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'Little Things' More Likely to Get You Fired in Nevada’s Tough Economy

May 10, 2010

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Local legal experts say one big side effect of the economic downturn is that little things are more likely to get you fired these days in Nevada. If your boss tells you to do something you might object to, Las Vegas employment lawyer Keith Lyons' advice is to do it, unless it's illegal.

He says you can always file a grievance later. Better that, according to Lyons, than to give an employer an incident that can be used as a cause for termination and denial of unemployment benefits.

"I hate to use the word 'manufacturing' cause to fire somebody, but when you look at what's really going on, employers are blowing up what used to be minor issues as a basis to get rid of somebody."

Lyons will be joined by other legal experts as they give a free class on what Nevadans need to know about employment and workers' compensation law Tuesday night at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Dean Hardy will be offering expert advice on workers' compensation law. He says it is very important to report your injury and document each step in the process so you have a paper trail.

"It's tough if you get injured on the job. You are now in an adversarial relationship with your employer, so you have to do things to protect yourself."

If you are already in trouble at work, Lyons says you may do better to consult your employee handbook with a lawyer than to try to handle it on your own with your boss.

"Do it outside of the company because, unfortunately, if you're already on the edge with a supervisor and you think they are going to fire you, going to talk to them...too many times, they will smile and say 'Oh there's no problem' and two weeks later you're let go."

Pre-registration is required for all People's Law School classes. A final session will be offered next week on elder law.

More information about the People's Law School is available from Kathleen Plante, 775-885-7174, or at www.nevadajustice.org.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV