When Should I Hire an Employment Lawyer?

When Should I Hire an Employment Lawyer?

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When Should I Hire an Employment Lawyer?

There are so many ways an experienced employment attorney might be able to help you or your loved one. However, it is important that you know when to hire such an attorney. This article discusses everything you need to know about hiring an employment attorney. 

When to Hire an Employment Attorney

You will come across different opinions on the internet regarding this issue. However, the best answer to this question is - when you believe something is wrong and are unsure what to do. Most law firms offering legal representation for cases involving labor and employment violations provide a free consultation. For example, at Morgan and Morgan, we do not charge our potential clients any fee when they contact us to discuss their legal problems. Therefore, they have nothing to lose when they contact us for a case evaluation.

Hiring an employment attorney means you do not have to worry about making the wrong choices that could jeopardize your case. Believe it or not, many people jeopardize legitimate cases by making the wrong decisions. Since such an attorney understands employment laws both at the state and federal levels, you can count on their experience and knowledge to provide the best possible legal advice.

This approach also gives you peace of mind knowing that an expert is handling your case. And, in most cases, when your employer realizes that you have an attorney by your side, they will likely want to cooperate. Again, this is because they know that they cannot play games when you have someone who knows how the law works. 

When Your Employer Retaliates Against You

As an employee, you have every right to report any violations at your workplace. You should not be punished for speaking up if it is a case of discrimination, sexual harassment, child labor, or anything in between. But unfortunately, many employers retaliate against their employees for speaking up against these violations. In that case, such employees may need to speak with experienced labor and employment attorneys to discuss their legal options.

State and federal laws prohibit employers from retaliating against their employees. Despite that, whistleblower retaliation is one of the most common workplace violations in the United States. Sometimes, employees are unaware that their employer is retaliating against them. This is because some retaliatory actions might pass as regular occurrences in the workplace or a simple policy change. An experienced labor and employment attorney can review your case to determine whether your employer retaliated against you.

Common cases of employer retaliation in the workplace include:

  • Demotion
  • Decrease in pay
  • Decrease in the number of hours worked
  • Being left out of important meetings that you previously attended 
  • Being denied promotion despite being a strong candidate
  • Being transferred to a different shift or department, making it difficult for you to perform your role as you would in your previous position
  • Getting fired for baseless reasons

As mentioned before, some cases of retaliation might actually seem justifiable. For example, when your employer fires you as a retaliatory action, they could easily claim that you failed to meet the obligations of your role. They might even accuse you of being incompetent, while deep inside, you know you have been one of the best-performing workers at the company. An experienced attorney can examine the unique circumstances of your case and provide the best possible legal advice. 

When Your Employer Denies You Benefits You Are Entitled To

Before applying for a job, the job benefits section is one of the things most applicants look at. They want to know how they will benefit from working with that particular employer. Bearing this in mind, some employers include benefits they are unwilling to provide. Instead, they do this to attract potential candidates to apply for the job.

So when your employer denies you benefits that were clearly mentioned in the employment contract, you need someone to fight for you. That is where an experienced labor and employment attorney comes in. Remember, an employment contract is a legally enforceable document. Therefore, when you sign such an agreement with your employer, you have the right to take legal action against them if they fail to honor their end of the deal. 

With an employment attorney by your side, you can hold your employer accountable for their refusal to honor the employment contract. The attorney will review the contract and other crucial documentation to help prove your case. Once they have determined that you have a valid case against your employer, this attorney will advise you on the best legal action to take.

When You Have Suffered Serious Injuries in the Workplace

Certain employees might be eligible for workers' compensation benefits when they get injured in the workplace. However, some rogue employers deny such employees a chance to obtain the compensation they deserve following an injury. But why would an employer frustrate the workers' compensation claim process?

There are so many reasons some employers retaliate when their employees file workers' compensation claims. Here are a few notable ones:

The Risk of Skyrocketing Insurance Rates

Certain employers are required by law to obtain workers' compensation insurance. This kind of insurance protects the employer when an employee gets injured in the workplace. When the employee files a workers' comp claim, they agree to waive the right to sue their employer for the injuries sustained. On the other hand, the employer's insurer agrees to pay for the employee's injuries if the claim is valid.

Now, here is the tricky situation:

Like any other form of insurance, employers pay premiums to their insurers. However, these rates could increase when an employee files a claim. This is because the insurance company assumes that the employer's workplace is unsafe for employees, making it risky to insure. 

