Spokane Lawyers | Spokane Labor Attorneys

Spokane Labor Attorneys

Serving Residents in Washington and Idaho

Do you need legal help?

Contact us for a legal consultation.


    Spokane Labor Attorneys

    Serving Residents in Washington and Idaho

    Do you need legal help?

    Contact us for a legal consultation.


      Spokane Labor Attorneys

      Serving Residents in Washington and Idaho

      Do you need legal help?

      Contact us for a legal consultation.


        Helping You Through Your Legal Problems

        Our Spokane, WA attorney's are here to guide you. Reach out today if you need legal help.

        Attorney Kathy Paukert is one of the most knowledgeable trial attorneys in Eastern Washington in the a area of personal injury law. She is thoughtful and helpful even when she tells you exactly how the law views your situation and it isn’t what you wanted to hear. Oftentimes, that is what you need. Also, Kathy fights hard for all her clients regardless of the size of the case.
         

        - Christine Weaver

        I have worked with Paukert and Troppmann now for nearly 15 years. This is a professional and successful legal team. I highly recommend this proficient legal group and encourage you to explore how they can support you.
         

        - Herzog Family Center

        Client Testimonials

        Learn what the community has to say about our law firm and the people who are a part of it.

        Read more reviews ➜

        Attorney Kathy Paukert is one of the most knowledgeable trial attorneys in Eastern Washington in the a area of personal injury law. She is thoughtful and helpful even when she tells you exactly how the law views your situation and it isn’t what you wanted to hear. Oftentimes, that is what you need. Also, Kathy fights hard for all her clients regardless of the size of the case.
         

        - Christine Weaver

        I have worked with Paukert and Troppmann now for nearly 15 years. This is a professional and successful legal team. I highly recommend this proficient legal group and encourage you to explore how they can support you.
         

        - Herzog Family Center

        Read more reviews ➜

        Client Testimonials

        Learn what the community has to say about our law firm and the people who are a part of it.

        Attorney Kathy Paukert is one of the most knowledgeable trial attorneys in Eastern Washington in the a area of personal injury law. She is thoughtful and helpful even when she tells you exactly how the law views your situation and it isn’t what you wanted to hear. Oftentimes, that is what you need. Also, Kathy fights hard for all her clients regardless of the size of the case.
         

        - Christine Weaver

        I have worked with Paukert and Troppmann now for nearly 15 years. This is a professional and successful legal team. I highly recommend this proficient legal group and encourage you to explore how they can support you.
         

        - Herzog Family Center

        Client Testimonials

        Learn what the community has to say about our law firm and the people who are a part of it.

        Read more reviews ➜

        Download our free injury guide!

        Learn what you should and shouldn't be doing for your personal injury case. 

        Download our free injury guide!

        Learn what you should and shouldn't be doing for your personal injury case. 

        Spokane Labor Attorneys

        Navigating employee management is complicated. On top of making sure you’re following federal guidelines, regulations vary from one state to another, and many employees fall into protected classes.

        If you’re reading this, you may be dealing with an issue with an employee that you aren’t sure how to handle. You need your company to be profitable and efficient, and you need to make sure you don’t violate state or federal employment law. You’re probably searching for someone to help you with labor law.

        We are here to help. We offer free legal advice. Call our Spokane labor attorneys today.

        Don’t put off the call out of fear you’ll need money up-front to pay a lawyer. Just give us a call as soon as you can to schedule your free legal consultation.

        What Kinds of Problems Can a Labor Attorney Help Me With?

        Creating and Reviewing Company Documentation

        • Reviewing an employee handbook or drafting employment policies
        • Reviewing employment agreements and contracts

        You may want a labor attorney to help you handle employee complaints when:

        • An employee has filed an administrative charge against you (such as harassment, retaliation, or discrimination) to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
        • An employee has told you they are going to sue
        • An employee makes a complaint that has the potential to be awarded damages against your company
        • An employee appeals the denial of employment benefits
        • An employee raises a complaint like complaints that have been made by other employees

        When Making Sweeping Changes to the Company

        If you will be changing your pension plan, removing an employee benefit, or laying off many employees, it’s best to consult with a lawyer first. This will help protect you from violating any federal or state laws.

        Employee Classifications

        When you label employees as independent contractors instead of employees or classify positions as exempt or nonexempt, it’s important to consult with an attorney. Problems with employee classification can leave you open to liability that can cost you big in terms of unpaid overtime and penalties.

