Business Lawyers in Columbus, Ohio
Perhaps nothing in this country is more regulated than employment and labor. Through a number of congressional acts, the federal government tasks its various administrative agencies to implement and enforce a complex framework of overzealous rules and regulations in the name of fairness and equality.
However, these rules and regulations can create a burden on the driving force behind this nation’s success: entrepreneurs. Fortune 500 companies who comfortably budget millions of dollars for legal expenses hardly flinch in the face of federal employment issues; however, it is the middle market and small businesses who can be crushed over malicious and false allegations from just a single disgruntled employee. One complaint from an employee can lead to ongoing legal battle with the Department of Labor (DOL) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the two primary federal agencies tasked with enforcing most federal employment laws.
Further, virtually every state has adopted a similar number of employment laws, rules, and regulations that can be as equally, or in some states, more restrictive than those of the federal government. In Ohio, most of these laws are enforced via the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC).
Additionally, many employment statutes allow an employee who prevails in a lawsuit to collect attorney fees from the employer. In a highly competitive and shrinking legal market, this has inspired many attorneys to take on riskier cases in the hopes of shaking down an employer for a quick settlement.
Often, employers wait for trouble to arrive before retaining legal counsel. While legal representation is highly recommended for any employer receiving a complaint via the DOL, EEOC, or OCRC, all employers would be greatly served in retaining legal counsel beforehand to ensure that their employment practices and policies comport with federal and state law. Because these enforcement agencies often shift the burden of proof to the employer, most employers do not stand a chance without written and established policies in place.
Due to the lurking danger of the triple threat from the federal and state governments and eager plaintiff attorneys looking for a payday, employers should use great caution in administering and managing their employment policies and procedures. Being proactive now in retaining knowledgeable legal counsel, with experience in employment and labor law, to advise on protective employment policies and procedures, can save a business a lot of money down the road.
Our lawyers advise on, create, and install comprehensive labor and employment policies, from hiring and workplace conduct to termination. Under wage and hour laws, our employment attorneys also advise clients on properly classifying workers as employees or independent contractors and help assess whether all employees being paid salary fall under an appropriate exempt category under the law.
Our Columbus employment lawyers can assist with:
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