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Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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When Do You Need an Employment Lawyer as an Employer?

 

Even the most dedicated employer will need assistance from a lawyer from time to time. Although handling many employment issues on your own is possible, some matters can become tricking and will need legal intervention. 

 

Employment law can shift and change quite quickly. Government agencies and courts distribute new opinions interpreting these laws daily, at times overturning what everyone assumed the law meant completely.

 

When you consider that lawsuits filed by former employees can end in big damage awards against the employer, it becomes simple to see why you must seek legal counsel from Top National Labor Law Attorneys for Employers when something is out of your depth.

 

This does not mean though that you need to speak to a lawyer in every instance when you discipline, assess, or even expel a worker. After all, lawyers are expensive. If you turn to a lawyer every time you need to make an employment-related decision, you’ll become broke very quickly.

The idea is to establish which situations need expert help and which are the ones you can take care of on your own. 

 

In this article, we share a few scenarios that illustrate when you need an employment lawyer as an employer. 

 

Firing

If you are concerned that an employee may sue, you should think about getting legal advice before releasing an employer from his/her duties due to performance problems, misconduct, or other unacceptable behavior. An attorney will give counsel on whether terminating the worker is legal but will also advise you on the steps you can take to lessen the risk of a lawsuit.

 

Employee classification

Classification problems can impact a big portion of your workforce and develop the potential for increased liability. Before classifying a specific position/role as nonexempt or exempt, or labeling a group of people as independent contractors rather than employees, you must think about seeking advice from a lawyer. Misclassification usually comes with a large unprecedented price tag, that can include many years of overtime that is unpaid and penalties for various employees. 

Other decisions 

You could also want to have a lawyer look at any employment decision that will impact a large portion of employees. For instance, if you are planning to let some workers go, discontinue an employee benefit, or make a change to your pension plan, a good idea would be to run your plans through a lawyer before you take any action. The lawyer will be able to tell you about any prospective legal “holes” you may face and give you constructive feedback on how you can avoid them. 

Contracts and agreements

A lawyer can troubleshoot and review employment-related agreements quickly. These are routine agreements you have with your staff, they can include severance agreements, releases, or employment contracts.

 

In this regard, a lawyer will be able to examine your contracts and ensure that they have all the required legal terms that will be enforced by the court of law. 

If you have added any language that could cause issues later, or if you have moved beyond what the law required from you, a lawyer can guide you and highlight these issues to you. A lawyer can also give you timeous advice on when is the best time to use these contracts.

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