From the October 2000 issue of Entrepreneur

At one time or another, just about everyone needs a lawyer, but finding one can be intimidating and time-consuming. According to Work/Life Benefits, a national provider of employee resource and referral programs, 48 percent of U.S. workers take time off from work each year to deal with legal problems.

Because lawyers aren't on call around the clock, finding one is usually done on company time.

"Legal problems cause anxiety, are a distraction to people and affect productivity," explains Christopher Newton, president and CEO of Cypress, California-based Work/Life Benefits.

Luckily, a plan to help your employees resolve legal problems can be affordable and easy to implement. Work/Life Benefits is one of several companies that offer resources referrals, including legal programs. With the service, for as little as $7 per employee per year, your employees can find out whether they need attorneys and can be referred to lawyers in the network who typically work at reduced rates. Several other companies offer programs like these, including Magellan Behavioral Health of Columbia, Maryland, and VMC Behavioral Healthcare Services of Gurnee, Illinois.

Giving employees the legal help they need doesn't just get them back to work quicker. It also shows your workers you're concerned, and the loyalty that can engender is priceless.



Ellen Paris is a Washington, DC, writer and former Forbes magazine staff writer.


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