People are a company’s most valuable asset. While many companies invest heavily in training the right people for a specific job, few of us have the needed resources to stay abreast of the ever-changing state and federal labor laws that protect the workers we employ. For most of us, this means that we will call a lawyer when we get sued or threatened with a lawsuit.
This is an understandable approach. After all, it does cost money to seek out legal advice. For many over-extended management teams, there are enough issues to juggle without meeting regularly for legal assistance. However, being proactive about legal matters in advance can often prevent legal claims in the first place, as well as prevent other costly issues from occurring.
Do I need an Employment Lawyer? If you are an employer, chances are you will be sued by an employee at some point. While there is no way to prevent a disgruntled employee from attempting to sue you, having strategic employment and workplace law advice can change the outcome of many situations that you may face.
What is an Employment Lawyer?
Employment lawyers generally specialize in representing either employers or employees, but rarely both. For those representing employers, it is common for employment lawyers to help draft, negotiate, and review employment contract terms before the parties sign. An employment lawyer can also give advice on certain employment decisions, such as terminating an employee. Employment lawyers can also give employers representation in legal or administrative proceedings.
Having an employee handbook that explains company policies, such as anti-harassment, anti-discrimination, and equal employment opportunity is important. The handbook should also address compensation, benefits, and termination policies. An employment lawyer can help you determine what should be included in your handbook and make sure that all policies are compliant with state and federal laws. For more information, please read The Importance of a Human Resources Handbook.
Staying in Compliance
The workplace is constantly changing and there are more and more state and federal laws in place to protect employees (see also Fair Labor Standards Act – What’s Important to Know). These laws and regulations cover a wide range of human resource practices, including recruiting, hiring, performance appraisal, compensation, health and safety, and labor relations. An employment lawyer can make sure that your policies are always in compliance with the law. Being proactive about staying in compliance can bring peace of mind to an employer who can’t possibly stay up to date with new and existing regulations.
Having a Lawyer on Retainer
Whether your business is established or just starting out, keeping an employment lawyer on retainer makes a lot of sense. It can actually save time and money because it eliminates the need to hire a lawyer whenever something urgent comes along, plus it means that you have the comfort of immediate legal advice at your fingertips. This can be a big advantage when a human resource issue needs to be resolved quickly. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that retaining an employment lawyer allows you to focus on your business and not on legal questions.
The Employment Lawyer You Can Count On
I’m Rob Robinson and for over thirty years I’ve practiced law in the Sarasota area. I understand what employers need to be aware of when it comes to the legal challenges they face. I value the integrity of your workplace and will be an effective and resourceful counselor for general human resource issues.
If you need legal help with employment issues or find yourself asking "do I need an employment lawyer?" please do not hesitate to contact my office.