As employees have legal rights, employers are required by law to abide and respect those rights. Although we want to think the best of our employer, sometimes we may face a difficult situation in which we should consult a professional.
An employment attorney can help the employees and employers work together in the event of a problem, from discrimination and wrongful termination to wages and workplace safety, and other issues that may arise.
Below we’ll explain a bit more about employment attorneys and when would be the right time to talk to one.
What are employment attorneys and what to look out for?
If you’re an employee, the attorney will help you learn and enforce your rights. They’ll counsel their clients about their legal rights and obligations, and guide them with the appropriate steps in handling their concerns.
Employees should also keep accurate records of incidents wherein they think their rights have been violated. Note that when you’re looking for the right attorney, it may be best to look for an experienced practice based in your area.
Let’s say you live in Orange Country, California, and you’re searching for an attorney to represent you. An experienced employment law firm in Orange Country might help you with all kinds of employment law matters including discrimination, wage, hour violation, harassment, and wrongful termination.
These types of practices are complemented by extensive experience in complex matters and will greatly help your case.
When does an employee need an employment attorney?
1. Signing documents
When starting to work or during employment, the employer may ask you to sign several important documents and agreements including non-disclosure agreements, contracts, employment agreements, and others containing complicated legal terminology.
If you don’t fully understand, it would be best to hire an attorney to explain and guide you before you sign something that may lead to losing your job.
Have them review the documents with you so you can fully understand what you’re signing, and if the employer doesn’t allow you to understand these documents then they may be violating your rights.
Make sure you fully comprehend all aspects of what you’re signing before starting your employment or during since new contracts may be required.
2. Wrongful termination
Wrongful termination refers to when an employer terminates an employee for unauthorized or illegal reasons including ones that violate state, federal, or local laws, breach terms of an employment agreement, or go against public policy. Wrongful termination is also when an employer fires a worker who has refused to obey illegal work instructions.
Note that when an employer terminated an employee in a way that’s considered illegal or unlawful, they can come across legal consequences for their actions. Consulting with an experienced employment attorney in case of such situations can help you get the compensation you deserve or solve any other legal issue.
Discrimination in the workplace can be quite difficult to prove. It’s illegal for an employer to discriminate against you based on gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and other legally enumerated characteristics.
Retaliation from your employer is also not allowed, so if you’re reporting discrimination and your employer begins to treat you differently from others, they may be trying to retaliate against you.
Having an attorney by your side to protect you from retaliation and back up your claims is necessary. The employer is not allowed to threaten you in any manner, but if they do, you can consult with an employment attorney right away to defend your rights and help you through a difficult situation.
Note that several state and federal laws make it illegal to discriminate against an employee, so you may also want to read up on them.
4. Sexual harassment
If you ever experience sexual harassment in the workplace, you should immediately report the case to the proper personnel, usually the HR department. Sometimes these types of situations may not be handled properly, so if this happens don’t forget to contact an employment attorney to guide you through the process.
In case your employer chooses to fire you for reporting them, this is considered retaliation which is also illegal. An employment attorney will help you file a civil suit against your employer.
According to the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination involving requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical actions that are sexual.
An employment attorney will help you deal with employment issues and support you by giving you a powerful voice to advocate for fair working conditions. Dealing with issues in the workplace can be stressful, frustrating, and scary, but with the right attorney, you won’t have to deal with it alone.
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