Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do you get paid?

    We handle all employment law cases on a contingency basis, this means we don’t get paid on your case unless you get a judgment in your favor or we agree to accept a settlement. Working on a contingency fee basis is especially important in employment law situations because many of our clients have been wrongfully terminated or forced to leave their work as a result of discrimination or harassment and don’t have the income available to pay for an attorney out of pocket.

  2. How much is your attorney’s fee?

    As I mentioned above, I work on a contingency fee basis, which means I only get paid when I reach a favorable conclusion in your case. Because contingency attorneys risk the possibility of taking unwinnable cases, we are paid on a percentage of the money you receive from the defendant. Most California employment law cases are handled on 33% fee before a lawsuit is filed and 40% fee after a lawsuit has been filed.

  3. How do the costs get paid?

    In most situations the costs related to the case, like court filing fees, deposition fees, copying fees, and expert witness costs are advanced by our office on your behalf. You are responsible for paying these costs back out of your settlement or judgment.

  1. Will I have to testify in my case?

    In employment law cases the person who has been subject to the illegal behavior (the plaintiff) may be required to testify about the treatment he or she experienced in the workplace. Your testimony may take on a variety of forms including:

    • Appearing at a deposition in a conference room.
    • Providing written responses to questions.
    • Informal testimony during a private mediation.
    • In a court hearing or arbitration proceeding.

    However, we want you to know that each step of the way we will be there to guide you through testifying and will ensure that you are comfortable with the process and feel prepared.

  2. Will I have to file a lawsuit to resolve my case?

    That is a tough question, and one that can’t be effectively answered online because each case is unique and will involve its own set of facts that will effect whether or not the case can be resolved without filing a lawsuit. Give us a call and we can discuss the specifics of your situation and we can give you some feedback on what the process might look like in your specific situation.

  3. How long does a lawsuit in California take?

    Unfortunately, as a result of the recent economic downturn, the budget for the California court system has been very negatively affected. We have experienced a number of court closures, as well as a reduction in support staff and the judges who have the ability to handle cases. As a result, cases often take at least a year to work their way through the system if a lawsuit is filed.

    However, it is important to remember that many cases can be resolved without filing a lawsuit and many others are resolved before trial through private settlement discussions. So, each case is unique and the timeline for the resolution of your particular case is something we will need to discuss.

  1. If my boss is harassing me, can I quit?

    In some situations harassment can rise to a level that is so disruptive that you cannot perform your work and you may be able to quit the job under a legal theory called “constructive termination.” However, quitting a job can make proving your case more difficult. If you are being harassed by anyone in your workplace, please give us a call and we can explore your options and ensure your rights are protected.

  2. I was fired without any explanation, that’s wrongful termination right?

    California is an “at will” state which means, that unless you have a contract guaranteeing your employment for a specific length of time or until the completion of a specific project, either you or your employer can terminate your employment at any time, for any (or no) reason. But, just because you can terminate an employment arrangement for any reason, doesn’t mean employers can take discriminatory or illegal actions when it comes to terminating someone. Many clients we help initially call because they feel they’ve been wrongfully terminated, and some of them are right, in other situations we discover other illegal activities during the course of our discussion that can lead to an employment law case.

  3. My supervisor regularly picks on me, can I sue him/her for discrimination?

    The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) provides employees with protection from discrimination in the workplace. Your employer or his/her representatives cannot discriminate against you as a result of a number of things including:

    • Age
    • Color
    • Disability
    • Marital Status
    • National Origin
    • Race
    • Religion
    • Sex
    • Sexual Orientation

    If your supervisor is picking on you because of a characteristic that is protected from discrimination, you may be able to take legal action to stop the discrimination and obtain the compensation you deserve. These cases can be complicated, so talking to an experienced attorney is the best way to ensure your rights (and the rights of your coworker who might be experiencing similar treatment) are protected.

  4. What is a Class Action?

    A class action lawsuit is a type of lawsuit that involves issues that affect many people in a similar manner. It only takes 1 person to start a class action lawsuit. In employment law situations, class action lawsuits can involve the following:

    • Denial of overtime wages
    • Denial of wages for all time worked
    • Denial of meal and rest breaks
    • Unlawful deductions to wages
    • Failing to provide expense reimbursements
    • Failing to pay owed vacation wages
    • Discriminatory hiring and promotion practices
    • Breaches of contracts
    • Denial of employment benefits (health insurance, disability insurance, stock options, etc.)

    These cases can be particularly difficult to handle because they involve a large number of employees and collecting the information to support each individual claim can be very time consuming. However, pursuing a class action lawsuit in these situations puts the plaintiffs in a stronger position because they are able to share the costs of the case across a large group of people and can face large employers with confidence in their numbers. Talk about strength in numbers!