An employer and employee share a give and take relationship. The latter performs services, ensuring the company keeps running smoothly. An employer provides compensation for the service in the form of a salary. Most employment contracts offer some form of job security to ensure employees can’t be fired without warning. Government policies also protect employee interests to ensure the employee can’t be terminated unjustly. If you find yourself in this position, it’s a good idea to hire an employment lawyer.
What are employment lawyers?
An employment lawyer is a legal professional well-versed in employment law. They know the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of both, employers and employees. A lawyer can help with cases of wrongful dismissal, minimum labor standards, occupational health or safety, human rights, and worker’s compensation. If you have concerns regarding any of these matters, you need to contact an employment lawyer.
Can you resolve the matters without professional help?
Some employees hesitate to hire lawyers because they feel it might harm their career. They try to resolve their issue with employers through meetings or simply let the matter go. Some issues can be resolved without intervention from an experienced attorney so you can:
- Lodge a complaint with the HR department regarding discrimination or harassment.
- Sign documents you understand well. You probably don’t need a lawyer to understand things like insurance papers, tax papers, and applications.
- Attend a disciplinary hearing; just make sure you take careful note of what is being said. Don’t sign anything but the acknowledgment form stating your rebuttal is to follow.
- File a grievance with a union. The organization will provide a union representative.
When should you call employment lawyers?
Some situations can’t be resolved without professional assistance. It’s definitely in your interest to find a competent lawyer who can ensure you’re not taken advantage of. Some employers discourage this and can even try to intimidate employees. Here are some situations in which you need a lawyer’s help:
- Employment laws – Employers are obligated to follow some employment laws to ensure their treatment of employees is fair. If you suspect your employer has broken one of these laws, it’s best to consult with a legal expert. They will listen to your suspicions to determine which laws have been broken.
- Retaliation – If you have complained to the HR regarding a transgression and experienced retaliation like a reprimand, pay cut, or termination of employment.
- Payment – Employers need to pay all the wages they owe you in a timely fashion. If they haven’t done that, you can contact a lawyer to gain legal assistance on the matter.
- Wages – Employers are obligated to pay at least minimum wage and provide overtime compensation for additional work. If you haven’t received these benefits, you might need assistance from employment lawyers.
- Sexual harassment – Workplace sexual harassment is a common problem and needs to be addressed immediately. Many employers have strict rules to ensure employees aren’t exploited but if you have experienced workplace sexual assault, it’s best to have an experienced employment lawyer on your side.
- Wrongful termination – An employer can’t fire an employee in the event of a legal complaint or for protected reasons like race, pregnancy, gender, etc. If your employer does not have a legitimate reason to fire you, there’s no reason to accept the decision without protest. An employment lawyer will examine your case carefully, look at details to understand liability, and offer objective advice.