There are many reasons you may want to pursue an employment law claim in California. You may feel you’ve been the victim of discrimination because of your age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or a range of other protected personal characteristics. You may have suffered retaliation at work, been wrongfully or constructively discharged, or have been the victim of sexual or other harassment.
Or maybe your employer isn’t paying you everything you think you’re entitled to for the hard work you’ve put in. Yet the one issue that may be holding you back is attorneys’ fees. You may not be able to afford to pay a lawyer to get the help you really need. Fortunately, many of the highest qualified California employment lawyers can assist you on a “contingency fee” basis.
How Contingency Fees Work
The concept behind a contingency fee is straightforward: You do not owe your lawyers anything for their legal services unless you prevail on your claim and recover some money. You might win in court or at trial, settle with your employer or former employer, or recover something through administrative proceedings. Regardless, the rule is the same.
If you don’t recover any money, you don’t owe anything for your lawyers’ legal services. If you do recover, all you owe for the attorneys’ fees is a percentage of the total amount you recovered. The percentage will be negotiated ahead of time between you and your lawyers, but may vary (from 25% to 33% or 40% or more) depending on the kind of case, how likely you are to succeed, and when in the process the recovery occurs.
California law requires a contingency billing arrangement to be in writing. Additionally, the document must include:
- Details on the contingency rate that you and your attorney agree to;
- A statement regarding how expenses and costs are calculated, and how they impact the total amount the client receives;
- Information on whether the client will have to pay for associated attorneys’ fees incurred from related matters that arise outside of the contingency arrangement; and,
- Other provisions depending on the details of the case.
Other Expenses Involved
After resolution of their cases, whether through settlement, administrative proceedings, or a court case, many employment law clients are confused by how litigation “costs,” as opposed to fees for the legal services themselves, are accounted for in the total recovery. “Costs” are those out-of-pocket expenses that contingency lawyers often advance on the client’s behalf to pay for things like: court filing fees, court reporter’s fees, subpoena and service of process fees, jury fees, and the like.
Make sure your written contingency fee agreement with your lawyer spells out and answers all your questions about who is going to pay these types of costs and how they will figured and accounted for if you recover money on your employment law claim. You should be sure you know how costs like the following will be handled:
- The costs of filing your case with relevant administrative agencies or court clerks;
- Expenses related to discovery, including court reporters who charge for depositions; and,
- Any other funds a lawyer will expend to protect your interests and legal rights.
California Employment Law Attorneys: Free Consultations, Fair Contingency Services
You do not need to give up your rights in an employment law matter just because you are worried about paying attorneys’ fees. The best California lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay if you win your case. This includes discrimination claims, sexual and other harassment matters, retaliation cases, wrongful termination matters, and many more areas of employment law.
The Los Angeles employment law attorneys at Workplace Rights Law Group will protect your legal rights, without an upfront investment from you. We do not charge unless you prevail in your claim, so please call (818) 844-5200 or visit our site to schedule a free case review.