Calculating Your California Employment Law Claim Settlement Amounts
Employment claims in California, such as wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment, and discrimination, are civil cases. This means a successful employment claim in California will get plaintiffs a certain amount of money or services as damages.
You might have heard of high-profile cases that led to employees (or former employees) walking away with thousands or even millions of dollars in damages. However, things might not escalate to the courts in some cases, and aggrieved employees settle with their erring employers for a certain amount instead.
That said, how are these amounts decided? What's the difference between a court judgment and a settlement? And, if you have an eligible claim, how much should you ask for in California?
Here's what our labor law attorneys in Los Angeles have to say about it:
Settlement Vs. Court Cases In California Employment Law
Things might escalate to the judge, and you will have to go through the typical process of a California lawsuit. This process might include filing demand letters, filing claims, going into discovery, and battling it out in court.
Unfortunately, many clients are discouraged by the prospect of going through all that. Sometimes, people don't report or speak out about their employers violating California labor law rights because they perceive the process to be complicated.
However, California employment law claims don't have to end up in court. If you have a strong case with solid evidence, you and your employment law attorney in Los Angeles can compel an employer or defendant into an out-of-court settlement.
What Is A Typical Employment Lawsuit Settlement In California?
Damages and settlement amounts vary from case to case. You and your Los Angeles employment lawyer will negotiate a specific settlement amount. If the defendant doesn't agree to an out-of-court settlement, you could request this amount as damages in court.
So, how do experienced labor law attorneys in Los Angeles come up with a settlement amount? Here are a few factors that might be considered:
Economic Damages. These account for material damages like lost wages and benefits. These are easier to prove, as you only need to present documents and receipts.
Non-economic Damages. These are more "intangible" damages, like emotional distress. Unlike the first type, this is more challenging to prove, but experienced Los Angeles employment lawyers will know how best to build a strong case.
Do note that in some cases, you can also demand reinstatement. While it isn't monetary compensation, you and your California employment law attorney can compel your employer to do so as part of the settlement.
Reasons To Sue Your Employer In California
You have a long and comprehensive list of labor rights in California. Here are a few California employment law claims that you can file with the help of a prescreened California employment lawyer:
Unpaid wages. Unpaid wages can happen for various reasons, such as not paying minimum wage or overtime. These claims may also be the consequence of illegal deductions from an employee's pay or the failure to compensate an employee for travel costs or unused vacation time per the law.
Minimum wage. The minimum wage in California is determined by legislation, and it has been adjusted annually for several years. You can sue your employer for not paying you the minimum wage as the law dictates.
Overtime. When employees work more than 40 hours a week or eight hours a day, the law requires businesses to pay them 1.5 times the standard hourly rate. You may be able to sue your employer if you believe that you should have received overtime for all appropriate overtime hours worked.
Meal and rest breaks. You have the right to compensation if your employer denies you breaks even though you are entitled to them.
Non-reimbursed costs. Your employer must promptly reimburse you when you incur legitimate business costs while working. This can include the costs associated with traveling, working remotely, or other demands of your employment.
Unpaid vacation. Employees occasionally accumulate vacation time that is never used. According to California law, this time is considered earned income. When an employment relationship ends, companies are required to reimburse employees for any wasted vacation time.
Wrongful termination. If you were illegally fired (i.e., violation of your rights, discrimination, retaliation, etc.), you might have the right to sue for damages in California.
Retaliation. Employers cannot try to punish or get back at their employees for exercising their rights. Retaliation often happens after employees report their employer or coworkers about violating labor law rights.
Discrimination and harassment. Discrimination based on an employee's protected characteristics is illegal, and you can file claims against them.
If you're unsure about your case's eligibility, consult a prescreened California employment law attorney ASAP. An experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer knows their way around the law and can help you review your claim, gather evidence, and negotiate potential settlements in your interest.
Find Prescreened California Employment Law Attorneys Near You!
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