WHEN IT’S TIME TO CONTACT AN EMPLOYMENT LAWYER « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Knowing When to Call for Reinforcements

There’s a saying that no-one likes lawyers … until you need one.  While experienced and knowledgeable managers are usually capable of handling basic employment issues, there are pitfalls in the more complex or high stakes situations for which consultation with an employment and labor lawyer is probably a good move.  The laws governing the workplace tend to change frequently.  Companies can face formal complaints, liabilities and large attorney bills if potentially significant employee disputes or decisions are not recognized and resolved early.   For instance:

Disciplinary Investigations and Decisions:  Employers must act fairly and effectively in response to an accusation of wrongdoing. A company can face liability for failing to deal with a dishonest or destructive employee as it can for mistakenly concluding without an adequate inquiry that an innocent worker is guilty of such actions.  An employment law attorney can help strike the proper balance and reach a fair decision, while management continues to maintain workplace productivity.

Threatened or Actual Court or Administrative Proceedings: If a current or former employee files or threatens to file any sort of lawsuit or complaint with a government agency, such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California’s Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), it’s almost certainly time to contact an labor and employment attorney immediately. Charges of discrimination, harassment or wage and hour violations should be taken very seriously.  Mishanding any such allegations from an employee could create a further assertion of workplace retaliation.

Employee Contracts, Including Severance Agreements:  An experienced lawyer can create or review and strengthen employment-related agreements, including contracts at hiring or severance releases offered at termination. Poorly worded documents can create difficult and expensive disputes over interpretation later.

Workplace Policies and Handbooks:  Comprehensive and up-to-date written employee policies, commonly maintained in a manual or handbook, are the foundation for legally-sound business and frequently a critical “ounce of prevention” against claims over compensation, paid vacation and other benefits, workplace safety, acceptable employee conduct, the company’s ability to investigate into potentially private subject matters, and many other issues