45 Percent of Working Americans Deal with Legal Matters on the Clock

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Common legal issues affecting individuals or their loved ones demand attention – and that attention comes at the expense of employers.


Raleigh, N.C. (June 1, 2017) – Legal matters are something that impact most adults during their working lives. It could be as simple as a traffic citation or property sale, or something more complicated like divorce, estate issue, or criminal offense. Regardless of complexity, these items generally have to be dealt with during the workday, and a new national poll finds that the time and attention to do so generally comes at the expense of a person’s employer.

The poll, commissioned by Workplace Options, a leading global provider of integrated employee well-being services, shows that 45 percent of working Americans admit to taking time out of their workday to deal with a legal situation involving them, their family, or close friends. Interestingly, 33 percent reported using paid time off or time off the clock to attend to those issues, and an overwhelming 90 percent categorized them as stressful events.

“What this poll reflects is the reality that legal issues impact people from all walks of life,” said Dean Debnam, chief executive officer at Workplace Options. “When they happen, they demand considerable attention, which is almost always required during traditional business. Unfortunately for employers, when an employee is involved in a legal matter, those concerns tend to take priority over other responsibilities.”


Impact on the Workplace

Among working Americans who’ve dealt with a legal issue in the past three years, 66 percent categorized them as significantly stressful events. Another 24 percent reported a minimal amount of stress due to their situation.

“These things happen to everyone, but they can be uncomfortable when they do,” Debnam explained. “They require time and attention from those involved, and businesses can save themselves a lot of lost productivity if they offer resources to help employees when they do.”


More Poll Results

Other interesting results of the national poll are as follows:

  • 42 percent of working Americans say they’ve been impacted by a legal matter involving them, a friend, or a family member over the past three years.
  • Among the 45 percent who have dealt with one of these issues at their workplace or during their workday, 15 percent say it’s happened multiple times.
  • Among those who have taken time off work to deal with their legal matters (33 percent of working Americans overall), 61 percent said they required a full day off, with 37 percent saying they needed multiple days.
  • 16 percent say they dealt with the issue without notifying their employer at all.

“The idea that it takes time for people to deal with their personal legal affairs is not new, but what these results show is that employers have a significant opportunity to help their employees handle them more efficiently and less stressfully by providing legal resources and referrals where appropriate,” Debnam said.

“Most sizable employers are already providing Employee Assistance Programs and other employee well-being services to their staff,” he continued. “A legal resource and referral line can easily be added to that mix.”

The national poll was commissioned by Workplace Options and conducted by Public Policy Polling. The margin of error was +/-4.4 percent. Click here for full results (see questions 9-15 of the attached document)

For more information about Workplace Options, visit www.workplaceoptions.com, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.




About Workplace Options

Workplace Options helps employees balance their work, family and personal needs to become healthier, happier and more productive, both personally and professionally. The company’s world-class employee support, effectiveness and well-being services provide information, resources, referrals and consultation on a variety of issues ranging from dependent care and stress management to clinical services and wellness programs.

Drawing from an international network of credentialed providers and professionals, Workplace Options is the world’s largest integrated employee support and work-life services provider. Service centers in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Portugal, France, Belgium, UAE, Singapore, Japan, China, India and Indonesia support more than 53 million employees across 78,000 organizations and more than 200 countries and territories. To learn more, visit www.workplaceoptions.com.