This system works the same way as your car insurance policy. When you get into an accident caused by your own negligence, chances are the insurance company will increase your rates because they assume you are a high-risk client. 

Protecting the Company's Image

In the corporate world, companies care about what customers, potential customers, investors, shareholders, stakeholders, and the general public think about them. For this reason, they will do anything to protect their image, even if it means retaliating against their employees for speaking up about certain violations in the workplace.

A good example is when a high-ranking official at the company is accused of sexual assault. Such an accusation could tarnish the company's image. As a result, the company could lose its investors, workers, and its standing in society. So when a worker comes out with such allegations, the company might retaliate against them. Such an action is illegal and requires the attention of an employment attorney.

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  • How Can an Attorney Help if I Have Suffered Serious Injuries in the Workplace?

    To further understand an attorney's role and the importance of working with them when you get injured in the workplace, let's first look at the process of filing for workers' compensation when you suffer mild injuries. For example, suppose you sustained a minor cut in the workplace and require a few days away from work to heal. In that case, all you will have to do is file a workers' compensation claim with your employer. The employer will then fill out their part of the paperwork and submit it to the insurance company. If approved, the insurer will compensate you for the hours you have spent away from work due to your injuries. 

    Now let's look at the other side of the coin—if you have suffered serious injuries. 

    Let's say you lost a leg while operating a particular machine in the workplace. You observed all safety rules and did nothing to put yourself in harm's way. In that case, when you file a workers' compensation claim, two things might happen.

    Claim Approval

    The insurer might approve your claim — hastily — to settle the matter. Contrary to popular belief, insurance companies do not process claims fast because they care so much about the claimants. Instead, they do this because they want to settle the matter as quickly as possible. This is because once the claim has been settled and the claimant agrees to sign the release of settlement form, the insurance company is no longer financially responsible for compensating the victim. 

    Secondly, insurers know that most injury victims are unaware of their rights when they get injured. More specifically, they do not know what compensation they may be entitled to. Further, they do not know the kind of damages that might warrant the need for additional compensation. 

    Most injury victims only think about medical expenses and lost wages when they get injured in the workplace. Some are never aware that they can actually get compensated for their pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-economic damages. For this reason, insurance companies will want to process such claims faster to prevent the injury victims from discovering the true value of their claims. 

    And how would they discover that? The answer is simple - by hiring an employment lawyer. 

    Claim Denial

    The insurance company might also deny your claim when you suffer a serious injury in the workplace. But they will not just deny it without providing a reason. Instead, they will try to come up with an illegitimate reason just to free themselves from liability. 

    Remember, when you get seriously injured in the workplace, the insurer will want to know what exactly you were doing before the injury. They will then try to find a reason to blame you for the injury. For instance, if you got injured while operating a machine, they could claim that you did not follow all the rules for operating that particular machine even though you knew about them.

    Such accusations can be painful, especially when you know you had nothing to do with the accident. For this reason, you need an employment lawyer to fight for you and prove your case. 

    Such an attorney will evaluate your case during the initial consultation. After establishing that you may have a valid claim, the attorney will also help determine liability. In some cases, more than one party might be responsible for your injuries. This is not the kind of information you expect insurance providers to tell you.

    Let's say you lost a leg while operating a machine in the workplace. This injury could derive from your employer's negligence. They probably did not maintain the machine as they should have, causing it to malfunction. But, on the other hand, it could also be a case of product liability. The product manufacturer may have missed out on an important detail when designing the product, increasing the risk of injuries. 

    It is also possible that the injury derived from negligence both on the side of the employer and the product's manufacturer. But proving this level of negligence is not usually the easiest thing to do. You need an experienced attorney to help investigate the injury and build a strong case against the parties responsible for your injuries. 

  • Contact a Morgan and Morgan Employment Lawyer 

    As mentioned before, employment laws vary from state to state. And despite being aware of such laws, some rogue employers do not follow the rules. This can be frustrating and painful, especially if you know you did everything right.

    For this reason, you need a law firm that actually cares about you. You should not trust your employer or their insurance company when it comes to such claims. They both have their own selfish interests to protect.

    That leaves you with only one option you can truly rely on - hiring an employment lawyer from Morgan and Morgan. Our law firm has a solid history of fighting for the rights of employees whose rights have been violated by employers and their insurers. If your employer has violated your rights and you are unsure what to do, we are always ready to help. All you need to do is fill out our free case evaluation form, and one of our representatives will contact you to discuss your case. 

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