Why Hire an Attorney for Labor & Employment Issues
Labor and employment issues control the relationship between employers and employees and those applying for employment, as well as regulating the workplace environment. An attorney can ensure that employee and employer rights and obligations are protected and followed in any employment relationship.
Some of the more common labor and employment disputes reported by employees include:
- Sexual harassment
- Affirmative action
- Wrongful termination
- Discrimination in hiring and promotion
- Wage and hour issues
If an employee has an issue in any of these areas, retaining a lawyer can help to bring order to a volatile situation. The attorney can also assist the employee in providing proof of an alleged violation.
Resolving a labor and employment issue usually means first seeking an administrative remedy. Your attorney can help you file a complaint with the appropriate agency, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if the dispute is over discriminatory practices in hiring, promotion or pay, or with the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor regarding complaints over wages owed and hours worked.
One type of issue for which a labor and employment lawyer is essential is sexual harassment. Sexual harassment complaints are supposed to be handled internally at first, and an employer should have a policy against harassment and a means for an employee to bring complaints to the attention of management. A lawyer can certainly represent the employee at a hearing conducted within the company, if desirable.
Should your company have no policy or complaint mechanism, you still have to bring the matter to a supervisor's attention. Your attorney can explain the process to you and help you document the incidents and evidence. If you complaint is not resolved, your next step is a complaint with the EEOC or your state's fair employment office before a lawsuit can be initiated.
As an employer, you can certainly use the services of a lawyer for labor and employment issues. Some notable tasks that an employment attorney can handle include:
- Reviewing or drafting an employee manual or safety manual based on the state and federal laws covering your employees
- Drafting notice and policy statements
- Representing you before the EEOC, NLRB or other agencies
- Representing you at collective bargaining negotiations
- Advising on issues related to certain disputes
- Ensuring you are complying with wage and hour issues
- Ensuring you are complying with visa requirements and issues regarding immigrant labor
- Negotiating severance packages with fired or terminated employees
Labor and employment law covers many difficult and complicated issues that only a skilled and knowledgeable labor attorney can adequately handle. If you have any issue regarding your rights at work, or if one of your employees has a grievance or complaint, immediately consult with an employment law attorney before taking any action.