        Firing an Employee

        If you are concerned that you may be sued for firing an employee for performance issues, misconduct, or something else, it’s best to consult with a labor attorney. Hiring an attorney can help you to minimize your risk of being sued and confirm whether you have the legal right to fire the employee under the present circumstances. Below are some situations in which it’s helpful to have the assistance of a labor attorney in a firing situation:

        • The person you plan to fire filed a claim or complaint recently with a government agency about unethical activity (whistleblower)
        • The person you plan to fire has an employment contract that limits your right to fire
        • The person you plan to fire has retirement funds, stock options, or employee benefits about to vest
        • An employee is being terminated for an offense confirmed by an investigation, yet still denies guilt.
        • The person you plan to fire recently filed a harassment or discrimination complaint
        • Firing an employee will drastically change the demographics of your workplace
        • An employee is being fired for too many absences and you think those absences may be covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Family and Medical Leave Act
        • The person you plan to fire has hired a lawyer
        • The person you plan to fire is in a protected class, such as belonging to a particular religion, having a disability, or being pregnant
        • You are worried about an employee becoming violent or sabotaging company information

        Lawsuits

        Any time an employee or past employee files a lawsuit against you, it’s important to consult with a labor attorney. The sooner you protect your rights with experienced representation, the better. You may be up against a very tight window to respond to a lawsuit, which may close in weeks instead of months.

        Spokane Labor Attorney Story

        We are sharing the following client story to help give you an idea of what to expect in a labor claim. Though we’ve changed names and details to protect our client’s privacy, you’ll still gain helpful information, so please read to the end. When you’re through, please reach out to our Spokane labor attorneys for your free legal consultation. We’d like to hear about what you’re dealing with and show you how we can help.

        On a sunny September day in Spokane not so long ago, Edward Nolan’s talent acquisition manager Jane Sullivan knocked on his door.

        “Got a minute?” Jane asked.

        “Sure, what’s up?” Edward replied as Jane plunked into a chair in front of his desk.

        “I’m having issues with Anthony Wells, one of my talent acquisition specialists. I don’t know what’s gotten into him, but he seems to have ‘checked out’ lately. He’s been coming in late more often than on time, and he burned through his paid time off. He’s almost halfway into his sick time. I know he’s got a right to use it, but now he’s not giving us any notice when using that, he’s just calling in ‘sick.’” Jane said the last sentence making air quotes with her hands.

        “Then in late July, we started getting complaints,” Jane said, her shoulders slumping.

        “Is he being rude to the applicants?” Edward asked, concern blooming in the pit of his stomach. “We can’t have that. He’s a primary point of contact for candidates. That’s a fire able offense.”

        “It’s not that, it’s… look I didn’t catch this at first, because sometimes a job is posted for a while and doesn’t come off the site right away. People call to complain that they applied for something then it disappeared. But this isn’t a regular occurrence, and we endeavor to minimize it.

        “On August fifteenth, I sent out a memo to all talent acquisition specialists to be diligent in removing posts that had been filled. But by the third week of August, it was happening regularly. I pulled the reports, and they were all for Anthony’s accounts. It’s like he just wasn’t not doing all his assigned tasks,” Jane said, throwing up her hands in frustration.

        “I assume you spoke to him about it?” Edward asked.

        “Yes, I called him in and explained the importance of maintaining accurate postings. I pointed out that I’d sent an email a week before and told him I was going to have to put a warning in his employee jacket,” said Jane.

        “How’d he respond?” Asked Edward.

        “He didn’t say anything, but if looks could kill, I’d be dead,” said Jane.

        “What about his background checks? Is he doing those?

        “He was falling behind on those as well. Rita from HR came to me about background checks Monday morning. She asked about the status of half a dozen candidates. I sent an email and asked everyone to make sure they submitted all past-due background checks and kept current going forward.

        “But Anthony was out that day. The next morning, I discovered Eileen in early. She appeared stressed. When I called her into my office to find out why, she began crying and said she and Marla have been picking up the slack for Anthony. She said she and Marla have also been scrambling to keep up with exit interviews and monthly benchmarking reports because of all their ‘pitching in.’”

        “I called Marla in alone after I spoke to Eileen, and she corroborated Eileen’s story.”

        “And no one said anything to you until then?” Edward asked, surprised.

        “They said they didn’t want to snitch. They said Anthony has been super sweet to them since July and randomly brings them scones and coffee. They didn’t know how to correct course, but they were beginning to suspect they were being used.

        “And, neither of them said so to me, but I suspect Eileen and Marla don’t dare challenge him. He’s great with the customers, but he can be… prickly,” said Jane.

        “So, what has Anthony been doing since the end of July?” Edward asked.

        “When he’s here, he takes every opportunity for outreach at job fairs and other off-site events. You know, I thought that was fine for a while, because Marla and Eileen weren’t as enthused to get out there and talk to people. Now I’m wondering just how much actual outreach he’s been doing and how many hours he’s actually manning those booths.

