Wage Issues? Tip #9: Don’t Drop the A- (Attorney-) Bomb

This post continues my series of tips, or things to consider, for workers with unpaid wages.

Tip #9 is this: Don’t Drop the A- (Attorney-) Bomb—that is, don’t tell the employer you have an attorney unless you really have an attorney and that attorney tells you to tell the employer you have an attorney.

Okay, that was a mouthful!

But as an attorney, I am often consulted by workers who– before they ever consulted with me or with another attorney– threatened the employer that they had done so.

I’ve even had workers who’d I’d never represented, and who’d never contacted me before, send their employers emails with my email address cc’d, to give the employer the impression that the workers had retained me.

Please do not make “A”-bomb threats like these!

Here’s why:

  • Employers often view attorney threats as empty threats, thinking that if you really were going to have an attorney go after the employer, the employer would have heard that from the attorney, not from you.
  • Employers who do believe the threat (1) will often try to hide their tracks and take concealed actions against you, now that you tipped them off you’re considering getting an attorney; and/or (2) will often try to get you to agree to a lowball settlement offer, before you get an attorney involved who may advise you of a higher potential case value and settlement valuation. Often, the employer does not offer a thing in result of the threat– I get inquiries from worker who were not only unsuccessful in that their A-Bomb threat got them no offer of wages or settlement money, but further, their threat resulted in the employer retaliating and/or firing them.
  • The threat rarely works as well as actually getting a wage attorney.

When I represent workers with unpaid wages, the decision about when and how to inform the employer of me being retained is a very careful and well-planned decision.

When a worker makes that decision before consulting with me, the news is often delivered in ways that I wouldn’t have advised– too soon, too late, too angrily, too vaguely, etc.

It’s a significant decision to tell the employer about an attorney or potential legal action. Please consider talking to an attorney before you tell the employer you’re in contact with an attorney.


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Filed under Employee Tips - Unpaid Wages

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