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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

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Wrongfully terminated
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Annmarie abdelmonem in Oakland, NY.Posted: July 28th, 2015 01:07PM
Law Firm: Pelton and Associates
I was fired 2 days after I gave my employer a doctors note stating I had thyroid cancer. The lawyers I have are great. They got me my overtime pay. Now we just filed in federal court, because the EEOC couldn't get the restaurant to settle.
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EEOC watch out they are CROOKED
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Teola7 in baltimore, MD.Posted: July 11th, 2015 04:07PM
Law Firm: Too lazy and scared
I had a sound case. Dates documentation and the whole package. The people at EEOC sold me out let the respondants take the information and rewrite the it complaint. I resent the information and won the won the second charge. But the lawyers here must be in clique they don't want to touch the case. I was there I can tell the story better than them; I am going to represent myself.
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better to find another avenue
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: not worth it in GFD, CT.Posted: July 9th, 2015 04:07PM
Law Firm: n/a
I recently had a temp job and was harrassed by a fellow worker and told point blank I was "too f*cking old". Talked to supervisors and sent an email to corporate headquarters about the comment. Long story short, I was shown the door a week after letting corporate know of the situation. I considered filing with EEOC, but I looked at their statistics on their main website, and you see over 20,000 filed complaints in a year and they've resolved only 500. That tells me that they are a toothless organization with no real ability to get justice for people taking the time and energy to file complaints. Filing a complaint isn't just about the person filing, in my case I wanted to pursue it to protect any fellow workers or future workers from the same type of harrassment. I will not, however, be spinning my wheels with EEOC since it seems that nothing will come of it no matter how much proof you have or how legitimate your claim. I did file a wage complaint with a state agency.
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EEOC APPEAL 3 YRS!!
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Britori in district of Columbia, DC.Posted: June 24th, 2015 06:06AM
I filed my eeoc appeal regarding my agencys final decision. I had 3 congressionals, the agency presented a false statement to my congressman, a binder of medical docs and letters confirming workplace harassment, hostile work environment, and interference from agency officials in the protected process, ongoing health and financial hardships followed by forced retirement/constructive discharge. I submitted my appeal brief supporting documents which contained 2 years of documentary evidence including letters to tge white househouse complaints to osc, you name it. I received a response from EEOC, "Agency Decision to dismiss upheld" Are you kidding me? There was no reference made regarding my appeal brief supporting documentation, not 1! This is down right shameful.
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Discrimination at EPA
Amount: $50.00 total
Posted by: Retaliated and discriminated by my Boss in Wash, DC.Posted: June 10th, 2015 08:06PM
Law Firm: K Street Law Firm
They said it would cost 20-30k but they wouldn't put that in writing. Now almost 4 years later the Lawyers want MORE money then I am getting just to settle. Feel like FIRING them and filing a complaint with the DC BAR. Now I have Tax Liability That they didn't tell me until 1 month ago, Plus paying taxes on the whole amoutn awarded including the Lawyers fees . All the $ I am being awarded gors to the Law firm. This is not fair.. These law firms are unscrupulous. Why should they make $400 an hour and we are going toa settlemt case, I could see if there were a trial.
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employment discrimination
Amount: $10,000.00 total
Posted by: wronged employee in montgomery, AL.Posted: May 28th, 2015 05:05AM
Law Firm: asst.attorney general
Dropped the ball on my lawsuit. i had 3 favorable cause findings from EEOC and had to drop my lawsuit
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EEOC waste of taxpayer monies
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Disappointed with our Government Leaders in Los Angeles, CA.Posted: May 25th, 2015 10:05AM
I filed within their time frame. I had discriminatory documents submitted to me by my employer. I was laid off and retaliated on paper. The EEOC informed me via certified mail that they had no funds to investigate. If an insurance company at 88,000 claims and only serviced 300 of those claims and closed 87,000 they would be out of business. Why is there still a EEOC if they are ineffective. Boggles my mind. Obama, quite throwing your hands in the air when incidents directly related to workplace discrimination (police violence) happen. Fund the EEOC with the same vigor you have funded the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars which is over 7 trillion dollars.
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EEOC
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: NPD in St. Paul, MN.Posted: April 1st, 2015 01:04PM
Law Firm: None
I was discriminated against by my new manager at an employer I had been with for over 7 years, it was a shock. I left my dept. & a job I loved, took a reduction in pay grade, & ultimately a reduction in my yearly bonus (about 3,000-4,000$) to remove myself from the situation/supervisors discrimanatory behavior as it was clear I would never be progressing upwards under her. I filed a 10 page document full of clear evidence complete with names/numbers of other employee's willing to verify info. I get a call from the EEOC & they tell me I have no case because I wasn't fired over it!! WHAT? I removed MYSELF from the situation & took a hefty pay cut to do so PLUS a reduction in pay grade but according to the EEOC I should have just been smart & let them fire me. Single mother who can't afford to not work, I pay taxes too, & its a shame they are wasted on the EEOC.
