A labour lawyer is the last thing on anyone’s mind, however, if you are a businessman, you really should consider hiring one. But when would be the right time?
The right time to hire a lawyer is the moment you decide to take your business seriously and make plans to hire another set of hands some time in the feature. But you might be wondering what a labour lawyer can do for you if you don’t have any employees yet.
Well, you can get help with writing your employees handbook in advance. A handbook contains all the do’s and don’ts of employees yet it also contains information on what they are entitled to while being your employee.
Some businessmen like to hire first and think about the employee handbook later. But this is actually very risky. Why? Because the law does not take effect when you already have your handbook. It takes effect the moment you have other people onboard as salaried employees.
Without a handbook, you risk losing a legal battle with a disgruntled employee.
So, really, the best time to use a labour lawyer is the moment you decide to hire employees. You can have the attorney write the handbook for you or you can hire a human resource person and then have the handbook reviewed the attorney.
When it comes to finding an attorney that specializes in labor law, there are several paths that you can take. The first one is to get recommendations from your local bar association. The second is go to Yellowpage-type websites and search for labour lawyers there.
No matter how you do it, make sure that you have a short list of three different lawyers. We really don’t need to tell you, but like anything else, not all lawyers are created alike. And you will definitely want to compare so you will only be dealing with the best lawyer for you.
What should you look for in a labour lawyer? In two words: relevant experience.
While there are attorneys that count large companies with over 500 employees as their clients, there are those that specialize in small businesses that have 20 employees or less.
Obviously, the kind of work involved to help large businesses is different from small business. If you are a small business, obviously you will only want to work with someone who has been helping businesses just like you.
Take the short list of lawyers and schedule a consultation appointment with each of them. Don’t worry because almost all lawyers offer free consultation. If a lawyer charges you for consultation, you shouldn’t deal with him.
Aside from asking about their experiences, you will also want to take note of whether or not you have rapport with the lawyer. Some people dismiss rapport but it is actually important in lawyer-client relationships.
With rapport comes better communication, and you can go back and forth with your lawyer easily covering issues that will affect you directly as an employer.