When employees look for an employment attorney, they are looking for someone to advise them on the law as it relates to an employment matter. The ultimate goal and hope is for the employee to find and choose an attorney that they trust to counsel them and give them sound advice. Of course, it goes without saying that providing sound advice does not always mean that the lawyer is there to tell the employee what they want to hear. Instead, a lawyer is there tell them what they need to hear. The lawyer is there to assess the situation and provide their take on the pros and cons or possible outcomes, as well as access the viability of claims if any exist.
Navigating employment relationships can sometimes be very difficult. When things turn sour at work, it can be like a bad marriage. When it comes to work separation, it can be similar to a divorce. After 10, 20, or 30 years of dedication to an employer, it is understandable that an employee can become emotional about their job and career. Feeling betrayed and hurt is not uncommon when it comes to a place where one has spent so many hours. When this happens, it is best to seek the counsel of an experienced employment attorney early – before making any final decisions. However, it is important to remember, as is in any area of the law, whether it be employment, family, or personal injury law, sometimes the news is good, other times the news is not so good. Whatever the news may be, the attorney is not there to sugarcoat things and make false promises. The attorney is there to prepare the person seeking legal advice to make an informed decision once they know how the law applies to their circumstances and understands their options.
As employment attorneys, we are often outraged by the stories that we hear. Sometimes, in these stories, we learn that an employer has violated the rights of an employee and we want to give the employee a plan of action and means of fighting back. Conversely, with at-will employment, some employees find that when an employment issue arises, they have very few rights. In some instances, they have no rights – no laws that protect them from mistreatment. This is of course not to say that the employer’s actions are justified, moral, or right but simply that there is little to no legal recourse for the employer’s unethical behavior. When this happens, we still aim to provide sound advice and put those that seek our counsel in the best possible position to make decisions.
When you consult with an attorney, their goal is to give you advice based on their experience and knowledge of the law as it relates to your facts. When you hire an attorney, you have hired them to represent you based upon that same experience and knowledge. It is the hope that you have done so with the intention of listening to the advice you have paid for. Though outraged we might be, we must often set aside those emotions to best represent our clients to put them in the best possible position or to help them make the best decisions based upon their circumstances. This is not always an easy job, but it is what is required of us if we are to truly help those in need.
At the end of the day, your employment attorney cannot force you to do anything. However, as stated above, when seeking an employment attorney, it is important to find an attorney whose advice you feel you can trust. This person is going to be someone providing you with valuable guidance in an area of the law in which they regularly practice and/or specialize. If you’ve hired them, you have asked them to be your advocate and advisor. It is the hope that you’ve done so with the intent of letting them be the lawyer, while you be the client. At Wiley Wheler we specialize in labor and employment law, and we are well versed in the nuances of the situations that can arise within that realm. If you have concerns regarding your employment or feel like your rights have been violated, feel free to contact us to schedule a consultation.