Employment Lawyers No Win No Fee

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 What is Employment Law?

Employment law is an area of law which encompasses a broad ranges of legal issues which arise in connection with:

  • Employees;
  • Employers; and
  • Safety conditions in the workplace.

For example, certain employment laws apply to cases involving employment discrimination while other laws provide guidance for individuals drafting company policies or employee handbooks.

Employment law is intended to protect all individuals who are part of the workforce. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Establishing protections for employees who are in a dispute against:
    • a colleague;
    • an employer; or
    • a company;
  • Ensuring that a business does not discriminate against job candidates or current employees during any of the following:
    • interviewing;
    • hirning;
    • firing;
    • promoting; or
    • terminating;
  • Granting certain rights to self-employed individuals who are independent contractor;
  • Ensuring that interns and volunteers do not endure sexual harassment, retaliation, or discrimination in the workplace; and
  • Other topics which affect employment rights.

It is important to note that employment laws may vary widely by jurisdiction. In other words, rights which one state may protect may not be available under the laws of another state. In addition, some issues may be governed by both federal and state employment laws, such as pregnancy leave.

What Do Employment Lawyers Do? 

Employment lawyers are attorneys who specialize in cases that involve employment law issues. They represent both employers and employees.

Employment lawyers make sure that employees are treated in a fair and consistent manner. In addition, an employment attorney assists employers by making sure they are in compliance with the numerous and complex laws which may apply to their workplace.

An employment attorney can provide advice to employees regarding their rights and whether those rights have been violated. An employment attorney can perform other services, including:

  • Drafting and reviewing an employee handbook;
  • Assisting with a wage law issue; and
  • Representing an employer or an employee if they are required to appear before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

What Does “No Win, No Fee” Mean? 

No win, no fee is a type of fee schedule used by attorneys in some types of cases. A no win, no fee employment lawyer is a lawyer who will not get paid unless they win the case and the plaintiff collects an award.

A no win, no pay employment lawyer gets paid on a contingency fee basis. This means they receive a percentage of the damages that are awarded at the end of a case instead of being paid an hourly rate. 

In this type of fee arrangement, a workplace lawyer agrees to take an individual’s case without charging a regular hourly fee. In exchange, the lawyer is paid a percentage of the damages which are awarded to the client.

A contingency fee arrangement may be helpful in a case where the client does not have a lot of money but has a complicated or costly case. Attorneys will typically accept cases which present clear liability and a means to collect a settlement, such as through an insurance policy. 

A contingency fee arrangement is most often used in civil cases such as personal injury and workers’ compensation. Some attorneys may also accept cases on a contingency basis in other instances, such as:

  • Professional malpractice;
  • Sexual harassment;
  • Personal injury;
  • Employment discrimination and wage dispute cases;
  • Bankruptcy;
  • Class action lawsuits; and
  • Debt collections cases.

Depending on the state and the details of the fee agreement, a contingency fee may range from 5% to 50% of the final award amount. The attorney, however, does not collect a fee if the client loses the case. In these cases, the lawyer’s payment depends on, or is contingent on, winning the case.

Although the attorney does not receive a fee until the conclusion of the case and if the case is won, the client may still be required to pay some up-front fees related to the case work. For example, a client may be required to pay:

  • Court filing fees;
  • Discovery costs; 
  • Expert witness fees; and
  • Overhead fees needed to keep the case moving along.

A contingency fee arrangement provides advantages for the client, including:

  • No up-front fees;
  • Incentive for the attorney; and
  • No cost for losses.

A contingency fee allows a client to proceed with their case without having to pay their lawyer up front. They also avoid large legal bills while their case is ongoing. This may help individuals with lower incomes have access to legal assistance.

Contingency fees also provide incentive for the attorney to do everything they can to get the best possible result in the case. Because the attorney does not get paid unless the client wins, they will be highly motivated.

With a contingency fee, there will not be a large attorney’s fee if the individual loses their case, although they may be responsible for some administrative costs. This may provide the client with some peace of mind that the attorney is willing to risk not getting paid for their work, they probably have a strong case.

It is also important to keep in mind, however, that contingency fees may wind up costing the client more than an hourly fee in some cases. With a contingency fee, the client agrees to pay the percentage of their award, no matter how long the case takes. It is important to discuss the options with the attorney prior to agreeing to the contingency fee arrangement. 

Are There any Other Types of Employment Lawyer Fee Arrangements? 

Yes, there are other types of employment lawyer fee arrangements. Lawyers generally charge their clients using one of three fee schedules:

  • Hourly rates;
  • Flat fees; and
  • Contingent fees, as discussed above.

An hourly rate is a common fee arrangement for employment law cases. In this arrangement, the lawyer charges based upon the number of hours worked on the case. 

A lawyer may also use a flat fee for simple cases, such as:

  • Uncontested divorces;
  • Power of attorney; and
  • Certain minor criminal cases.

It is important to note that if an individual’s case goes to court, they may be responsible for other costs and fees, including filing fees and court fees.

How Much Does an Employment Lawyer Cost?

The cost of an employment lawyer varies greatly and depends on many factors. These factors may include:

  • The skill set of the employment lawyer;
  • The area of law that the case involves; 
  • The amount of time that the case is estimated to take to resolve; 
  • The location of the attorney or law firm;
  • If the attorney has special training, certifications, or education; and
  • The facts and circumstances of the individual’s case.

In California, the average hourly attorney fee ranges from $350 to $475. The amount will depend on the factors listed above.

Do I Need to Hire an Employment Law Attorney?

Yes, it is essential to have the assistance of an employment law attorney for any issues you are facing with your employment. As previously discussed, an employment attorney can provide many services to employers and employees alike. 

A no win-no fee employment lawyer can provide you with the opportunity to try your case without spending as much money as with an hourly fee attorney. Your attorney can review your situation, provide advice regarding possible strategies and possible outcomes, as well as represent you before an agency or the court.

It is important to consult with an attorney as soon as you become aware of an issue. This is because there is likely a statute of limitations which applies to the case. If the statute of limitations runs, you will not be able to bring your claim.

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