Even the most diligent employer may require the assistance of a lawyer from time to time. Although you can handle many job concerns on your own, others are exceptionally difficult and will necessitate the assistance of a lawyer.
Employment law is subject to fast change. Every day, courts and other agencies release fresh opinions interpreting these laws, sometimes radically contradicting what everyone assumed the law meant. When you consider that lawsuits made by former employees can result in massive damages awards against the employer, it’s simple to see why you should obtain legal counsel if you find yourself in over your head.
Advice on Hiring Decisions
An employment law attorneys charlotte nc can assist you in making difficult decisions be covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act, you are terminating the employee for excessive absences regarding your staff.
Firing. If you are concerned that an employee will sue, you should seek legal counsel before terminating an employee for misconduct, poor performance, or other unacceptable behavior. A lawyer can advise you not only on whether firing the employee is legitimate, but also on how to reduce the risk of a lawsuit.
Here are a few scenarios in which you might consider having a lawyer evaluate your firing decision:
- The employee has a written or oral employment contract that limits your power to fire him or her (for more information on employment contracts, read Nolo’s article Written Employment Contracts: Pros and Cons).
- The employee may believe that he or she has an implied employment contract that limits your power to fire him or her.
- Benefits, stock options, or retirement funds are about to vest for the employee.
- The employee has recently filed a complaint or claim with a government agency, or has complained to you about illegal or unethical workplace behaviour.
- The employee recently filed a discrimination or harassment complaint.
- Firing the individual would drastically alter the demographics of your workplace.
- The employee recently disclosed that he or she belongs to a protected class, such as being pregnant, disabled, or practicing a certain religion.
- You’re worried about the worker’s proclivity for aggression, vandalism, or sabotage.
- The employee has access to high-level trade secrets or competitive information at your organization.
- If you are concerned that the absences may
- Even after an investigation, the employee denies committing the acts for which he or she is being fired.
- The employee has retained the services of a lawyer to represent him or her in dealings with the company.
Employee Groupings Classification difficulties can affect a huge section of your personnel and increase your liabilities. Before deciding whether a position is exempt or nonexempt, or identifying a group of people as independent contractors rather than employees, you should consult with a lawyer. Misclassification frequently comes at a high cost, including years of unpaid overtime and penalties for several employees.
Other choices. You should also have a lawyer evaluate any personnel decision that affects a big number of employees. The lawyer can inform you of any potential legal difficulties you may face – as well as provide you with ad hoc advice.