Labor Law Attorneys
Labor law attorneys are specialized in cases relating to any sort of dispute regarding labor laws. There are many labor laws in the United States. Some of the most prominent labor laws relate to pay equality, safe working conditions and discrimination cases. Typically, labor law attorneys work alongside labor unions, but you can also hire an attorney on your own if you are not part of a union.
In some cases, employers also hire labor lawyers to represent the company. If the business is being threatened with a lawsuit or there is talk of a strike, they may bring in a labor law attorney. Additionally, some companies bring in a labor law attorney whenever they want to terminate a union worker. In these cases, the lawyer acts more as a consultant, ensuring there is a valid reason to terminate the employee.
If you are discriminated against at work or wrongfully terminated, hire a labor lawyer to represent your case. Additionally, you can seek out a labor lawyer if you are wrongfully terminated. Another instance where you may hire a labor law attorney is if you are injured due to poor safety conditions or a lack of training from your employer.
Filing a Labor Lawsuit
Filing a labor lawsuit is an involved legal process. If you have been discriminated or injured due to unsafe working conditions, you must file a complaint with the relevant department. This may include going through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, the Occupational Standards and Health Administration or another agency in your state. If you do not file a proper complaint, you either hurt your chances of winning a labor law dispute, or you may even be unable to file a case at all. There is also a strict deadline for when you can file a complaint.
Depending on where you work and the severity of your case, you may be asked to go through a counseling process before going through with your case. If this does not settle the dispute, then you can formally request a hearing.
Best Reasons to Hire a Labor Law Attorney
Handling a labor lawsuit on your own is a difficult task. Employers purposefully make it challenging to start a labor lawsuit as an intimidation tactic. It is overwhelming to go through all the necessary steps to file a complaint, especially if it is an ongoing issue. Depending on the severity of the issue, you may be tempted to quit your job entirely instead of jumping through legal hoops. Even if you want to go through with your case, it can be difficult to handle all the legal paperwork while also searching for a new job.
By hiring a labor law attorney, you get a specialist on your side who understands and has gone through the filing process before. An attorney can also advise you of your rights, make sure you do not miss any of the deadlines and keeps your employer from tricking or intimidating you to hurt your case.
Resolving a Labor Lawsuit
How long it takes to resolve a labor lawsuit depends on the nature of the case. Before you go to court, your labor law attorney attempts to negotiate with your employer. It often takes multiple negotiations to come up with an outcome, but typically, this process only takes a few weeks. If you are unable to reach an agreement, the next step is to sue your employer. This process takes much longer to resolve. It is not uncommon for labor lawsuits to take several months, with larger cases sometimes lasting for one or two years.
Finding a Labor Law Attorney
Because business disputes are so common, many lawyers specialize in labor laws. If you are part of a union, speak with your union leader before hiring your own attorney. Many unions either have an attorney they have previously used, or can at least recommend potential attorneys. Even if you are not part of a union, speak with a union representative in a similar field to get a recommendation. If that fails, consider speaking with friends or family members. You can also search online for a lawyer, or search online through your state bar association to find a list of certified lawyers in your area.
You do not want to hire the first lawyer you find. Make sure you come prepared with a list of questions. Ask how many cases the potential lawyer has previously handled, as well as the nature of the cases and the outcome. Because labor laws cover so many areas, it is not uncommon for an attorney to focus on a specific set of laws, such as only handling discrimination or workplace injuries. You should also ask how many cases the attorney currently has, as well as how long they estimate your case will take to resolve. Discuss whether the lawyer will personally handle the case, or if he or she is going to work with a team.