Each state has specific guidelines for employers, and navigating these laws can be tricky. Most employees don’t know whether they have a case against their employer or former employer, and find themselves questioning: Do I need an employment lawyer? Why Do I need an employment lawyer? Have my employee rights been violated?
Why Do I Need An Employment Lawyer?
There are often times in your career when you may need to hire an employment attorney. Following are some reasons you might need an employment lawyer:
Deadlines & Filing Requirements
Employment lawyers can help you navigate confusing deadlines, requirements, and prerequisites for filing suit against your employer. Often these details might be missed if you are trying to do it yourself. If you are thinking about filing suit against your employer, you should definitely take a second to speak with an employment lawyer. Most offer a free consultation, including our attorneys at Employment and Consumer Law Group.
Many people who don’t think they have a claim, actually do. There are employment laws on the books that you may not know about, and there are some laws you believe exists and they don’t. The only way to know for sure, is to speak to an attorney. Even if you believe you don’t have a claim, but something doesn’t seem right about your termination or you believe something has happened that’s illegal, you should run it past an employment attorney at The EC Law Group.
Being Taken Seriously
Unfortunately, some employers don’t take claims by their employees seriously unless they have representation by a reputable employment attorney.
Averse to Confrontation
Some people are great at negotiating, while others don’t feel comfortable in a confrontational situation. If you are uncomfortable negotiating your own employment agreement or severance package, it may be best to hire an employment attorney to advocate for you.
When Do I Absolutely, Positively Need an Employment Lawyer
You should immediately reach out to a lawyer for advice, if any of the following happens to you:
- Your employer or former employer threatens to sue you.
- You are asked to sign an agreement you don’t fully understand (especially noncompetes, confidentiality agreements, arbitration or employment agreements).
- Your employer has not paid you the wages your deserve, including overtime wages.
- You have been discriminated against by your employer.
- Your employer tells you that you are an independent contractor and you don’t believe you are.
- Your employer refuses to pay you overtime, claiming you are ‘salaried,’ but you are not.
- Your Family Medical Leave Rights are not being honored by your employer.
- Your employer has discriminated against you because of a disability.
- You have been harassed or retaliated against by your employer for asserting your employee rights.
- Your employer pays you a different wage or provides less benefits because of your sex.
- You have received unwelcome conduct that is intimidating, hostile or abusive, or where enduring such conduct is a condition of continued employment.
When You Might Want an Employment Lawyer
- You believe your employer has broken employment laws.
- You believe your employer is retaliating against you for complaining about an illegal act or discrimination.
- You haven’t been paid the wages you are owed.
- You think you are misclassified as an independent contractor or exempt from overtime.
When You Probably Don’t Need an Employment Lawyer
- You are filing a written complaint of discrimination to HR, as long as you follow the company policy.
- You are asked to attend a disciplinary meeting (just take good notes and don’t sign anything except a form acknowledging that you received the discipline).
- You are asked to sign documents you fully understand, like applications, tax documents and insurance forms.
- You are a member of a union and you are filing a union grievance. (In this case, you can use your free union rep.)
If you believe you have a claim against your employer or former employer, or if you are unsure if you have a claim, you should contact an employment lawyer in your state. The employment attorneys at Employment and Consumer Law Group have experience helping clients with employment claims in Tennessee and Kentucky. Contact our employment attorneys for a free consultation.