While most of us hope never to need the expert guidance of a lawyer, there are so many life events that call for specialized legal aid. There are several reasons you might need to get help with employment law. We’ve listed five signs you need legal representation as an employee or need to consult.
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You Work In A Toxic Environment
Even though it’s rare to find a perfect work environment, and most workplaces are home to some negative behaviors, a toxic work environment is one where discrimination, abuse, and other harmful practices are blatant.
Some signs of a toxic or hostile work environment include a lack of motivation or enthusiasm, absent leaders, general dysfunction, unfair policies, gossiping, and even harassment.
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While it’s best first to report the offenses internally, it’s often essential to consult an employment lawyer to evaluate a suitable course of action.
You Are Underpaid
Even though most professionals feel they should be paid more, you must consult an employment lawyer right away if you are being paid lower than the legal minimum wage.
The minimum wage in the USA currently stands at $7.25 per hour; being paid anything less than this is considered exploitation. You are legally entitled to fair compensation from your employer and a raise. Bringing forth this type of claim is important for your colleagues as well; employers that exploit workers expose themselves to government penalties and fines because there are laws to protect employees against unfair wages.
You Are Being Harassed
In some cases, the work environment is not toxic, although an employee may receive unfair treatment from one colleague, a supervisor, or even the boss. If you are experiencing harassment of any kind at work, whether sexual or physical, it’s critical to report all the offenses internally and consult an employment lawyer.
Overtime Is Not Paid
Labor laws exist to protect employees from unfair and unjust treatment. These laws define how many hours an employee can work while also outlining fair overtime guides.
Employees must be compensated for overtime fairly, and overtime should never be expected. So, if you are forced to overwork yourself beyond the labor law specifics, and you are not receiving compensation for overtime, you should consult an employment lawyer as soon as possible. Once again, you will be entitled to compensation.
Your Employment Contract Is Confusing
Another reason to consult an employment lawyer is to understand your employment contract better. These contracts are legally binding, and some specifics can damage your career path in the future. So, it’s wise to consult a lawyer if you don’t fully understand any details of your employment contract.
An employment lawyer will help you understand things like non-compete clauses and your rights as an employee.
In addition to the above, if you have been wrongfully terminated due to discrimination or for any other relevant reason, you must consult an employment lawyer to seek compensation from your employer. Even mega-corporations like Google have been under fire for racial discrimination and other offenses. Bringing these offenses to light is important to your career, while it also helps organizations improve their standards to benefit fair employment.