There are many important reasons for consulting an employment lawyer to receive guidance on essential workplace issues. The consequences of accepting a job offer at face value, how much vacation, paid sick leave or severance you would be entitled to, wrongful termination, workplace harassment, vacation, disability concerns, pay and safety in the workplace are just a few factors that have a significant impact on quality of life for you and your family.
Given the amount of time we spend at work and the reliance we have on our jobs, it is prudent to consult with one of the leaders in employment law from time to time to ensure that we understand our rights in the workplace and how to protect them. It is particularly crucial to seek out employment law advice from a specialist before making any major work-related decisions or if your role undergoes significant changes that alter your previous working arrangement.
If you haven’t consulted an employment lawyer before (or any lawyer for that matter), you can start with a search engine or by using the Law Society of Ontario’s search tool. And while reading reviews and lawyers’ biographies on their websites are essential steps, there are key characteristics you should also look out for when making such an important decision.
There is No Substitute for Experience
Experience is paramount when selecting an employment lawyer, particularly because employment laws in Ontario are continuously evolving. Employment law cases can be intricate, and it is vital to hire a lawyer who specializes in employment law and has a long track record of successfully protecting their clients’ rights.
You may come across lawyers who are involved in different areas of law, including employment law; however, they are the exception rather than the norm. Each area of law is complicated and demands a passion for that specialty, as lawyers must continue acquiring new knowledge on the laws in their field and honing their skills. In most cases, hiring a part-time employment lawyer at a discounted rate can cost you more in the long run.
Look for an Employment Lawyer Who is Genuinely Passionate About Worker’s Rights
When you meet or speak with potential employment lawyers, you should be able to tell fairly easily the ones who are passionate about fighting for the “little guy” and genuinely care about having a fair and level playing field in the workplace. This is a crucial characteristic, as lawyers must often find creative ways of making an argument, and that passion is what drives them to find solutions to challenging circumstances.
It’s also vital to work with an employment lawyer who is empathetic and patient with you as you weigh your options when considering important decisions.
Read More: Five Employment Law Tips for Startups
Honesty is Key in the Employment lawyer-Client Relationship.
Lastly, honesty is critical when choosing an employment lawyer. Although some lawyers guarantee a favourable outcome to try and get you to sign up or to put you at ease, each case contains a certain degree of uncertainty and risk. Before making your decision, speak with a few employment lawyers to get an accurate assessment of your case.
The most trustworthy lawyers will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case and provide you with their opinion on the most probable outcome. Employment lawyers should never guarantee an outcome or tell you what you want to hear, but they should be brutally honest to provide you with a realistic picture of the potential outcomes of your case.