• Marc Kroop

When Do I Need An Employment Lawyer

If you have initiated the online search, "I need an employment lawyer," the chance that you could benefit from speaking with our firm is overwhelmingly positive. However, by the time you have conducted that online search, you may have already caused unnecessary damage to your legal case, by failing to seek our help at an earlier time.

From our perspective, the best time for you to seek help from our firm is at the time your employment issue first arises, during your employment. This is due to the fact that a number of employment claims require you to provide advance notice of your claim to your employer, prior to the time any legal action is taken by you and before the termination of your employment relationship. Claims that may require prior notice to the employer, before the termination of the employment relationship, include, sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination.

Even in cases where advance notice of your claim is not required prior to your termination, your specific written notice of your claim, during your employment, will enhance your credibility, by serving as documentation of your claim. This is especially true when your employer inevitably denies the validity of your claim. For example, if your employer is forcing you to work unpaid overtime off the clock, there will be no time records showing that you performed the work. Your case then becomes much more difficult to prove. Your employer can easily deny any knowledge of the claim. However, a well-drafted complaint made by you, during your employment, can increase your chances of prevailing and recovering unpaid wages.

Significantly, all complaints are not equal. A verbal complaint can be easily denied by your employer and is far less valuable evidence than a well-written complaint. A complaint by you in writing may be helpful, but only if it is properly drafted. In many cases, we have clients seeking help from us after they have drafted and submitted a written complaint to their employer on their own. Too often, these written complaints are ineffective because they fail to specify any form of illegal conduct. An ineffective written complaint can be especially problematic because it provides you with no protection if you are retaliated against by your employer as a result of your ineffective complaint.

In our experience, our clients often have legitimate complaints of illegal conduct that are improperly articulated by them as generalized complaints. For example, we review many written complaints by our clients that allege a laundry list of abrasive, rude or bullying conduct by a co-worker who is supported by a supervisor that is friendly with the abusive co-worker. A generalized complaint providing a laundry list of rude behavior by a co-employee or favoritism by the supervisor can fall easily fall short of allowing us to provide you with employment help. Even more damaging, this type of in-artfully drafted complaint by you may fail to provide you with legal protection against retaliation in the event you are terminated by the supervisor who favors your co-worker.

If we have the opportunity to meet with you before you make an ineffective written complaint, we can help you focus on issues that (1) will force the employer to take action; (2) protect you in the event the supervisor or company decides to retaliate against you for your complaint. For instance, the same complaint above, that was generalized and ineffective, can become very effective when we alert the employer in writing that the abusive bullying at work has caused your doctor to diagnose you with a medical condition that requires reasonable accommodations or time off work. Alternatively, we can focus the complaint on some actual illegal condition caused by the supervisor's favoritism. For example, it is possible that the supervisor's transference of additional work from the abusive employee to you is forcing you to work additional unpaid overtime, off the clock, during the evening or weekends. That type of specific complaint is not too general and would certainly provide you with significant protection against any employer retaliation. From our perspective, it is never too early for you to seek our help in an employment case.

Kroop Labor Law provides you with a direct line to employment counsel (925) 989-8264 You may also email us regarding your employment concerns at info@krooplaborlaw.com We offer a free initial consultation. Our Bay Area office is located at 2950 Buskirk Avenue, Suite 300, Walnut Creek, CA 94597. We are two blocks (walking distance) from the Pleasant Hill BART station. For our clients who choose to drive to our office, parking at our building is also free. Your appointment for a free consultation must be scheduled in advance of our meeting.

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