Employees and employers who have issues at work contact employment attorneys to help resolve them. These problems revolve around wages, workplace safety, and wrongful or wrongful termination. However, when is it time to reach out? Reach out to employment attorneys when the relationship between you, the employer, and the employees become strained due to the abovementioned problems.
Employment attorneys are in two categories: those who represent employees (Plaintiffs) while the other focuses on employers (defendants). Plaintiff lawyers are discrimination attorneys, while the latter are management attorneys. Employment attorneys mainly focus on either side, but some can represent clients, employers, and employees.
When It’s Time for the Employee to Hire an Employment Attorney
Many things can happen at work, either by commission or omission of the employers, and as a result, the actions lead to unlawful violation of employee rights. Contact an employment attorney if any of these situations happen to you (employee).
- Experience harassment at work.
- You’ve been treated in a discriminatory manner due to protected characteristics like pregnancy.
- The employer retaliates against an employee for exercising their right, like asking for overtime payment, which they’re entitled to per the labor laws.
- Wrongful employment termination means there’s a breach of work or employment contract.
- An employee is forced to sign an agreement waiving their rights.
- An employer fails to give benefits to employees they’re entitled to under the employment contract.
In some incidences, an employee can fall sick or get injured while at work and require filing a worker’s compensation claim. To get the best results, consult an employment attorney to help you file an effective claim or an appeal for denial of benefits.
Employees working in a non-unionized workplace can seek legal help from employment lawyers on how to form a union without breaking any laws. The employment lawyer provides advice about their activities, their rights, and the need to have and belong to workplace unions. They can also give insight into employee rights and responsibilities of union workers. Employees get to know the efforts to unionize in a workplace.
Once employees become aware of a problem, it’s prudent to consult an employment attorney immediately. Failure to which it may turn out as difficult or impossible to prove the misconduct, hence losing the right to file a valid complaint.
Examples of Employee Representation
An employee can seek representation from an employment lawyer for the following situations.
Problems at work are inevitable, and employees need access to an employment lawyer to get help when issues arise. Employees can find themselves in lonely corners, especially if they challenge their employer on wrongdoing in the workplace. Some of these malpractices include:
- Bullying or intimidation
- Sexual harassment, including inappropriate touching or contact
- Employer retaliation
- Racial discrimination
You can face discrimination based on race, religion, or sexual orientation. To file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), an employee can seek guidance from an employment attorney. This way, you can avoid mistakes that stall the process or cause dismissal. If EEOC can’t get you justice, a civil court is also an alternative that you can explore.
Labor unions seek employment lawyers to advise on union formation, functions, and management. Additionally, legal counsel can help manage anti-union activity from employers or the unlawful firing of a union head. They also enforce contracts, like when an employer fails to honor hourly or overtime wages as agreed. In a nutshell, union lawyers maximize union interests.
Whistleblowers expose a company’s misconduct to a regulatory agency or the media. This move can result in employer retaliation or job loss. However, the intervention of an employment attorney can invoke laws to protect them. If the whistleblower encounters repercussions, the lawyer can help get them compensation in a civil court. As a result, future whistleblowers have to expose a company’s wrongdoing or malpractice against employees.
When to Hire an Employment Lawyer as an Employer
An employer needs a seasoned employment attorney to assist in navigating various employment issues. Employment lawyers give insight to employers about state and federal laws that are valid in the employer’s workplace.
They can also ensure that employers comply with environmental laws and help them learn about their obligations concerning the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Moreover, employment lawyers can protect employers before governmental boards or agencies if cited for non-compliance. Here are situations when an employer can contact an employment attorney:
- Representation in a negotiation with a union concerning issues like unlawful dismissal or blocking union-related activity.
- If an employee files a discrimination complaint against them, an employment lawyer can represent them.
- When named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by an employee
- When the employer intends to change the terms of employment, sack several employees, terminate employee benefits, or make changes to the current pension plan.
An experienced employment attorney can also help to prepare or review employment contracts or releases. Keeping contact with an employment lawyer helps the employer to operate within the labor laws in the workplace and also ensure they comply on a routine basis.
Possible Costs of an Employment Attorney
The costs of employment lawyers will vary depending on several factors like location and details of the case. However, there are general charges their attorneys will impose on clients, as detailed below.
- Hourly rates – Many lawyers charge employment cases by the hour. The rate will depend on location and case details.
- Contingency fee – If the lawsuit is successful and the client receives compensation, the attorney’s charge will take a percentage of the total amount. The lawyer gets his portion before or after the trial.
- Flat Fee – Attorneys can charge a flat rate for less complex issues like simple wills, minor criminal cases, or uncontested divorce.
Do You Need an Employment Attorney?
If you have employment-related issues, consult an employment attorney for assistance. With the help of an experienced employment attorney, you’ll know if you comply with the law and see if you can file a lawsuit against your employer. Depending on the problem, the lawyer will ensure you’re within regulations, and they can also represent you in court against the accused (employer) if necessary.