While employees have federal and state protections against discrimination, harassment, retaliation and other legal violations committed by employers, they often do not know where to begin. Employment laws can be confusing, and employers often challenge lawsuits by employees.
Below are some frequently asked questions by employees who believe they suffered harm from their employers. If you need to discuss your specific situation, reach out to an employment attorney directly for a free consultation.
Our San Diego Employment Lawyers help employees who suffered harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and similar harm from their employers. Contact our office today to learn more about a possible employment case.
Employment Law FAQ Guide
- What if I cannot afford a lawyer?
- How long do cases take?
- Can I remain anonymous?
- Will my case become a public record?
- How many cases does your firm handle at a time?
- Will I have to go to court?
- How much time will I have to spend on the case?
- How much is my case worth?
- Should I quit my job before filing a lawsuit against my employer?
- What if I already quit my job and now want to sue my employer?
- I have never filed a lawsuit before. How will I know what to expect?
- What if I was drinking when I was sexually assaulted?
- Is your law firm trauma-informed?
- What makes your law firm different?
What if I cannot afford a lawyer?
A major hesitation people have when hiring an employment lawyer is the cost. If you recently lost your job or believe your job is in jeopardy due to conflicts with your employer, you have additional financial concerns on your plate. You might not have the funds to pay for legal services.
The good news is that employment lawyers who represent employees usually take cases on a contingency fee basis.
- Case evaluations are free
- You pay nothing up front to hire a lawyer or for them to begin your legal representation
- The law firm can advance the legal expenses needed for your case
- If you win compensation, your legal fees and reimbursement of legal expenses will come directly from your settlement or award – never from your pocket
- If no compensation is recovered, then you will not owe any legal fees. Meaning if you don’t win, then your lawyer will not get paid.
This arrangement allows anyone to afford to hire an employment attorney. You have nothing to lose by setting up a consultation today about your legal options.
How long do cases take?
There is no simple answer to this question, as each case is different. There are various timelines from the start to the end of an employment case, depending on the path you and your attorney decide to take, how the employer responds and based on the court’s availability to decide a case. In our experience, cases typically can be completed as quickly as in six months and as long as eighteen months.
Once our attorneys initiate your case, we might engage in negotiations directly with your employer to settle the matter out of court. These negotiations can go back and forth for some time, or an employer might be immediately willing to settle to end the legal matter and avoid additional negative consequences.
If we need to file a lawsuit in civil court, the timeline of your case will depend on the court’s docket, the complexity of the case, the amount of evidence involved, out-of-court settlement negotiations, and other factors. If your case goes to trial, it will take longer than a case that settles.
While you are anxious to recover compensation for employment violations, never rush the process. Our team at Haeggquist & Eck LLP will always do what it takes to recover what you deserve as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Can I remain anonymous?
That depends on the case. In some cases, you can remain anonymous if you are a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
Will my case become a public record?
If your case is filed in court, it will likely be a public record, allowing the general public to obtain details about your claim. In certain cases, it may be possible to ask the court to seal the records so that it does not become public record.
If, however, you and your employer resolve your case out of court before filing the complaint, it will likely not be part of the public record.
How many cases does your firm handle at a time?
Unlike firms where each attorney is handling hundreds of cases, at Haeggquist & Eck LLP, each attorney only handles 10-15 cases, so that each case can get the time and attention it needs and deserves.
Will I have to go to court?
Whether you have to go to court depends on different factors, such as the strength of your case, the amount of compensation that may be at stake, and whether the employer is willing to compensate you in an amount you are owed. For example, if your case is very strong, your employer will likely want to avoid the costs of litigation and settle out of court.
On the other hand, if your case does not seem as strong, your employer may be more comfortable taking the chances associated with litigation and defending against your claim in court. In addition, employers are more likely to aggressively defend cases that involve substantial compensation to employees.
Going to court is something we carefully consider, and we will thoroughly discuss your options with you. We are skilled negotiators and litigators, so we can zealously represent you both in and out of court.
