Things Employees Should Never Do Before Talking to an Employment Lawyer

Happy employee after talking with a labor lawyer

Are you starting a new job or facing conflict within the workplace and need to seek legal advice? A Toronto employment lawyer can provide expert legal advice and protect your workplace rights. Our employment lawyers are legal professionals who represent employees involved in work-related disputes. Acquiring legal counsel is one of the best decisions you can make to succeed with your case.

The Toronto employment lawyers at Lecker & Associates can support you with legal representation in areas including: 

If you encounter any of these situations, it is crucial to seek advice from an employment lawyer before making any decisions. Here are some specific actions you should not take before speaking with a lawyer.


Don’t Accept an initial Severance Offer

A severance package is a compensation or working notice in lieu of compensation offered by an employer to an employee upon employment termination. There is a minimum notice or compensation upon dismissal that is set by the law.  As this is the minimum, it may be increased through a lawyer’s negotiation based on an employee’s length of service, job level and age (amongst other factors). An employee should never accept or sign a severance release without thoroughly reviewing it with an employment lawyer. Severance agreements are legally binding and generally cannot be retracted or renegotiated once signed. Nevertheless, it’s likely that an initial severance package may not fully compensate you for what is fair and reasonable. 

Therefore, allow an employment lawyer to confirm that you have received all your entitlements and refrain from short-changing yourself by prematurely signing a severance contract


Avoid Confiding in Your Employer’s Legal Representative

Employees require independent legal advice to fully understand their rights, options and the potential risks or benefits of different courses of action. If an employee discloses sensitive information about themselves or a dispute to their employer’s legal counsel, there is a high risk of their advice being biased, as well as conflict of interest and confidentiality concerns. 

Legal aid from your workplace is bound and hired to protect the legal interest of your employer. Seeking legal counsel within the workplace is trusting the wrong people to look out for your best interests. It is vital to seek independent employment law advice


Don’t Forget to Collect Evidence

Evidence is the oral, written or electronic records of information that supports the veracity of a belief or claim. Compiling evidence for your case in the form of a witness, text messages, e-mails, WhatsApp messages, audio/video recordings or other written documentation can multiply your chances of success in court or during negotiations. Frequently, recently dismissed employees will lose all access to their company’s e-mail access or other servers. You cannot copy or delete this information, so it is important to keep independent backups of files in a secure method if you were to lose access to this information. Failure to keep evidence can weaken your case against your employer. It is, therefore, vital to ensure you preserve key pieces of evidence prior to being dismissed and afterwards.  


Don’t Retaliate Against Your Employer or Colleagues

Taking matters into your own hands should never be a response to workplace conflict. If your employer or co-worker has abused their power or authority within the workplace, it is crucial to retain an employment lawyer to clearly explain your rights, obligations and the best course of action. Engaging in retaliation or revenge can jeopardize your case or professional reputation and lead to legal negative consequences. You must ensure that if a workplace conflict were ever reviewed by a judge in a court, you would be seen as the sympathetic party. It is therefore extremely important to speak with an employment lawyer to strategize how to navigate potential pitfalls. 


Never Sign an Employment Contract without Understanding It

The terms and conditions of an employment agreement are complex, confusing and yet legally binding. Therefore, an employment lawyer should review them before you sign an employment contract. Employment lawyers have training and experience in employment law, so they can identify any red flags, explain relevant legal clauses or jargon and suggest counter-proposals or wording.


Employment Lawyers in Toronto

Without a doubt, employment lawyers are your best resource to resolve workplace conflict. If you are currently experiencing a workplace dispute, it is crucial to seek legal advice from a trusted and experienced source. Lecker & Associates is a team of expert Toronto employment lawyers with over 35 years of experience representing employees. Our reputation for excellence is demonstrated by being nominated four times as ‘Top 3 Employment Lawyers in Toronto.’ 

Call us at 416.223.5391 or complete our contact form to book a consultation.