. It is a matter of public interest that people do not lose their jobs when they need them the most simply because they have a family or medical issue to take care of. An example of this would be getting pregnant or caring for a sick family member. These are protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). 

4. Experienced Harassment

Unfortunately, harassment still exists in the American workplace. While dealing with harassment at work is upsetting, it is even more so when it leads to termination. There are two ways an employee can be wrongfully terminated after experiencing harassment. In the first instance, an employee could face termination after rebuffing advances. This often occurs when an individual in a managerial role makes sexual advances toward someone in a lower position. 

In a second scenario, an employee could be terminated after submitting a report of harassment. The company attempts to minimize the harassment by terminating the employee who is raising the alarm. Employees have a right to work in a harassment-free environment. Should they experience harassment from a fellow employee, they should feel safe in their position to report such treatment. 

5. Reported Illegal Activities 

There are laws in place to protect employees when they report misconduct or illegal activities. This is to encourage employees to say something when they see wrongdoing. A company cannot legally dismiss an employee because that employee came forward with a report of fraudulent, unethical, or illegal behavior. This would be retaliation through wrongful termination. This protection extends beyond the employee’s reporting. It also protects an employee participating in the investigation, lawsuit, or hearings about the reported inappropriate activity. If they are let go shortly after making a report of this nature, there is a possibility that the two events are related. Speaking with an employment retaliation lawyer can help employees understand their rights and possible wrongful termination case. 

6. Performing Military or Civic Duty 

As American citizens, we are sometimes called upon to perform obligations for the government. This could be responding to a letter calling them to jury duty or voting as a civilian. It could also be reporting to duty as a military service member. An employer cannot fire them for performing these government-called duties. 

7. Asserted Employee Rights

Employees should be able to assert and exercise their rights without fear of termination. For example, an employer can’t fire an employee for enforcing their right to payment of wages earned or workplace safety. Should they get injured while working, their employer can’t fire them for reporting a workers’ compensation claim. 

8. Contract Violation 

The majority of workers are at-will. This means there is no specific contract outlining the terms of their employment. However, some employees have a contract outlining the specific terms of the working relationship between the employee and employer. If an employee has this type of contract, getting fired before contract completion could violate the agreement. They could be entitled to compensation depending on the terms of their employment contract. 

Even if an employee is at-will, the company may have an agreement or policy protecting employees. If the employer fired an employee in direct violation of its own policy, this could signify wrongful termination. 

Talk With a Lawyer About Your Dismissal 

Getting dismissed from your company is never an enjoyable experience. It can feel stressful as you sort out your current situation and seek gainful employment. However, your firing may not be so straightforward. Wrongful termination can be subtle, requiring more in-depth analysis. Consider speaking with a wrongful termination lawyer if you suspect you are a victim of wrongful termination. 

Schedule a consultation with one of our wrongful termination attorneys to discuss the circumstances surrounding your dismissal.

Federal Trade Commission Proposes Rule to Ban Non-Compete Agreements

Federal Trade Commission Proposes Rule to Ban Non-Compete Agreements

On January 5, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed a new rule that would ban employers from requiring their employees to sign non-compete agreements.  The FTC is currently accepting comments from the public.  https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/ftc_gov/pdf/noncompete_nprm_fact_sheet.pdf

What is a Non-Compete Agreement?

A non-compete agreement is a legally binding contract that employers often use to protect their business interests. In this type of agreement, an employee agrees not to work for a competing company or start their own competing business for a certain period of time after leaving the employer’s company. The main purpose of a non-compete agreement is to protect the employer’s trade secrets, and confidential information, as well as its relationships with customers and clients. However, it’s important to note that the enforceability of non-compete agreements can vary depending on the specific language of the agreement and the laws of the state in which it is signed.

The FTC estimates that about 1 in 5 working Americans (30 million people) are bound by a non-compete agreement.   These agreements can affect all ranges of the work force, from fast food employees to highly compensated executives.  In proposing its rule to ban these onerous agreements, the FTC states:

‘By preventing workers across the labor force from pursuing better opportunities that offer higher pay or better working conditions, and by preventing employers from hiring qualified workers bound by these contracts, noncompetes hurt workers and harm competition.”

When workers are prevented from freely moving to a better opportunity, it stifles not only wages, but new businesses and new ideas.  When workers are confronted with the opportunity to take a new job, they often feel stuck because they are bound by a noncompete agreement.  The FTC estimates that the proposed rule would increase wages across all industries and job levels by $250 to $296 billion dollars per year.

