If you are wondering when to contact an employment lawyer, odds are good you already need one.
The time to reach out is as soon as you experience issues with your employment or your employees.
As an employer, if you are drafting new employment contracts, policies, or benefits, an employment lawyer can support you in the process and ensure you are not violating employee rights.
These problems can be intimidating and you may be concerned about the costs but the truth is, it is often better to have the situation handled by a professional than it is to do nothing or attempt to find a resolution on your own.
Booking a consultation with an employment lawyer can help you determine the strength of your claim or case and help you determine the best course of action.
If you are wondering whether or not you should contact an employment lawyer in Ontario, here is some information that can help you decide.
What Does an Employment Lawyer Do?
An employment lawyer supports employers and employees with disputes in a non-unionized workplace.
This support can include interpreting, advising, and litigating issues concerning work.
Some employment lawyers prefer to work with either employees or employers and some work with both.
When working with employees, an employment lawyer typically handles issues around termination, human rights concerns, contract interpretation, and severance entitlement. This can include reviewing contracts, equity policies, company policies, benefit plans, and insurance plans.
When working with employers, employment lawyers will commonly act as the employer’s representative in negotiations or litigation with an employee. In this instance, they will advise employers on matters concerning termination and severance.
Employment lawyers also draft employment contracts and policies for employers and will perform due diligence in reviewing employment contracts prior to the purchase or acquisition of a workplace.
When Would You Need an Employment Lawyer?
Ideally, you should retain an employment lawyer as soon as a dispute or an issue first arises. Most of the time, employees are not fully aware of their rights and so dealing with the problem alone can be detrimental.
For example, if you are dealing with issues of discrimination or harassment, you may decide to just leave your position. But in doing so, you may not be fully aware of your rights and entitlements. There is likely recourse available to you and if you do not consult a lawyer, you will never receive what you deserve.
Navigating issues like wrongful resignation, constructive dismissal, hostile work environments, negotiating contracts, writing policy, or negotiating severance should be done with the support of an employment lawyer.
In many cases, the longer you wait to talk to an employment lawyer, the more problematic things become. Any delay can make it difficult to defend yourself or pursue future claims.
The best time to contact an employment lawyer is right away. When in doubt, reach out for professional legal guidance.
How to Choose an Employment Lawyer
The best way to find the right employment lawyer for your situation is to have a consultation.
A consultation gives you the opportunity to meet the lawyer, get a sense of them and their firm, to go figure out the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
It is best to be entirely honest with the lawyer at your consultation. Only then can you both get a true sense of the next steps in your case.
Look for a lawyer who is up to date with the most recent developments in the space. For example, COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, an impact on working relationships. Many employers and employees have been left confused by their changed roles and obligations.
Depending on your particular situation, you will want an employment lawyer that understands these changes and can provide the necessary clarity. Employment law is not stagnant and you should find a lawyer that keeps themselves current and up to date.
Benefits of Hiring an Employment Lawyer
Employment issues can be complicated. And when you are faced with harassment, wage-related issues, termination, or contract disputes, it is likely that you have many other things weighing up on you at the same time. In other words, you have other things in your life that require your care and attention as well.
It is also highly likely that your personal area of expertise and experience does not include employment law.
The primary benefit of hiring an employment lawyer is that they can help you properly navigate the legal landscape effectively and efficiently. They understand the legal language and the obligations of both parties, allowing them to have conversations with the other side with clarity and purpose. They can also represent you in court should it come to that.
Benefits of hiring an employment lawyer in Ontario include:
- Professional advice and guidance
- Proper drafting of contracts, benefits packages, and employment policies
- Provide insights on rights and responsibilities with regards to pay, benefits, and termination
- Proper management of lawsuits
- Manage claims and negotiations
- Reduced stress
- Faster resolutions
What Does an Employment Lawyer Cost?
An employment lawyer can cost anywhere from $250/hour to $800/hour or more. There are a few factors that impact this cost. The more experienced the lawyer, the more they are likely to charge. Where you are located in Ontario can also impact the hourly rate. In larger cities like Toronto, employment lawyers are likely to have higher rates than in smaller cities like Kingston.
While it is important to consider costs in choosing your employment lawyer, it is best not to make this your entire focus. Don’t hire a lawyer from a different city, for example, to save on the hourly rate. You will likely be charged for the lawyer’s travel which can end up making them more expensive than a local firm.
Your total costs will depend on what you need the lawyer to do. A demand letter can take 1-5 hours, whereas a trial can take up to 500 hours.
Contact RBHF When Experiencing Issues Around Employment
An employment lawyer understands the ins and outs of employment law and can support you in a variety of scenarios.
At RBHF, one of our areas of focus is employment law and our team of experienced, professional Kingston lawyers will work to ensure you find a swift and equitable solution. We will take the time to understand your situation and make sure you understand all of the options before you.
Contact us today to learn more or to book a consultation.