Suing an employer is often difficult. I should know. We are considering this legal action and have contacted paralegals to see if we might have a case. We were told that each state has specific employee right laws, making the issue of an employee based lawsuit even more difficult. It is important to know what a lawyer might need and what paper work to have gathered for your attorney. A lot depends on what type of lawsuit you are involved in. An employee based lawsuit can include discrimination, wage or overtime disputes, retaliation, contract issues and whistle blowing. Nolo.com, an online expert legal site, suggest gathering legal documents and evidence that will help your lawsuit.
If you have access to work emails or any emails received on personal email systems, print these for future reference. Copy any emails that will prove your case, regardless of who sent it. Ensure that you save the emails in case copies are needed or are lost. Save all other emails related to work, in case they may later be needed.
Any letters, memos or other written correspondences you have received might help your attorney. Check to see if any issues related to your lawsuit case are included. Ensure that they have signatures, as courts will not consider them official if no signature is listed.
Evaluations or Write Ups
Gather any evaluations, reprimands or write ups that you might have. An employee has a right to anything in the employee record, so if you need these documents, ask your previous employer. Do not mention the lawsuit as your attorney will handle that. Simply provide written correspondence stating what documents you need. If they refuse you copies, contact your attorney.
Paystubs and W2’s
If your lawsuit involved wage or overtime issues, collect all pay stubs. If you do not have them, contact your employer for copies. Direct deposit proof will probably not be sufficient, so acquire paper proof of your paycheck. Note any overtime and discrepancy in pay. Also find copies of your W2’s from all years that are in question. Find out if you are an exempt or nonexempt employee, as this may be important to a wage or hour lawsuit.
Names of Witnesses
Provide names of possible witnesses that might have heard any discrimination discussions from the employer or are witness to any issues related to the lawsuit. If you reported a supervisor or fellow employee for violating company policy or for threatening behavior, list any one who may have been present when the violation occurred. These names will be important in proving your lawsuit.
A lawyer will know what paperwork and proof he needs to create a winnable case. If you do not have all the information needed, an attorney can get the needed documents and proof through court orders and certified letters. While it is nice to give him a helping hand, the proof rests on the lawyer’s shoulders. Having the right documentation goes a long way in helping to win a employee lawsuit.