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CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Employment > Sexual Harassment Attorney

Sexual Harassment Attorney Cost


How Much Does a Sexual Harassment Attorney Cost?

 
low costLow: No Fee to File with the EEOCaverage costMedium: Attorney May Charge 20%-50% on a Contingency Basis

Sexual harassment can be verbal, visual or physical -- generally, any sort of sexual behavior that is unwelcome and/or inappropriate for the work place. The basic types of sexual harassment are quid pro quo[1] (requiring sexual favors in return for job benefits such as a promotion or to avoid being fired), hostile environment[2] and favoritism (although federal law and some state laws consider favoritism to be a type of quid pro quo or hostile environment harassment). In a successful sexual harassment lawsuit, the employer can be ordered to change its practices, you can be reinstated (if you lost your job because of the harassment), and you could be paid compensatory damages (lost wages and benefits, both past and future), punitive damages, attorneys' fees or other costs.

Typical costs:

  • There is no charge for filing a sexual harassment complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). (If the case is more appropriately handled on the state level, the EEOC may refer it to the proper agency.) If the EEOC finds reasonable cause to believe a violation occurred, it will try to reach a voluntary settlement, often through a mediation process. If no agreement can be reached, the case will be referred to the EEOC legal staff or the US Department of Justice, depending on the circumstances. However, the EEOC is unable to file a lawsuit in every case where it has found a legal violation. If the EEOC does not file a lawsuit on your behalf, it will issue you a Notice of Right-to-Sue, which allows you to file a lawsuit in federal or state court within 90 days.
  • Many private attorneys will accept a sexual harassment lawsuit on a contingency basis, with the lawyer receiving nothing if you lose the case and 20-50 percent of any money received in a settlement or judgment. 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. Or an attorney may handle your sexual harassment lawsuit on a partial contingency basis, requiring you to pay certain fees and expenses whether you win or lose the case.
  • 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, Employment Discrimination Lawsuit

What should be included:
  • There are time limits for filing a claim or lawsuit in a sexual harassment case. Some cases may be quickly settled out of court and others may drag on for years. SexualHarassmentLawsuit.org describes what happens if you file an EEOC claim, a state fair employment practice claim or a civil lawsuit, and the US Department of Transportation provides a detailed sexual harassment fact sheet.
  • Sexual harassment cases may fall under state or federal laws. The American Bar Association provides a detailed general overview of workplace laws[3] .
Additional costs:
  • Some attorneys may 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 a sexual harassment attorney:
  • Ask about the attorney's training and experience. Lawyers.com explains how to prepare to meet[4] with an employment/harassment attorney and the National Employment Lawyers Association discusses the process for hiring[5] an 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
My Attorney, Susan Huchinson of grapevine, Texas
Amount: $1,000,000,000.00 total
Posted by: Left High And DRY by Attorney in Grapevine, TX.Posted: May 25th, 2012 10:05PM
Law Firm: Susan Huchinson
She sent me a late night email dropping my EEOC case which is already set in the Dallas Federal court because she no longer feels it is cost effective to her to help me with it when she learned from the defendant's attorney they are just now claiming less than the required 15 employees, even when this is a lie by them. Help?!
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External Resources:
  1.  www.stopvaw.org/Quid_Pro_Quo_Sexual_Harassment.html
  2.  www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_issues_for_consumers/sex...
  3.  www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/publiced/practical/books/family_legal...
  4.  labor-employment-law.lawyers.com/Employees-Preparing-to-Meet-with-a-Lawyer.html
  5.  www.nela.org/NELA/index.cfm?event=showPage&pg=findalawyer
  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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