Will your employer know you talked to an attorney?

Discrimination is virtually everywhere in the modern workplace. In fact, according to a recent study, roughly 60% of American workers have either witnessed workplace discrimination or experienced it. When it comes to sexual harassment, the statistics are even more alarming, with more than 80% of women reporting improper conduct at work.

If your employer is behaving poorly or violating the law, you may want to meet with an attorney to understand your rights and explore your legal options. Fortunately, you do not have to worry about your employer finding out about your meeting and retaliating against you.

Attorney-client privilege

Attorney-client privilege is a bedrock principle in the code of legal ethics that all attorneys must follow. With few exceptions, your attorney cannot disclose the subjects you discuss during your meeting to your employer or anyone else. Consequently, because what you tell your attorney is confidential, you are free to express your concerns without worrying about retribution.

Your attorney’s discretion

Employment attorneys understand discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination and other work-related issues are sensitive matters. Therefore, you can expect your lawyer not to contact your employer by phone, e-mail, written communication or any other means. If attorneys eventually need information from your employer, they will notify you and obtain your informed consent.

Your legal rights

Many federal and state employment laws protect workers from retaliation. If you are exercising your legal rights, these laws may prohibit your employer from taking any adverse employment action against you. If your employer does so, you may have an additional or separate legal claim.

Ultimately, you should not have to put up with your employer’s illegal or abusive actions. Instead of worrying about your employer finding out about your confidential consultation with an attorney, take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your career.