Hiring an Employment Lawyer
If you are a business owner then you must hire an employment lawyer. An employment lawyer can advise you on the employment laws, ensure that all your compliances are met with and all employees are treated equally. They can also prepare employee handbooks, intervene in issues related to wage law and other workplace issues such as contract violations, wrongful terminate of services, sexual harassment etc.
When to Hire an Employment Lawyer
Employment lawyers work with both employees and employers. In case you are an employee and are seeking assistance against a wrongdoing that your employer has committed against you, you should meet an employment lawyer.
You should approach the lawyer if you have been terminated illegaly or if you have been harassed or if you have faced any kind of discrimination etc. In any of these cases, get in touch with an employment lawyer at the earliest. The more you delay, the more chances you lose at making an impact.
In case you are an employer, an employment lawyer can help by providing you legal counsel on mass laying off, compliance with state laws and also represent you in court if someone has charged you of misconduct or unlawful activities.
What Can an Employment Do For Me?
If you are an employer, there are several factors you need to keep in mind while running you business. Any negligence can lead to a lawsuit, unhappy works and the cops at your door! With an employment lawyer by your side, you can avoid most of these problems. Here’s how an employment lawyer can make your life easier.
1. Explain Your Rights
You may not have the time to read about your rights, entitlements and liabilities in the middle of running a business. An employment lawyer can help you by explaining to you the rights you have and what all legal liabilities you need to bear.
2. Complying with Laws
An employment lawyer can help you understand the laws of the land and what you need to do to ensure that your system and your staff comply with the laws.
Employment lawyers represent you in court. In case of litigation they can help you with all the paperwork and pursue the case to have it settled in your favour or win it for you in a court of law.
4. Compensation Claims
Workers suffer injuries a lot of times. The compensation claims need to be dealt with caution. An employment lawyer can help you substantiate the claim easily.
How to Hire an Employment Lawyer
There are several ways you can hire an employment lawyer. If you are wondering how to go about it, here are some suggestions that can help you find a good lawyer for yourself:
- Search Online: Most lawyers update their credentials and contact details on the internet these days. You can look up for employment lawyers near you and then create a shortlist from the names you get from the search. Do visit their website if they have one or look for reviews from previous clients. This should fairly give you an idea about the competence of the lawyer.
- Ask for Referrals: You can ask your friends and family to help you source the contact of a good employment lawyer. You can spread the word within your network and wait for information to come back to you. The best part of this is the contact will already have been used by someone and you will get genuine feedback from them.
- Check with the Local Bar Association: In case, both the above mentioned methods fail to yield any result – you can always check with the local bar association. You might have to do a little digging around but eventually you will find someone at the bar who can help you with an employment related case.
So, once you have identified the lawyer you want to work with, you can arrange for a personal interview with each of the lawyers on your list. When you meet them, make sure you have all your papers with you so that you can have a fruitful discussion. Another must do for the personal interview is that you must ask loads of questions. This is important because your questions will give you clarity on the course of action that needs to be taken.
What Should You Ask an Employment Lawyer?
1. Experience: This is one of the most important questions. You will discover that a lot of lawyers claim to be employment lawyers but eventually it turns out that they are personal injury or tax claims lawyer and take up cases related to employment just for the extra money.
You do not want someone who is adequately skilled or experienced to take up your case. You must understand that employment law is a niche segment of law and the lawyers who take up this subject in their academics are the ones you want to engage with.
You must understand that employment law is a niche segment of law and the lawyers who take up this subject in their academics are the ones you want to engage with.
If your lawyer is indeed an employment lawyer, make sure you ask them how many employment litigations he has handled as the main chair. A lawyer who has handled a case similar to your earlier will be able to foresee developments and prepare you accordingly.
2. How Big is Your Practice? When it comes to corporate litigations, there are several big firms involved. You do not want to be on the losing side because your lawyer is not competent enough. Understand how much support staff he has, what kind of a leader he is, is his approach proactive or reactive to your case.
3. What Do You Think of My Case? Ask upfront to understand what your lawyer’s take is on your case. Does he think he can get your justice or does he just faff about the outcomes he can get you. It is important to understand your lawyer’s take on your case so that you know which direction he intends to take. Also make sure he updates you on a regular basis and keeps you in the know of things. Have an honest conversation with him and then decide if you want to work with him or not.
4. What is Your Success Rate? It may seem awkward but it is important for you to ask for the number of cases he has delivered successfully. This is crucial for you as you are investing your money and time on something that means so much to you and you do not want someone to take advantage of your vulnerability. Ask him about this success rate and see if he can provide you numbers or mentions successful cases that you have heard of in the past.
What Exactly Under Employment Cases Do you Specialise In?
While you may find a lawyer who does handle employment cases, but you have to be careful and ask if the lawyer specialises in the area that you are looking for. You may find someone who can help you in case of an unlawful termination but will not be able to take up a discrimination/harassment case.
How Much Will You Charge?
Since there is a lot of money that is spent for court room litigation, a lot of people tend to cut costs on the lawyer. You should be careful when it comes to hiring a lawyer. You cannot cut corners and then expect the best result to come to you. A good lawyer will cost you some money but it is an investment well worth the result.
While discussing the case with your prospective lawyer, do understand the fee structure. You can check with the lawyer about the mode of payment and whether he will charge you a flat fee or act like a contingency lawyer. A contingency lawyer gets a portion of your compensation on winning the case.
Employment litigation is never easy. Once you have spoken to the prospective lawyers and zeroed in on one of them – someone that fits the bill perfectly – take the next step. Share all your documents, pay the advance if required and cooperate as much as you can. An honest and healthy conversation with your lawyer can work wonders.
When you sit down with your lawyer to discuss the course of action, make sure you have all your copies of relevant documents, reach for the meeting on time and try and turn up alone. A lot of people tend to bring their friends and family along, which is huge put off. Furthermore you cannot have a heart to heart conversation with a third person sitting in the room.
You should be ready to wait for the outcome. Lawsuits take their own time to be settled or cleared. So once you have filed litigation, do not lose patience and wait as long as you do not hear back from the court.
In case you are being offered a settlement, listen to what your lawyer advises. This is where the smartness and skill of an employment lawyer comes in. He can speak to the other party and negotiate the amount for you.