Finding the right wage & hour attorney: Points to consider
Wage disputes are far too common to ignore. Employees often work for extensively long hours but do not get paid for their overtime. Others are dealing with deductions that go beyond payroll and taxes. Also, there are cases where employers make arrangements with employees on the side to make them work, often because the latter is desperate to find employment. If you are dealing with a situation where you are not being right for the work you do, you should contact an attorney and discuss your case. Here are some pointers to consider for hiring wage & hour lawyers.
- Search for the experience. Employment law is complex and often hard to understand. If you know people who have worked with lawyers in the past for such wage-related issues, consider asking for references. You can also rely on Google for local listings in your city and state. Make sure that you hire an attorney who has credible experience handling such disputes.
- Check their clientele and work profile. If a wage & hour attorney claims to be among the best in business, they must have a profile worth checking. Check the biggest cases they have handled so far, the landmark wins to their credit, and ask for references. You need to check their clientele to know the range of work they have done so far.
- Schedule an interview. Most firms will be more than happy to offer no-risk consultations, and you don’t usually have to pay the lawyer for the first meeting. This could be a good window to know what the case is all about and get an overview of the legal options you can consider. As a client, you can also know your lawyer better, judge their experience through their work, and discuss the strategy in detail.
- Check if there is a conflict of interest. Employment lawyers often have to work with employers and employees alike. Ensure that you don’t hire someone who has a conflict of interest. For instance, if the firm is representing your employer in another case, they may not be as transparent and objective in your case.
- Discuss the fee. An employment lawyer should work on a contingency fee, but there are exceptions. Also, there are limitations to what a lawyer can recover from you. If you win, the lawyer takes a share of the compensation that they recover for you.
While, for some cases, an hourly rate is a norm, it is best to discuss it in advance.