If you have been harassed or discriminated against at work, face a hostile work environment, or have been wrongfully terminated from your job, you may be wondering how to fight for your rights and hold your employer accountable. When you are looking to retain the services of an experienced and knowledgeable Los Angeles employment lawyer, you are also likely worried about what hiring a lawyer is going to cost you.
When you are looking to hire an employment lawyer, which is a critical step in exercising your legal rights and pursuing justice, it is important to know what to look out for and what to expect as you embark on this journey.
What is an Employment Lawyer?
An employment lawyer is an attorney who specializes in helping clients deal with disputes and disagreements that relate to state and federal employment and labor laws. Employment lawyers may be retained to represent an individual worker, a group of workers or even labor unions. A bulk of an employment lawyer's work involves counseling clients about state and federal employment laws, helping them understand their rights and explaining their options.
Employment lawyers may also help clients file complaints with the appropriate government agency or court. They may represent clients in legal actions or in dispute resolution hearing such as mediation or arbitration. Employment attorneys may also work on specific cases involving discrimination, harassment, wage and hour lawsuits and employment class actions. In addition, they may represent clients who have been wrongfully terminated or retaliated against or help with drafting, modifying or reviewing employment contracts or agreements.
How Do Los Angeles Employment Lawyers Charge for Their Services?
Employment cases in California vary significantly and the manner in which employment lawyers charge fees may depend on a number of factors including the complexity of the case and the lawyer's own experience and track record with similar cases. Here are the three most common methods California employment lawyers utilize to charge their clients:
Flat rate: If a case is less complicated and predictable, it is common for employment lawyers to charge a flat fee for their services. A flat fee essentially means that the attorney will take a fixed total amount upfront. But, if the case evolves and more work is required, your lawyer may adjust or modify the amount. It is important that you enquire about specifics and find out exactly what the fees cover before they begin working on your case.
Hourly rates: Most employment lawyers charge by the hour. The hourly rates once again may depend on the type of case and the experience of the attorney or law firm when it comes to employment cases.
Contingency fees: This means that the lawyer will only be paid if you receive a settlement or judgment in your case. It also means that you, as the client, will not have to pay any fees or charges. If the lawyer is successful, they will take a percentage of the award. In California, this percentage is typically 30% of the award or settlement. Contingency fees typically apply to employment law claims that involve discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination.
Factors That Determine How Much an Employment Lawyer Charges
There are a number of different factors that could influence how California employment lawyers determine their fees. Here are some of the key factors that could determine your lawyer's fees or charges:
- The skills and abilities your lawyer possesses
- Their expertise in employment law
- The amount of time and resources they expend on your case
- Complexity of the legal issues involved
- The certifications or special training an attorney may have that applies to your case
- The size, reputation and track record of the lawyers and the law firms that employ them
- The location of where the legal services are provided
While these are generally the factors that may affect your employment lawyer's fees, it is important to remember that if your case goes to trial, you may also be responsible for litigation costs such as court fees and filing costs.
How Long Does an Employment Lawsuit Take?
The amount of time it takes to litigate an employment case could vary once again depending on the details and complexity of a case. However, it typically takes between one to two years. If the outcome of the case is appealed, you can expect it to take at least another year to be resolved. While this is the standard length of time, every case is unique and may take shorter or longer depending on a number of factors. For example, a number of employment cases tend to settle out of court, even before the cases go to trial. Another factor that could affect the length of time is the court schedule. In addition, the time it takes for the discovery process could also play a part.
How Can I Find an Employment Lawyer to Help Me?
While there are many different ways to find the right California employment lawyer to assist with your case, the first place to start is by asking family members and friends if they have any recommendations. A quick online search for employment attorneys in your city or region can also help you make a start. You could also visit the website of the California Bar Association (http://www.calbar.ca.gov/), which lists profiles and contact information for all attorneys practicing in the state. It also provides you with information about whether the attorney is a member and whether he or she faced any disciplinary action.
The experienced California employment lawyers at Kingsley & Kingsley offer a no-win-no-fee guarantee to our clients, which means we don't charge you fees until we recover compensation for you. Whether you have been illegally terminated from your job or have faced discriminatory or harassing treatment from your employer, it is important that you get an experienced employment lawyer early on in the process, someone who will fight for your rights and help you secure maximum compensation for your losses. Call us today at 888-209-8927 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.