How Much Does An Employment Law Attorney Cost?

The most common reason why people don’t pursue legal remedies or file a claim against an employer that has violated their rights is because they think they can’t afford an employment law attorney.

There is a misconception that it’s prohibitively expensive to consult with an employment law lawyer but that’s not always the case.

Often you can consult with an attorney for free just to find out if an experienced employment lawyer thinks that you have been a victim of discrimination and should file a claim.

If your employer has harassed you or discriminated against you then you should file a claim to hold them responsible for their actions that violate state or Federal labor laws.

Cost of an Employment Law Attorney

The cost of an employment lawyer varies depending on where you live, but the ways that attorneys get paid also vary and can make it easier to afford the services of employment lawyer no matter what your budget is.

There are three primary ways that employment lawyers get paid:

Hourly: Employment attorneys who work on an hourly fee charge both for the time that they spend talking to you about your claim and for time they spend researching specific information for your claim, filing paperwork, making phone calls on your behalf, or appearing for you in court or at meetings. They may ask for a retainer or a sum of money up front before they will start working to make sure that they are going to get paid. If you work with an employment lawyer that works on an hourly basis you can set a limit on the number of hours that you want to pay for to make sure that you don’t get hit with a huge surprise bill. Often it’s worth it to pay for an hour of the attorney’s time and talk to them about your situation to get their opinion on what your options are if you think that you have been a victim of workplace discrimination.

Flat Fee: Employment lawyers that work on a flat fee will charge one price for a set amount of work. If you want just a consultation they will charge one flat fee for that. If you want to file a claim they will charge another fee for that, but that the fee will include all of the work that must be done to file the claim.

Contingency: If you find an employment attorney that works on contingency that means that the lawyer won’t require any money up front. Instead, you sign a contract agreeing to give them a specific percentage of any damages, back wages, or other compensation that you receive after your claim is decided. In this scenario the attorney makes nothing if you don’t win any money so that you are not out any money if you don’t get awarded any money. If you have lost your job unfairly and want to file a claim against your employer but money is tight because you lost your job finding an employment lawyer that works on contingency could help you get the legal advice you need to file your claim.

What Is the Average Retainer Fee for an Employment Lawyer?

Employment lawyers do not have a standard amount they charge a client. Instead, there are several ways an employment could charge a client. These methods are described below. 

Employment lawyers may use a contingency fee agreement, charge flat fee or charge by the hour. When attorneys charge by the hour, it can typically cost between $100-$400.

When you work with an attorney, you will want to discuss their fee and payment system right away. This will help you determine how many hours you would like to work with the attorney and/or if their payment structure works for your needs. 

Requesting A Retainer Fee 

A retainer fee could start at $2,000. This fee will be kept in a trust account by the employment attorney who will deduct their hourly rate from the account. When the account balance reaches $500 the attorney might request an additional amount to be deposited.

So, in short, if you don’t experience any surprises, you should be sure to ask your lawyer what their payment requirements are before working with them. 

Why Should I Hire An Employment Law Attorney?

No one should put up with discrimination or harassment at work. Even though it can be difficult to talk about what happened to you at work by filing a claim you are letting your employer know that they cannot break the law and get away with it.

You also could be helping other people who are in the same situation but can’t or don’t want to speak out about the violations that are occurring at that workplace.

An employment lawyer can help you hold your employer accountable for violating your rights. If you were harassed, discriminated against, or had your rights violated in your workplace or by an employer you should file a complaint.

An experienced employment lawyer can help you understand your rights and file a claim.

Get a Free Case Evaluation

If you suspect that your rights have been violated by an employer fill out a free case evaluation and get connected with an employment lawyer in your area that can assess your situation, guide you through the claim process, and represent your interests when it comes to dealing with your employer or former employer.

Additional Resources