Employee Rights Attorneys
What Are Employee Rights?
The term employee rights most commonly refer to those rights that employers are obligated to grant to employees. State and federal employment laws determine many different rights that employees obtain once they are legally hired by their employer.
Employee rights are typically enforceable once the worker begins their employment, or when they sign their employment contract. These rights are terminated once the employer-employee relationship ends. Some employee rights can actually be enforceable before or after employment.
Some of the most common examples of employee rights can include, but are not limited to:
- The right to be paid federal minimum wage;
- The right to be free from discrimination at all stages of the employment process, including hiring and firing;
- The right to privacy in the workplace, although it is important to note that the scope of privacy rights may depend on the nature of the employment; and
- Various rights regarding leave for disability, medical, or family leave.
In addition to these employee rights, individual employees may also obtain contract rights that are specific to the terms in their employment contract. An example of this would be how some employment contracts may include a statement that the employee will not be terminated before a specific date.
What Is an Employee Rights Attorney?
An employee rights attorney, or employee rights lawyer, may also be known as an employment law attorney. Such an attorney handles a wide variety of issues as they relate to employment law violations. They may advise both employees and employers on federal as well as state employment laws. Simply put, an employment law attorney works to ensure that all employees are treated fairly and their employee rights are protected.
Some examples of what employment lawyers can assist with include, but may not be limited to:
- Drafting and reviewing employee handbooks;
- Wage law issues and rights;
- Representing employers before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”); and
- Providing guidance on employees’ rights in order to determine if their rights have been violated.
Employment lawyers also handle employment-related legal issues, including:
- Wrongful termination;
- Workplace discrimination;
- Sexual harassment;
- Contract violations;
- Whistleblower protection;
- Disability and ADA violations;
- Labor union disputes; and
- Various other employment law issues.
Many employee rights attorneys represent employees who are not part of a union. As such, they are essentially powerless in situations involving employers who have done illegal actions that put employees at a disadvantage.
What Does an Employee Rights Attorney Do?
Employee rights attorneys primarily represent clients who are involved in various work-related disputes. As a result, employee rights attorneys are likely to spend the majority of their time researching laws, codes, and statutes that relate employment law.
As previously mentioned, employment law frequently involves other government departments and agencies. One common overlap is in the area of immigration law. Employee rights lawyers can often perform the task of ensuring that employers are complying with immigration laws, in addition to employment laws. An example of this would be how the attorney may cooperate with local officials to ensure that companies are not hiring and exploiting workers illegally.
Additionally, employee rights attorneys can also function in other capacities outside of the court. An example of this would be how it is common for employment lawyers to help draft, negotiate, and review employment contract terms before the parties sign the contract. This is important to ensure that the rights of all parties involved are properly protected.
When Should I Hire an Employee Rights Attorney?
If you are an employee, you should contact an employee rights attorney in any of the following situations:
- You have been harassed, discriminated, or retaliated against by your employer;
- You were terminated or fired from employment, and the termination was illegal;
- You are being forced to sign an agreement waiving employee rights you are entitled to;
- The employer has violated state and/or federal laws created to protect employees; and/or
- Your employer has not provided the benefits that you are entitled to under your employment contract.
One of the more common disputes involving employee rights violations occurs when an employer violates the employee’s rights regarding workplace privacy. Another example would be if the employer fails to pay the employee overtime wages in accordance with the overtime standards in the area.
How Do I Find an Employee Rights Attorney?
If you are in a situation involving employee rights, you should be sure to contact an employee rights lawyer as soon as you become aware of that issue. If you wait to contact an attorney, the delay could prevent you from being able to provide evidence of the illegal conduct committed by the employer. Failing to timely preserve evidence could also prevent you from recovering damages.An experienced and local employment attorney in your area will be able to help you preserve any needed evidence, as well as help you initiate a claim against your employer should you have to file a lawsuit. Additionally, an attorney will also be able to represent you in a court of law, as necessary.