Unfortunately, not many employees are aware of the ways their employer might be exploiting them in the legal sense. While it may not be obvious, employees have robust legal rights that protect them when they are in the workplace.
Knowing your rights can save you time, hassle, and paperwork, and it can also make you feel more secure in your job or let you know when you should seek legal counsel.
Here’s everything you need to know about when and why you need a labor lawyer.
When Signing Agreements and Legal Documents
When signing legal documents like employment agreements and non-disclosures, you might not fully understand the legal implications of what you are agreeing to. If the contract or agreement terms are vague or you aren’t sure if they are legal, contact a labor lawyer before signing anything.
The information in an agreement or contract must be written in a clear and concise manner that’s easy to understand. If your employer fails to convey the information in a transparent way, it is a breach of your rights. You should never sign a legal document or agreement without understanding its contents.
When You Are Terminated Illegally
If you have been fired and feel the termination was wrongful based on the specifics of your employment contract or your employer’s reason for firing you, consult with an employment lawyer as soon as possible.
Often in wrongful termination cases, the employer’s reasons for firing an employee are vague because they do not expect the employee to get legal advice. Hiring a labor lawyer to handle your wrongful termination is the best way to show your employer that you aren’t afraid to stand up for yourself and fight back.
When Your Employer Retaliates Against You
Unfortunately, retaliation is common in the workplace. It is unlawful retaliation if an employer treats an employee unfavorably or punishes them after they file a complaint. Filing a complaint is a protected activity, which means retaliation is a violation of an employee’s rights.
Retaliation can include any adverse employment-related action – such as termination, demotion, reduction of duties or hours, unfair discipline, or salary reduction. However, retaliation can also be subtle. With a blatant act like termination, it’s clear that retaliation is taking place. But sometimes, retaliation can take a more subtle form, like harassment.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to tell if retaliation is taking place. If you suspect retaliation, the first thing to do is to approach your supervisor or HR manager. If this doesn’t deter the employer from further retaliatory action, speak to an experienced labor lawyer.
The Bottom Line
There are robust laws in place to protect employees. However, these labor laws may not be easy for a layman to understand.
Hiring a labor lawyer to explain your rights will help you make informed decisions about your employment. A labor lawyer will also be able to determine whether your employer’s actions are unlawful. With the guidance of a labor attorney, employees can know their legal rights and use them to their full advantage.