When people think of lawyers, they often think of personal injury claims, family law matters, criminal defense and other familiar subjects. Rarely are they thinking of an employment lawyer. In fact, when I tell someone that I practice employment law the response is often a puzzling look as if to say, why would lawyers have anything to do with employment? Instead of responding with how we defend small businesses when they are sued or how we help companies to stay abreast of the current laws, I like to explain our passion for small business and focus on the basic premise that healthy businesses make healthy communities.
The vast majority of all businesses (about 89%) are helping to support 20 or fewer families through employment opportunities. These small businesses are the same firms that advertise with the local school booster clubs, give to Little League softball teams, sponsor 5K runs, and a host of other charitable and community-based contributions. In short, small businesses contribute enormously to the quality of life that many of our communities enjoy.
Because every company’s greatest assets are its people (in my humble opinion) the employment relationship is central to the quality of the enterprise. When companies get this right by recognizing the value of each contributor and paying attention to workplace laws, they can focus on maximizing margins, product development, sales and other fun things. However, when employees are undervalued and employment laws are ignored, the opposite is often true. Valuable time, effort and expenses are diverted to putting out fires and fighting lawsuits. That is not to suggest that all trouble is avoidable, but rather, it can be minimized with a little help.
So, that is why we practice employment law. We get to help small businesses maximize their potential, which contributes to the overall health of our community. Training on how to apply personnel policies can lead to well-informed decisions that are made at the right supervisory level. Successfully defending a lawsuit can save the company money and enable growth through learning. In either case, our firm’s involvement can improve the workplace in tangible ways which are worth looking forward to each and every day.