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CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Employment > Wrongful Termination Attorney

Wrongful Termination Attorney Cost


How Much Does a Wrongful Termination Attorney Cost?

 
 average costMedium: Legal Fees on a Contingency Basis May Be 30-40% 
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In the US, most employment is considered "at will,"[1] meaning either the employee or the employer can end the employment at any time, and without cause. Firing an employee is considered wrongful (illegal) only if violates an employee's employment contract or a union contract, or if the firing is based upon some form of specific discrimination or retaliation for the employee's legally protected actions (such as filing a worker's compensation claim after being injured on the job). In a successful case, a wrongfully terminated employee could receive back pay, reinstatement, a promotion, reasonable accommodation, front pay (when there is no reinstatement, this is the money the employee could have received if able to return to work under better conditions), compensatory damages for pain and suffering and emotional distress, punitive damages, attorneys' fees and related costs.

Typical costs:

  • If an attorney believes you have a strong case, he or she might handle your wrongful termination lawsuit on a contingency basis. If you lose the case you won't owe any legal fees but if you win the case the attorney will take anywhere from 30-40 percent of any money received. More often, wrongful termination lawsuits are billed on a partial contingency basis, where you would agree to pay for certain costs or fees no matter what the outcome of the case.
  • Wrongful termination applies in only a limited number of situations and many cases settle out of court. However, for those that go to trial the Council on Education in Management estimates that the average jury award for a wrongful termination lawsuit is $1.8 million.
  • An attorney may also handle a wrongful termination case on an hourly basis, charging $100-$500 or more an hour. These fees can quickly mount up to $15,000-$30,000 and more, and generally if you can't find an attorney to handle your wrongful termination suit on a contingency or partial contingency basis, you may not have a strong case (or there may not be enough money involved to justify the time and expenses required).
  • If you need legal assistance and can't afford an attorney, often Legal Aid or other agencies can provide free or reduced-fee help. The American Bar Association lists legal resources for each state. You can also contact your state labor department for information about how to pursue a wrongful termination claim.
Related articles: Employment Discrimination Lawsuit, Sexual Harassment Attorney, Slip and Fall Lawsuit

