When to Hire an Employment Lawyer?
There are certain situations and times in your employment when you may need assistance of an attorney. The reasons listed below indicate why you would need services of a lawyer:
Deadlines – It might sound bad but employment laws are a muddle of puzzling deadlines, preconditions to filing suit, and requirements you may miss especially when you try a do-it-yourself. So if you are seriously thinking of filing a suit, consult with one of the experienced employment lawyers.
Perplexing Claims – Employment laws are many. It is not possible for a common man to be aware of all. So if you have certain claims, your termination from the company doesn’t feel legal/right or you think something illegal has happened, it is good to speak to a lawyer.
You want to be Taken Seriously – Some employers don’t take you seriously unless you have representation.
Confrontations give You Chills – A lot of people aren’t comfortable facing a confrontation or being their own lawyers when negotiating employment severance package or agreement. Hence, it is better to have an advocate.
There are a few situations under which you would need a lawyer:
– Your current/former employer sues or threatens to sue you.
– You are being forced, instructed, suggested or asked to sign an agreement that you don’t fully understand. The agreement is incomplete, arbitration, confidentiality, or employment agreement.
– You’ve been accused of a crime.
– You believe the current/former employer has broken employment laws.
– You have been questioned or received an action/retaliation against for complaining about discrimination/ illegal activity employer got involved in.
– You are not being paid wages you’re owed.
– You are misclassified as exempt from overtime.
– You are misclassified as an independent contractor.
– For writing a formal complaint of discrimination to the human resources department.
– For attending disciplinary meeting.
– Filing a union grievance.
Employment lawyers usually discuss certain crucial issues and questions prior to going ahead with legal procedure. Here’s what your lawyer will consider:
Severity of Situation
All situations aren’t serious. It is good to rank your work situation on a “bad” scale of 1 to 10. What are you facing? Are you dealing with a life threatening issue, sexual assault, or harassment? Do you feel your manager is being “mean” or shows favoritism? Are you working in a very stressful or unbearable situation? The lawyer will decide on the best decision for you based on answers of these queries.
Behavior and/or Action of Employer
Sometimes the action or behavior of employer is accused of violating the law. It is important to remember that simply because an employer has committed something wrong doesn’t mean it is illegal. Favoritism is immoral but not illegal. On the other hand, racial discrimination is illegal. Also not all discrimination is illegal. For instance, if you did not get a hike in your salary or a promotion because your boss simply don’t like you, your hobbies, or your love for dogs, that’s not unlawful. However, any kind of discrimination based on the following is:
– National origin
Remember that a government agency would require certain legal hook to be involved. This may be anything from FLSA, Title VII, OSHA, FMLA or laws under other state, federal, or local employment.
Did You Try Mending the Situation?
The employment attorney would like to know if you have made ample efforts to cure the situation using procedures and policies of employer. It can be very stressful to dealing with a bad work situation. Also it isn’t easy to pursue a claim with a government agency. The process is tedious and takes forever. The best way to go is using policies and procedures of employer.
What are you looking for? You must have a crystal clear idea of what you wish to accomplish in resolving the issue. Do you want your employer to apologize? Are you upset by a denied / delayed promotion? Have you suffered monetary damages? Governmental involvement is necessary for reaching goal.