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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% 

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). 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. 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. 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] ,[9] and[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 by the town of Gila Bend Arizona
Amount: $1,800.00 total
Posted by: Jamal in GILA BEND, AZ.Posted: March 7th, 2023 06:03AM
My lawyer has claimed it to not be worth fighting. What do I do? I made some safety concerns to the public works supervisor who stated "its fine been that way for years". So I then made the same concerns to the manager. Said she would look into it. After the public works manager decided he would take personal tools and became rude with how he spoke to me. I took two days off to avoid the confrontational public works manager. The town manager then ignored me as if I didn't exist. When she finally did speak to me she fired me.
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Wrongfully Terminated
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Debbie Burnett in kissimmee, FL.Posted: October 19th, 2017 10:10AM
Law Firm: N/a
Was sexually assualted and harassed by two supervisors while i was employed by the state of fl then complained to the regional director was fired 3 days later. Contacted eeoc and have not recieved a response, its been over 180 days. I am still unemployed and my debit continues to add up. I did press charges against the supervisor who assualted me..
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Chicken and FIRED
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Marco Quintero in Sacramento, CA.Posted: January 27th, 2017 06:01PM
Law Firm: Me
Was shortened on my check over 150.00$ when I approached him about it he fired me on the spot
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FMLA wrongful termination
Amount: $500,000.00 total
Posted by: Susan Veliz in Dover, DE.Posted: January 2nd, 2017 12:01PM
Anthony met with an attorney back in March of 2015 and paid for a consultation fee; however, this attorney did not work on a contingency at the time, because Anthony was unemployed, we were concerned with our budget and savings and decided at this time we could not afford the attorney’s fees and again he was unable to take his case on a contingency basis. Since then, Anthony has pursued this case himself. He has won An Appeal Hearing with the Delaware Department of Labor regarding this matter (Date of Hearing 3/23/2015). Anthony has also filed a civil suit with the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. Since filing the civil suit with United States District Court, he has received correspondence from Walmart’s attorneys. They have reached out to him to see if he is willing to settle and not take the case to trial. At this point, first and foremost, he would like help and assistant with a settlement letter and if this case does proceed to trial
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Unjust firing practices
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Bsn in Pikesville, MD.Posted: September 19th, 2016 09:09PM
Law Firm: Not yet
I was unjusyly terminated from my job after an employee fabricated a story about me making sexual comments about her. I never anyvsexual comments to that subject. I did not deserve to have my personal data displayed in public.
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Suspension pending termination
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Sukhi in New York city, NY.Posted: September 1st, 2016 05:09AM
Law Firm: None yet
General manager was not following company policies regarding stock inventory. Informed him multiple times of correct methods, he refused to correct his ways. Called HR and filed report, 2 months later right. after investigation was complete he gives me a corrective action. After corrective action I spoke to HR and Regional manager she refuse to understand that the corrective action was in retaliation, and my fear for termination. About 2 weeks ago after only one response to my multiple attempts to reach out to her she visits the store and gives me a performance improvement plan, with no indications that she understood what was written. Now I have been suspended, with a pending investigation that they will not tell me about.
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Wrongful Termination At Wal-Mart
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Gab in Cecile County, MD.Posted: August 15th, 2016 07:08AM
Law Firm: Unknown
8 months pregnant with less than 6 weeks away from delivery. Terminated on FMLA approved absence. Help?
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Wrongful termination
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Jacob Castillo in Victoria, TX.Posted: February 22nd, 2016 05:02PM
Law Firm: None
Wrongfully terminated from a major company. They violated their rule book and contract for firing me for no apparent reason. Without even following their 3 step counseling process. Which is stated in both contract and employee handbook. Not once had I received a complaint or write up since hired. I'm not saying it's an easy case because I know there are rarely any out there, but I am confident in my chances because I have done extensive reading online and read the handbook several times for anything I may have violated. I wasn't even informed about my termination.
