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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

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. 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. 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] ,[7] and[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

Page 2 of 2   -   << Previous   1   2   

Never again
Amount: $300.00 total
Posted by: [email protected] in Philadelphia, PA.Posted: March 13th, 2021 07:03PM
After two years of harassment and hostility I left my job after 25 years. I was going home crying every day and was contemplating jumping off the 18 story building. Fortunately I got out. Found new work and my well being is so much better. The EEOC was no help they didn’t even investigate. Just a right to sue but getting a lawyer in this town that isn’t connected politically is impossible. If I ever see or experience this kind of hostility again the eeoc is not the answer look the other way if you see harassment and find new work if you are being harassed. Your well being is important
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Pay inequality
Amount: $9,070.00 total
Posted by: Poohbear in Gloucester, VA.Posted: December 26th, 2020 03:12PM
The EEOC department is soooo corrupt. It is their job, as representatives of taxpayers and enforcers of law to do thier job, an investigate a claim. My experience with a female EEOC investigator was horrible. After a 1 1/2 years later, she dismissed the case, and yet based on my witnesses, and written justification, there is no way possible she did her job. She gave the company I work for a free pass to commit any illegal activity the company wants to do. I reached out to her to find out what information she sued to make her determination, and she blew me off. Employees like this need to be fired. How ignorant is it to sign to do a job to represent enforcement of laws, and yet if there is actual work involved, then they wont do thier job. And to add, taxpayers pay her salary, and her gave the big company I work for, again, a free pass.
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Discrimination handicap, female over 40 retaliation
Amount: $345.00 total
Posted by: HOLDING THE LINE in Austin, TX.Posted: January 30th, 2018 08:01PM
Law Firm: None
I have been waiting for 5 years to have my case heard before the EEOC. It took the agency over 500 days to investigate. There was no coursing or extensions. The Agency admitted they had a policy that I was a victim of. The policy violates the Code of Federal Regulations. The
I could go on but with the agency violation of the 180 day processing, the EEOC who state they are over whelmed cod find fir me and clear the case. Then , the agency admitted to a policy that violates the law and is systemic discrimination!
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Employment Discrimination
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Very Aware and NOT STUPID in Miami, FL.Posted: November 29th, 2016 08:11AM
Law Firm: Yes
Who remembers how we get to these sites but after reading the comments, I just had to add my experience to the mix about the EEOC. I think the ONLY reason the EEOC took the time to investigate my case was because they saw that I had already hired a lawyer and he was working on my behalf. However the EEOC really didn't do anything. The incident happened in a city 300 miles away from where the investigator was working and investigating from!!! That should tell you something.... A lot of what they do is just mere analysis which is them sitting behind a desk looking at requested documents that the company to be sued provides them which obviously the company provides documents that would benefit them and make them look good. Bottom line, The EEOC is indeed a wasteful gateway to filing an actual lawsuit.
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Sexual harassment, bullying, retaliation, demotion, emotional stress, forceful resignation
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Worksforherkids in Chesterfield, MO.Posted: March 18th, 2016 08:03AM
Law Firm: McDonough Law Firm
I first contacted the eeoc back in February of last year. The day after my last day as a female union sawyer. My supervisor sexually harassed me for over 2 years. Once i decided enough was enough, i filed the grievance letter and sexual harassment papers. Within a month i was demoted, denied my raise, made to do what they called "a mans job" to be punished, bullied and all around treated unfairly. I also contacted a private attorney. We've already done the mediation with no such settlement. Now here we are over a year later! I know now that the eeoc JUST did their investigation this past week. I also know that there was legitimate evidence of a violation of law at that company. I cannot get a hold of anyone to even see whats going on, where is my right to sue letter, what the NEXT STEP is from here. I never speak to my lawyer, only his secretary, and he very seldom answers emails. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT I MAY EXPECT NEXT???? ITS BEEN OVER ONE YEAR!!!!
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Wage reduction after reporting false documentation and forgery by a coworker
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: ducdoc in Chicago, IL.Posted: August 5th, 2015 05:08AM
Law Firm: Looking for one
Contacted EEOC and reported my case. Was reffered back to my company's HR only, even if I have photo's of the forged documents.
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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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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: 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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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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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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Amount: $250,000.00 total
Posted by: HOTPOCKET in SOLON, OH.Posted: March 5th, 2015 04:03PM
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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 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: [email protected]
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: [email protected] 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,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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