Employees facing problems in the workplace often need an attorney. The problem is that the type of attorney they need is not always obvious, even to other attorneys. We have put together a simple list of the most common employment sub-specialties to help you find the right professional to assist you.
If you have any questions regarding this list, or how to best find an attorney for your situation, call Osprey Law, P.C. today for a free consultation. Even if we cannot take your case, we will do our absolute best to point you in the right direction.
Worker's Compensation Attorney
Every employer in the United States, aside from those in Texas and Oklahoma, are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance covers employees for any injuries sustained while working by providing “workers’ compensation benefits.” These benefits can include medical care, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, supplemental job displacement benefits, and even death benefits. Workers’ compensation attorneys assist in making sure injured workers and their loved ones receive the proper treatment and benefits for injuries sustained while working. If you have been injured at work and are having trouble with your employer or the insurance company, you likely need a workers’ compensation attorney.
Traditionally, an attorney that specializes in “labor law” deals with the specific and unique laws governing unions (i.e., labor organizations), their relationships to employees (i.e., union members), and the corresponding employer. If you have problems with a union or your employer is preventing you from unionizing, you should seek out a “labor” attorney. In doing so, research your options carefully as many attorneys and firms use the term “labor attorney” to encompass a broad range of employment sub-specialties.
An employment attorney is an attorney who specializes in the laws governing employer-employee relationships. This includes the laws that regulate hiring and firing, discrimination, harassment, employee discipline, contract negotiation, medical and pregnancy leaves, whistleblower complaints, and almost every other legal issue that arises directly between employees and their employers not involving a physical injury. If you have an employment issue that involves a non-physical injury, try researching employment attorneys in your area.
Unemployment Benefits Attorney
In most states, if you are denied unemployment benefits there is an administrative process to appeal your denial. Unemployment benefits attorneys assist with this process. However, given the very nature of unemployment benefits, hiring an attorney to file this appeal may not make financial sense. Luckily, this process is often streamlined enough for a layperson to handle. If you feel like you were improperly denied unemployment, it may make sense to research filing an appeal independently, with the assistance of your local public law library, or with the assistance of a non-profit that services your local community.
“ERISA” is an acronym for The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. ERISA is a federal law that governs retirement and health plans in private industry (i.e., any non-governmental employers). These plans may provide a range of benefits including medical coverage, pensions, disability assistance, and many other types of benefits. If you are having trouble getting benefits that you think you are entitled to as an employee, an ERISA attorney is probably a good place to start.
This list contains some, but not all, of the employment sub-specialties. Additionally, in certain circumstances you may need to find an attorney that has cross-over capabilities or feel comfortable hiring multiple attorneys to represent you in separate cases. If you have any questions, contact us today. Even if we can’t take your case, we will be able to help you narrow your search and find an attorney that can help in your situation.