As a lawyer who represents employees, I primarily do three things: 1) I advise clients, 2) I advocate for them, and 3) I help them resolve their problems. Each can be significant and greatly beneficial to former employees.
After being terminated, to be successful, you must have a forward-looking approach as you determine the next steps for your life and career. You must adapt financially and decide whether to look for work and, if so, what kind of work, and how to best position yourself for it. Looking backwards at your past job can also be important for both adapting financially and securing future employment. What caused your termination? What could you improve or avoid next time? What can your former employer tell others? How can you market (or get past) this experience in your job search? I advise clients on these issues and on what legal rights they have in relation to their termination, including whether they have a right to any severance payments or unemployment and whether the employer terminated their employment in violation of the law. Understanding these issues and your rights is essential.
After advising you of your options, I can advocate for you in a number of ways. Most commonly, if the employer has violated the law, I approach the employer confidentially, describe the facts that have led to the legal violations at issue, and issue a proposal for resolving the matter. I prosecute employer’s legal violations in court and in arbitration, and represent employees in administrative and internal hearing procedures. Advocating may also mean working on your behalf with the employer to try to resolve property disputes, non-compete issues, what the employer will say to prospective employers, and other contentious issues or disagreements.
Throughout my advice and advocacy, I look to maximize the recovery and benefit for my clients. That resolution can take any number of forms. But, by helping you resolve issues related to you termination – be it through advice, the court system, or negotiations – I can hopefully help you move forward again, with peace of mind that you understand all pertinent aspects of the situation and your rights, and that you have acted appropriately in response.
Darren M. Sharp is a senior attorney at Schaefer Halleen, LLC, where he represents clients primarily in employment law, condominium law, and other litigation. In the employment law field, Darren concentrates his practice on discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation claims with a portfolio of clients ranging from manual laborers to senior corporate executives.