Working For Employees
Presumably you are checking out our website because something inside you (or someone close to you) thinks that you could use legal advice. Perhaps you:
- Recently lost your job and were offered a severance package (or even worse, were told that you are not entitled to one);
- Are being bullied or harassed at work and don’t know where to turn;
- Have been accused of bullying, harassment, or other misconduct;
- Have been put on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP);
- Have been offered a new job and asked (or told) to sign a contract;
- Find that changes to your job, or your compensation package, are being forced upon you;
- Have a need for accommodation, such as a disability, that is being ignored;
- Are on medical leave and are now being told your employment will be terminated if you don’t return to work; or
- Started a new job and received a threatening letter from your former employer.
Whatever the reason, if you think you may need legal advice, you probably do.
We work with individuals to help them through their workplace challenges.
Whether you are a CEO, a line worker, or somewhere in between, you need to ensure that you understand your rights. We know that legal fees can be expensive, and it may be tempting to save a little money by handling matters yourself. We often hear about individuals choosing not to obtain legal advice because “it’s too expensive and they are pretty sure the company is being fair – after all, they know what they are doing”. The reality is that they probably do know what they are doing, and they are acting in their best interests, not yours.
Unfortunately, you cannot and should not assume that you are being treated fairly, whether it be in the context of a job offer, a harassment investigation, or a severance package. You should ensure that you know your rights, as well as the best strategy to enforce them. Imagine how you would feel if you save $500 now by choosing not to get legal advice on the employment agreement you have been asked to sign, and then realize, years down the road, that doing so cost you tens of thousands of dollars in severance? We see this all the time.
We will not simply tell you what you want to hear.
We do not encourage frivolous claims, and we will provide our objective opinion based on our years of experience. Our recommendation will take into account not only the law, but also the practical realities. You may have a valid legal claim, but if it is only worth $2,000, then we will not encourage you to spend tens of thousands of dollars litigating. At every step, we will work with you to conduct a cost-benefit analysis, so you can decide on your next step.
We have never had a client express regret that they came to see us.
Even in the rare situations where we advise that the employer has done everything right, we are told that the peace of mind the individual attained by meeting with us was worth the cost.
The Consultation Process
When we work with an individual, we almost always begin with a formal consultation. Ideally, this is an in-person meeting, though we can arrange meetings by Skype, video conference or telephone as well.
Our consultation is a fixed-fee process that involves up to one hour of meeting time, in addition to the time that we spend reviewing the information that you provide to us in advance. During the meeting, we will:
- Review your situation,
- Explain the law,
- Analyse how the law applies to your situation, and
- Discuss your options and potential strategies.
The goal is to ensure that by the end of the consultation you will have an understanding of:
- The legal principles involved,
- Your rights and obligations, and
- The options and strategies available to you.
This includes an assessment of the most efficient and cost-effective manner of proceeding to protect your rights.
We always begin with a consultation, during which we will ensure that we understand why you think you may need a lawyer and we will explain how the law applies to your situation. You will leave the consultation with an understanding of the law, your rights and obligations, and the options and strategies available to you. When you contact our firm, our staff will ask some preliminary questions in order to understand the nature of the situation. We can then recommend the lawyer or lawyers that can best serve your needs and schedule the consultation. We will also tell you exactly what information and documentation we will need in order to properly understand and assess your case.
The fee will depend upon the level of experience of the lawyer that you meet with. Depending upon the complexity of the case, we may be able to offer various options, and the fees will be fully disclosed and mutually agreed upon prior to the meeting. We are confident you will see the value of the advice and information that you receive.
We always begin with a consultation, during which we will ensure that we understand why you think you may need a lawyer and we will explain how the law applies to your situation. You will leave the consultation with an understanding of the law, your rights and obligations, and the options and strategies available to you.
We always begin with a consultation. While some firms do this for free, we don’t. We believe that it is fair to be paid for our advice, which is what we will provide when you come in for a consultation. We will spend time reviewing the documents and background information beforehand, explain the law to you, review your circumstances, and then discuss your rights, options and potential strategies.
We will provide you with our legal opinion and advice. We will also discuss potential legal costs, so that you can assess whether it is worthwhile to retain our firm to advise and represent you as you move forward. We believe that this has a value that is worth paying for.
No. At the conclusion of the consultation, you can decide whether you want to retain Rudner Law to advise and represent you as you move forward or not. By that time, we will have discussed your situation, options and strategies, as well as how our fees work. If you choose to retain us, we will provide you with a Retainer Agreement confirming the terms of our relationship.
This is required in order for our firm to “open a file” and work with you. The Retainer Agreement will set out the reason you are retaining us, any specific scope or terms we have agreed upon, how our fees and billing work, and how our relationship will work.
We will consider a contingency arrangement in appropriate circumstances. In order to assess the circumstances and determine whether a contingency arrangement is appropriate, we would have to have the initial consultation first.
That said, we do like to find alternatives to the billable hour. Some tasks, such as contract reviews, lend themselves well to fixed-fee arrangements. When possible, we will discuss alternative billing arrangements with you.