Highly Compensated Employees
As a highly compensated employee, you have achieved a certain status in your career because of your experience, advanced skills, and exceptional talent. You also have the ability to sense when something is not quite right. Perhaps you’ve been slowly removed from important meetings, decision-making, and emails. Maybe you’ve been asked to train a new hire who is supposed to be there to assist you, but you suspect that person is your eventual replacement.
If you believe you are being forced out or prevented from transitioning into a higher role due to unfair discrimination, you may feel a sense of persecution and isolation. Such a tense and even toxic situation could very well affect your sense of judgment. The risk of taking action that seemingly justifies an employer’s unfair decisions only increases. This is why it is important to contact an employment attorney you can trust to investigate what is happening with your best interests in mind.
Highly Compensated Employees Are Often Subject to Discrimination
Though illegal, systemic age discrimination among highly compensated employees over the age of 50, and especially over the age of 60, is rampant in corporate America. Discrimination based on gender, race, sexual orientation, and disability are also very common. Many highly compensated employees face discrimination based on country of origin. This can apply to Americans who are prevented from advancing in their career with foreign-owned entities.
For someone who has been a loyal, productive employee, feelings of pain and betrayal are natural when you are disrespected, brushed off, and suddenly deemed expendable or unworthy of promotion. Also, the loss of income and benefits can be incredibly disruptive and hurtful to you and your family, and finding a new position typically takes much longer for a highly compensated employee.
Discrimination of any kind is both unethical and illegal, but it is also difficult to prove without a highly experienced employment lawyer working on your behalf.
How an Employment Attorney Can Help
The first priority of an employment attorney is to prevent further harm and place the employee in the best possible position should the worst-case scenario unfold. Every situation is unique, so the attorney must proceed carefully based on the specific facts and circumstances involved.
The employment lawyer must take a great deal of time upfront to gain a 360-degree view of where the employee has been, where they are now, and where they believe the employer is going, with or without the employee. If something is missed during this phase of gathering and analyzing information, it can have negative, long-term consequences.
Ideally, your employment lawyer will operate in the shadows, investigate, collect evidence, and deploy strategies that improve your leverage while you are still employed. Once an employer knows you have an attorney, they will bring in their own lawyer and access to important information will be shut down.
If you wait until you are terminated to retain counsel, building a discrimination case becomes significantly more difficult. The employer at fault could even threaten to sue you for bringing trade secrets to another company and prevent you from continuing your career.
If you suspect your employer is planning to terminate you or stop you from moving into a more prominent role, you can maximize your leverage by hiring an employment attorney while you’re still employed. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.