Why You Might Need an Employment Lawyer

Reasons Why it Might Be a Good Idea to Consult with an Experienced Law Attorney

Many people realize they might need an employment law attorney if they have been fired, to find out if they have a “wrongful discharge” case or another legal claim. While that is certainly a good reason to talk to an employment lawyer, there are many other reasons why you might want to speak with an attorney who is experienced at handling employment law matters. Below are examples of some of the things an employment lawyer may be able to help you with before you accept a job offer, during the course your employment, and after you have been fired or laid off:

Why You Might Need An Employment Lawyer Before You Accept a Job Offer

It is often important to understand your legal rights before you accept a job offer, especially if you have been offered a written employment contract. For example, if you are considering accepting a job, it might be a good idea to consult with an employment lawyer to:

  1. Review your employment contract before you accept the job.
  2. Help you understand the potential ramifications of signing a non-compete agreement or an employment contract that contains a non-solicitation clause.
  3. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of signing an employment agreement that requires you to arbitrate future employment disputes.
  4. Help you understand which pre-employment promises may be enforceable, and which ones might be difficult to enforce.
  5. Explore whether the reason you were not offered a job was illegal, such as if the decision was a form of unlawful discrimination

Why You Might Need An Employment Lawyer During the Course of Your Employment

Employment lawyers can also help individuals with problems at their current jobs. You may want to meet with an experienced employment lawyer about your current employment situation if you want an expert to:

  1. Help you determine whether the harassment you are experiencing is legally actionable.
  2. Discuss the best way to deals with a supervisor or coworker who is harassing you.
  3. Assist you in understanding your rights and obligations under the Family & Medical Leave Act, including when you are entitled to take a family or medical leave; how to request a family or medical leave, and your legal rights once you have requested a family or medical leave.
  4. Help you determine the best approach to request that your employer provide you with a reasonable accommodation for a disability.
  5. Explore whether you have a legal claim based on your employers decision to demote you, pass you up for a promotion, or another adverse employment action against you for a legally prohibited reason.
  6. Discuss what to do if your employer has refused to provide you with an accommodation for a disability that you need to perform your job.
  7. Find out if your employer is violating the law by not properly paying for your overtime hours, or by not paying you at least minimum wage.

Why You Might Need An Employment Lawyer After You Have Been Fired or Laid Off

Employment lawyers can also be helpful after you have been fired, laid off, or if you have been forced to resign. If you have recently lost your job, you might want to speak to an employment attorney to:

  1. Learn if you might have been terminated for a discriminatory reason, such as if you were fired because of your age, gender, race, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, pregnancy, mental or physical disability, marital status, domestic partnership status, creed, religion, sexual orientation, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, or military service.
  2. Explore whether the decision to fire you was illegal retaliation, such as if you were fired or laid off because you objected to or refused to participate in an activity that you reasonably believed was illegal, fraudulent, criminal, or unethical; because you complained about a violation of wage and hour laws; or because you took a family or medical leave; or because you requested a reasonable accommodation for a disability.
  3. Help you figure out if you have a “wrongful termination” case.
  4. Discuss whether it may be possible to enhance the severance package you have been offered.
  5. Figure out if it may be possible to remove certain undesirable terms from a proposed severance agreement.

Employment laws and the rights of employees vary from state-to-state. This article is primarily based on New Jersey employment law. If you work outside of New Jersey, some of the legal rights referenced in this article may not apply to you.