by James B. Thelen, Esq.
Say your HR office just received a subpoena for the employment records of an employee. How should you respond?
Maybe your company doesn’t have a general counsel. Maybe you don’t even have an HR office—it’s just you! Then what do you do?
To know whether you should call your company’s outside employment attorney for advice, you need to consider several things. Chief among them is understanding your company’s internal expertise with the issue, as well as the issue itself.
Know what’s at stake
While many day-to-day HR issues involve some type of legal compliance—after all, there’s a state or federal law covering nearly every aspect of the employment relationship—many of these issues can be handled without consulting an employment attorney if you or your company has a sufficient level of knowledge or experience with the issue.
In a larger company, you may have access to a general counsel’s office with e...(register to read more)
- Courts will understand: Feel free to punish differently for misconduct that appears similar
- You can require employees to undergo medical evaluations
- No federal gay-Bias law, but take note of state, Local rules
- Document all employee record requests
- Challenge huge attorneys' fees: Courts now have discretion to limit awards in some cases