If you’re going through any type of employment dispute, chances are that it’s taking an emotional toll on you and your family. But while legal battles with your employer can be overwhelming, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take action to fight back.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to one question: can you afford an employment lawyer? If your case is strong enough and you have the financial means to fight your case to the end, then yes—you can afford an employment lawyer and should hire one as soon as possible.
1) Ask yourself these three questions
What is your family’s monthly income? 2. Do you have any money set aside for legal bills? 3. Is there anyone in your circle of friends or family who has used a lawyer like yours before, or do you know someone who may be able to offer some insight into local attorneys? If yes, call them up and ask them a few questions: 1. Have they had experience using lawyers similar to yours? 2. Would they recommend him/her? 3.
2) Have you made less than $50,000 per year?
If you’ve made less than $50,000 in any given year, you may be able to find legal assistance through a low-cost or free program. These programs can help with cases involving workplace discrimination and harassment, wrongful termination, workplace injuries, and more.
In some cases, even if you’ve earned more than $50,000 per year, these programs may be able to provide discounted services for individuals without large assets.
3) Are you currently unemployed?
If you are not receiving a paycheck anymore, you may have some legal rights that are being violated. An employment lawyer can help you get your job back and/or receive compensation for lost wages, emotional distress, and other damages. At a minimum, talk with an employment attorney about your situation before filing a complaint of any kind.
4) Have you missed payments on your debt in the last 90 days?
If you have missed a payment on any debt in your household, including mortgages and auto loans, then hiring a lawyer might not be possible. It is likely that your creditors have already started proceedings against you which will make it difficult for you to find a credit line or borrowing capacity in order to pay a legal bill. If you can’t borrow money to get help now, what makes you think that hiring an attorney will change anything?
5) Do you have credit card debt in collections?
Before you can hire an employment lawyer, you’ll have to determine whether or not you can afford one. First and foremost, avoid taking on more debt. Your first step is to put a stop payment on all your credit cards except for one.
Use that card only for monthly necessities like rent, utilities, and groceries; any cash advances beyond that amount will do nothing but add extra interest and fees to your debt.
6) Have you lost your home in foreclosure?
A growing number of homeowners have lost their homes in foreclosure, as housing prices across America continue to fall. While some of these foreclosures may have been inevitable, others may have been preventable had these homeowners sought professional help with their loans.
If you’re facing a foreclosure, your first step should be to hire a lawyer who can help determine whether you had no choice but to surrender your home—or whether there was something more that could have been done.
7) Have you been unable to pay bills in the last three months?
Losing a job can be devastating enough without having to worry about losing your home or not being able to feed your family.
If you’ve been out of work for three months or more, know that you’re entitled to receive unemployment insurance payments—and know that these payments will enable you to pay your bills while looking for a new job.