Should I talk to my employer about my employment dispute without an attorney present?
This really depends on what the dispute is. In general, yes, you should feel free to discuss your issue, whatever it is, with your employer. You normally do not have a right to have an attorney present when you’re talking with your employer. The employer has no legal obligation to let your attorney sit in on a disciplinary meeting or any other meeting between you and a company representative.
Normally, if you are called in for discipline or called in to a meeting with HR or your supervisor for some reason, you do not have a right to have an attorney present. You should feel free to answer questions truthfully and to cooperate with your employer in any circumstance.
Of course, every situation is different and there could be exceptions to this, but generally you are required to cooperate with your employer without an attorney. But again, if you have any questions at any point in time, you should contact an employment lawyer to ask what you should do in your circumstances.
One thing employees should keep in mind is that once a lawyer is openly interjected into the relationship between the employer and the employee, it changes the relationship—and often for the worse.
That’s a judgment call. Sometimes things have progressed to a point where there is really no option and things can’t get any worse. However, sometimes the employee is trying to work something through and it’s best to keep a lawyer in the background for advice without putting him or her in direct contact with the employer.