An employment lawyer works two ways. He represents the employer, as well as the employee. As an employment lawyer for the employee, the lawyer can review the employment agreement and negotiate and propose additional terms or deletions to protect the employee’s interests. He also works towards negotiating severance or retirement packages. If you believe that you have been discriminated against, treated unfairly or wrongfully terminated, an employment lawyer can guide you in your rights as an employee and your options. In addition, an employment lawyer represents you in various situations like overtime pay claims, sexual harassment in the work place, employment discrimination, and the family leave act.
As an employer, you always need the services of a lawyer. Even though as an employer you might be expert in handling most of the employment matters, some issues are particularly tricky and are difficult to handle without the help of an employment lawyer. An employment lawyer keeps you updated on the rapidly changing laws, which may be difficult for you to interpret and understand on your own. An employment lawyer can quickly review and troubleshoot any employment-related agreements you routinely use with your workers, such as employment contracts, severance agreements, or releases, and he can review an employee handbook or personnel policies to ensure legal compliance. Additionally, lawyer protect you from violating any laws regarding overtime pay, family leave, final paychecks, or occupational safety and health, to name a few. An employment lawyer can also guide you in making difficult decisions like whether terminating a worker is legal and what steps you can take to minimize the risk of a lawsuit. Usually, an employment lawyer specializes in either representing the employee or the employer; he can’t represent both at a time.
Employment laws vary from state to state, so it is always an advantage to hire an employment lawyer who is well versed and experienced in handling the employment cases in a particular state. In a state like New Jersey, where there are strict codes of ethics for both employer and the employee, the role of a business lawyer becomes all the more important. To find an employment lawyer in New Jersey, contact the state bar association and seek a referral, go through the online directory or yellow pages, or go to a lawyer recommended by your friends and relatives.