Do not allow your response to a dispute to jeopardize your employment or soil the credibility of your claims. Always continue to fulfill your workplace obligations. In many instances, this will require a large amount of tolerance, restraint, and composure, but in the end, the ability to ensure your future actions will not be used against you in a resolving a dispute cannot be overvalued. This may mean politely refusing to converse with other coworkers about an on-going dispute, as well as making your complaints as confidentially as possible.
In any legal dispute, there must be substantiated evidence to support your position. This will include anything from legal documents, contracts, internal memos, employment handbooks, employment agreements, direct quotes from individuals, emails, and essentially, any other bits and pieces of information you can legally obtain regarding your specific allegations of employment law violations. Maintaining these documents at home, instead of at your office, is essential in the event you are fired. Keep in mind that taking certain documents from your employer, such as confidential information and accounting, will give your employer more than legal grounds to terminate you.
Evidence that can, and should be, collected immediately is essentially for you to file any claim. In many cases regarding employment law related disputes, there is a specific statute of limitations regarding filing a claim versus the date of the incident in dispute. Keep this in mind when gathering evidence to bolster your claims, as well as when organizing this information to file a claim. The first items you should immediately locate and file include all company issued materials regarding the rules, regulations, and conduct codebooks of employees. All articles of company policy, supporting your illegal employment practices claims, are integral to maintain your claim in litigation or in court. Secondly, you should file all emailed or written statements made to you by your superiors regarding any issue related to your dispute. The third item to document includes verbal statements made by managers or other superiors at your company, which should include detailed notes on the date, time, other employees present, and any other relevant information. Signatures of those witnesses present may prove beneficial as well, but be wary of other employees not willing to cooperate in your documentation efforts.
If personal revenge, financial gain, or proving a point is the main goal of you entering into litigation with an employer, please reconsider and refer back to the section about remaining objective. Legal action is a serious matter, which may have unexpected fallouts that you could conceive happening. Seeking legal counsel well prior to filing suit against an employer is prudent. There are a number of things to consider before beginning legal action against your company, which will immediately influence your choice to file suit.
Foremost, analyze the motivation of your potential legal action. What is the impetus of you continuing to pursue a dispute into the indefinite future? What do you intend to accomplish, specifically, from filing suit? In cases of non-economic damages, such as an insult, erroneous demerit on your record, or minor financial errors, working with your employer to address these outside of courts will be much more beneficial for you on a number of levels.
Almost as important as your motives is the amount of relevant, factually based evidence you have at your disposal regarding perceived employment law violations. Presenting evidence supporting actual violations is paramount, as suspected violations or illegal practices are just that, suspicions. Convincing a mediator, arbitrator, judge, or jury to believe the contentions of your complaint on your word exclusively is not a sound legal strategy. The evidence and documentation must clearly support your conclusion that your individual workplace rights were violated. To present a successful legal suit, documentation and a coherent, organized legal presentation of these documents is essential.
A third mitigating factor from deciding to file legal action against an employer is the cost involved in doing so. Typically, employment law violation cases are viewed by the legal community at large as risky. If you choose to file suit against your employer, expect to pay a retainer for the services of your attorney, as they most likely will not work on your case on a contingency basis. Additionally, are the expected damage awards if you win your case sufficient to warrant the cost of hiring an attorney in the first place? These factors may prove difficult to determine, but in most cases, the sheer cost alone makes many people reconsider the option of working disputes out internally with an employer.
If you are still convinced in the validity of your complaints, however, there are a number of employment attorneys willing to work alongside you in filing claims and representing your interests. If you can afford to do so, there is a large pool of potential attorneys willing to represent your case, and through the Expert Hub Network, a large number of attorneys can be found and will review your case, possibly opening up a situation where your case will be represented on a contingency basis.