Non-Compete Agreements in Indiana

Indiana has a long history of not favoring noncompete agreements; however, they are enforceable in Indiana.  Clients often contact us wanting to know if they can get out of their noncompete agreement.  Sadly, the answer they often receive is that while their agreement may not be enforceable, the only way to determine that is to litigate the issue, which can be very expensive.  Furthermore, most employers put provisions in their noncompete agreements that employees can be responsible for the employer’s attorneys’ fees if they challenge the agreement and lose.

The new rule currently proposed by the FTC would ban employers from enforcing existing noncompete agreements, as well as prevent them from using them in the future.  Employers would also have to notify their workers that the agreements are rescinded and no longer enforceable.

Conclusion

In summary, the FTC estimates the new rule would:   1.  Increase workers’ earnings by nearly $300 billion per year.  2. Save consumers up to $148 billion annually on health care costs.  And, 3. Double the number of companies founded by a former worker in the same industry.  If you are interested in commenting on the proposed rule, you can submit your comment here:  

If you are currently working under a noncompete agreement, or have questions about entering in to one, you should contact an experienced employment law attorney so that you know your rights and obligations.  Please feel free to call me for a free consultation.

Can You Settle a Car Accident Without a Lawyer?

Can You Settle a Car Accident Without a Lawyer?

Yes, it is possible to settle a car accident without a lawyer in Indiana. However, it is highly recommended that you consult with a lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive fair compensation for any damages or injuries sustained in the accident.

The number of nonfatal injuries resulting from collisions in Indiana fell to a ten-year low in 2020, with 38,913 people suffering injuries. Each one of these people had a potential claim against the collision’s at-fault party. However, the idea of hiring an attorney and filing a lawsuit can be daunting, tempting many to handle the accident settlement on their own or take the initial offer extended by the insurance company. Depending on the circumstances, this may not be the wisest course of action. The lawyers at Goodin Abernathy LLP fight for their clients to ensure they receive the maximum possible recovery for their cases.

How to Handle a Car Accident Without a Lawyer

If an individual decides to handle a car accident without a lawyer, it is paramount that they document everything. This begins at the scene of the accident. First, take video or pictures of the damaged vehicles and the location of the accident. Next, report the accident to law enforcement so a police officer can make an official report. The next step is to negotiate with the insurance company for a settlement amount. This could require the individual to visit doctors and vehicle repair shops to gather documentation on injuries and property damage.

How to Get Pain and Suffering From a Car Accident Without a Lawyer

Car accident plaintiffs in Indiana can recover pain and suffering damages. To get pain and suffering damages without a lawyer, a plaintiff needs to prove physical or mental pain and suffering. Unlike medical costs, there is no verifiable cost of pain and suffering. For a plaintiff to convince a jury that they deserve pain and suffering, they must address several factors.

  • The severity and type of injury
  • Recovery requirements
  • Medications required
  • Length of the injury

Do Car Accident Cases Go to Court?

When you hire the firm of Goodin Abernathy LLP, you have a lawyer who will aggressively represent you as their client. We begin each case by negotiating with the insurance company. Our goal is to secure a fair settlement amount that reflects our clients’ loss and injuries. However, while many firms focus their representation on settlement, our lawyers also have courtroom experience. Having an attorney with trial experience relieves some of the stress of settlement negotiation. Our attorneys understand that insurance companies have extensive financial backing. This gives them greater negotiating power and the ability to draw out the settlement process. Because we are not afraid to take a case to trial, we are able to secure our clients a settlement that they deserve and not allow the insurance company to pressure our clients into accepting less.

How Long Does a Car Accident Lawsuit Take?

The average car accident lawsuit takes 9-18 months. The length of time a car accident lawsuit takes depends on several factors. The complexity of the case, the parties’ ability to settle, and the court’s caseload all factor into how quickly a lawsuit gets completed. It can help to hire a firm that has a reputation for aggressively representing its clients. This can help move a case along through the settlement process by not allowing the insurance company to string the client along for longer than necessary. Because each case is unique, speaking with an experienced car accident attorney is the best method for determining an estimated timeframe for your car accident lawsuit.

What Is an Auto Accident Lawyer?

An auto accident lawyer is an individual trained to represent clients seeking compensation for damages and loss as a result of a car accident. Auto accidents are a type of case that falls under personal injury law, which subsequently falls under negligence law. Often, auto accident lawyers represent clients in various types of vehicle accidents, such as passenger vehicle, motorcycle, semi-truck, or bicycle accidents.

What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?

Once a car accident lawyer gets hired by a client, they will begin to represent them. This includes gathering evidence, providing legal advice, negotiating with insurance companies, researching the law, and vigorously pursuing compensation for their clients’ losses. Depending on the case’s complexity, the attorney could seek out expert witnesses to testify at trial to support the client’s claims. The attorney’s goal is to build a case and successfully recover compensation.

