You or someone you know might have been illegally terminated or abused at work. If you need an expert who will take on your case if it gets to trial, then you need an experienced employment lawyer. These are the experts who are familiar with the ins and outs when it comes to litigation procedures in employment cases.
Hiring the right lawyer can be overwhelming. There are certain questions and inquiries to ask before proceeding to trial with your attorney. Luckily, we have compiled a list of the most important questions to roll out upon hiring an employment lawyer.
1. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PRACTICING AS A LAWYER?
It is imperative that you pick a lawyer who is thoroughly experienced in complex litigation procedures. Though some clients may prefer less experienced lawyers because of a lesser fee, experience of no less than six years is recommended.
It is also important that you request to see your lawyers license(s) and speak to past clients to get a feel of who you will be working closely with.
2. HOW FAMILIAR ARE YOU WITH EMPLOYMENT LAW?
Just the same way there are specialized tax lawyers and immigration lawyers, there are lawyers who specialize in employee rights. Be sure to confirm that the attorney you pick is indeed an expert. You want only the best, who know what strategies and approaches to take to win your case.
If you want to be even more thorough, feel free to question your lawyer on some theories you may have researched.
3. WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS AS AN EMPLOYEE?
This is where things start getting serious. In California, employees are labeled as “at-will” unless there is a contract drawn between employee and employer. “At-will” means that the employee can leave at any time. Likewise, the employer can fire an employee at any time
In cases of a contract being drawn up, there will be grounds on which the employer can terminate the appointment. Such grounds, include negligence of duty, breach of contract, amongst others.
In the cases of workers who belong to unions, there are union laws in place to protect such workers. Mention this to your lawyer to know where you fit in and how to best to present your case at trial.
4. WHAT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE TO ME?
Depending on the case, you can get your lawyer to speak to your employer if you have not been laid off yet. This might be an out of court settlement in some instances. If negotiations with your employer are met with a brick wall, you can escalate the issue further.
5. HOW LONG DO CASES SUCH AS MINE TAKE TO RESOLVE?
There is no perfect answer to this as it depends on a lot of factors. How do both parties view the matter at hand? How many pending cases are there in the courthouse where you filed your claim(s), etc?
However, your attorney should know and understand this process and have an idea of the different time frames your claim could potentially fall into.
6. WHEN AND HOW MIGHT GET IN TOUCH?
The lawyer representing you in or out of court, is someone who you should be able to get a hold of when you need them the most. Exchanging important information, like notes, screenshots, photos, voice recordings, case updates, etc. is vital for you and your attorney. Ask how you can keep in touch with your attorney. Should you text, call, or email? What is the fastest form of communication with your attorney and when is the best time to reach him or her?
7. WHAT ARE PREVIOUS CLIENTS SAYING ABOUT YOU?
Also, be on the lookout for lawyers who might have faced disciplinary action(s) in the past. A potential great hire would have great reviews and no outstanding offenses.
8. AT WHAT COST ARE YOU RENDERING YOUR SERVICES TO ME?
As mentioned earlier, some clients may prefer less experienced lawyers due to lesser fees. The fee upon hiring should be taken into consideration by both parties.
There are various ways by which lawyers charge clients. It might be an hourly wage, a retainer fee or a portion of your compensation from your employer.
Try to get quotes showing prices from nothing less than four attorneys before moving forward. This will help determine if you have the adequate resources to pay the lawyer once things settle.
In conclusion, there is a lot one has to put into consideration upon hiring a lawyer no matter what the case is. Employment lawyers exist to ensure workers are duly represented whenever they sense they’ve been wronged or abused in the workplace.
Need an employment lawyer to talk to if it seems your boss has fired you illegally or abused you at work? Feel free to send us a email or search for resources online to help you get a licensed and highly-rated employment lawyer.