Why Do You Need an Employment Lawyer?

Many employees know only the legal basics when it comes to job loss and what they might be entitled to if they did, in fact, lose their job.  One might be vaguely familiar with the concept of a ‘severance package’, or understand that being terminated ‘for cause’ is a mess to be avoided. Many employees don’t know when to stand up to their employers and assert their rights. And the price they pay can be substantial.

So, why do you need an Employment Lawyer?

As employment lawyers, we protect your rights and get you the pay you deserve. In the context of employment law, your legal entitlements typically come in the form of continued income, benefit coverage, and the like.

Wrongful Dismissal

The most common matters that clients bring through the door relate to wrongful dismissal. Employees have been often offered a severance package when their position is terminated. Employers simply want you to sign a release form in exchange for your acceptance of the severance package.

The release being sought by your former employer is essentially a contract to prevent you from suing them in the future. This is the point at which, in a perfect world, a suitably miniaturized lawyer would appear on your shoulder.

That’s why a good lawyer at your side can prove to be an extremely valuable asset. Losing a job can be a painful, life-altering experience. 

Employment Contract Review and Negotiation

Some clients – though I wish this were more common – have the wherewithal to approach us even before they start a new job. Whatever the reason, I commend their decision. A little work now can save a lot of trouble down the line.

The employment contract is fundamentally important to any employee. This contract governs the terms of your relationship with your employer. Note: These contracts also typically contain a provision that ensure that it alone governs the employer-employee relationship, meaning that if you intend to rely upon a promise made to you in person, but not represented in the contract, you might not have a legal leg to stand on.

Like most contracts, there’s a lot in your average employment contract that can read like a foreign language.  Yet, despite its vital importance, many employees barely bother to read the contract. Fortunately, lawyers are well-trained to make sense of it all, and to make sure that you don’t sign yourself up for uncertainty, unfairness, or future misery. A qualified employment lawyer can review, explain, and negotiate employment agreements for you.

Constructive Dismissal  

There are a million ways that a job can become unbearable for an employee.  The temptation to simply walk out can be overwhelming. However, if that employee decides to simply resign, they will generally speaking relinquish their entitlement to income and benefits continuance, among other legal rights.  That can be a harsh blow, financially and otherwise. 

Yet, if your job is more than you can tolerate, waiting for a potential termination likely won’t do.  Deliberately trying to get fired is also very risky, not least because it can result in a for-cause termination, which disentitles one in much the same way that a resignation does

This can be achieved through a successful claim for constructive dismissal.

To succeed, however, that constructive dismissal claim must be legally justified in terms of the employer’s conduct. Unilateral changes to the employment contract by the employer can be grounds for employee termination.  Harassment often looms large. 

Conclusion

While hopefully of some assistance, the above barely scratches the surface in terms of what an employment lawyer can do for you or for your loved ones.  I touched on some common issues, but left much out. The Workers’ Rights Clinic can provide assistance in a variety of work-related situations. Indeed, the legal problems clients face are as unique as they are. Each deserves expert attention.

The central takeaway? Before you act, ask a professional.  If you or someone you know is dealing with any employment law issues, I strongly encourage you to speak to an expert.  There might be more at stake than you realize.

At Tailor Law, our lawyers are ready to help you get a good outcome. To schedule a free in-person or phone consultation, please call us at 905-366-0202, or email Chelsea at admin@tailorlaw.com.

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