Contingency fee + Fee-shifting statutes =
Unraveling the myth of the prohibitive cost of litigation for employees
In FAQ 1, I touched on the idea that employers use the supposed "high cost, expense, and delay" associated with the court system to justify the use of forced arbitration. And, in a sense, it's true. But not how you might think. This is because:
Most employment litigation is only
expensive for the employer–not the employee.
It's true: from the employee's perspective, litigation isn't that expensive anyway. This is because the employment legal system understands that an employee is not going to be able to afford a lawyer, and is essentially powerless and penniless compared to her employer. So these laws make up for that fact by requiring your employer to pay all legal fees your lawyer incurs in representing you if you win your case.
For example, in federal wage & hour litigation (what we practice), the law specifically requires that a prevailing plaintiff (you, the employee) receive TWICE the amount of unpaid wages you're owed, PLUS all of the attorneys fees and costs incurred in recovering that money. What's more, a prevailing defendant (your employer) is not entitled to any attorneys' fees from you if you lose.
On top of that, many (if not most) lawyers who represent employees in wage-related matters take cases exclusively on a "Contingent Fee Basis." This means that, if you recover or win your case, we get paid either a percentage of the recover or the fees that the court awards. If you lose or don't recover, you owe us nothing.
Where the employer has all the money and power, and the employee has nothing in comparison, the law levels the playing field. That's why we're here to help you recover every penny you're owed.
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