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So, I've decided to sue. What now? California

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  • So, I've decided to sue. What now? California

    Okay, I haven't really decided to sue. I'm nervous about the prospect, but I feel that I have some very legitimate reasons to bring suit againsy my former employer. 1) Contract violation 2) Misclassification and maybe 3) Hardship on my family

    My purpose in posting this thread is to find out what happens when a lawsuit is filed. I haven't spoken with an attorney yet because I don't know how much they will charge for an initial consulation. I don't have enough money as it is, and don't want to get stuck with a huge attorney bill.

    The total amount I would seek in damages would not exceed $5,000. I'm not sure if a lawyer would be charging me more than that, and make the whole process not worth it.

    If I do make the decision to sue my former employer, what can I expect in terms of cost? In terms of time? In terms of stress and exhaustion?


    Although I truly think Im owed this money, I am almost tempted to just move on because of the potential stress the lawsuit itself will bring.

  • #2
    Intial consultations are usually free
    http://www.parentnook.com/forum/

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    • #3
      The total amount I would seek in damages would not exceed $5,000.

      Then you can very likely sue in small claims court for minimal cost. It's impossible to tell from your post whether you actually have a viable cause of action. (I can tell you that "hardship on my family" is irrelevant however.) If you were misclassified - as in you were paid on an exempt basis and should have been paid on a non-exempt (hourly) basis, then you should file a complaint with your State's Department of Labor.

      You may want to consult with an attorney to see if an employment contract actually exists and if so, whether there were any violations that are actionable. FYI, very few individuals actually have a bonafide employment contract in place. An offer letter or employment agreement is not a contract.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Beth3 View Post
        The total amount I would seek in damages would not exceed $5,000.

        Then you can very likely sue in small claims court for minimal cost. It's impossible to tell from your post whether you actually have a viable cause of action. (I can tell you that "hardship on my family" is irrelevant however.) If you were misclassified - as in you were paid on an exempt basis and should have been paid on a non-exempt (hourly) basis, then you should file a complaint with your State's Department of Labor.

        You may want to consult with an attorney to see if an employment contract actually exists and if so, whether there were any violations that are actionable. FYI, very few individuals actually have a bonafide employment contract in place. An offer letter or employment agreement is not a contract.
        Thank you for your response, I think I spoke with you in a previous thread? Anyway I'm glad that you mentioned the offer letter/employment agreement..because my employer considers this a contract.

        If we were to go with the hyopothetical that I am not on a contract. Could the employer still enforce certain parameters stipulated in my employment agreement? For instance, they say if the "contract" is cancelled within 1 year, I must repay the travel costs associated with my job.

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        • #5
          Your best bet would be to have the agreement reviewed by an employment or contract attorney in your area. Someone who can read the agreement in full & give his/her professional opinion.
          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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          • #6
            If this is about the work in Afghanistan, you are REALLY going to need a lawyer. The embassy is your friend.

            The DOL is still going to be your best bet for improper classification (though the FLSA expressly provides that it "shall not apply with respect to any employee whose services during the workweek are performed in a workplace within a foreign country . . . ." 29 U.S.C. ยง 213(f)). The law is not extraterritorial.

            "Hardship to your family" isn't a recognized tort. I would not expect to win a claim and be exempt from having to repay travel expenses. If you accepted the job with that agreement in place, you are going to have a hard time claiming it is inapplicable now.
            I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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