You feel your rights have been violated at work, you have done a thorough job investigating your problem, and you believe you have a good case to pursue against your employer. Now what? It can be difficult to find a qualified and experienced attorney, as there are few employment attorneys who work on behalf of employees compared to the number who work for employers. Follow these five steps to ensure that your claim has the best chance of success.
1. Talk to your employer
First, you must file your complaint statement with your company’s human resources department. Submit the request with RR. H H. First it can sometimes provide a temporary or even permanent solution to the problem. You may also want to speak with your boss to see if the issue can be resolved before going ahead with a formal complaint. Make sure you are professional and polite and avoid personal attacks. Keep a written record of all conversations and try not to gossip with your coworkers about the situation. If a conversation occurs, follow up by email with a summary of that conversation.
2. Determine if your employer is subject to federal law
The Family Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and some other federal laws govern employers engaged in interstate commerce. If you are unsure about your business, call the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor and they will tell you. They will also tell you if you need to file a state claim before proceeding with a federal claim, as sometimes all state resources must be exhausted before you can file a claim at the federal level. Experienced employment attorneys can be particularly helpful at this stage.
3. Gather all the required information
When preparing to file your complaint, make sure you have gathered all the required information. You will need your contact information as well as that of your employer and documentation showing your position and salary. Written documents and evidence, such as pay stubs, job transcripts, hiring and / or termination forms, and any relevant receipts will be considered more favorably by the court. If you have witness statements, employment attorneys will advise you to get them in writing.
4. File the formal complaint
When it comes time to apply to the appropriate government agency, you will generally start with the agency that governs your type of claim depending on whether it alleges discrimination, unfair hiring practices, workplace safety issues, etc. You will then be directed to your local office. An investigation will be conducted and it will be determined if your employer is responsible. Based on that determination, a remedy such as damages or an order for a change in the employer’s employment policies may be issued.
5. Follow the progress of the report
If no violation is found, or if you and your employer were unable to reach an agreement, it is up to you to decide whether you want to take private action. Interviewing employment attorneys at this point and having your case reviewed is probably your best solution.
Following these five steps should help you build the most successful employment case.