Benefits of a Lawyer for Labor & Employment Issues
Labor and employment issues can be complex, and the steps that workers or employees need to take to secure their rights can be confusing. For any issue that affects you as an employee and which can impair your rights as a worker, retaining a labor lawyer or one versed in employment law can ensure that your rights are protected.
What Are Labor Issues?
Employment or labor law covers issues related to the laws and regulations pertaining to labor relations, discrimination, collective bargaining, safety in the workplace, wage and hour requirements, sexual harassment, migrant labor, and worker compensation.
Employment issues also include pension and retirement plans, affirmative action programs and requirements, and reducing liability for employers. Simply stated, labor laws and issues aim to protect workers and enable employers to comply with state and federal laws.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Labor and employment lawyers are essential in advising employees and employers as to applicable state and federal laws, in ensuring compliance and in resolving disputes short of litigation.
Some of the issues an employment lawyer can help you with include:
- Representing parties at grievance and arbitration hearings under collective bargaining agreements
- Representing aggrieved workers or employers before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and administrative law judges
- Advising on wage and hour law issues
- Reviewing and modifying employee manuals
- Ensuring that proper procedures are in place for sexual harassment complaints
Most labor issues involving disputes must go through an administrative process first before a lawsuit can be filed in state or federal court. Your attorney can advise and provide you with the necessary forms you need to file and can obtain the proper documentation. For example, in a disability discrimination matter, your attorney can advise the worker's attending physician or specialist to ensure that proper medical documentation of the worker's disability is verified and that it is substantial enough to adversely affect the person's ability to perform his or her job.
If you have a sexual harassment issue at work, your attorney can advise you of your company's reporting requirements so that your employer has the opportunity to handle the matter and so that your complaints are documented. If you are suffering from stress as a result, psychological counseling is usually recommended to support your case. Also, saving evidence of emails, notes, letters, or other documents that could be construed as harassment or discriminatory behavior is essential and need to be turned over to your attorney.
In cases involving wage and hour issues, your attorney can obtain copies of relevant documents, office memos, overtime records, tip calculations and dispersal, meal period compliance, reimbursement of expenses, and records indicating misclassification of workers.
For any issues affecting you at work, consult with an experienced labor and employment lawyer who can navigate the complexities of the various laws and how they might apply to you and your rights as a worker.