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Wrongful termination
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Cornelius gordon in Las vegas, NV.Posted: February 9th, 2016 04:02AM
Law Firm: Non
I was terminated for obstructing a drive cam. Same laws apply to driving a coach while using a cell phone. I was on the cell with another driver while she was driving a bus when she hit a large hole on the road then her drive cam activated. She was called into the office in Los Angeles, was told she was seen talking on her cell but given a paper form by her supervisor. I wasn't given the same reprimand. Another driver purposely drove off road with 50 passengers. Bus became lodged in a creek. He had his passengers attempt to push the bus out in the hot desert. Bus was towed with damages. He too was able to walk away with a form. I never moved my bus. I only wanted to repair my seat and never trusted a cam. I wasn't given the same slap on the wrist. Plus I've never been in trouble before and was very trustworthy
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Wrongfully Terminated. Not terminated. Terminated again
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Mr. D.E. Lang... Jr. in Reno, NV.Posted: January 6th, 2016 10:01PM
Law Firm: In search of
I was told to complete a project by our supervisor. Upon doing so, a coworker, who thinks he's the boss but holds the same title of "Lead" as myself,decides to throw tact and professionaism out the window. Yelling, screaming and severely cursing me, at the top of his lungs, in front of CEO's and a multitude of our own peers, in a warehouse not belonging to our company I might add. "Get your s#!t and get the F√©k out of here, your F√¢k!πg done," he flagrantly scowls to me. So I comply, as to not cause more of a scene, knowing I'm in the right. On my way out he stops me saying, "just get back to work." I, once again, retrieve my tools and the parts needed to finalize my project. Returning to my work area, I hear, "WTF, why the h€|| are you using that s#!t, are you really that f√¢kπg stupid?" I let him know that our boss advised me to use these parts. "Bu||s#!t, that's the most retarded thing ive ever heard, just leave, just f√©k!πg leave. So I did.
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Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: READY TO GO TO COURT IF NECESSARY in Washington, DC.Posted: July 16th, 2015 04:07PM
I am ready to go to court and you should be too, if necessary. If interested in my case,post your info here,no exceptions!!! Profile Case! Email below is not valid!!!!!!!!!!
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wrongful termination
Amount: $10,000.00 total
Posted by: Cara O'Keefe in Carson City, NV.Posted: July 7th, 2015 04:07PM
terminated from state because I assisted someone they felt I should not have assisted. No transaction occurred, never gave out information, didn't sign anything... They actually terminated me for a reason I can not prove. I appealed the termination & won. A judicial review overturned the decision. I need to appeal, but can't afford another attorney, and I am getting the run around from bot the HR office & the District Courts on what I need to do. Looking for someone to take this on contingency. After my attorney moved, I took a closer look at everything & I don't feel my attorney did what he could to defend me. Alot of "mistakes".
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wrongful termination
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: a user in las vegas, NV.Posted: February 7th, 2015 06:02AM
Law Firm: unknown
I was terminated from my gob for having cancer if there is any lawyer that can help me with this please get in contact with me. This is dated from January 5 2015
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Wrongful Termination Attorney on contingency
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: injustice14 in San Francisco, CA.Posted: December 20th, 2014 05:12PM
Law Firm: san francisco
whistle blowers are supposed to have,more importantly as a shop steward I was protected as well. A public employee, since 2004. Seriously injured at work,transferred per reasonable accommodations,elected shop steward at the new department, uncover countless labor contract violations, health and safety code violations,as well as the management allowing registered sex offenders to reside in this facility in violation of law. I informed my supervisors of the violations, and my union contract enforcer. I was repaid with being placed on administrative leave, docked pay. Hired a law firm who agreed to file complaints against the employer and union, in August, 2013. September, 2014 I find out they failed to file complaint against union, and denied having agreed, I believe they negligently handled my case to run out the statute for damages against the union, and sabotage the rest of my case,perhaps favor brokering, Joel Siegal law firm in SF, CA. stay away from them
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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 can we go about getting a lawyer that can take our case...
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