What is a labor lawyer in California?

Starting a business is something to be excited about. They add so much value to the economy and bring so much joy to the community. However, it can be difficult work. On top of the work offering your product or service entails, there are a lot of business tasks to be done. There is marketing and accounting, and perhaps the most difficult, the legal side of owning a business. 

“Most business owners choose to outsource their legal matters by hiring a labor lawyer. The labor lawyer implements processes and policies that make sure the business is legally compliant and makes the business owner’s life easier,” according to a labor lawyer in Los Angeles, Douglas Wade, of the law firm California Business Lawyer & Corporate Lawyer, Inc. 

How Can a Labor Attorney Help My Small Business? 

There are a whole host of business tasks that they can take off your hands, like: 

  • Writing contracts 
  • Reviewing and negotiating contracts 
  • Protecting intellectual property 
  • Helping you to choose a business entity and filing the paperwork 
  • Creating employment policies and practices, including hiring and firing policies 
  • Ensuring your facilities are ADA compliant 
  • Consulting on business decisions 
  • Advising on employment disputes and helping to resolve them

As you can see from the above list, they can operate in an advisory capacity on a number of matters as well as complete tasks for you. 

Can a Labor Attorney Help Me with Litigation?

“Yes. They can help your business avoid litigation by ensuring you are compliant with all laws and regulations that apply to your business and circumstances. They can also help mediate and resolve disputes before they reach litigation,” said Brad Nakase an employment lawyer in Los Angeles

When you receive a legal claim, you need to call your labor attorney immediately. They will review the claim and talk you through the next steps. This may involve gathering evidence to review the nature of the claim and if it is a valid claim or not. If it is easily resolved, they may file motions or take other actions to dispute the claim and get it thrown out. Alternatively, they may start the process of arbitration, mediation, or other alternative dispute resolution methods. 

For complex cases, they may suggest bringing a litigator on board, and the two attorneys will start preparing the evidence to take your case to trial. Your labor lawyer may bring someone from their law firm on board or someone else from their network to help, depending on the expertise of their colleagues. By having your labor lawyer bring someone on board, they will brief the litigator about your business and help them to access all of the evidence they need. They will explain the progress of the lawsuit to you and ensure you are kept in the loop the whole way. Your labor attorney acts as an intermediary between you and the litigator to ensure your business interests are protected. 

Can a Labor Attorney Help Me With Employment Matters?

Yes, if you have a business model that requires a large number of staff, you should consider hiring a labor lawyer with expertise in employment law. A company may reduce attorney’s fees by using a free job description template at CrowdSourceLawyers.com

While they cannot help you with hiring employees, they can help you with all the behind the scenes work of having employees. This includes things like: 

  • Consulting on recruitment policies 
  • Consulting on termination policies 
  • Writing employee manuals 
  • Drafting employment policies 
  • Writing discipline structures
  • Training HR on dispute resolution 
  • Training management on wage and hour laws, including overtime and paid leave. 
  • Consulting on complex disputes 
  • Consulting on layoff or redundancies 
  • Training on FMLA leave and other legally required leave 
  • Writing employment contracts 

They can ensure that your employees protect your business interests long after they no longer work for you with confidentiality clauses and non-compete agreements. 

Can a Labor Attorney Help Me With Contracts?

Yes, a labor lawyer can help you with all types of contracts. The thing with contracts is the wording of a phrase may change the enforceability of a clause or the responsibility it places on one of the parties. While an online template may suffice for simple matters, the more complex something is, the more you need a custom contract written by a labor lawyer. 

A business will require a number of contracts with everyone who works in the company and who comes into contact with the company, like suppliers and even clients. A business attorney can help write strong contracts with no ambiguity that will be enforceable if a party fails to fulfil their side of the contract. They can also help review contracts that you are asked to sign and negotiate more favorable terms if required. If someone does not fulfil their side of the contract, then a labor attorney will help you to file a breach of contract lawsuit. 

How Do I Find a Labor Lawyer?

So you’re ready to hire a labor attorney but not sure where to start. Here is how you find labor lawyers and narrow down the list to hire the best fit. 

Decide What You Need From Your Labor Attorney 

When you search for anything, you don’t just buy the first thing in the search results, do you? No, you work out what you need and do a little research. Hiring a labor lawyer is the same. 

Create a list of what areas you may need the help of a business lawyer. These might be things like “employment” if you plan on hiring many employees from the start. It might be things like “intellectual property protection” if your business will need copyrights and patents. 

Get everything down on paper, and you can organize it by what is most important later. You will refer back to this list frequently throughout the course of your search, so keep it somewhere safe. 

Find Local Lawyers 

Use online directories to find local labor attorneys. They offer a complete list of lawyers who are certified and practising in your area. Alternatively, ask other local business owners which lawyers they have worked with and if they have had a good experience. Receiving a personalized referral allows you to learn more information about a lawyer from a credible source. Ask the questions you need to determine if they are a good fit for your business. 

Look into each of the labor lawyers you are considering. Read news articles about them and explore their website to learn about how they work and the types of cases they take. A bit of research will help you to whittle down a shortlist. 

Interview the Lawyers on Your Shortlist 

Book a free consultation to meet each of the attorneys in person and learn more about them. Ask them about their skills and experience, their fees, and how they handle legal issues. Think of this exactly like a job interview where you are determining the suitability of a candidate. 

The consultation will likely only be half an hour long, so really work on the questions you want to ask so that you can prioritize vital information. If you need to take a list of questions in there with you, do so, it will help you stay on track and manage your time well. 

LA Weekly