Even the most diligent employers occasionally require the services of a lawyer to help navigate tough employment law issues. These issues can crop up at any time, so companies should be prepared to face them with the legal assistance of an employer defense attorney.
Employers who incorrectly classify their employees may face legal action or hefty fines. For example, classifying staff members as individual independent contractors instead of employees could cause an employer to be sued by employees who feel that they are not correctly classified. The guidance of a lawyer during the classification process can help in avoiding such incidents.
Representation in Court
Employment lawsuits are complex and can take months or longer to resolve, especially if the involved parties are not cooperative. An employer defense attorney can save time by attending required court hearing sessions so the client can continue to run his or her business. The lawyer will also take care of collecting and preserving evidence for the case.
Reviewing of Agreements and Contracts
Clauses in contracts and agreements can be used as the basis for filing a court case. A lawyer can review the contract to make sure that all the necessary legal terms are correctly applied and are enforceable in court. In addition, the lawyer can give you insights on when to use the contracts to safeguard your company from legal problems. For example, issuing an employment contract to every new employee before a suitability evaluation is done could spell trouble for the business.
Review Handbooks and Policies
A lawyer can check the employee handbook and company policies in-depth to ensure that none of the statements or policies violate state or federal law or create unintended obligations. After thoroughly reviewing the documents, the lawyer may recommend implementation of additional policies to safeguard the business from legal issues.
An employer defense attorney can also review employment decisions-especially those that affect a significant number of the staff members-before they are implemented. Examples of decisions that require the intervention of a lawyer include a change of pension plan, discontinuing an employee benefit, and laying off some of the employees.
First Line of Defense
Finally, an attorney can deal with some of the often overlooked facts of day-to-day business - such as reviewing licenses, intellectual property violations, and potential tax liabilities - and act as a company's first line of defense against malicious lawsuits. The legal advice and recommendations provided by attorneys will help avoid lurking legal cases and streamline the operations of the company.