Employment-related issues are more common than many people believe, but the good news is that there is always something you can do about it. By law, your employer owes you a work environment that allows you to do your job without any type of harassment or hostility, and when that doesn’t happen, you as an employee have certain legal rights.
Experienced employment lawyers can help you with these and many other issues so that you can either stop the activity or be compensated for your stress and discomfort. Below are four of the areas that employment attorneys are there to help you with.
1. Harassment in the Workplace
In this country, 20% of all women and 13% of men have experienced some type of harassment in the workplace, and not all of it is sexual harassment. When most people think of harassment, they think of sexual harassment, but there are many other forms as well. If someone keeps making inappropriate comments to you, verbally attacks you, or causes you any type of psychological stress, this is considered legal harassment and there is something that you can do about it.
Any type of bullying, in other words, is not allowed in the workplace today, and an employment attorney can help you find ways to deal with the issue. On the other side of the coin, these same attorneys can help you if you are wrongly accused of harassing someone. They are there for anyone who is being harmed by harassment in the workplace, which is something that no one should ever have to put up with, regardless of where they work.
2. Issues with Employment Contracts
Employment contracts are written to accommodate both employees and employers, but when you’re an employee, it can sometimes be difficult to determine exactly what the contract is saying. The Terms and Conditions of the contract sometimes are written in language that is difficult to interpret, which is why interpreting contracts is one of the things that employment lawyers do best.
There are many different clauses in the typical employment contract, and you need to understand each of them before you sign it. Some of these clauses include non-compete or non-solicitation clauses; severance clauses; clauses related to benefits, compensation, and bonuses; and dispute resolution clauses, among others.
If there is anything in the contract that you are unsure of — whether you’re the employee or the employer — make sure that you talk to an employment attorney before you sign it so that no problems occur later on. Some of these contracts can have legal terminology that is difficult to understand, and for this, you may need a lawyer’s assistance and advice.
3. Issues with Unfair Dismissal or Severance Packages
Sometimes an employee is terminated from employment without any cause. When this happens and you also did not receive any type of severance pay or received too little of it, it’s time to talk to an employment attorney. The thing is that the legalities of receiving versus not receiving a severance package are sometimes difficult to understand, especially because there is often a lot of “fine print” that can be very confusing and seem as though it’s conflicting information.
You often don’t know what you’re entitled to under the law without using the services of a lawyer. Each situation is different, but one thing is certain: you need a strategic plan of action in order to negotiate with your employer when it comes to your entitlements, and only the right attorney can help you do this.
In most cases, you cannot possibly know what your entitlements are without reading and interpreting the details of your employment contract and other documentation, and the right attorney will help you every step of the way so that the odds of getting a good settlement are a lot higher.
4. When Employers Make Changes to Your Job
Occasionally, employers will make changes to your job, which could directly affect your job title, your duties, and even the compensation and benefits you receive. Even though you signed an employment contract when you started the job, some employers assume that they can make changes to your job without notice and without your consent.
Even if the changes are minimal and something that you don’t have a problem with, you need to let your employer know how you feel about it by either approving or disapproving the decision. If you say nothing about the changes, your employer may assume they can make other changes in the future.
Regular changes in your employee duties can make you uncomfortable, but experienced employment lawyers will sit down with you and review them so you can determine which changes, if any, are cause for alarm. If you do this quickly, your employer is less likely to make haphazard changes in the future that affect the work you do on a daily basis.