Fired, Harassed Or Discriminated Against: Making The Most Of Your Meeting With An Employment Lawyer

It’s Monday (more likely Friday) and your employer just fired you.  The company put you on a performance improvement plan.  You were harassed and/or discriminated against, again.  You believe your employer should be paying you overtime, but isn’t.  You have an upcoming appointment with a North East Ohio employment lawyer.  What should you do?  What can you expect?

At Paul J. Corrado, Attorney & Counselor At Law, Co.,  we gather some preliminary information about you and your employment situation by telephone before deciding to schedule an initial consultation.  This telephone interview is designed to save both you and the attorney time and aid in evaluating your circumstances.  We do not charge a fee for your initial consultation.  In order to make the best use of  your time come prepared.

At your initial consultation we will listen, ask questions, answer your questions, and after understanding your employment issue(s) evaluate what options you have and which ones you don’t.  Our goal is for you to have a better understanding of the practical and legal issues you face and what you can do about them.  A successful initial consultation is one that enables you to make informed decisions about your employment situation.

Here is what you typically can do to make the most out of your consultation:

(1) Take a deep breath (or two) and sort through the events that led up to your contacting an employment lawyer.  One of the best ways to do that is to write down a timeline of events with dates, names of persons involved and concise description of what happened and bring it with you to your appointment.

(2) When you speak with the attorney candidly present the events.  It serves no good purpose to hide or shade the facts since that will prevent your attorney from accurately evaluating your case and providing useful recommendations.

(3) Bring important employment documents, images and recordings, if you have them.  Depending on your circumstances these may include: offer letters, employment contracts,  summary of benefits and associated costs, evaluations, disciplinary write-ups, company policies and employee handbooks, a severance agreement (if offered), filings with the EEOC, OCRC or other administrative agency (if any), communications with the Office of Job and Family Services (unemployment compensation), workers’ compensation documentation and examples of discriminatory or harassing statements, images or conduct.

(4) Whenever possible provide a list of witnesses along with their contact information.

Once we have had an opportunity to learn about your employment situation, we will discuss and evaluate the options with you.  If there is an opportunity for us to work with you, we will discuss the terms of our engagement and send you (usually by email) a letter outlining the terms and costs of our engagement that we have discussed.  Once we receive your signed engagement letter along with any retainer described in the document, we will begin our work together in an effort to bring about the desired results.