        “Basically, Mr. Nolan, it appears Anthony’s been something of a ghost for at least a few months. I want to speak to him again, but I thought it best to consult you first.” 

        “Good idea. And if memory serves, he’s well north of forty,” said Edward.

        “Yes sir, he’s ‘protected. In fact, he’s made some ‘jokes’ about taking early retirement,’” said Jane, again making air quotes with her fingers.

        “Okay, thank you for bringing this to my attention; I’ll take it from here. Please make sure you document this conversation in your own notes, as well as your conversations with Jane and Marla. I’ll document this meeting myself as well. We need to be diligent in our record keeping on this,” said Edward. “Is Anthony here today?”

        “He was here this morning. He took a half day at 1:00 p.m.,” Jane said as she stood to leave.

        “Okay thanks, I’ll get back to you by the end of the week. In the meantime, please ask IT to pull all activity reports according to employee login. We need as much documentation as possible. I’ll give them a call later this afternoon with a few ideas for additional accountability measures we can take through our online systems.

        Will I be able to legally fire an employee who is in a protected class but not fulfilling their assigned workload?

        The next afternoon, Edward met with Labor Attorney Douglas C. McDermott

        In the law offices of Paukert & Troppmann. He outlined the situation to Attorney McDermott and handed him a folder of documents.

        “Here is the documentation of Mr. Well’s performance issues. I could see how things in the computer system were getting ‘muddied up’ by two of our other employees being able to jump in and assist. Going forward, I’ve asked them to only service their own accounts,” said Edward.

        He pointed at the folder McDermott was holding. “Looking at the system activity reports that show the login IDs of each employee and what they were working on each day, it’s clear Mr. Wells has not been putting in enough time at his in-office responsibilities. I suspect this to be true of his ‘outreach efforts’ as well. We’ll be handling community outreach differently going forward.

        “So, can I file this person without being sued?” Edward asked, wiping a hand over his face in frustration.

        Attorney McDermott spent a few minutes quickly reviewing the documentation. “You’ve done an excellent job of gathering documentation,” he said as he set the file down.

        “We approach a case like this with a thorough investigation of the situation. As you already know, your employee has the potential to bring an agism case against you because he’s older than forty. We’ll begin gathering as much evidence as possible and with your permission, speaking to other employees relevant to the situation.

        “Has Mr. Wells requested any accommodations or expressed any difficulty in doing his job?” McDermott asked.

        “He has not. The most recent sheet in his file is from late this morning. I asked Jane to call him in again to express concern that background checks weren’t being kept after. She noted his response was indignant, claiming he hadn’t been present when the email about it was sent out, and when he arrived at work, the queue was empty.

        “Jane then told Mr. Wells that going forward each employee would be responsible for their own listings. There would be no assisting across accounts without first communicating a need for help to Jane. She also told him future job fairs would require two employees present in the booth at all times on a rotating schedule, to give all staff experience in outreach.”

        “Let me guess, that went over like a lead balloon?” Attorney McDermott asked.

        “You could say that. Mr. Wells accused Ms. Sullivan of harassment and discrimination and stormed out of her office at 11:30 a.m. for what appears to be a very long lunch. He had not yet returned when I left to come here at 1:15 p.m. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was seeking his own counsel,” said Edward.

        “Well, all things considered, I think you’ve got ample reason to move forward with a labor attorney to assist in terminating Mr. Wells’s employment. Even if he hires his own representation, it’s going to be difficult for him to counter your proof of failure to fulfill his job duties, especially since he didn’t communicate the need for assistance.

        “And if he should sue, be assured that this firm has an excellent track record of successfully resolving claims via pre-trial mediation and arbitration, in addition to being able to handle a trial. No matter whom you decide to retain, I strongly recommend you hire a trial attorney, so that you’re ready for any contingency.”

        Edward was satisfied with what he learned in his free legal consultation. He retained Paukert & Troppmann, and Attorney McDermott resolved the situation through arbitration. Anthony left the company with only his unpaid sick time, which turned out to be five days’ worth. Attorney McDermott then assisted Edward with a careful review of employee policies and added a few new ones to the books for extra protection going forward.

        Please call our Spokane Labor Attorneys Today

        We hope that the information above has given you an overview of what to expect in a labor claim. Since every claim is unique, we urge you to call our Spokane labor attorneys today to find out how we can help protect your rights in a labor claim.

        Client Reviews

        Attorney Kathy Paukert is one of the most knowledgeable trial attorneys in Eastern Washington in the a area of personal injury law. She is thoughtful and helpful even when she tells you exactly how the law views your situation and it isn’t what you wanted to hear. Oftentimes, that is what you need. Also, Kathy fights hard for all her clients regardless of the size of the case.

        Christine Weaver

        Read More Reviews