When Should I Hire an Employment Lawyer?

What is an employment lawyer?

If you’ve ever asked that question, you’re not alone. The answer is complicated, but in general terms, an employment lawyer is a lawyer who deals with labor disputes, including wrongful dismissal, discrimination, harassment, and other employment-related issues. An employment lawyer is charged with the responsibility of assisting employees or potential employees understand their rights, as well as those of employers, and help them to seek appropriate remedies if they are affected by any employment-related incident.

The basic question to ask yourself when thinking about taking legal action is this: Am I being laid off today because of illegal company behavior? If so, your best bet is to consult an employment lawyer. In many cases involving firings, dismissals, or wage disputes, it is an established fact: You find out that you’re being laid off, either as part of a corporate “back-to-work” plan, a business-wide layoffs, or as the result of a contractual “layoff” or “non-negotiated reduction in force.” When you decide to let go, you have no right to unemployment benefits claim or any other recourse to reclaim your time and resources. If the reason for your layoff is based on illegal company conduct, you should take steps to hold the employer accountable for their actions, as well as to ensure the conduct is not repeated at another workplace.

The key is determining whether you were a victim of wrongful or unlawful discrimination

In cases where employers have intentionally wrongfully terminated you for reasons that make it clear to you that, in fact, your employment was terminated due to your exercising your right to engage in employment, you may be able to seek monetary damages. In most cases, you will not recover punitive damages unless you can prove that the employer discriminated against you based on race, national origin, gender, age, disability, and/or religion. In many cases, an employment lawyer will also be able to help you if you were fired because of an incorrect hiring decision, if the employer did not provide reasonable accommodations to make your employment opportunities competitive, or if you suffered abuse at the workplace.

Another key component to filing a lawsuit for punitive damages is proving that your employment was wrongfully terminated for a discriminatory reason, and the employer knew or should have known about the discrimination. This is extremely difficult to prove, especially when dealing with an employer who has taken steps to prevent discrimination, or even just to avoid making a mistake that would allow discrimination to occur. Most employers have very large policies prohibiting discrimination, yet they rarely follow through on these policies. Employers often hire “one-size-fits-all” consultants to review their employee selections to weed out “undesirable” employees. Again, an employment lawyer is your best bet to help you prove that you were not one of those undesirable employees.

A court may rule that your discharge was based on illegal discrimination

The second thing you need to ask yourself when should I hire an employment lawyer if I am the victim of wrongful termination is whether you want to retain the services of an employment attorney. Wrongful termination often occurs when an employer discovers something illegal in the workplace, such as discrimination, sexual harassment, or another form of conduct in violation of the law. It is not easy to prove that you have been fired for any reason, let alone one considered illegal by the company you work for.  for example, but it may also find that you had a reasonable belief that the conduct was illegal. If you are faced with this decision, your first step should be to find an employment attorney who can assess your situation and advise you on the best course of action.

As previously mentioned, it can be difficult to prove that you have been harassed, discriminated against, or otherwise wrongfully terminated from your job. Often, employers will settle out of court with the employee and will go on to treat him or her fairly (without a formal lawsuit) once the mistreatment has been corrected. However, even if the mistreatment did not rise to the level of a lawsuit, it could still constitute a violation of your rights as an employee. If you believe you have been engaged in any type of employment mistreatment, an employment attorney who specializes in employment law is the best person to help you pursue your claim.

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