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CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Employment > Employment Discrimination Lawsuit

Employment Discrimination Lawsuit Cost


How Much Does an Employment Discrimination Lawsuit Cost?

 
low costLow: No Cost To File with EEOCaverage costMedium: A Private Lawyer May Charge 25-50% of the Settlement
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Under state and federal law, employment discrimination is unfair treatment in the workplace based on a legally protected characteristic, such as age, disability, sex, pregnancy, national origin, race/color or religious beliefs. In a successful employment discrimination lawsuit, the court can order the employer to stop all discriminatory practices and to reinstate you (if you lost your job because of discrimination), give you a promotion or make other workplace changes. You could be awarded compensatory damages or (rarely) punitive damages (if you can show malice), attorneys' fees, court costs and other expenses.

Typical costs:

  • There is no charge for filing a charge of employment discrimination with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission[1] (EEOC). If no violation is found, the charge will be dismissed. If the EEOC finds that a violation occurred, it will try to reach a voluntary settlement with your employer, usually through mediation. If mediation fails, either the EEOC or the Department of Justice may file suit in federal court. However, these agencies are unable to file suit in every case. If they do not sue, they will notify you, giving you 90 days to file a lawsuit yourself.
  • If you have an extremely strong case, a private attorney may accept your employment discrimination lawsuit on a contingency basis, with the lawyer receiving nothing if you lose the case but earning 20-50 percent of any settlement or judgment won in the case. Usually an attorney will receive a lower percentage for a case that is settled before going to trial, and a larger percentage if it goes before a jury or if it is appealed. Attorneys who have a history of obtaining larger settlements/judgments may charge a higher percentage In addition to your legal fees, any court fees, expert witness costs or other expenses will also be deducted from your settlement/judgment. These costs generally run at least $10,000, and can be considerably more.
  • More commonly than pure contingency, an attorney may handle your employment discrimination lawsuit on a partial contingency basis, requiring you to pay specific fees and expenses whether you win or lose the case. These costs generally run at least $10,000, and can be considerably more.
  • Because employment discrimination cases can be hard to prove, some attorneys handle them on an hourly basis, charging $100-$600 or more an hour, plus court costs and other expenses. Legal fees charged at an hourly basis quickly mount up; the total cost will depend on the complexity of the case and the amount of legal work needed.
  • If you need legal assistance and can't afford an attorney, the American Bar Association lists legal resources for each state.
Related articles: Wrongful Termination Attorney, Workers Compensation Attorney, Sexual Harassment Attorney

What should be included:
  • If you feel you're being discriminated against on the job or fired because of discrimination, it's important to document everything that happens. FindLaw.com lists tips for employees[2] who are dealing with discrimination or harassment.
  • Anyone who believes their employment rights have been violated may file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You can also file a charge on behalf of another person in order to protect their identity. The EEOC gives a detailed overview[3] of federal job discrimination laws and procedures, as well as general directions for filing a charge of employment discrimination.
  • Many employment discrimination suits are settled without going to court. The American Bar Association provides a general discussion of workplace laws[4] .
Additional costs:
  • Some attorneys will provide a free initial consultation, but others will charge their usual hourly rate for going over the facts of your case and reviewing your legal options.
Shopping for an employment discrimination lawsuit:
  • It might be difficult to find an attorney to handle your case; most discrimination lawyers are only able to represent a small percentage of the people who contact them. Lawyers.com explains how to find and work with[5] a discrimination attorney.
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) does not recommend specific attorneys, but its field offices may be able to give you a list of labor/employment attorneys in your area. You can also search for an attorney online at the National Employment Lawyers Association[6] , Lawyers.com[7] and FindLaw.com[8] .
  • Your attorney should provide you with a written fee agreement. Be sure you understand how you will be charged, and any additional costs you will have to pay.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
discrimination law suit
Amount: $15,000.00 total
Posted by: linda scott in Memphis, TN.Posted: June 12th, 2014 09:06AM
Law Firm: EEOC
I was fired 4 days after being hired as a cashier at jasons deli for having a hearing loss in one ear.
