The COVID pandemic has reshaped the entire working environment. Never in history has the world focused on its citizens’ health and safety than during this deadly pandemic. Due to the pandemic, remote work increasingly became the only favorable option for businesses to continue their operations while observing social isolation and quarantine measures. Undoubtedly, remote work has several business benefits, such as reducing overhead costs and attracting top talents. However, remote work brings along a set of legal implications that remote workers and managers should consider.
Remote managers should cautiously factor in legal issues surrounding the hiring process, HR policies, procedures, and more to avoid various liabilities. Similarly, remote workers should consult employment lawyers for guidance before accepting any remote work. Below is a guide to help remote employees when hiring employment lawyers.
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Why Do You Need an Employment Lawyer?
Workplace issues are not limited to physical working conditions. Remote workers also face various legal challenges, including data security concerns, discriminatory remarks over Zoom and other collaboration tools, FLSA violations, and work environment obligations. If you are facing any of the above challenges, employment lawyers can be beneficial in the following ways;
- Proper clarity and understanding
Experienced employment attorneys help remote workers understand various seemingly complex employment laws. Remote employees are subject to various federal and state laws, which can be quite challenging to understand. Hiring an attorney ensures that your remote employer pays according to your state regulations. This includes observing the minimum wages, payday frequency, tax calculations, deductions, and overtime payments.
- Vast knowledge of claim process
Filing a claim for work-related issues can be challenging. However, an experienced employment lawyer can help in filing claims and lawsuits within the required timelines. Note that failing to observe some claim filing guidelines can lead to denial of a claim. Compiling the necessary documents and submitting them to relevant offices before deadlines is an important part of the claim process. Working with a lawyer increases your chances of getting a positive result.
- They are an added advantage
Working with an employment lawyer gives you a competitive advantage. You will enjoy the services of a professional fighting for your best interests and rights in the remote workspace. Apparently, most employers have a team of lawyers, and most of them won’t take your legal suits seriously if you don’t have representation.
What to Look for in Employment Lawyers
Employment attorneys handle a plethora of job-related issues, ranging from breach of contract, privacy, severance pay, and more. Therefore, when looking for an employment lawyer, you should find one with the required skills, knowledge, and expertise. Some characteristics to look for in a suitable employment lawyer include;
- Specialization in employment law – ensure that your lawyer of choice focused on employment law. Choosing a specialized lawyer provides assurance that they are up to date with matters concerning employment law.
- Background – this involves ascertaining the qualifications of the lawyer. Ensure that he/she is a member of the state bar.
- Employee advocate – prefer an attorney who advocates for worker’s issues to one who represents both employers and employees. With this, you won’t have loyalty doubts.
- Experience – consider hiring someone with experience handling similar cases. For instance, if your case touches on FLSA violations, find a lawyer who has handled similar cases before. The lawyer should also have a proven winning track record.
How Much Does Employment Lawyers Cost?
The cost of hiring an employment attorney varies depending on several factors. Some determinants include the time spent on your case, the lawyer’s ability to handle the case, experience, and reputation. That said, expect the following fee arrangements;
- Consultation fees – some lawyers charge fixed or hourly fees during your first meeting. This meeting is basically to determine if the lawyer will take up your case based on the case details.
- Contingency fees – attorneys often charge a percentage of the total amount awarded. Therefore, your lawyer won’t charge any fees if you lose the claim. Contingency fees vary, but the majority charge a third of the total amount.
- Flat fees – some lawyers may charge specific fees for the entire case. Though such charges are rare, they are common in simple or routine cases.
- Hourly rates – in this situation, employment lawyers charge based on the hours or portion of hours they work on your case.
- Referral fees – lawyers who refer you to an employment attorney may ask for a percentage of the total fees paid for the case.
With all these options, it is important that you ask your lawyer how he/she will charge for the case.
Apart from technological challenges, remote work presents several legal challenges. Your remote employer certainly has a team of lawyers protecting their best interests with a focus on devaluing your case. Therefore, you should hire a great employment lawyer to look out for your rights.