Considering how much time we spend at work and how much we depend on our jobs to survive, it only makes sense that we meet with an employment lawyer just to ensure that we’re aware of our rights in the workplace.
That said, you should always consult an employment lawyer before making work-related decisions. Employment lawyers are experts on contract and employment law and can advise you on termination, workplace harassment, disability issues, pay and workplace safety. With the impact all of these issues have on our lives and futures, it’s crucial to know your rights around them.
Keep reading for a closer look at how an employment lawyer can help you and why you need one.
Getting Advice Before You Accept that New Job
An employment contract shapes your work experience and, ultimately, your quality of life, so it is arguably of the more important documents you’ll sign. It details your duties, responsibilities, compensation, severance clauses, benefits, bonuses and how possible disputes between the employer and employee are ultimately resolved.
It’s vital to have an expert who knows the law and who is duty-bound to act in your best interests and defend your rights review your employment contract before you sign. They will ensure that you understand the implications of each clause and can help you negotiate a better contract.
Having an Advocate if You’re Harassed or Bullied at Work
An employment lawyer can provide you with confidential legal advice you may not feel comfortable getting at work if you are being harassed. This is often the case when the source of the harassment is your employer or supervisor or a co-worker who has poisoned the workplace against you.
If you are experiencing workplace violence, bullying or harassment, including sexual harassment, or if you are not being treated fairly or equally, an employment lawyer can intervene for you when needed and ensure that you are protected from retaliation or intimidation after making a complaint.
If the harassment continues, an employment lawyer can help you file a claim and advocate on your behalf.
Protecting Your Rights if Your Employer Tries to Change the Terms of your Employment
If your employer makes substantial changes to your job duties, compensation, or benefits without your consent, you may feel that you have no other choice but to cut your losses and look for another job. While technically, you left the employment, you may have been constructively dismissed from your job, which is the same as being terminated without cause. This would entitle you to the severance package you wouldn’t otherwise be eligible to receive.
If you are in this position, it is absolutely crucial that you speak to an employment lawyer before taking any action as the law on this issue is not straightforward. If your lawyer feels you have a case for constructive dismissal, they will advise you on how to best deal with it.
Anytime You’ve Been Terminated
If you’ve been terminated without just cause, you have rights and entitlements when it comes to severance pay. Review the severance package with an employment lawyer before signing it.
You should also consult an employment lawyer if your employer fired you for cause or is not offering you proper severance or termination pay. A termination for cause is only warranted in extreme situations, and many employers claim there is cause when it isn’t legally justified.