Not all employers take care of their workers – and if you’re like most people, you already know there are bad apples out there. But even worse, some employers actively work to take advantage of their employees or ignore problems that cause serious harm to workers… and that’s where employment lawyers for employees (as opposed to attorneys who work for businesses) come in.
Should I Hire an Employment Lawyer?
Employment lawyers for employees – those who fight to stand up for workers’ rights and get employees the compensation they deserve – can be a tremendous help in many situations. For example, an employment lawyer working for employees can help in circumstances such as:
- Wage and hour claims, such as denied meal and rest breaks, violations of tip laws, and minimum wage violations
- Wrongful termination claims
Generally, if you hire an employment lawyer who works for employees, he or she will evaluate your case and determine whether you have a valid claim first. Then, if you do have a case, your attorney will pull together documentation that makes it stronger – and eventually, you’ll end up in negotiations with your employer or in a courtroom in front of a judge.
What Type of Lawyer Handles Employment Issues?
An employment lawyer for employees (not one for businesses) handles employment issues for workers. These attorneys – commonly called labor and employment lawyers – can work across a wide range of cases, including those involving discrimination and harassment, wage problems (such as failure to pay minimum wage or overtime), and discrimination and harassment.
What Does a Labor and Employment Lawyer Do?
A labor and employment lawyer can represent workers in negotiations with employers, help strengthen cases to take to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and represent employees in court. Generally, these employment lawyers work for employees, providing insight on laws that affect specific cases and creating strategies to help people get the best possible outcomes.
How Do I Find an Employment Lawyer?
For most people, finding employment lawyers for employee issues requires a little homework. Ideally, you’ll find an attorney who understands your case and knows how to win it – and who can help you start moving forward, regardless of what you’ve been through. Your first step in finding an employment lawyer is to do a little online research. Look for an attorney who doesn’t mind sharing a lot of information – preferably one with an extensive employment law blog that’s full of advice, ideas and information you can use to understand your case. Once you find someone you’re interested in working with, pick up the phone and schedule a free consultation.
What Questions Should I Ask an Employment Lawyer?
During a free consultation, you can ask an employment lawyer anything you’d like. You can ask about your rights as an employee, what types of options you have for your case, how long it’ll take to reach a resolution, and how much it will cost to work with an attorney. You can also ask questions such as:
- How long have you been working in employment law for employees?
- What types of cases do you normally handle?
- How much experience do you have with cases like mine?
A good employment lawyer for employees will be able to answer your questions and give you some insight into your case.
How Much Does an Employment Lawsuit Cost Businesses?
Employment lawsuits can cost a company millions – but on average, companies pay around $40,000 to settle with workers. Statistically, around 10 percent of wrongful termination and discrimination employment lawsuits result in settlements $1 million or more.
You should talk to your attorney about how much an employment lawsuit will cost you, the worker, if you’re interested in making a claim against your employer.
How Much Does an Employment Lawyer Charge?
Every employment lawyer has his or her own fee structure, and because the cost can vary widely (and because we’re employment lawyers for employees), it wouldn’t be appropriate to speculate on what other attorneys are charging. If you’d like to get information on your own case, call us at 818-230-8380 – explain what’s going on and we can let you know how much the case would cost you.
Can I Bring a Lawyer to an HR Meeting?
If you were accused of some type of misconduct or if you have been harassed or discriminated against, you may be wondering if it’s okay to bring a lawyer to a meeting with your Human Resources department. For the most part, that’s between you and your HR rep – while you’re entitled to bring an attorney to any legal proceedings you’re going through, that doesn’t extend to your place of employment.
FAQ About How Employment Lawyers for Employees Work
Employment lawyers for employees often cover a wide range of cases. Check out these frequently asked questions to see if yours are answered here.
Can I Sue My Employer for Emotional Distress?
If your employer intentionally inflicts emotional distress on you by engaging in behavior that’s “outrageous or extreme,” and that mental distress is severe, you could be eligible to sue. Likewise, you could be eligible to sue if your employer failed to use reasonable care to avoid causing you emotional distress. Every case is different, though, which means it’s in your best interest to talk to an attorney about your situation.
What Qualifies as Wrongful Termination?
Wrongful termination occurs when you’re fired for an illegal reason. Sometimes that illegal reason has to do with unlawful discrimination, and sometimes it has to do with a breach of contract between you and your employer.
What Makes a Hostile Work Environment?
A hostile work environment is a workplace in which it’s impossible to do your job because the harassment you’re experiencing is severe and pervasive. That means that it’s dominating your workdays and keeping you from performing.
Related: What is a hostile work environment?
Do You Need an Employment Lawyer for Employees?
If you’ve experienced discrimination, harassment, wage theft or any other workplace-related issue, you may need to talk to an employment lawyer who works with employees. Call us today at 818-230-8380 or fill out the form below to schedule your free consultation – we may be able to help you get your life back on track.