As an employee, employment laws protect you against your employer’s wrongdoing and regulates your relationship. Usually, employment laws cover discrimination, your safety and health at work, compensation and minimum wage as well as child labor.
Although the laws exist to protect you, conflicts and misunderstandings still occur and may end up causing legal problems at work. Knowing how to deal with the stressful legal issues at work saves you time and money, and enables you to find a lasting solution. Here are helpful tips for handling legal problems at work:
1 Understand What the Law Says About Your Situation
When dealing with any legal matter, you need to know the relevant laws about it. Whether you are suing your employer for harassment at work or are getting sued for misconduct, knowing what the law says about your situation allows you to make the right decisions.
Familiarize yourself with company policies, labor laws, and federal laws, so you have an understanding of your situation. It also enables you to know what to expect, as well as protect your rights as an employee. Since understanding the law can be a challenge, it is advisable to get legal advice from a professional such as an attorney.
2 Document your Issues
In every legal case, you need as much evidence as possible to support your claims. With this in mind, document everything related to your issue as it happens, complete with dates. Record every detail of your case.
Some of the things you should write down include the incident and when it occurred, what you did about it, and the results of your actions. When documenting evidence, ensure you focus on actual events instead of personalities and focus on matters that relate to your conflict.
For example, if you experience harassment at work, you should record when it happened and whether you reported the matter. Also, record whether an action was taken or not. Doing this helps you gather enough evidence and information to support your claims and help you get the justice you are looking for.
3. Hire an Employment Attorney
As an employee going through a legal case at work, you need the advice of a professional to help you go about the matter in the right way. You should consult an employment attorney immediately you start having problems with your employer as it gives you access to professional and sound legal advice. It also enables you to come up with a strategy to help you with your case.
Experienced employment attorneys have an in-depth understanding of the law and will therefore help you navigate through your workplace problems. Since they are experts in handling legal problems at work, hiring an attorney gives you peace of mind. Note that you should never take any step in your legal case without consulting an employment attorney to avoid making mistakes that can jeopardize your case.
4. Use a Personal Email Account to Communicate Legal Issues
Your employer can access your work email and monitor any activity that’s going on in your account, including the emails you send or receive. In case of a problem at work, your employer may start monitoring your emails and archiving any information that could help when legal issues arise.
The information on your work email can then be used against you in the case. Sometimes, your employer can even claim you misuse your work email account by using it for private matters. Such allegations can damage your claims and work against you.
Consider using a personal email to communicate legal matters as you have total control over it. Besides the email, your work computer should also be out of the question when handling your case as it can later turn to be a case of misusing company resources. You should be especially careful if your employer keeps reminding you of the company’s computer and internet usage policies.
5. Keep your Legal Issues and Plans Private
Posting about your workplace legal problems on social media puts you at risk of misconduct cases or insubordination. Regardless of how private you think your social media account is, you may have friends in your circle who have contacts with your employer or supervisor.
Since most employers and lawyers usually go to social media accounts to obtain information about the other party, you should refrain from discussing your workplace legal problems on social media platforms.
Other than posting on social media, avoid discussing the matter with your colleagues no matter how close you are. Most times, what you disclose will find a way to get to your supervisor or employer and lead to retaliation. With this in mind, keep your legal matters private and never let your employer or supervisor know about your plans early in the case until you consult your attorney.
Legal cases at the workplace require professionalism, good judgment, and patience. The above tips can help you handle any legal issues at work and protect your rights and interests.