Joel Dillard & Associates

Representing Working People

Small business advice and representation

Although the firm represents primarily employees and labor unions, we do represent certain very small business. The maximum size is 14 employees. We can help you as a business owner to decide whether the people working for you are independent contractors, whether they are exempt from overtime, and other compliance questions. (We do not provide any tax advice.) We also prepare business formation documents, corporate charters and filings with the Secretary of State, contracts, policy documents, and handbooks for employees. If a litigation issue arises, we can also represent the company in the lawsuit - so long as there is no labor union involved on the other side.

Advice and representation to worker cooperatives

We are especially excited to provide assistance to new businesses which are organizing themselves as worker-owned cooperatives. We can provide services to co-ops at a reduced rate similar to our union rate, including a certain amount of pro bono representation.

Worker cooperatives and worker-owned business

The workers make the business go. The workers should reap the benefits of it. But the boss doesn't see it that way. Instead, he's looking out for the owners, pinching every penny from the workers' paychecks that he possibly can.

Although workers always have the right to speak out, and act out, and get a voice at the table, the profit of the work will always go to the owners until the workers take ownership of the work for themselves.

There are many different legal options for accomplishing this, but all of them require a great deal of advanced planning and a thorough understanding of corporate formation and competition.

Jackson is fertile ground for such worker-owned enterprises. Cooperation Jackson - a project started by our late mayor, Chokwe Lumumba - remains dedicated to forming and assisting such cooperatives.


This site is for general information only, and creates no attorney-client relationship. Sending inquiries to the firm does not create an attorney-client relationship. By calling or emailing the firm, you are consenting to receive return calls, emails, mailings and text messages from the firm.

To get legal advice about an employment law, labor law, federal employee law, whistleblower protection, labor unions, worker cooperatives, immigration, discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, severance, or any related question, you must first have a conflicts check by the firm. We represent exclusively workers, worker cooperatives and unions, but we still must check for potential conflicts of interest, for example, between a supervisor and employee.

First provide the firm with your name, and the name of the person you are making claims against. This allows the firm to check for such conflicts of interest. Until you receive confirmation that there is NO CONFLICT, none of the information you provide will be considered confidential. Do NOT provide any confidential information before we have asked you to do so.

Once we have confirmed there is no conflict, you may discuss your matter with staff in a little more detail, and, if requested, make an appointment. If at your appointment the firm accepts you as a client in writing, then the attorney will be able to provide you with employment law advice.