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Hickory residents might seek an employment attorney’s assistance for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, employers exploit their staff, and the mistreated employees have the right to fight back. However, some don’t come forward for fear of retribution. Other employees do but are then fired or treated even worse. If you feel your employer has taken unfair advantage of you, consider hiring an employment lawyer in Hickory, NC.
It’s important to understand what an employment lawyer does, what types of cases we handle, and when you should consult a Hickory labor lawyer. At the Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor P.C., we have years of experience helping Hickory residents with all their employment law needs.
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What Does an Employment Attorney Do?
Employment lawyers can counsel employees or provide training for employers. They can help with questionable legal matters related to discrimination, privacy, wage disputes, and more. Essentially, an employment lawyer helps bridge the gap between employers and employees. Employment law spans both federal and state laws, which is why it’s crucial to speak with an experienced Hickory employment attorney when a dispute arises.
Some employment lawyers handle all aspects of employment law, while others specialize in certain areas. Attorneys can advise employers on how to create their work procedures and policies so they follow all applicable federal, state, and local laws. In doing so, employers can minimize the risk of potential lawsuits from employees. Employment lawyers who primarily assist employers might represent them before government administrative boards or defend them in federal and state courts.
Here are some tasks employment lawyers might handle for their clients:
- Compliance: Ensuring employer compliance can be a full-time specialization for some employment lawyers. Laws change frequently. It’s crucial to have a skilled Hickory labor lawyer on your side who can reduce the risk of an employee suing you. An employment lawyer will draft policies and procedure manuals, provide training, and more. The lawyer might also work with the employer to ensure compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines and any applicable environmental regulations.
- Complaints: When an employment lawyer represents an employee who says their employer broke one or more labor and employment laws, the attorney might file a complaint. Lawyers typically file complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or a similar government agency. A complaint might be required before the employee can legally pursue a private cause of action. You have a limited amount of time during which you can file a complaint. That is one reason getting a Hickory employment lawyer is crucial.
- Litigation: Employment lawyers also litigate cases involving various employment laws. The attorney might represent the employee suing their employer, or they might defend the employer accused of wrongdoing. An employee might also have a third-party lawsuit against someone other than their employer. This situation happens when someone else is at fault for a work-related injury.
- Union issues: Disputes with employee unions are also common. An employment lawyer might advise employees on their rights to form a union, what qualifies as protected union activity, and related issues. They might also represent the employer and help them understand their rights and obligations regarding employee unions.
What Types of Cases Does an Employment Attorney Handle?
Our Hickory employment attorneys can handle a wide variety of cases. Some of the most common ones we represent include:
- Wage and hour claims: Did you have a problem with your paycheck? Were you shorted hours or denied overtime pay repeatedly? If your employer forces you to work off the clock, you have rights. Perhaps your employer has classified your job wrong, causing you to miss out on valuable pay and overtime. Wage and hour claims can cover employees who are misclassified as independent contractors. It’s not uncommon for employers to claim someone is an independent contractor to keep from paying their benefits and taxes. Employment laws protect employees from this misclassification.
- Discrimination claims: Discrimination is a common problem in many workplaces. Employees might receive different or unfair treatment because of their gender, race, age, nationality, disability, religion, or ethnicity. Employers cannot engage in practices that discriminate against protected groups when it comes to raises, promotions, hiring, firing, and workplace benefits.
- Sexual harassment: Sexual harassment affects both men and women in the workplace. As the victim, you should not be responsible for stopping the harassment. Your employer should take immediate action. When that doesn’t happen, however, you might have grounds to file a sexual harassment lawsuit. If someone at your work demanded sexual favors for a promotion or pay raise, this is sexual harassment. If you are routinely subjected to unwanted sexual comments, offensive text messages, and dirty jokes, you could also have a claim for sexual harassment.
- Severance negotiations: If you are getting laid off or fired, your soon-to-be former employer might offer you a severance package. You should not accept the terms of the agreement right away. Instead, review the paperwork with a skilled employment attorney who can guide you through the process and discuss possible concerns.
- Wrongful termination: Were you fired from your job illegally? If your employer violated any laws in firing you, you could have a valid wrongful termination claim. Examples of wrongful termination involve firing you because of your religion, race, disability, or any other protected class under federal anti-discrimination laws. If you participated in a whistleblower action or made a workers’ compensation claim and were let go, this might also be a wrongful termination.
- Noncompete agreements: Some companies want employees to sign restrictive noncompete clauses when they get hired or let go. Some new employees sign them without reviewing what they mean. These agreements can limit your ability to get a better job with more pay down the line. Some noncompete agreements are too restrictive and wouldn’t stand up in court. That is why you should always review these contracts with an experienced employment lawyer. Don’t assume you’re bound by one because you signed it. Courts are quick to throw out noncompete clauses that are too restrictive.
- Employment materials: Employment lawyers can take employer cases that involve creating new employee handbooks and human resources department policies and procedure manuals. They might also draft legal documents such as new employee contracts. Some attorneys who draft these materials provide legal advice about an employer’s compliance with employment laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, the Civil Rights Act, and more.
How Much Does an Employment Attorney Cost?
The cost for a Hickory employment lawyer varies by firm. Employment lawyers typically bill in one of three ways: flat fee, hourly, or contingency. The fees will depend on the firm and the type of case.
When an attorney bills a flat fee, it means you pay one fee for a specific case or task, no matter how many hours it takes to complete. With an hourly billing schedule, your attorney will bill you by the hour for all tasks and work completed on your case. With a contingency billing schedule, your attorney won’t take any upfront fees or costs from you. Instead, they take a portion of your settlement or court award to cover their expenses and fees. Contingency billing is common in personal injury matters.
Employment law matters don’t have set costs. It’s best to contact our office and schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Hickory employment lawyers to discuss your specific legal need and its fees and billing methods.
When Should You Consult an Employment Attorney?
If you are an employee whose rights are being violated, you need to speak with an experienced Hickory employment attorney. If your employer is trying to get you to sign a document that waives your rights, or you’re being discriminated against, sexually harassed, or retaliated against by your employer, contact our office right away. If you are an employer who has an employee alleging misconduct or you need employment documents drafted, you could benefit from retaining a Hickory employment lawyer.
Most law firms provide a complimentary and risk-free consultation so you can speak with an employment lawyer in Hickory, NC, even if you aren’t sure you need one. When you call the Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor P.C., we can help you decide whether hiring a lawyer is right for your situation.
Contact Our Hickory Employment Lawyers Today
If you are an employee and believe your rights have been violated, contact the Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor P.C. right away. Time is of the essence with many employment matters, so don’t delay. You might accidentally miss a deadline, which could hurt your case. If you are an employer who needs an experienced EEOC lawyer or is drafting new policies and procedures, we can help. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation to learn how we can help, no matter your employment law issue.
120 3rd St NE
Hickory, NC 28601