There are many types of workplace lawsuits. Some of the most common are wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, violations of the Family Medical Leave Act, violations of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, Violations of the California Family Rights Act, privacy breaches (e.g. disclosure of a medical condition to someone who did not need to know), contract breaches, unfair bargaining and/or union and labor law disputes, unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, failure to pay minimum wage for all hours worked, failure to provide proper pay stubs, failure to pay for unused vacation days upon resignation or termination, failure to pay for all hours worked within 72 hours of quitting, failure to pay for all hours worked immediately upon leaving when the employee gives fair notice or resignation to the employer, failure to keep adequate records, failure to produce employment records upon request, failure to provide wage and pay information upon hiring, misclassification of an hourly employee as an exempt employee, misclassification of an hourly employee as an independent contractor, work place bullying, sexual harassment, disparate impact, disparate treatment, class actions for failure to pay wages and over time, class actions for failure to provide meal and rest breaks, and class actions for failure to reimburse employees for expenses.
Sometimes we don’t need to file lawsuits. Sometimes simply sending a demand letter to a defendant can achieve fast, inexpensive, and satisfactory results. We recently obtained confirmation of settlement for a client in one hour and eleven minutes! We emailed the demand letter to the defendant and the defendant confirmed payment by email right away. It’s not always that easy. In fact, usually it isn’t.
Some things to keep in mind when calling us about work and job lawsuits or violations are:
- Do I have a date first, bullet point timeline of all key facts of my employment situation already drafted so I can clearly explain my case? If not, type one up and be prepared to discuss it and/or send it to us.
- Do I have a complete witness list of the name, phone numbers and address of all the people who know about my case? If not, type one up and be prepared to discuss it and/or send it to us.
- Do I have a complete set of documents that I can use to prove my case? If not, gather all documents and make a copy. We do not advise sending any attorney, not even us, your original documents until an attorney asks for them. You may need originals at trial or for yourself to give to other attorneys if a firm doesn’t take your case. Do not loose original documents. Be aware that documents may exist on different devices, e.g. lap tops, thumb drives, external hard drives, CDs, etc. Send us a hard copy (not originals) so we can asses your job related claim or lawsuit.
- Do I know what my claims are against the employer? What are those claims? Write them out and be prepared to discuss them.
- Does the employer have claims against me? If not, great! If yes, do I have an explanation typed out that I can relate to any attorney that will help them see that the employer is wrong? If not, type up an explanation and read it over to see if it makes sense. If you resign or are terminated from a job, be careful not to take confidential information or trade secrets without written permission. If you plan on recording any person, in performance improvement plan meeting for example, get permission before you start recording and get the permission itself recorded. Illegally recording an employer with a voice recorder is illegal. Don’t set yourself up for failure.
- What are my goals of representation in my employment lawsuit or workplace inquiry? How much financial compensation is my case worth? Do I have non-financial goals, such as changing an employment policy or procedure?
- What are my damages for what the employer did or did not do? Do I have medical records that prove harm? Do I have bank and pay records to show my lost wages?
- What is the likelihood that other employees may want to bring a claim against the employer for unpaid wages, overtime, or expenses? Are other people suffering like I am? If so, have that information ready.
- What kind of time and resources do I have to invest in this situation? Attorneys and law firms are more likely to take your case if you are willing to share and invest your time and resources. We often take cases on a contingency fees basis when client can not afford the costs and expenses related to their employment lawsuit.
- How long has it been since the last act of discrimination, retaliation or unpaid wage event? Employment law claims have strict statutes of limitations. For example, wage claims generally have a three year statute of limitations. Written contract claims have a four year statute of limitations. Verbal contracts have a two year statute of limitations. Discrimination and retaliation generally have a one year statute of limitations to file with the appropriate agency in California. If your claims are against a city or county, you may have a six month deadline to file a claim with the appropriate county official.
To be on the safe side, call us for a free consultation. We can walk you through these important questions and help you make the right decision. Thank you for reading this far!