What Does An Employment Lawyer Do, And Why Would You Need One?

Under normal conditions, the workplace is stressful. When you throw a toxic environment into the mix, that is a recipe for disaster. Depending on what the aggravating situation is, an employment lawyer might be warranted. The following list is definitely not exhaustive. 

Tasks of An Employment Attorney

Maintaining Compliance

When you think of an employment lawyer you may automatically assume that they only represent the employee. This is not so. An employment lawyer greatly assists and represents employers in ensuring that compliance in certain key areas is met. Take for example the drafting and official drawing up of policies against racism, or discrimination based on sex, age, or religion. These attorneys also ensure that workplace safety standards are up to par. If a factory worker is not given goggles and gloves, the company could face major fines. The work to ensure things stay above board, therefore avoiding sanctions. 

Filing Complaints

Should there be an instance of harassment in the workplace, the employee cannot go directly to a lawyer for retribution. An employment lawyer, if contacted, can direct said employee to file a complaint with their supervisor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or their state’s governmental agency. Once the proper chain of action has been followed, if no just conclusion is reached, then private litigation becomes an option. 

Wage Lawsuits

There are a number of cases where staff are asked to stay late or come in on their day off but are subsequently not financially compensated. Sometimes, not even after bridging this to the attention of the boss is this resolved. Quite often, employees are purposely misrepresented to justify shorting their pay. In such a case, an employment attorney can fight to get you the overtime you rightly deserve. 

Prosecution Of Discrimination Lawsuits

In today’s world, discrimination is rampant. There is an obvious and unapologetic lack of respect for others based on skin color, nationality, disability, and even age. If you’ve been harassed, excluded, demoted, or fired because of any of these factors an employment lawyer can help you. It is wholly against the law for any such discriminatory action to take place. Should your employer do nothing to mitigate these occurrences or is the source of the problem? Waste no time in seeking outside help.

When To Consider Contacting A Lawyer

If you’re experiencing or have recently experienced any of the situations mentioned above, call a lawyer. The same goes for the violation of a work contract, discrimination due to pregnancy, revenge for whistleblowing, and the gender wage gap. Whatever circumstance that results in you being treated unfairly, although your complaint was protected, is grounds to seek legal counsel. The sooner following the incident you take this action, the better for you. You can work to collect the evidence needed to build a strong case against the organization. 

Carry Out Your Due Diligence

Before committing to anyone lawyer or law firm, shop around. Review qualifications of all, and years of experience. Read up on any accolades received while also paying attention to as many customer reviews as possible. Other clients will be much more honest about the capability of the lawyers who are eager to be hired by you. 

You also need to consider the cost. Some legal practices demand some percentage of payment upfront, and could even ask for a consultation fee. If that is not in your budget, then do some deeper digging to find firms that ask no money of you unless your case is won. Be very clear if you are solely responsible for paying out-of-pocket fees, or whether an arrangement can be set up that you share the burden. You should also get some clarity on what would then take place if the court makes a judgment that includes attorney fees.

Ensure whomever you select, you can speak openly and honestly too. That is the only way to win your case. Being comfortable whether in person or over the phone or email, communication should be speedy and clear. You want to ask important questions like how to build a strong case, and how much time the proceedings may take.

Now that you have a better idea of what an employment lawyer does, you may find yourself in need of one desperately. Gather all evidence you can against your company of employment. This may not be an easy task as any trace of wrongdoing is usually erased, but if you do have the smoking gun email or voice note, there is little that can be done to stand in the way of your victory.