Bartz Law Group

Employee Rights Advocates

When to Sue An Employer

when to sue an employer

Do I need a lawyer to sue my employer? This is a common question among employees facing workplace grievances.

Each case is unique, so the answer to this question can vary. However, I would first seek legal advice to determine if I need a lawyer to sue my employer.

When to Sue My Employer

Here are 10 instances when employees may be justified to bring legal action against their employers:


If an employee is discriminated against based on race, gender, age, religion, or other protected characteristics, they may have grounds for legal action.


Persistent harassment, whether verbal, physical, or through other means, can warrant legal action if the employer fails to address the issue adequately.


Employees have the right to report unlawful conduct without fear of retaliation. If they face adverse actions in response to reporting, legal action may be justified.

Unsafe Working Conditions

If an employer knowingly exposes employees to hazardous conditions without taking appropriate measures, employees can seek legal recourse.

Breach of Employment Contract

Common violations of the terms of an employment contract include:

  • Unfair remuneration
  • Wrongful termination, and
  • Mandatory leave denial, among others.

In such instances, legal action may be warranted.

Wage and Hour Violations

Unpaid overtime, withheld wages, or failure to adhere to minimum wage laws can justify legal action against an employer.

Whistleblower Protections

Employees who report illegal activities within the company are legally protected. That said, retaliation against whistleblowers can lead to legal consequences for employers.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Violations

Among other employment benefits, employees are entitled to annual leave. So, employers who interfere with this employee’s rights may face legal action.

Privacy Invasion

Employers who violate employees’ privacy rights, such as unauthorized surveillance or accessing personal information, may face legal consequences.

Failure to Accommodate Disabilities

Employers must reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities. Legal action may be justified if an employer fails to provide necessary accommodations.

Best Practices for Suing an Employer

Here are five best practices to follow when filing legal action against employers:

Document Everything

Maintain a detailed record of incidents, communications, and any relevant documents. This documentation serves as crucial evidence in legal proceedings.

Follow Internal Procedures

Exhaust internal channels for complaint resolution before pursuing legal action. Following the recommended procedures demonstrates the employees’ good-faith effort to resolve the issue.

Seek Legal Counsel

Consult with an experienced employment attorney. These professionals can help you assess the strength of the case, understand legal options, and navigate the complexities of employment law.

Preserve Evidence

Ensure the preservation of all relevant evidence, including emails, messages, and witness statements. By doing so, you enhance the credibility of your claim.

Timely Action

Adhere to statutory time limits for filing legal claims. Delay can jeopardize the case, so prompt action is essential to protect legal rights and seek appropriate remedies.

Employees should consult employment lawyers to assess the specifics of their situation and determine the appropriate course of action. However, understanding these instances is the first step to making informed decisions.