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When Should an Employee Talk to an Employment Lawyer?

Written By: Mo Eldessouky Updated On: January 31, 2023 | Read Time: 6 Minutes

The term “employment lawyer” refers to an attorney who concentrates his/her practice on helping clients who have employment-related legal issues.

When Does an Employee Need an Employment Lawyer?

If you have an employment dispute with your employer and have suffered a significant loss of income and benefits, are facing or being subjected to workplace discriminationharassment or employer retaliation, you should consider hiring an employment lawyer who knows the employment laws and employment dispute process in your state.

What is an Employment Lawyer?

There are two main types of employment attorneys: one type who works with plaintiffs or employees (e.g. an employment discrimination attorney, employment rights attorney or federal employment attorney), and another type representing defendants or employers ( otherwise known as management attorneys).

Most employment attorneys specialize in either working for employers or employees, but there are some who will represent both.

What Does an Employment Lawyer Do?

An employment lawyer specializes in employment and labor laws that apply to both employers and employees. Employment lawyers can represent employees in an employment dispute as well as advise employers on their legal rights and obligations with respect to employment matters.

It is common practice for an employment attorney to either focus solely on representing employees or solely on representing employers. There are, however, some employment attorneys who take cases from both sides of the dispute.

IMPORTANT: If you’re experiencing an issue with your employer, it’s crucial that you get legal counsel right away. A knowledgeable employment lawyer can help guide you through potential next steps and inform decisions surrounding your unique employment situation.

When is the Best Time to Seek the Legal Advice of an Employment Lawyer?

Once an employee believes something is wrong and their employer isn’t providing a solution, they should get legal advice. Taking the time to speak with an employment lawyer can help you make sense of any complicated legalities and determine the best course of action.

Not all employee-employer disputes need to be handled in court. Some people choose to represent themselves in an employment dispute. An employee can go directly to their state’s labor department or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to file a claim.

In some cases, disputes between an employer and an employee can be resolved without the need for legal intervention. Sometimes handling the situation informally, such as speaking with your boss or going through your company’s human resources department, can help resolve the issue.

If the employee works for a small company and their boss is the cause of their employment issues, then it is advisable that the employee seeks the advice of an employment lawyer.

The next step after internal resolution attempts have failed would be filing an administrative complaint with either the federal or state government. The state or federal agency will then investigate the claim and determine whether or not there is enough evidence to support that there has been an employment law violation. If an employment law violation has been found, the agency will either help the employee by creating a fair claim or charge or tell the employee to seek the legal help of an employment attorney.

IMPORTANT: Independent of what a state or federal agency decides, an employee still has the right to file a lawsuit against their employer. Even if the agency finds no evidence of an employment law violation, an employee can still file a private lawsuit.

How an Employment Attorney Can Help Employees in an Employment Dispute

An employment attorney can provide invaluable guidance and support throughout every stage of an employment dispute. There are various different state and federal laws that employers and employees must follow. Employment lawyers are up-to-date on these laws and can help interpret them in a way that is beneficial for their client’s cases.

An employment attorney will also be able to help an employee to understand their rights, determine whether or not they have a valid claim, and estimate the amount of damages they may be entitled to.

If an employee decides to file a lawsuit, their attorney will be able to represent them in court and work towards getting them the best possible outcome.

IMPORTANT: State and federal agency findings during an investigation are not binding in court. This means that even if an agency decides there is no evidence of an employment law violation, an employee can still file a private lawsuit against their employer.

Investigations done by these state and federal agencies don’t always find legitimate employment law violations. There simply isn’t enough time or resources for these agencies to fully investigate every claim.

Additionally, the laws that these agencies enforce are constantly changing. This can make it difficult for even the most experienced investigators to keep up.

An employment attorney has many more tools available to them to help build a strong case. They can request documents and records from the employer that the state and federal agencies may not have access to. They can also depose witnesses and take advantage of other discovery tools that can help to uncover evidence of an employer’s wrongdoing.

This can be invaluable for employees who are already feeling overwhelmed by their workplace situation.

Do You Need an Employment Attorney “Near Me”?

As employment disputes fall under both state and federal law, it is important that you work with an employment lawyer who practices in the state you have your employment dispute in.

For the best chance at a successful outcome, you should hire an employment attorney who has a history of winning cases against employers similar to yours. As such, you do not need to hire an employment lawyer that works in the same city as you do.

Instead, you can focus on finding the right employment lawyer for your case, regardless of their location within the state.

Note: If you are a California employee dealing with an employment dispute, the experienced employment attorneys at Eldessouky Law can help. We have handled hundreds of employment cases and will take the time to personally review your case and determine the best way to move forward with your legal matter. Give our office a call at 714-409-8991 or fill out one of our contact forms online.

What to Expect Employment Attorney Fees

Although many employment attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, this is not always the case. Some employment lawyers may charge an hourly rate, while others may charge a flat fee.

Flat Fee

Employment law attorneys may charge a flat fee for a specific, straightforward service. For example, if all you need is help submitting an anonymous worker safety complaint to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, you may be charged a one-time flat fee that isn’t billed on an hourly basis. This fee structure is applied in legal situations that are routine.

Sliding scale

This fee model allows employment attorneys to charge different rates based on their clients’ income. Workers who earn less income pay less for a given service than those who earn more income.

Contingency fee

In a contingency arrangement, the client pays nothing upfront. Instead, the attorney’s fees are collected upon successful resolution of the legal matter at hand. Usually, the lawyer’s rate is calculated as a fixed percentage of the total compensation award that the client receives, however, it is possible that a lawyer will charge a fixed rate contingency fee if doing so makes sense for a specific case.

Hourly fee

When employment lawyers bill by the hour, they may do so on a sliding scale or not. They may charge one rate for the hours they personally spend working on your case and one rate if a paralegal or administrative assistant spends time working on your case.

The Employment Lawyers at Eldessouky Law Are Here to Help

The attorneys at Eldessouky Law are experienced in employment law and have a proven track record of success. We understand how important it is to protect your rights in the workplace and will work tirelessly to help you obtain the justice and compensation you deserve.

Contact us today at 714-409-8991 or fill out one of our contact forms online to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable employment lawyers. We represent clients throughout California, including in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange Counties.

We are available for video conference calls

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