What should be included:
  • Also called wrongful discharge, wrongful firing, wrongful dismissal, illegal discharge, illegal termination or illegal dismissal, wrongful termination is governed by a variety of federal and state laws, depending on circumstances and location. And a firing can be unfair or arbitrary without necessarily being wrongful (illegal). Justia.com gives an overview[2] of reasons a firing might be considered wrongful termination and the American Bar Association describes the major federal labor laws[3] , as well as a detailed general overview of workplace laws[4] . State laws vary; contact your state labor department for specifics.
  • Many employers will give a plausible reason for firing an employee. In a wrongful termination lawsuit, the employee must have strong evidence that the employer's real motive for the firing violated state or federal law, or an existing contract. Often as part of the lawsuit process an employer will raise any issue or incident the employee had on the job as justification for firing that person.
  • A wrongful termination lawsuit can be emotionally draining. WrongfulTermination.com lists guidelines[5] for making a successful wrongful termination case and ten possible reasons not to sue.
Additional costs:
  • Some employment attorneys may provide a free initial consultation, but others will charge their usual hourly rate for reviewing the facts of your case and telling you what your options might be.
Shopping for a wrongful termination attorney:
  • Ask about the attorney's training and experience. Lawyers.com explains how to prepare to meet[6] with an employment attorney and the National Employment Lawyers Association discusses the process for hiring an attorney[7] to handle an employment dispute.
  • The local employment office or state labor department may have a list of employee rights lawyers. Referrals are also online at the National Employment Lawyers Association[8] , Lawyers.com[9] and FindLaw.com[10] .
  • Your attorney should provide you with a written fee agreement. Be sure you understand how you will be charged (contingency or hourly) and any additional costs you will have to pay.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Wrongful Termination
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Thomas Marcum in Houston, TX.Posted: October 14th, 2014 02:10PM
Law Firm: not yet
I was terminated while under medical care after suffering from a bad abscessed tooth and suffered from poison from the abscess was released into my body. I went back and forth from the dentist to the doctor. I received a letter in the mail stating that I no longer had a job. After filing for unemployment the company has fought my claim. I had filed FMLA for my absences and still was terminated. What do I do?
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wrongful termination
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: W_Nolan in Westminster, CA.Posted: May 18th, 2014 11:05PM
Law Firm: none yet
I had a emotional breakdown at work, I suffer from Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia and Depression. My work was aware of my panic attacks but still fired me since this breakdown was much more severe than previous ones. During the breakdown I had stormed through the store and then after my HR manager threatened my job I screamed at her until I was forced out of the building and suspended.
During my reasonable accommodation that followed it was confirmed my conditions caused my breakdown. My company then asked my doctor to promise me not to have another emotional breakdown, to which my doctor stated that is impossible to promise. Since the promise could not be made I was fired for being unsafe.
Also during the accommodation I had provided them with a few alternative positions that would lesson the stress and they were all rejected and accommodation was denied
No lawyer wants my case because there isn't any money in it for them since I worked at the company for 14 months and made minimum wage.
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wrongfully termination
Amount: $40,000.00 total
Posted by: hollywood in tucson, AZ.Posted: June 12th, 2013 06:06PM
I was wrongfully terminated from raytheon on hear say no witness no video recording nothing. I am losing everything. I worked for that company for five years I've been abuse, threaten, harassed. Back in december a former coworker lied and say I threaten her after work. Without even looking in to it the company fired me I can prove that my former coworker lied. But no one will take the case because I'm not working so no money is coming in. I was turned down for unemployment. I need help if anyone can help me please do so.
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Workmans Compensation Retaliation
Amount: $2,200.00 total
Posted by: pantrycastout in St Augustine, FL.Posted: May 9th, 2012 08:05PM
My experience so far has been lengthy and life changing.rnrnI was terminated after 8 years of service after filing a workmans comp claim.rnMy employer denied my unemployment benefits but, I prevailed at the Appeal hearing.rnrnMy retaliation lawsuit is looking better for me everyday.rnrnIf you were wronged after loyal service to an employer that retiliates against you, for what ever reason, FIGHT BACK !!!!rnrnAttorneys receive a percentage of your winnings. They deserve it. With out them winnings would be zero.rnrnFight for what is right.
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wrongful termination from disney in fl
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: mymillenia in kisimmee, FL.Posted: March 9th, 2012 07:03AM
Law Firm: kissimmee
I was put out on medical leave by my doctor after a car accident. disney decided to terminate me when I was on medical leave and they did not tell me until I went back with a note from my doctor saying that I can go back to work. they put me back on schedule and they did not tell me that was the reason for terminating me after months of fighting them and going to human resources I decided to find a lawyer to see if I can get my job back or what can be done
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wrongful termination overturned
Amount: $16,000.00 total
Posted by: sarita floyd in St. Louis, MO.Posted: September 28th, 2011 09:09PM
Law Firm: Bobbinette
The attorney charged 16,000,00 out of 17,000.00 I thought this to be a bit excessive? Is there no maximum percentage, for this in Missouri?
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wrongfull termination
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Dianne Grant Rodriguez in New York City, NY.Posted: August 19th, 2011 05:08AM
Law Firm: not yet
hi my name is Dianne Rodriguez and i have a question in which i waish you can help me. me and 3 other employee at my work site was terminated for no apparent reason... when i ask why was i being terminated.. the director from human resources shook his head and told me he was sorry but it was a dicision the facility manager wanted. i was an excellent worker, my job title was caseworker ay an SRO shelter for people inflicted with HIV/AIDS. 3 other co-workers that worked with me in the same facility were also terminated with out a reason. now me and my 3 co-worker which got terminated for no apparent reason want to file a class action against the conpany in which we work for . which is Praxis Housing Inc.how can we go about getting a lawyer that can take our case...
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External Resources:
  1.  labor-employment-law.lawyers.com/human-resources-law/Employer-At-Will-Employment-FAQ.html
  2.  www.justia.com/employment/firing-wrongful-termination/
  3.  www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_issues_for_consumers/workplac...
  4.  www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/publiced/practical/books/family_legal_guid...
  5.  www.wrongfultermination.com/index2.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=21&pop=1&page=0&...
  6.  labor-employment-law.lawyers.com/Employees-Preparing-to-Meet-with-a-Lawyer.html
  7.  www.nela.org/NELA/index.cfm?event=showPage&pg=findalawyer
  8.  www.nela.org/NELA/index.cfm?event=showPage&pg=findalawyer
  9.  lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practice/Labor-Law
  10.  lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practice/Employment-Law----Employee
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