How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Charge?

Car accident lawyers in Indiana can vary in the fees charged for their services. A common fee structure is to charge on a contingency fee basis. With this type of agreement, the lawyer takes a percentage of the amount recovered through settlement or trial. Other possible fee structures are hourly, flat fee, or retainer. However, do not base attorney choice purely on the fees charged. The most expensive or cheapest attorney isn’t always the best option. Instead, focus on choosing the best quality attorney that you can afford.

How to Choose a Car Accident Lawyer

If you decide to hire a car accident lawyer to represent you, start by asking friends and family for a recommendation. Alternatively, you can look online and read reviews. Concentrate your search on locating an attorney who focuses on car accident cases that are similar to yours. Car accident claims are a type of personal injury that falls under negligence law. It isn’t enough to hire an attorney who handles personal injury cases. Look for a lawyer who focuses their practice on car accidents. Schedule a consultation and ask the lawyer about their experience, representation track record, communication style, and fee structure. This will help you decide which lawyer is the best fit.

Hire a Goodin Abernathy LLP Lawyer

When you hire Goodin Abernathy LLP, you can sleep better at night knowing you have a dedicated team that will aggressively fight for you. Our experience means we know how to maximize your damages and ensure the insurance adjuster doesn’t minimize your loss, thereby reducing your recovery.  Feel confident that you have someone experienced in handling car accident personal injury cases.

Schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to discuss the circumstances surrounding your car accident.

Open Doors: Tips for Recruiting & Accommodating Individuals With Disabilities

Open Doors: Tips for Recruiting & Accommodating Individuals With Disabilities

For modern employers, there are a number of benefits to embracing diversity and expanding your workforce to include individuals with disabilities. Doing so can give you access to high levels of talent, improve team morale, and set an example for the rest of your industry – here are a few tips presented by Goodin Abernathy LLP` to get you started.

Culture

Before you start searching for your next hire, it’s important to cultivate a workplace culture in which differently-abled individuals can feel comfortable. Start by shaping the attitudes and behaviors of your existing staff – to help with this, you can use diversity seminars or even subscribe to one of the various online courses designed to educate workplaces on tolerance.

You could also look to improve your bureaucratic infrastructure by adjusting your company code of ethics and logistical expectations (such as providing more work-from-home days) and looking at where exceptions can be made to ordinary protocols. If in doubt, pay close attention to other companies and see how they’ve shaped policies to improve the inclusivity and consideration of all their team members.

Accessibility

Depending on an individual’s disability, they may not be able to engage with your company on a digital basis if they are not properly accommodated. Consider your website, for example. This can be easily adjusted for improved accessibility, thereby functioning as an advert for differently-abled talent. Start by introducing assistive measures such as the option to enlarge font sizes, use ARIAs (Accessible Rich Internet Applications), and access keyboard shortcuts. Or you could even try adopting assistive technology with speech recognition functions.

Mobility may be an issue for someone with a disability if the workspace is not built for the purpose. Fortunately, it’s straightforward to accommodate most individuals with a few remodels – these can include ramps, height-adjustable desks, specialized seating, grab handles, accessible washrooms, and more. Most of these should be claimable as ADA incentives, available to small businesses of any industry with yearly revenues under $1,000,000. 

Recruiting

If you haven’t worked with individuals with disabilities, it may be a good idea to bring in expert help – local or national organizations are often keen to lend their expertise or even oversee your recruiting drive. Failing this, it’s important to get to grips with inclusive language/protocols and to treat each candidate with respect and as an individual.

When you’re looking to incentivize young or graduate applicants, it can pay off to develop an internship program, giving exclusive opportunities to individuals with disabilities. This can be an excellent method for incubating new talent – just be sure to convene with an internship coordinator first and understand which policies will work best for the interns and your company.

Admin

As with any effort to recruit new talent, it’s crucial that you build airtight practices making the process as smooth and simple as possible. Start with your file types – PDFs can be read on most devices, and you can disperse these online or internally easily. An online drag-and-drop file converter can help with this.

You should also make sure that, when recruiting new staff, your business is established with the state so that you can maintain tax compliance and obtain a valid EIN. The IRS will use this for payroll taxes, and it will become necessary when it comes time to offer your employees retirement plans.

The best talent is usually the hardest to attract. If you want to appeal to clever, capable individuals with disabilities, you’ll have to show them that your company is willing to understand their requirements and take measures to accommodate them. With a few small adjustments, you can often see a big difference.