How much time will I have to spend on the case?
Every client is essential to the success of their own case, but we will help you navigate the legal process. Your employment lawyer will handle all communications and filings, and we will reach out to you when we need pertinent information to proceed with your case. At Haeggquist & Eck LLP, we spend more time with our clients at the beginning of a case gathering all pertinent information you have in your possession and then provide you with monthly updates on how the case is progressing.
How much is my case worth?
The compensation you can recover through an employment claim depends on your damages. It is impossible to determine how much you might recover without conducting a thorough analysis of the facts of your case. Some factors that may affect the amount of compensation you receive include where you live, your occupation, the severity of the wrongful conduct, and the strength of your evidence.
What you can count on is that our legal team at Haeggquist & Eck LLP will consider all of your unique circumstances to accurately calculate how much your case is worth.
Should I quit my job before filing a lawsuit against my employer?
Contrary to what you might think, not everyone who pursues an employment claim must quit their jobs. Often, your lawyer can resolve the matter amicably between you and your employer. If you are considering quitting your job because of an intolerable or hostile work environment, discuss it with our employment lawyers first when possible. We can help you determine the best course of action to protect your rights.
What if I already quit my job and now want to sue my employer?
If you have already ended your employment, you should discuss your options with our lawyers right away. Never sign any agreements with your employer at the termination of your employment unless you have an attorney review the terms of the agreement. You might be signing your rights away.
Most employees can still file a claim if they have already quit their jobs. We can assess your circumstances and determine your options.
I have never filed a lawsuit before. How will I know what to expect?
Most people have little to no experience with lawsuits or the legal system. The good news is that our employment lawyers have plenty of experience with employment lawsuits and can advise you on what you can expect. Feel free to ask any questions about the process so we can provide the answers you need. Our goal is for you to feel comfortable with the legal process, and we take the time necessary to explain everything to our clients.
What if I was drinking when I was sexually assaulted?
If you were drinking at the time that a sexual assault took place, you might have concerns that the fact that you were drinking might go against you. The fact is that many cases of workplace sexual harassment or assault take place at company holiday parties or happy hours where alcohol is present.
The fact that you were consuming alcohol when inappropriate conduct occurred does not excuse or justify the offensive conduct. That said, your employer may attempt to make an argument that your recollection of events is cloudy because you were consuming alcohol or that you somehow invited the conduct in question.
For this reason, you always need to work with an experienced sexual assault lawyer from the outset of your case. When the right lawyer represents you, they can ensure that your employer does not get you to say something that they can use against you at a later time.
We understand that you might not want to discuss your sexual assault with strangers. Our lawyers at Haeggquist & Eck LLP know how devastating sexual trauma can be, and we have a safe space for you to be open and honest about what happened. By telling us the complete story, including whether you were drinking, we can anticipate any defenses the opposing side might bring up.
We never blame sexual assault survivors for what happened, even if alcohol was part of the equation. We are on your side and ready to listen to your story and represent you with compassion.
Is your law firm trauma-informed?
We understand that many employment law cases involve highly sensitive issues, often related to sexual harassment or other personal matters. As a result, we approach each case with the care and sensitivity it deserves for clients who have gone through traumatic experiences.
Among the techniques we may employ in our trauma-informed advocacy are providing accommodations for client interviews that involve discussing difficult events or engaging in extensive witness preparation to help manage anxiety. We have a Survivor Advocate on staff that not only has extensive training on being trauma informed, she is there for you whenever the need arises.
Speak with one of our experienced lawyers to learn more about your specific case.
What makes your law firm different?
We are a group of highly passionate and empathetic individuals, who understand what you are going through because we have experienced similar situations and have gone through similar trauma. To us, you are not just a case. Our personal injury lawyers make you part of our Haeggquist & Eck LLP family and will not stop until you get the justice you deserve. You can see what sets us apart here.