An experienced lawyer can help you determine whether you have a claim based on a specific statute or a violation of public policy.
Prepare for your first meeting by creating a timeline of events: what led up to your complaint or your report, when you complained or tried to exercise your rights, and what happened as a result.
To prove retaliation or whistleblowing, you must show that you were fired because of your complaint or report.
Timing is crucial: The less time between your complaint and your employer’s negative action against you, the stronger your claim is. You’ll also have to show that the person who decided to fire you knew of your protected activities.
An employment lawyer will review all of the facts, explain your potential claims, and estimate how much your claims might be worth. A lawyer can also help you decide on the best strategy to vindicate your rights, whether through negotiating with your employer, filing a complaint with a government agency, or going to court.
You may be concerned about how you will pay a lawyer to represent you. Depending on your claims, a lawyer may be willing to take your case on a contingency fee basis.
This means the lawyer is paid only if you win, out of the money you receive through a court award or a settlement with your employer. Some retaliation statutes include an attorneys’ fees provision, requiring a losing employer to pay the winning employee’s legal fees. You should receive a written explanation of how your lawyer will charge fees at the outset of your working relationship.