No matter what the size of your company is, there is no doubt that you need an employment lawyer at every step of the way when you are making any important decisions that can directly affect your employees.
Are you about to create an employee handbook? Consult a lawyer before giving your employees a copy of it. Do you feel that the best course moving forward is to downsize the size of your workforce? Again, consult a lawyer.
Aside from the situations we mentioned above, there are many other instances where you will definitely need an employment lawyer. What this particular law professional does is to ensure that you are not violating laws related to employment, and if you are in trouble, ensure that you don’t get into further trouble by helping you decide on whether to settle or litigate.
There are many employment laws out there that can directly impact the way you deal with your employees. There are state laws and federal laws like Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and Americans with Disability Act (ADA), among others. As these laws are being updated and as new laws are being introduced, your full-time human resource management employee won’t be able to keep up with all of them. And you will need an employment lawyer for new information.
Where can you find employment lawyers? Always, the best sources are those that vet different people. Referrals from family and friends are often good places to start looking for a lawyer as your friends and family would think twice about recommending anyone unless if they were sure about the qualifications. Another good place to look are websites like The Islands Attorneys and Law that do background checks on lawyers before publishing their contact information. We’re talking about websites like FindLaw. Still, another good place to go are the state bar associations.
What you want to do is to sit down in consultation with different lawyers at different law firms. Don’t worry because most lawyers do not charge for a consultation, and even if they do, the cost is small compared to their full-priced fees.
We like to think that a lawyer is only good as his experience. And by “experience”, we mean cases that have practically the same basic facts as yours. For example, if you are being sued for wrongful termination, the attorney must have extensive experience dealing with wrongful termination cases. So, when you are talking to a lawyer, talk about experience and talk about your case.
Each lawyer will have slightly different ways of how they are going to tackle your employee problem. So, pay attention to what they say.
Aside from experience, another important thing to ask is their method for updating themselves on labor-related laws. We really do not need to tell you, but the more up-to-date a lawyer is, the better it will be for you.
Lastly, ask about their fee structure. Lawyers can charge by the hour or by retainer basis, and it’s up to you which fee structure you can work with.
This post is also available in: French