A labour lawyer specializes in the laws that directly govern employee-employer relationships. No matter how small your business is, if you have plans of employing or are currently employing people, you really should think about retaining a labour lawyer, or at least consult one once a month.
We really do not need to tell you, but labour law is complicated and it covers many different aspects. In general, though, the cover the following areas: benefits and compensation, employee rights, and protection in the work place.
A lawyer that specializes in labour takes the pain of reading volumes of law books on labor so that you can focus on making your business compliant with the law.
The first task that you should accomplish before you even hire your first employee is completing your employee handbook. The handbook puts into writing what you expect from employees and get into detail as to what they can and cannot do.
The employee handbook should be written by your human resources department or by you and be reviewed by a labour lawyer.
Hopefully, you would follow all labour laws so you don’t get into trouble. But things can and do happen. And there will always be that lawyer who’s life mission is to complain about everything. You will want to be prepared by having a good labour lawyer on your side, whether or not the complaint sees its day in court or see the light in arbitration.
When it comes to choosing an attorney, there are several things you can do to ensure that you are hiring a good one. You can and should go to websites that feature peer-reviewed law firms and individuals practices.
Peer-reviewed means that other lawyers have checked the lawyer and deemed him good enough to be worth your time.
Another thing that you can do is to check your local bar association and ask for recommendations. Still, another way to go is do a search on websites that feature local businesses. If you see listings for labour lawyer, make sure to check out the ones that have an average of at least four star ratings based on many stars, not just one.
Ideally, you should have a short list of three lawyers. Make an appointment with each of them and sit with them in consultation. Don’t worry, most lawyers offer their first hour of consultation for free.
During consultation, ask about the lawyer’s experience and specialization. If you are a small business, you will want to work with a lawyer that has small business owners as clients. You don’t have to deal with hotshot lawyers that count the top companies in the country as clients.
Not only are these hotshot lawyers expensive, their experience lives off on a dynamic that’s totally different from small businesses.
On the other hand, a lawyer that specializes in small businesses has relevant experience and expertise that can help you avoid any legal, headache-inducing trouble with your employees.
This post is also available in: French