What Do Workplace Lawyers Do?

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There are few aspects of the human race that date back to the dawn of civilization itself. From medicine to sports to even the internet which is currently championing all of man’s current advancements pale in comparison to the legal industry. Many say that discussing the origins of the law is the same thing as telling the story of man’s civilization. According to ancient texts found in Egypt that was dated back to 3000BC, a civil code once existed that was divvied up into 12 smaller books. Excerpts taken from the Bible which could be dated back to 1280 BC detail the use of moral instructions as the foundation of a successful city. It is believed that Athens was the first region to recognize its citizens and although there was no single term for law and they excluded women and their slaves, their beliefs formed the basis for Roman and Greek laws. These days, the legal industry is a multibillion-dollar industry.

According to a study done by Statista, the law industry brought in 256. 66 billion dollars to the United States in 2013 and it is expected to cross 288 billion dollars this year making it one of the largest contributors to the United States economy. In a bid to increase efficiency and offer better services to clients, lawyers began to engage in specific branches of the law. These days, there are criminal lawyers, insurance lawyers, personal Injury lawyer, estate Planning lawyer, bankruptcy lawyer, intellectual roperty lawyer, employment lawyer, corporate lawyer, immigration lawyer. Depending on the scenario you find your self in, you may choose to call someone else other than your general counsel. In the work place, there are several types of lawyers that one could be exposed to. Usually while this is dependent on company size, there is a particular class of lawyers that could be found in every company. They are workplace lawyers. By definition, workplace lawyers (also known as employment lawyers) are the lawyers that are bound to give out legal advice about issues that may pertain between a company and an employee or vice versa. These issues could stem from pretty much anything from faulty employment contracts to just a break down in the relationship. Here are some of the other thing’s workplace lawyers do:

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  1. Rights Clarification: Workplace lawyers can assist in helping their clients understand their legal rights. Doing this includes painstakingly pointing out all the laws that are applicable to a case and the options that are open to the client.
  2. These options are not limited in any way and they could include litigation, negotiation, meditation and other legal courses of action. A workplace lawyer may also go ahead to teach the client about the benefits and disadvantages of every option and plot out the best way to win a case.
  3. Compliance: The workplace lawyers that also end up serving as legal counsel to the employer find out that a common problem they need to deal with is helping their clients stay compliant with the appropriate laws. These could include ensuring compliance like anti-discrimination laws, creating guidelines for employment that does not discriminate on any basis whatsoever. Workplace lawyers also help their clients know about their obligations especially with regards to OSHA guidelines and other environmental restrictions.
  4. Complaint Filing: In cases pertaining to the vast majority of employment law, claims are expected to be filled with the necessary agencies before private causes of action can be taken by an employee. Workplace lawyers assist in filing such complaints with the appropriate agencies.
  5. Litigation: Workplace lawyers also take part in employment-affiliated cases. These cases include instances where an employee is seeking to sue an employer because of wrongful termination, delayed or denied benefits, discrimination and so on. Depending on which side these lawyers are on, they also seek to protect the company and employer in extension against such claims and lawsuits.

Here is an overview at the types of cases workplace lawyers are able to take on:

  • Compensation lawsuits: These are the most common kind of law suits and they usually occur when an employee fails to receive the salary or compensation that was agreed to at the beginning of the employee’s contract. Should an employer request extra work hour from his employees that was not agreed upon previously, the employee has valid ground to bring such a lawsuit to his workplace lawyer to be handled on his behalf.
  • Discrimination themed lawsuits: This is another very common kind of lawsuits found within the workplace. They could arise when an employee is fired, reassigned, passed over for a promotion, not hired or just subject to policies that seem to be biased.
  • Class action lawsuits: A class action suit refers to a situation when a group of people who are affected by the same negative thing like discrimination based on sex, gender etc. or a wage dispute decide to come together as a group and sue the employer or company. An advantage of such a law suit is that participants in the suit can split the cost of the attorneys amongst themselves.
  • Compensation claim lawsuits: This sort of cases happens when employees develop injuries or takes ill as a result of work. A workplace lawyer assists by helping filing the necessary claims or appeals. They could also represent the interests of the employer and put together a great defense.
  • Third Party Lawsuits: Third party cases refer to lawsuits that involve the employer or employee and an outside party that does not work for the company.

Workplace lawyers help with processing the necessary legal briefs and contacting with the opposing counsel. Workplace lawyers should be an essential composition of every office. This is regardless of where you work or the number of employees you have. From drafting out discrimination free policies to hammering out iron clad lawyers to representing personal and corporate interests in court when necessary, having a lawyer on your team is a great way to ensure your company does not fall into any legal issues.


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