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state of nj employee vs DCP&P/DCF
Amount: $1,500.00 total
Posted by: car72ace@msn.com in west depford, NJ.Posted: June 5th, 2014 11:06AM
Law Firm: Philadelphia/New Jersey Attorney
I did not win. It is impossible if you work for the State of NJ to win a case. The state Division of Childern and Family should be protecting families but there employee's families don't matter. And protect management. Union, Eeo & EEOC did not help. No withness came forward everone to a fear to loss there jobs. Manangement the bully. This was so sad for me lost money, health, mental, time from my family, faith in system, whom I work for and justice. Management whom call me a racial slurs got promoted, one retired and no disciplinary action was taked against them but they. Punish me till this day.
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race/age/harassment/emotional distress/conpiracy to terminate
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: dj hollywood in hattiesburg, MS.Posted: February 2nd, 2014 10:02AM
Law Firm: pro se
EEOC is just another routine day at the office,but we as individual don,t have a clue for as the number of cases filed/workload or available resources at different EEOC offices.it,s all about us,well it,s doesn,t work that way.first i agree with 80% of the post stating bad experience with EEOC.remember it,s just a job for them but they are the federal gateway to file a legal lawsuit.i personally thinks EEOC needs evaluating,modifying and restructuring ......but who the hell am i....simply another individual employee seeking to be compensated for being done wrong.....
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eeoc of mobile, alabama
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: hurt more in hattiesburg, MS.Posted: August 20th, 2013 02:08PM
I see im not the only one thats going through what I went through...why take the case if you know it will lose.....reality the case wins....we have no way of knowing....you have office all over USA..how we really know if the case won....we have no legal attorney to represent and eeoc ypu know this maybe you should be investorgated alone with the employers....i dont trust you.
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eeoc of mobile, alabama
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: hurt more in hattiesburg, MS.Posted: August 20th, 2013 02:08PM
why take cases eeoc you dont help people whoes right has been violated by other...you do more of protecting the ones who violate....you held my case 2 yrs.....nothing was done....sorry people...you are not alone....find away and go aganist eeoc about our claims.
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Wrongful Termination/Discrimination-Age-Race/Retaliation/ect.
Amount: $10,000.00 total
Posted by: Terry v,Lewis in LOGANSPORT, IN.Posted: August 18th, 2013 11:08PM
Law Firm: None as of yet.
My investigator at eeoc was avoiding my calls and not returning my calls until i threatened to have him investigated by ICLU. right away he started returning my calls and sending letters to my house about things we discussed ect. He repeatedly tried to get me to discuss settlements over the phone. I refuse. I insisted on mediation with my employer as i agreed to. I believe they were all in cahoot's together. My employer,the courts,eeoc ,attorney's,and possible others. We you have Big Money,you can afford to pay for what ever you want in most cases. For people whom are looking to make easy money,this is perfect for them.All they have to do is what ever the company says. EEOC act's as an attorney so to speak. They send your company a letter to let them know that they are going to be possibly sued . if the company settle's. you get paid and eeoc gets paid. compensatory rewards can be capped at $300.000 so make sure your punitive damages,emotional destess, amount's are very high.
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Wrongful Termination/Discrimination-Age-Race/Retaliation/ect.
Amount: $10,000.00 total
Posted by: Terry v,Lewis in logansport, IN.Posted: August 18th, 2013 11:08PM
Law Firm: None as of yet.
