No matter the size of your business, having employees results in many types of legal exposure.  However, many smaller businesses are unaware that there are legal requirements that they must follow.  As a result, many businesses don’t seek advice before an adverse employment situation arises.  

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


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 coverage does the company need?

      • Are the employees properly classified as “exempt” or not exempt?

      • Are the employees paid in accordance with the law?


Other legal issues that employers face:

Unemployment Claims

      • Is the business completing the proper forms when it terminates an employee?

      • Has the company documented the underlying reasons for termination?

      • Does the company have grounds to contest an award of unemployment benefits?

 Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Claims

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

Wage and Hour / Employee Pay

      • Is the company paying overtime in the correct manner?

      • Is the company appropriately classifying employees for purposes of the FLSA overtime exemption?

      • Is the company maintaining adequate time records?

      • Is the company paying its employees at least the legal minimum wage?

      • When can an employer dock time?

      • Can a company hold an employee’s paycheck?

      • Can the company change an employee’s pay?

      • 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?

      • Are employees entitled to return to their position after taking leave?

      • Does a company have to provide an employee with leave time as an accommodation for a disability?

Contractual issues

      • Has the company formed any employment agreements?

      • Should the company pay severance to a terminated employee?

      • Is the company’s non-compete/non-solicitation agreement enforceable?

      • Do any company employees have non-compete and/or non-solicitation agreements with former employers?

      • Has the company created contracts for payment of commissions or bonuses?

      • Is the company required to pay unused vacation / paid time off upon an employee’s termination?

Employee Handbooks, Policies and Procedures

      • What types of employment policies and procedures does my business need?

      • Does the company have policies that are not legally applicable to the business?

      • Are the company’s policies up to date?

      • Is the company complying with the laws pertaining to onboarding and terminating employees?


If your business ends up facing a formal complaint or lawsuit, it is critical that you consult with 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 your business needs advice regarding employee relations/HR issues, employment-related lawsuits, EEOC Charges or Department of Labor Matters



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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