It’s critical to understand your rights if you believe you’ve been subjected to workplace discrimination. Depending on the intricacy of your case, contacting an experienced employment lawyer to help you navigate the legal system can be critical to a successful resolution.
This article discusses the variables to consider when deciding whether or not to hire an attorney to represent you in an employment discrimination complaint. See Employment Discrimination in Your State for further information on state anti-discrimination laws in general.
What an Attorney Can Do
Assume you were dismissed by your employer and believe it was due to prejudice. You’re rightfully outraged and even saddened by your boss’s behavior, and you want to do something about it. But where should you begin? An employment lawyer can help you determine if you have a claim and the best course of action.
Determine if your employer has engaged in illegal discrimination against you.
Not all forms of prejudice are illegal. You must fall into a protected category under one of the federal or state antidiscrimination statutes for illegal discrimination to occur. This is sometimes simple to prove, such as if you are a pregnant woman and your employer was aware of this at the time of your termination. However, not all classifications are as clear. In truth, disability discrimination laws define protected “disabilities” in a large list of very specific ways. An employment lawyer can assist you in determining if you are a member of a protected class.
Being a member of a protected class isn’t enough to win a discrimination case. You must also demonstrate that your employer discriminated against you because of your protected status. But what exactly is a negative employment action? Firing someone is, of course, a negative action. What about a poor performance assessment that results in a promotion denial? What about shifts that deduct from your commission? An employment lawyer can assist you in determining if your employer’s actions constituted discrimination in the workplace.
You do not have a slam-dunk discrimination case just because you are in a protected category and your employer has taken some unfavorable action against you. You must also show that your employer took the action against you because of your protected status. This entails demonstrating your boss’s discriminating purpose.
Collect and provide evidence to back up your claim
It might be difficult to prove your employer’s purpose, especially because few businesses are willing to admit that they are biased or discriminatory. Instead, you’ll have to assemble sufficient evidence to persuade a court or jury that your employer acted discriminatorily. If your company claims you were fired due to poor performance, yet your last three performance assessments were all fantastic, this is clear evidence of discrimination.
One of the most important and significant services that an employment lawyer can give is gathering evidence for a lawsuit. The “discovery phase” of a case, when evidence is gathered, includes measures such as subpoenaing essential documents and taking witness depositions. Getting the appropriate document, witness, or other piece of evidence can make or break your case. A qualified lawyer can handle all aspects of your lawsuit, including this.
With You, Perform a Cost-Benefit Analysis
One of the most significant advantages of engaging an employment lawyer is that your lawyer can use his or her years of experience to conduct a cost-benefit analysis for you. Your lawyer will go over the strengths and weaknesses of your case, as well as the costs of discovery and trial, as well as the types and amounts of damages you can receive if you win. Your lawyer will also analyze the chances of winning and advise you if this evaluation changes as the case advances, allowing you to make informed decisions.
Make a list of your choices.
Your lawyer can spell out your choices for dealing with your job predicament from the first appointment. These options may include filing a claim of discrimination with a state or federal agency, sending your employer a settlement letter, or initiating a full-fledged case in court. Your lawyer will examine the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative and will return to this topic throughout the case. As a result, you’ll have all the information you need to make judgments throughout the litigation.
Costs and Fees of Attorneys
Before you hire a lawyer, make sure you understand how attorneys’ fees and costs will be calculated in your case. Attorney fees vary depending on the route of action you choose. Some situations or services require more time or effort than others, resulting in greater rates. For example, drafting a letter will almost certainly be less expensive than representing you at trial.
Attorneys charge for legal services in a variety of ways, including a one-time retainer, an hourly rate, or a “contingency fee,” which means the attorney is paid a percentage of any financial recovery you make.
Your lawyer should also go over any fees you can expect to pay in your case.
Lawsuits are costly, and fees associated with resolving your dispute are a significant factor. Court filing fees, copier charges, deposition expenses, mediation fees, and expert witness fees are examples of costs that are added on top of attorneys’ fees.
Another crucial service that an employment lawyer can provide is closure. Your lawyer can assist you in getting past the unpleasant experience you experienced with your job. This could happen through a formal resolution or settlement that allows you to emotionally and financially move to a new job or career path, but it’s more likely to happen through an informal resolution or settlement. Part of your attorney’s job is to bring you to the next step.