Employment lawyers assist advise both employees and employers on the federal and state employment laws that have been violated. Employment lawyers make sure that all employees are treated in a fair and consistent manner and employers are in compliance with all laws within workplace.
Employment lawyers can draft and review employee handbooks, assist with wage law issues and rights, represent employers before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and provide guidance on employees' rights to see if their rights have been violated.
Employment lawyers handle employment-related legal issues, including:
- Wrongful termination;
- Workplace discrimination;
- Sexual harassment;
- Contract violations; and
- Whistleblower protection.
Many lawyers represent employees who are not part of a union and are basically powerless in situations where employers have done illegal actions that put employees at a disadvantage.
When Should I Hire an Employment Lawyer If I am the Employee?
Employers can commit many unlawful actions that wrongfully place employees in a disadvantage. You should contact an employment 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 rights you are entitled to.
- The employer has violated state or federal laws created to protected employees.
- Your employer has not given the benefits that you are entitled to under your employment contract.
Make sure to contact an employment attorney as soon as you become aware of an issue. If you wait to contact an attorney, the delay could prevent you from proving the illegal conduct committed by the employer and also prevent you from recovering damages.
When Should I Hire an Employment Lawyer If I am the Employer?
An an employer, an experienced employment lawyer can assist you with various labor and employment issues. Many employment lawyers can educate employers with state and federal laws and ensure that the employers are in compliance with those laws.
You should contact an employment attorney if:
- You need representation for collective bargaining negotiations.
- An employee has filed a complaint for discrimination or harassment against you.
- When an employee has brought a cause of action against you for employment related matter.
- You plan to layoff or fire a large number of employees, terminate a employee benefit, or change the current pension plan you are offering.
An experienced employment attorney can also assist you with legal issues other than employee-employer disputes. An employment lawyer can help review or prepare contracts and agreements that you use with your employees such as employment contracts, severance contracts, or releases.
How Much Will an Employment Lawyer Cost?
The cost of an employment lawyer can vary considerably depending on a variety of factors related to the lawyer’s skills and the details of your individual case. Generally, attorneys charge their clients according to one of three types of fee schedules: Hourly Rates, Flat Fees, and Contingent Fees.
- Hourly Rates: Most attorneys charge for employment cases according to a set hourly rate. In California, the median attorney hourly rate starts at $350 for smaller less experienced firms and $450 for larger more experienced firms.
- Contingency Fees: Under contingency fee plans, attorneys charge their clients only out of the proceeds of the court action if it is successful. Generally, attorneys will receive a prearranged percentage of the final settlement or court award.
- Flat Fees: Sometimes attorneys will charge a flat fee for less complicated legal issues such as simple wills, an uncontested divorce, power of attorney, or even some minor criminal cases.
Why Should I Hire an Employment Lawyer?
If you are involved in an employment-related dispute, or if you need to ensure that you are in compliance with state or federal employment laws, you should contact a local employment lawyer for assistance. Your lawyer will help you understand the issue and will represent your best interests in resolving any legal disputes.