2024 How Much Does an Employment Lawyer Cost in California?

If you think your employer has violated your employee’s rights, you need experienced and compassionate legal advice. Though any violation is frustrating and life-altering, California law has enacted many laws to protect. In fact, California is one of the most employee-friendly states.  Your employer is required by state law to comply with these laws. However, even in California, not all employers follow these laws.

Common Employment Violations

If you feel like your employer has managed to skirt regulations, an employment lawyer can help. Employers who do violate employment laws are likely doing so in such a way that it is not always easy to recognize. Though the following are common situations where such violations can occur, know that these are not the only possibilities for employee laws to be broken. Common workplace violations include:

  • Your employer refuses to provide workers’ compensation for an on-the-job injury.
  • Your employer deducts vacation time required by state law from your pay.
  • Your employer does not provide you with one or more of several leaves of absence required by California law.
  • Your employer does not provide the required number of rest and meal breaks.
  • Your employer pays you under the current minimum wage in California.
  • Your employer does not pay you the required overtime pay.
  • Your employer does not meet OSHA safety requirements.
  • Your employer has retaliated against you illegally, including firing or threatening you or cutting your hours.
  • Your employer has discriminated against or harassed you.

If your employer has done any of these things, you are likely feeling frustrated and unsure of your next steps. The good news is that your rights are protected by law. However, you may be wondering how much it will cost to hire an employment law attorney in Glendale, CA, and if you’ll be able to afford it. Luckily, most employment lawyers in California charge on a contingent basis.

What Are Contingency Fees?

A contingency fee is contingent on the outcome of your case. If a lawyer charges a contingent fee, they will not require any upfront payment. They will meet with you, develop a plan, negotiate with the other party, and represent you in court without requiring you to pay them anything. If they lose the case, you will never have to pay the lawyer any fees. If they win, they will take a portion of your settlement. This will typically be around 30% of your settlement, but it can vary from around 25% to 45%. The percentage can also vary depending on if the settlement is achieved before a trial or afterward.

It is important to understand that contingency doesn’t mean free. Likewise, even if you lose your case and do not have to pay your lawyer, you’ll likely still need to pay for other things, like court fees. If you’re concerned about how much you’ll have to pay, ask your lawyer about the expenses beforehand.

Do Employment Lawyers Charge Hourly Fees?

Hourly fees are rare in employment law. They can vary greatly depending on the experience and qualifications of the attorney—anywhere from approximately $100 to $500. Don’t go into an hourly pay agreement blind—you should ask your lawyer how many hours they believe you will be charged for. This way, you can have a more accurate estimate of how much you’ll have to pay in total. The more complex your case is, the more hours your lawyer will spend on it and the more you’ll have to pay.

What Are Common Pay Requirements?

Before charging you for anything, you and your attorney must come to a fee agreement. In California, lawyers are required to document agreements on paper if they believe that the total costs and fees of your case will be at least $1,000. Fee agreements should document the amount charged per hour if that’s how you’ll be charged or the percentage the lawyer will take from your settlement if you are charged a contingency fee.

There can be many different fees and expenses involved in these cases, so it’s important that you get a true estimate of your total costs from your lawyer before you agree to anything. You can negotiate with your attorney and ask for a change in the agreement if there’s something you disagree with.

FAQs About How Much Does an Employment Lawyer Cost in California

How Much Do Employment Lawyers Charge in California?

How much California employment lawyers charge can vary. Many lawyers charge a contingency fee, meaning they’ll only charge you if they win your case. In this case, they will most likely receive somewhere from 30-45% of your settlement. Other attorneys may charge by the hour, and this can vary greatly, from around $100 to approximately $500. Of course, the more experienced your lawyer is, the more they will charge.

Can I Bring a Lawyer to an HR Meeting in California?

Unfortunately, employers are not legally required to allow you to bring your lawyer to an HR meeting. However, you can talk to a lawyer beforehand to make sure you’re informed of your rights going into the meeting.

What Are My Employee Rights in California?

Employees have several rights in California. To name a few, employees have the right to rest and meal breaks, overtime pay, safety on the job, to express concerns to employers without retaliation, and to workers’ compensation when injured while working. If you think your rights may have been violated, it’s important to report this to OSHA and to contact a lawyer to ensure you’re protected.

What Is Unique About California Employment Law?

California has several unique employment laws. Generally, it has more protections for employees and harsher penalties for employers who do not comply with them. Some laws include requiring employers to include all vacation time in employees’ pay, provide certain leaves of absence, comply with strict overtime pay laws, allow certain meal and rest breaks, and provide paychecks within a certain period of time. If your employer has not provided you with what you are entitled to, meet with an attorney. You have the right to ensure your rights are protected.

Contact MM Law

California cares about your employee’s rights. If your employer is treating you unfairly, we can help ensure your rights are protected. The right lawyer can help ensure you get what you are entitled to and your employer is dealt the appropriate consequences.

At MM Law, our attorney Maralle Messrelian has the skills and experience to help victims of employment law violations. With extensive time representing employees, Maralle has helped hold employers across the state accountable for unfair labor practices. Contact our team today to start a conversation about how we can help you.

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