Part 2. If the settlement is going to be quick,you may except less than what you are owed if every one or majority agree. If you have to go to trial,ask for a whole lot more. For each day,week,month,or year you have to wait. Make sure it's in your settlement relief agreement that you expect to recieve additional monies until the end of trial or during your trial. The idea is to get them to make a fare settlement quickly with out delay. The longer they wait,the more they have to pay. I have experienced most of the things with EEOC that other's have .I believe that in most cases eeoc takes bribes from companies. This is only my opinion. The only proof is the millions of cases that are not given the proper attention they need. Most cases are not investigated. when i filed my 1st case with eeoc in 2011. I gave them all the documents they requested. They strung me along making me think my employer was going to settle the case out of court through mediation. My investigator was avoiding my c
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Wrongful Termination/Discrimination-Age-Race/Retaliation/ect.
Amount: $10,000.00 total
Posted by: Terry v,Lewis in LOGANSPORT, IN.Posted: August 18th, 2013 11:08PM
Law Firm: None as of yet.
I have 2 Discrimination/Retaliation cases against my employer/1 Wrongful Termination case and 1 discrimination case against my union.My employer is trying to have my 1st case dismissed because they don't want to pay $5.2 Billion Dollars if my case goes to trial and i win. I would have settled $7 Million but they didn't want to settle. I receieved my letter from un-employment confirming my wrongful termination based on my evidence. It's hard for a single person to win against a company,but it's not impossible so don't ever give up. I do encourage employee's to work together as a team ,therefore forming a Class Action. It's hard for the courts or EEOC to turn down a Class Action Case. The bigger the better your chances of winning. Now just make sure that every one involved get the correct amount they are owed. For example- if each employee is owed $100.00. Don't except nothing less unless every one is going to get paid quickly. If the settlement is going to be paid quickly, then every on
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EEOC
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Bill Wilson in Naples, FL.Posted: July 25th, 2013 06:07PM
Law Firm: self represented
I believe there are large corporations bent on discouraging workers from filing settlements and these posts have to be fraudulent. The EEOC forms cannot be downloaded or printed from their site, and ms word will not work on them making the forms impossible to fill out. Roadblock after roadblock. I hope my complaint gets some notice and feel the longer it takes, the better. Make them lose a little sleep for their actions.
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EEOC
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Roderick Stumon in Fort Morgan, CO.Posted: July 17th, 2013 04:07AM
Law Firm: looking
I file my discrimination complaint with the EEOC in Dec 2009 and this June 2013, they told me they were closing my complaint because they could not establish a violation within their statues. It took almost four (4) years for them to tell me something I already knew, I have a right to sue. I had pages and pages of documentation and over 10 witnesses to support my case.
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eeoc
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: me, myself and I in no where, AL.Posted: March 5th, 2013 04:03PM
THANKS EEOC FOR ALL THAT YOU DID FOR ME LOOKS LIKE EVERYBODY DIDNT GET THE SAME TREATMENT AS ME. THANKS GUYS I FEEL BETTER ABOUT MY CASE ALREADY
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EEOC
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: govwaste in baltimore, MD.Posted: January 31st, 2013 06:01AM
EEOC total waste of time. I sent a detailed 70 page report with names dates and evidence atracheed. They forwarded my case to Md. Civil rights committee which in turn held the case never contacted me for month. I finally had a hearing which I arrived with other employees with me. I was then advised that their was a misunderstanding on my case and that the other 15 employees would have to individually go through the process from the beginning point. This was after a year of waiting for direction. Smh. EEOC is government waste.
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osha complaint against big company with a discrimination charge and retaliation
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: bosshogg@yahoo.com in Nowhere, IN.Posted: January 21st, 2013 11:01AM
Case was filed with Osha for health related issue and investigated nothin happened no fines no citation's discrimination complaint filed with eeoc, after eeoc was contacted after the first complaint my problem's gotten worser, supervisor site supervisor, H.R. nore corporate would do anything to resolve my problem's, my car got vandalized by a co worker nothin was done to investigate my complaint after speaking with manager's and upper management i called the police whom also valiated my civil rights by not taking a report from me, I feel because my race, sorry i can not disclose any imformation about this company do to a current ongoing battle and i will not lose my case by all mean's, sumtimez's you just have to get up and out research ur attorney see how many case's he or she has won, it's all about the evidence you have in your's case's as well i've done a whole lot of foot work in my cases, and i check on the progression of that case.
