Most people have heard of labor attorneys, rarely of an employment attorney. Labor attorneys deal mostly with the relationship between labor unions and management while employment attorneys deal with the legal relationship between employee and employer.
Employers are expected to treat employees according to a certain set of laws. It is the role of the employment attorney to make sure they do just that. But by doing so, it does not necessarily mean that they work purely for the interests of employees. In fact, many employment attorneys are hired by employers to help them ensure that their human resource and employment practices are in conformity with the law.
For instance, employment attorneys can help in the creation of the overall compensation package for the employees of a company. In doing so companies are released from the burden of having to acquaint their staff with employment laws regarding compensation, insurance and other benefits. Creating a total compensation package that conforms to the law may have the added advantage of reducing stress in the workplace especially for managers in small companies.
They also help a company formulate risk management systems and procedures such as a workplace harassment policy. Workplace harassment laws, which include sexual harassment laws and race discrimination laws are all part of their expertise and because of this, they can help in the creation of an overall employment policy that not only protects employees from being exposed to a hostile work environment but also protects the employer from possible future litigation.
In case litigations do occur due to complaints from employees, such as sexual harassment, or discrimination in the workplace, an employment attorney is also the best choice to hire to handle the legal representation.
A quick guide to hiring an employment attorney:
- If you are thinking of hiring an employment attorney, it is best to find out how best they can help you.
- In most cases, this depends on the size of your company in terms of the number of employees.
- For small companies to medium scale companies, it may be best to hire an employment attorney on a per project basis.
- They are particularly useful in creating or reviewing the company’s human resources and employment policies and procedures.
- As soon as this is done, they merely turn over the management and organization to the company’s human resources personnel.
- In which case, you may opt to hire an employment attorney on a per need basis after the completion of the systems.
If the company is medium or large size in terms of number of employees, it may be best to hire an employment attorney on a retainer. Bigger companies tend to require constant updates with their employment policies and because of the higher number of employees the chances of getting complaints and grievances not only against the company but also against co workers tend to increase. Having an employment attorney on a retainer, gives you access to legal advice when you need it the most. And since the relationship is for the longer term, the employment attorney gets a better idea of how the company works which gives him better insights on what to advise the employer in most situations.