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retalation
Amount: $2,000.00 total
Posted by: Kari morgan in toledo, OH.Posted: March 9th, 2015 06:03PM
Law Firm: landry
My attorney said to file complaint with EEOC after our very first meeting. I got a letter saying that they received my complaint. And that they would investigate. Months went by and I heard nothing. Nor did my lawyer. EEOC investigator dodged both of our calls to him. Finally after calling him six times in one hour, he returned my phone call. He did nothing on the case after 8 months. EEOC is a joke. Seriously. Now it is taking forever to even send my right to sue letter. EEOC held everything up for me. They are useless. There is no point to even make a complaint with them. They don't investigate
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AGE/RACE/MEDICAL/RETALITORY
Amount: $250,000.00 total
Posted by: HOTPOCKET in SOLON, OH.Posted: March 5th, 2015 04:03PM
Law Firm: SPEIGAL
I TOOK MY CASE EEOC FIRST TO OPEN IT, MEDIATED, GAVE COMPANY A BINARY (YES OR NO ANSWER) OFFER OF 100,00 PLUS BACK PAY AND 100% RETIREMENT PACKAGE. EEOC WAS NOT HELPFULL. PRIVATE LAWYER GOT ME 32 WEEKS COMP PAY, PLUS PENSION, MEDICAL FOR LIFE,100,000 PUNITIVE, 150,000 COMPENSITORY AND WE DIDN'T STEP A FOOT IN COURT
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Discrimination/Sexual Harassment/Retaliation Case
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: a user in Columbus, OH.Posted: February 1st, 2015 11:02AM
I am in the investigation phase of my case now. I call or email weekly to stay in touch. So far, my Investigator has been great and does what he can in regards to fact finding. I recommend calling or emailing weekly. Do not let weeks go by where there is no communication.
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EEO strategy and how to survive
Amount: $25,000.00 total
Posted by: The realist in Tampa, FL.Posted: December 16th, 2014 12:12PM
Law Firm: Yes
If you can't take the stress of having a 2 to 4 year period for resolving an EEO, don't do it, just move on. Employers delight in how long their legal departments can delay this process and will use this fact to deter you from fighting them. I lived off my savings for over a year and still am awaiting my court date. I suggest anyone out there experiencing flagrant EEO violations you should document everything, always look for proof and witnesses when possible and create a support network to help you weather the impending storm. Filing an EEO is like gambling in Vegas, depending on who the dealer is dictates your success-you need to be the dealer. Also, as soon as you realize you are targeted by management find a good labor attorney and keep your wits about you. If you over react to your employer in any manner they may be justified in terminating you and destroying any credibility in future proceedings, you can win but you will need a good strategy.
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filed lawsuit in feburary 2013
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: waiting for ship to come in starkville, MS.Posted: December 15th, 2014 03:12PM
Law Firm: nmmc
My case went to a mediator, now an investigator I only heard from him once.it seemed I might get screwed to.I don't now were my case stand.
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EEOC complaints
Amount: $500.00 total
Posted by: Katherine Flynn in N/A, TN.Posted: December 8th, 2014 01:12AM
Law Firm: katherineflynn40@yahoo.com
Please email me your complaints about how EEOC failed to handle your case in a sufficient manner.
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Due Diligence
Amount: $170,000.00 total
Posted by: Miam in Atlanta, GA.Posted: December 5th, 2014 03:12PM
Law Firm: Me
If you think you've been wronged - remember the burden of proof is on you. I suggest the moment you think your employer is doing something wrong to you, you start a paper trail. Everything they say - reiterate it in a followup e-mail. Talk to them as little as possible about your problem - e-mail you conversations if you can because they lie. I can't stress it enough - you must gather evidence. If you retain a lawyer he/she is going to push you to gather evidence for them. Stay on top of your situation. Own it!
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discrimination lawsuits
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: a user in los Angeles, CA.Posted: November 21st, 2014 06:11PM
Law Firm: legal actions necessary
I have come to the conclusion that if ur case is not picked up by a lawyer it's because ur case is wobbly but if it is picked up in my opinion more than likely it's because ur going to win I've looked at the win lose ratio for a discriminatory lawsuit and most cases are settled before court and the ones that go to court usually win and they win a lot
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wrongful termination part 2
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Shirl Bates in pueblo, CO.Posted: September 24th, 2014 05:09PM
Law Firm: none
What can people do to make the EEOC treat of fair agaisnt employer. There is to many people out there being done wrong! please contact me very soon.
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employment wrongful termination
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: sr bates in pueblo, CO.Posted: September 24th, 2014 05:09PM
Law Firm: none
I had a strong case of race, age, disability agaisnt the colo department of corrections. and the EEOC man told me to just go get a job at Mc donalds where i would be happier
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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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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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