Legal issues pervade the complex relationship between employer and employee. Did the employer violate the law when they fired you? Did the employer discriminate against you? Have you been paid properly? Is your pension entitlement correct? Will you be prevented from taking a new job due to a non-compete restriction?
These are just some of the many issues that an employment lawyer can address for you. This area of law includes cases for wrongful termination; employment discrimination, including sexual harassment; wage disputes, including overtime issues; employee benefit disputes, including pension issues; severance negotiations and agreements; non-compete negotiations and agreements; federal and state court employment litigation mediation and arbitration; particularly in unionized workforce.
Attorneys who agree to represent individuals with personnel disputes, such as cases of discrimination, will enter either into a Contingent Fee Agreement (whereby the attorney agrees to represent the individual in exchange for a set percentage of any settlement or award) or a retainer agreement (where they request a bulk amount from the client which is held in escrow and accessed as the attorney spends time working on the case).
In cases involving contract interpretation, such as non-compete agreements, attorneys generally charge a stated hourly rate, but may also decide to accept representation on a fixed-fee basis or other agreement with the client.
Most attorneys who agree to represent employers (companies) seeking legal advice accept representation on an hourly basis; however, it is up to the parties to come to an understanding about how fees and expenses will be charged.
Attorneys charge for expenses incurred on behalf of clients. These expenses typically include copying charges, long-distance phone charges, postage, faxes, court filing fees, the cost of court reporters, and other expenses associated with handling your case.
It is advisable to ask your attorney to put the fee arrangement in writing. This will help you and your attorney clarify what you will be charged for, when you are expected to pay your invoices, and what you should do if you have a concern about fees.