Counseling Employees While on the Job
Many employees wait until they leave their jobs or are fired to contact an attorney about issues with their employer. At that point, the employee has little leverage, few options, and a mountain of stress on their plate. On the other hand, contacting an attorney while still employed has a number of advantages for both the employee and the attorney.
Why Should I Contact an Attorney When I’m Still Employed?
Simply having a job means you have a level of security and stability that an unemployed individual typically does not have. If you are still employed, you have income and possibly health insurance, even if your work situation is very unpleasant.
From the attorney’s perspective, the employee can move forward under the guidance of a lawyer to build a case for retaliation, discrimination, sexual harassment, restrictive covenants, and other workplace issues. When you are employed, your lawyer has far more options.
For example, you can settle your case while you are still on the job instead of having to search for a new job. You can get a reference for a new job prior to taking legal action. You can get transferred to a new location and remove yourself from the negative environment. In each scenario, you can still sue for damages.
Ultimately, a skilled lawyer can advise you when circumstances become so bad that no reasonable person can continue. The lawyer knows this standard but employees generally do not. You are typically best served by staying on the job until this standard is reached.
The Advantage of Having an Attorney Operate Behind the Scenes
The attorney can accomplish more when you are still employed, especially when operating behind the scenes without your employer’s knowledge. The attorney could uncover something that you had not noticed and use tactics you had not considered.
However, once a lawyer’s presence is known, a lawyer will quickly appear on the employer’s side and you will lose control of the situation. This can quickly turn into a battle of lawyers that progresses to litigation. Generally, the goal is to avoid litigation, which is a very intrusive and stressful process which can end up making you feel like the guilty party.
Keep in mind that every employment case is unique. No two employees have the same experience with the same set of facts relating to their respective employers. Every case must be pursued in a way that is customized for the employee’s specific circumstances. Having an attorney on your side is a must.
If you are dealing with what you feel is an unlawful situation at work, whether mildly inappropriate or downright threatening, don’t wait until you’re no longer employed to seek legal counsel. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.