Disabilities and Discrimination

Laws for protecting individuals with disabilities from discrimination have been in place for many years, but the fight for fair and effective employment practices has only recently gained traction. Employers are now increasingly recognizing their responsibility to make reasonable accommodations that enable disabled employees to participate in the workforce. Disabilities not only should be acknowledged but also embraced, as recruiting and adequately accommodating these individuals can provide businesses with an incredibly diverse and talented pool of employees who bring specialized skillsets to the table.

As a result, businesses are encouraged to be proactive when it comes to creating job opportunities for people with disabilities and implementing changes that create a more comprehensive work environment. It is only through these proactive measures that employers can ensure equal opportunity and so foster a truly inclusive workplace culture.This includes enacting anti-discrimination laws which prevent employers from discriminating against potential employees on the basis of disability or medical condition.

Of course, if you ever have any questions about employment law, be sure to get in touch with us — click this link to see if you have a case.

Modern employment law has created unprecedented levels of opportunities for individuals with disabilities, allowing them to play a meaningful role in our workforce while having their rights as workers legally protected.

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How Do I Get a Police Report for a Car Accident in Indiana?

How Do I Get a Police Report for a Car Accident in Indiana?

Anyone involved in a car wreck not just wants a crash report, they need it for handling insurance and making negligence claims. The car accident attorneys at Goodin Abernathy LLP can make it simple and order the report for you. We have an account online that allows us to access BuyCrash.com and using your car accident details, search for the report. So the easiest way is to call us at (317)843-2606 and ask for help pulling the report.

If you prefer to handle collecting the report yourself, here is basic information to help step through the process. Then, if after you handle things and decide you would like legal help, call us for a free consultation. Our attorneys are happy to evaluate your case and explain your legal options.

What is a Car Accident Report?

In Indiana, a car accident report is known as the Indiana Officer’s Standard Crash Report. Police officers collect basic information at the crash site and populate a standard report that is later published on the internet under the BuyCrash.com website.

Though this investigation typically is not an expert analysis, it details the reports about events leading up to and afterward the wreck. A car accident report is usually available between two and five days after the car accident.

Every law enforcement agency is different but generally, a car accident crash report will include:

  • Details for every person involved in the car accident. Names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, driver’s license numbers, and car insurance information.
  • Information about the injuries suffered by people involved in the accident.
  • Where the accident happened, which way the vehicles were going, where they hit each other, where they ended up after the collision, if there was any debris from the accident, and if there were any stop signs or traffic signals nearby. This information is often shown on a diagram or accompanied by a diagram.
  • Time of the accident
  • Weather conditions, potential traffic hazards, and road conditions.
  • The statements of people involved in the accident, and any witnesses who saw what happened.
  • The responding officer’s findings and impressions based on the investigation at the scene of the accident.

One of the most important reasons Indiana state police officers keep detailed accounts of car accidents is so they can use them as evidence in any future investigations.

How Do You Obtain a Copy of Your Indiana Car Accident Police Report?

You Can Obtain an Online Copy of Your Car Accident Police Report

In order to find a car accident report, you must purchase one for $12. This can be done at BuyCrash.com In order to find your accident report, you must know the following information: 

  • State and Jurisdiction of where the accident took place 
  • Along with one of the following pieces of information 
  • Accident Report Number 
  • Last Name and Date of Incident 
  • Last Name and Street

You Can Obtain a Physical Copy of Your Accident Police Report

Contact your local Indiana county law enforcement as each department typically has a division or office that manages these records. You can also contact the Indiana State Police through their website: https://www.in.gov/isp/crash-reports/

If the collision occurred in Marion County Indiana, you may visit the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to obtain a copy of your accident report.

  • 50 N. Alabama St., E100 Indianapolis, IN 46204
  • Phone number: 317-327-3811
  • You will need to provide the date, time, accident location, and if you remember, the investigating officer’s name.

How Can a Car Accident Police Report Help Your Personal Injury Claim?

A car accident police report can very likely be helpful in a case. The details given on an accident police report may help in determining who was at fault in a given accident. Some of these details include:

  • How the accident occurred.
  • Description of the damages associated with the crash.
  • Any tickets that were issued to drivers involved.
  • Time of the accident

For example, if someone is ticketed for texting and driving, you may be able to prove that the injuries and damages you received were due to the other driver’s negligence.

Accident reports are important if you are dealing with insurance adjusters and trying to negotiate a settlement. Remember, the insurance adjusters are trained and experienced in defending your damage claims.

It is best to have as much crash information at your disposal as possible before agreeing to settle with the insurance adjuster.

Remember, the Goodin Abernathy attorneys are experienced in negotiating personal injury and car accident cases. Contact our office today for a free consultation. We enjoy representing clients and treat them like individuals – not just file numbers like other “big box” injury law firms do.