An employment lawyer mainly assists individuals not covered by a union or collective agreement whereas a labour lawyer primarily deals with unionized employees. Employment lawyers help their clients with understanding, advising, and litigating work-related issues in non-unionized workplace, which include but are not limited to termination, workplace harassment, disability-related issues, wage related-issues, and workplace safety.
An employment lawyer can work with both employees and employers. Employment lawyers help employee clients review employment contracts and workplace policies, negotiate contracts or benefits plans, prosecutes human rights violations, represent them in workplace investigations, and help them pursue disability claims. Employment lawyers for employers can educate employers on their obligations, defend them against employment-related lawsuits, help them put together adequate severance packages, draft contracts, and benefit packages, and do the employers’ due diligence with workers’ compensations claims.
Benefits of hiring an employment lawyer
Trying to manage a claim on your own can be time-consuming and daunting, and you would likely be doing this while trying to juggle other responsibilities. An employment lawyer will be able to navigate through the legal process in the most efficient and effective way possible. An employment lawyer will give you support and guidance throughout the process and have those difficult conversations with the other party on your behalf, so you don’t have to.
The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has also complicated employment issues. Pandemic-related restrictions and guidelines are constantly changing and evolving, leaving both employers and employees confused about their obligations and rights. Competent employment lawyers will diligently update themselves on these changes, so they are the best resource to turn to in these uncertain times.
When would I hire an employment lawyer?
The ideal time for you to hire an employment lawyer is as soon as a dispute arises or as soon as you realize there may be an issue relating to your employment.
While it can be intimidating to speak to a lawyer, trying to deal with situations on your own can have many downsides. For example, if you have been terminated, it is likely that your employer has tried to save some money by offering you an inadequate severance package. You may not understand your rights and settle for less than what you are entitled to. Or, if you have been harassed or constructively dismissed, you may not know what recourse is available and resign without raising your concerns. Not having raised your concerns, waiting too long to do so, or accepting less than what you are entitled… all these mistakes can make pursuing future claims or defending yourself against counterclaims more difficult. Therefore, timing is important. It is crucial that you seek legal advice as soon as there is an issue.
How do I choose the right employment lawyer?
Speak with the firm through a consultation. This is not only an opportunity for you to get a better grasp of your case but also to get feel for the lawyer and the firm. During the consultation, be forthcoming with the facts of your case and provide the relevant paperwork so that the lawyer or paralegal can form an accurate understanding of your case. Ask about the lawyer’s experience, expertise, and practice areas. A good consultation should give you a rough idea of the potential outcomes of your cases as well as allow you to gauge if the lawyer is a good fit for you.
What does an employment lawyer cost?
In Toronto, almost no employment lawyer charges less than $250 per hour. This amount is usually charged by junior lawyers at small firms. Larger firms and lawyers with more experience will usually charge over $400 per hour, with some charging around $800 per hour and up.
However, some employee-side lawyers do not charge an hourly rate. Rather, they charge a contingency. In a contingent fee arrangement, the lawyer agrees to accept a fixed percentage of the recovery, which is the amount finally paid to the client. The percentage is usually fixed from 30% to 40%.
Some employment law firms offer free initial consultations; some do not. There is no difference between a free consultation and a paid consultation in terms of quality. The initial consultation is an opportunity for clients to provide facts and relevant documents about their cases and to receive a rough range of potential outcomes.
Why choose Monkhouse Law?
Monkhouse Law practices workplace law and can help navigate these complex legal issues for both employers and employees. We are highly knowledgeable in both Canadian Employment Law and Ontario Employment Law.
Skilled employment lawyers at Monkhouse Law know the process and how to navigate each case through the necessary avenues. Our employment lawyers have been able to push the law forward in a number of areas including entitlement to bonus plans during the notice period, the determination of the frivolous nature of a counterclaim against an employee, and the standard for just cause to fire an employee.
By retaining Monkhouse Law, you will receive legal advice from a trained professional who will assist with your matter every step of the way. Your issues will be taken seriously, and you will have an opportunity to review and discuss your case to ensure you receive the best results for your individual circumstances.