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You-Name-It Discrimination & Retaliation
Amount: $8,000.00 total
Posted by: Maisha in Newark, NJ.Posted: November 18th, 2012 06:11AM
Law Firm: yes
EEOC probably did not even look at my case, just issued "right to sue" and went on about (no) business. Useless waste of tax funds. Still pursuiing my case against NJ major university, where management spends millions to fight against fair labor practices... this is america?!
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I settled with my employers and skipped the EEOC
Amount: $3,000.00 total
Posted by: a user in Madison, WI.Posted: November 13th, 2012 11:11AM
The EEOC will take on very few cases and it will cost the employee a lot of money to file an actual lawsuit.
My employer fired me because of a disability and did not try and reasonably accommodate first. I contacted a reputable employment attorney who negotiated a big settlement package in lieu of filing with the EEOC. I needed to drop all claims against them.
Note: If the employer is truly in the wrong, a good employment attorney will bring this to their attention, scare them, and discuss the benefits of settling.
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EEOC
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: a user in WENTZVILLE, MO.Posted: October 16th, 2012 09:10AM
Law Firm: LOOKING
I Thoth this happen just to me , but now I see there is no purpose of this institution.I have been discriminated at work and the Investigator have limited time on the phone and they really don't care. He told me even if he will file a complain, nothing is going to happen , and he doesn't want to spend tax payers money. Then why we pay taxes?.This is an institution who spend our money by doing nothing like many other government institutions.
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EEOC
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: a user in Toledo, OH.Posted: October 10th, 2012 01:10PM
Law Firm: looking
I so agree about the EEOC!! Total waste of time, they never investigated my case... I felt they totally sided with the employer and never intended on investigating... Why do they exist??? I was given 10 days to respond to position statement and the employer had over 30 days....rnSomething needs to be done...
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EEOC is a complete Failure! Why do they even exist?!
Amount: $100,000,000.00 total
Posted by: a user in Arlington, TX.Posted: May 25th, 2012 10:05PM
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Wrongful termination/retaliation/bullying/ID theft/fraud & Forgery by Employer/age and religious discrimination
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: bluescrubs in weirton, WV.Posted: June 24th, 2011 02:06PM
Law Firm: looking
EEOC was interested until they found out there fewer than 15 employees. I guess if you have less than 15 people its okay to do what you want, the laws dont apply to them. the employer stole my ID and opened accounts in my name, forged my signature. She would call me a backstabbing bitch, when I complained about it. She said repeatedly told me I was not Christian enough because I would not give her 60-80 hrs of work for free. I was hourly and she always tried to short me of my wages.
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eeoc
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: andre mcknight in denver, CO.Posted: June 22nd, 2011 11:06AM
Law Firm: no takers yet
went thru eeoc. The eeoc is a bogus outfit. Just recently the supreme court threw out one of their cases due to fictious aurguments. They only go for class actions lawsuit againt unfavorable companies- easy stuff. They could care less if an individual was discriminated against!
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Attorney cost
Amount: $17,000.00 total
Posted by: Hurt in Cleveland, MS.Posted: April 21st, 2010 07:04PM
I received a settlement from a sex discrimination case. My attorney charged me $5000. When the case was settled, he took almost half of the settlement,plus the money I had already given him.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.eeoc.gov/youth//filingfaq.html
  2.  employment.findlaw.com/employment-discrimination/dealing-with-discrimination-tips-for-e...
  3.  www.eeoc.gov/facts/qanda.html
  4.  www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/publiced/practical/books/family_legal_guid...
  5.  civil-rights.lawyers.com/discrimination/Working-with-a-Discrimination-Lawyer.html
  6.  www.nela.org/NELA/index.cfm?event=showPage&pg=findalawyer?
  7.  www.lawyers.com/discrimination/find-law-firms-by-location/
  8.  lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practice/Employment-Law----Employee
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