If you own a business, it’s a good idea to start establishing a working relationship with an employment lawyer. You never know when you’ll need their services, and by already having a relationship with one, you will save some time, which can be crucial when it comes to employment and business disputes. You might even find taking some advice from your attorney while hiring employees, could save you from some trouble down the road.
The main job that the employment lawyer fulfills will be making sure you fully grasp the ramifications of having employees. The more employees you hire, the greater the chances you will run into some problems down the road. Even when you don’t accept an applicant for a job you’ve posted you could find yourself needing legal advice.
One of the things your employment lawyer will want you to understand will be that you need to be very careful about what you say. If you decide a particular applicant isn’t suitable for a job, you need to make sure you can prove why another person was better suited. Legally, there’s a whole list of various reasons you can’t use. If you take a job posting you wish to list to your employment lawyer they will look it over and make sure you’re very clear on exactly what qualification you expect applicants to have. The clarity will work in your favor if you unexpectedly find yourself in a position where you thought you hired a qualified person, only to later find out they lied. You will be able to terminate them without having to worry about a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Another thing you will want to discuss with your employment lawyer will be contracts. Whenever possible, you want to avoid putting yourself in a position where you’re relying on a verbal contract with an employee, there’s too many things that can go wrong. Having everything written down, dated, and signed by both yourself and your employee, will decrease the chances of miscommunication. Your attorney will be able to draw up any contract you need, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not it’s invalid.
If you’re lucky, people you hire will be a perfect fit, and you will never have to worry about letting them go. Most business owners aren’t so lucky. Odds are, the day will come when you have to terminate one of your employees. Before starting this process, before even breathing a word about what you’re thinking about, you will want to schedule an appointment with your employment lawyer so they can make sure you have a valid reason for terminating the employee, and to advise you about the type of language you need to use so you can avoid a future, wrongful termination lawsuit.