When you’re in need of assistance, it’s always best practice to consult a professional.
If you have an issue with the law related to an employment issue, it is generally wise to consult with an employment lawyer.
This is true whether you are an employer who needs help hashing out the details of a complex employment contract, or if you are an employee negotiating what you feel is an unfair severance package. For employers, a mis-step in connection with an employee issue can result in significant potential liability. For individuals who are asked to sign a release in exchange for a severance package, it is generally best to first find out first, what entitlements you may have and if you are entitled to more. In our experience, employers often provide severance packages that are lower than the individual’s legal entitlements.
While hiring an employment lawyer will cost money, of course, there is enormous value in having law firms serve your interests and take on your case. Labour law can be complex, so no matter the hourly rate or the total legal fees, employers and employees would be smart to think of any cost they incur as an investment.
So, how much is an employment lawyer? Read on to find out!
Legal Fees: Worth the Cost, and Then Some
There are a number of different fee arrangements used in the legal field, and some are more beneficial than others, depending on the case.
An employment lawyer may charge an hourly rate. This arrangement may work well in some cases, particularly in well-defined tasks such as reviewing a specific contract or going over severance packages.
However, in other cases, an hourly rate can be a financial burden for clients, particularly after a job loss.
Going to court to settle an issue of workplace law can end up being very expensive under this fee arrangement. By going to court, clients are also taking on a risk. After all, there is no guarantee that you will win, but no matter the outcome, you’ll have to pay the legal fees.
A contingency arrangement is another type of common payment structure used by employment lawyers. Under such an arrangement, the employer charges a fee based on the percentage of the proceeds.
The employment lawyer takes on more of the financial risk because the lawyer’s legal fees depend entirely on winning the case and recovering damages of some sort.
The benefit of using a contingency arrangement is that clients won’t have to worry about how long or complex the lawsuit is. However, under a contingency, the client could be paying more depending on the final outcome of the case. Further, a contingency can act as an incentive for employment lawyers to settle cases as more quickly than might be necessary in order to be paid quickly, freeing them up to take on another case.
That peace of mind can be enormously helpful to employees, particularly since workplace disputes can be emotionally draining to begin with.
In some cases, lawyers will offer some kind of hybrid arrangement that combines a fee structure with a contingency structure. Under this system, an employment lawyer can charge hourly or as a percentage of the result, whichever is greater.
Depending on the time spent on the case versus the outcome, this may or may not be more beneficial from a cost perspective.
It can be more advantageous if the lawyer offsets the additional risk the clients faces by lowering the hourly fees or charging a reasonable contingency percentage.
Employment Lawyers: How Do You Choose One?
Whenever you are forced to deal with issues related to employment law or labour law, it’s a good idea to contact an employment lawyer. This is just as true for employees as it is for employers.
Lawyers spend years learning every aspect of the law, and their advice is almost always extremely valuable, no matter which side you’re on or the costs involved. Hiring the right firm to represent you in your labour dispute is one of the most critical decisions at the outset.
First, you’ll want to make sure that you ask for advice from those you trust. This can involve speaking to a friend who is a lawyer, asking family members if they have any good experience with lawyers, and then doing some research by reaching out and asking the lawyers a few questions yourself to help you make your decision.
When doing your research, first visit the lawyer’s website, and search for that lawyer’s name online to make sure that they are in good standing. When you reach out for a consultation, either by phone or email, make sure to note if the lawyer responds to you quickly and in a professional manner.
Did they listen attentively to the details of your labour dispute? Does their personality and style leave you feeling comfortable? Will the lawyer be handling your case personally, or is the law firm a little bit larger, meaning your case may be handed off to someone more junior? Will all the costs be itemized in your final bill? How confident are you in their projections and expectations?
Employment Law Can Be Complicated: Hire a Professional
Employment law is complex, and the legal advice you receive usually makes a huge difference. Trying to handle legal matters on your own is a mistake, and hiring law firms to handle your workplace labour disputes is almost always in your interests.
If you live in Toronto (or anywhere in Ontario) try to find a firm that has employment law experience across a number of domains, and that have successfully represented clients at different courts, including the Superior Court, the Federal Court, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, and others. This breadth of experience is an indication that they will be well prepared, no matter the details of your case.
Also, choose an employment lawyer that is both recognized and recommended by former clients as well as their peers in the legal community. Having an employment lawyer that has experience negotiating in high-stakes employment litigation and that fiercely advocates for each client, maximizes financial results, is your ideal choice.
Choose JPAK Employment Lawyers
If you’re looking for an employment lawyer located in Toronto, or for experts in employment and labour law anywhere in Ontario, look no further than JPAK. They can handle any case, and pride themselves on working forcefully and diligently in order to achieve a fair and profitable outcome for every client.
Contact JPAK Employment Lawyers at their office in Toronto, where they serve clients throughout the region, including the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Hamilton, Ajax, Barrie, Oshawa, Pickering, Collingwood, Simcoe County, Owen Sound, Meaford and Bruce-Grey County.