Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I have a case?
- How much is my case worth?
- How much do you charge?
- What happens after I submit a case evaluation form?
- Why do you charge a fee for initial consultations?
- What do you look for when deciding to take a case?
- What happens if I decide to file a lawsuit against my employer?
- I am still working for my employer. If I take action against them to protect my rights, will they fire me?
- Will you contact my employer about a possible settlement prior to filing a lawsuit?
- Are there time limits in which I must act to protect my rights or bring a claim against my employer?
- Do you ever represent employers?
Do I have a case?
The best way to find out is to submit a case evaluation form on the contact me page. Generally, an employer may not discriminate against an employee based on their race, gender, age, national origin, disability, or any other protected category. Taking employment actions – hiring, firing, promotion, compensation – based on a protected characteristic is unlawful. Every employee also has the right to be free from sexual harassment in the workplace and must be paid a minimum wage and, potentially, overtime. Employers are also prohibited from permitting a hostile work environment, in which slurs, offensive “jokes,” and stereotypes are prevalent. However, North Carolina is an “employment at will” state, which means that an employee can be fired for any reason that is not discriminatory or otherwise unlawful.
How much is my case worth?
It depends on your individual situation. There are many types of damages that may be available to you, including back pay, front pay, emotional distress, compensatory, statutory, and punitive. Once I have had an opportunity to review your situation, I can give you a better assessment of what your case is worth. Rest assured that, if we decide to litigate against your employer, we will pursue every dollar that you are entitled to receive.
How much do you charge?
It depends on the issues presented by your case. We always try to work with our clients on a fee structure that will work for both them and the firm. We do charge a fee for initial consultations. There may also be third-party costs associated with pursuing your case that do not go to me. For example, there is a fee that must be paid to the court when a lawsuit is filed.
What happens after I submit a case evaluation form?
We review and respond to every case evaluation form that is submitted. Most of the time, we will call after we receive the form to introduce ourselves and set up a time for us to meet for an initial consultation. Sometimes, we can tell from the case evaluation form that the case is not the right fit for us, in which case we will let you know that as soon as possible.
Why do you charge a fee for initial consultations?
Let’s talk about what you can expect from an initial consultation. We will have already reviewed your case evaluation form (available on our contact us page) and used it to prepare an outline of questions for our meeting. We will also likely have done some preliminary research on your employer. You will meet with an attorney, not an intake clerk or paralegal, for an hour to discuss your situation. It is our goal that, whether or not we decide to go forward together, you will leave the initial consultation with a solid understanding of your rights. Because of the amount of time we spend preparing for each initial consultation, we charge a fee for them.
What do you look for when deciding to take a case?
We look for employees who were treated unlawfully by their employers and who have strong employment claims. We are particularly likely to take cases involving sexual harassment, manager or executive level employees, or multi-plaintiff cases (cases where more than one employee has been harmed by the same employer).
What happens if I decide to file a lawsuit against my employer?
You should check out our timeline of an employment case page, which we have prepared to explain the litigation process. We understand that litigation is stressful and unfamiliar, and we will be there every step of the way to explain things and help you feel comfortable.
I am still working for my employer. If I take action against them to protect my rights, will they fire me?
There are retaliation laws that protect employees who are in that exact situation. While your employer could break those laws and take action against you, that would be most unwise on their part. Judges and juries have been known to react very unfavorably to employers who retaliate.
Will you contact my employer about a possible settlement prior to filing a lawsuit?
Every case is different, but that is usually a good idea. Our view is that it never hurts to make or listen to an offer or a proposal. We always strive to maintain a courteous relationship with the other side, and to approach employers in a firm, but open-minded, way. Sophisticated employers know that employment discrimination and harassment is bad for everyone, including them. Discrimination and harassment hurt both employee morale and profitability, and time spent on discrimination and harassment can be better spent elsewhere. And, when employment decisions are made based on unlawful discrimination, high performing employees are lost for reasons that have nothing to do with the company’s interests. Given that, and the costs and expenses involved in litigation, employers are often willing to negotiate settlements.
Are there time limits in which I must act to protect my rights or bring a claim against my employer?
Yes! There are stringent timelines in which an employee must act if he or she wishes to bring a claim. If you have been the victim of discrimination or harassment, the sooner you contact us the better. We never want to see an employee who has been treated unlawfully to lose their opportunity to take action because they delayed in contacting legal counsel.
Do you ever represent employers?
We represent both employees and employers in non-competition, non-solicitation, and trade secret cases. Occasionally, we represent employers in discrimination and harassment cases, and any employer who is interested in representation is welcome to call us..