If a person needs help finding an employment lawyer, it helps if they know the area of employment law with which they need assistance. Employment law covers a wide range of issues and job-related matters. It is important to keep in mind that all lawyers specialize in an area of law, and some more narrowly than others. However, a person looking for a lawyer definitely wants to find one who specializes in the area of law for which they need assistance.
It can be challenging to find the right lawyer, the one who specializes in the kind of problem a person has, and the one in whom the person can have confidence, so it is always best not to wait until the last minute before a deadline. The law is littered with deadlines and a person should not wait until a deadline is looming to start looking for the right lawyer.
A person should get started as soon as they think they may need the services of a lawyer and do the work necessary to find the one with the right qualifications and experience.
Some common employment law issues may involve any of the following areas of the law:
- Employment discrimination;
- Wrongful termination;
- Retaliatory termination;
- Withheld wages and overtime disputes;
- Immigration/citizenship/work visa issues;
- Workers’ compensation claims;
- Disability pay;
- How an employer can best deal with employment issues;
- Issues with employee benefits.
The area of law in which a lawyer practices and the issue with which a person needs help are vitally important pieces of information. If a person has issues with their immigration status or work visa, then they want to consult an immigration attorney, rather than an employment attorney.
If a person has been injured on the job and wants to claim compensation for their injuries, including lost wages and coverage for their medical care, then they want an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation claims. The workers’ compensation system is separate from the civil court system, and an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation is familiar with that specialized system and can work within it most effectively.
If a person has a disability issue, they may want to file a claim for Social Security disability (SSI). Again, this is done initially through the Social Security Administration (SSA). Many claims are denied by the SSA and the denial must be appealed. A person’s claim can end up in federal court. For this purpose, claiming Social Security disability, a person wants to consult an attorney who specializes in Social Security disability claims. There are attorneys who specialize in this work and they would be best suited to assisting a person with an SSI claim.
Employment discrimination is another area of the law in which a person may be required to file a claim with a state or federal agency, such as the federal Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) before turning to the courts. Again, a lawyer who specializes in employment discrimination claims is the best qualified to know exactly what procedures must be followed to be successful with a claim.
A person who has been fired for what they think is no good reason wants a lawyer who specializes in employment law, especially the law of employment contracts, wrongful termination and retaliatory termination. The question in this person’s case is whether they have a contract, express or implied, that says their employment cannot be terminated without good cause. Or, it may be that the person’s employment was terminated in retaliation for their exercise of a right, such as a right to claim worker’s compensation.
If a person can identify which type of legal issues they face, it will be easier for them to find a lawyer to help them. It can also be helpful for a person to be clear about whether they are approaching an issue from the side of an employee or an employer. Some lawyers specialize in representing employers and others specialize in working with employees.