No matter the size of your business, having employees means that you have many types of legal exposure.  But many smaller businesses are unaware of the legal requirements that must be followed. As a result, they often don’t seek advice before an employment situation arises.  


I advocate that businesses of any size seek advice from an experienced employment attorney as a preventive measure, which can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.  That is why many small to medium sized companies retain me on an “as needed” basis to assist them with human resource issues.  Of course, should an employment-related claim be lodged against your business, you will need to consult an attorney as quickly as possible to assess the situation and determine if there are any upcoming deadlines.


Here are some initial questions that employers must address: 

      • What employment laws apply to my business?
      • Are there any improper questions on the company’s job application?
      • What forms do new employees need to fill out?
      • Does the company need to report employee information to any government agencies?
      • What types of employment policies does my business need?
      • What systems do I need in place to track employee time, performance and discipline?
      • What type of insurance coverages does the company need?
      • Are the employees properly classified as “exempt” or not exempt?
      • Are the employees being paid in accordance with the law?


 Additional issues for which employers often need my legal advice and guidance include: 

Unemployment Claims

      • Is your business completing the proper forms when someone’s employment is termination?
      • Are the reasons for termination well documented?
      • Does the company have grounds to contest an award of unemployment benefits?


Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Claims 

      • Has an EEOC Charge been filed against your company?
      • Is your business covered by the federal employment laws?
      • Do you have the proper policies in place?
      • Has an employee complained about discrimination or harassment in the workplace?
      • How do you respond to these types of complaints?
      • Have you taken an adverse employment action against an employee because they engaged in legally protected activity?


Wage and Hour Issues

      • Are you paying overtime in the correct manner?
      • Are you appropriately classifying employees for purposes of the FLSA overtime exemption?
      • Are you maintaining adequate time records?
      • Are your employees earning at least the legal minimum wage?
      • When can an employer dock time?
      • Can you hold an employee’s paycheck?
      • Has an employee filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor or other government agency regarding your company’s pay practices?


Medical and other leave time 

      • When is an employer required to provide time off?
      • Do I have to allow employees to return to their position after taking leave?
      • Do I have to provide an employee with leave time as an accommodation for a disability?


Contractual issues

      • Have any employment agreements been formed?
      • Should severance be paid to a terminated employee?
      • Is your non-compete/non-solicitation agreement enforceable?
      • Have you created contracts for payment of commissions or bonuses?
      • Are you required to pay unused vacation / paid time off upon termination?


Employee Handbooks, Policies and Procedures

      • What types of employment policies and procedures does my business need?
      • Are the company’s policies up to date?
      • Is the company complying with the laws pertaining to onboarding and terminating employees?


If your business does end up facing a formal complaint or lawsuit, it is critical that you retain an attorney with significant experience in employment claims, as such matters often involve complex issues that don’t arise in other types of cases.

My legal career has been devoted almost exclusively to employment-related matters, and I have handled a variety of cases involving numerous types of contested claims in administrative agencies, as well as state and federal trial and appellate courts. 

If you need advice on employee relations/HR issues,

lawsuits, Department of Labor matters or EEOC Charges


This web site (including links, blogs or other content) is provided for informational purposes only and is not to be considered as legal advice.  Any interaction through this web site, including but not limited to any comments or the submission of a consultation request, does not create an expressed or implied attorney-client relationship. 

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