You work hard and perform admirably well for your employer. Unfortunately, your employer has neglected to compensate you for the full amount of time you have put into your job. Whether you received just one paycheck that falls short of what you should earn to working several hours of overtime without pay, you need to find a way to get your employer back on the straight and narrow when it comes to payroll.
This might mean you have to hire a California-licensed wage and hour attorney to help you recover the wages that you deserve.
Now that you can move forward by hiring a wage and hour lawyer, let’s review the factors that determine which attorney is the one you should work with to reclaim lost wages.
Specializes in Employment Law
During the time you researched potential attorneys, you probably came across several litigators that cover several different practices. For example, you might have found an attorney who practices California employment law, as well as litigates consumer protection and personal injury cases.
An attorney who is good at many practices is not the same as an attorney who is great at handling employment law cases.
Only consider lawyers that specialize in employment law, preferably attorneys that know how to navigate the complex nature of California wage and hour statutes.
Finding an attorney who specializes in handling California employment law is a good start. You might have found a California employment attorney who handles wage and hour cases.
Your search is not over.
Like a better who scours a daily horse racing sheet, you want to work with an employment lawyer who has a record of success representing clients in wage and hour cases. Start by accessing the search tool uploaded by the California State Bar to review the education, experience, and disciplinary history of an employment lawyer. Then, dig deeper to determine whether any of the lawyers on your shortlist have achieved success inside of a courtroom or a company conference room.
You need to work with a Californian employment lawyer that gets positive results for clients.
Responsive Communication Skills
There is nothing more frustrating than communicating with a stone wall.
Well, you do not talk with inanimate objects, but some lawyers can make clients feel like they are talking to a stone wall.
Attorneys across the practice spectrum try to shove 12 hours into an eight-hour workday. They move about at the same frantic pace as a hamster moves on a spinning wheel.
Your wage and hour lawyer must be responsive to you if you expect to come out a winner in a wage and hour dispute.
This means your attorney should get back to you quickly after a phone message and every time you leave an email and a text message. Your wage and hour claim has a limited amount of time to resolve, especially if you decide to file a civil lawsuit.
Maintains the Right Poker Face
“Knowing when to hold them and knowing when to hold them” is a timeless poker saying that found its way on the top of the Billboard music charts. It is also a timeless saying for employment lawyers that need to know when the time has come to settle with an employer, as well as when the time is right to fight back by filing a civil lawsuit.
The best attorneys know how to read the people that sit on the other side of a table. A savvy employment lawyer picks up on mood, mental sharpness, and most importantly, the truth in what your employer’s legal representatives bring to the conference room table.
After reading the non-verbal cues expressed by the other side, your California lawyer should be able to determine the best course of legal action to help you recover the wages and hours taken from you by your employer.
Contingency Fee Basis
The last factor in what to look for in a California wage attorney is all about money. You have to answer one question.
How much money do you have to pay upfront in legal fees?
Eliminate any employment attorney who asks for upfront legal fees. An employment lawyer who works on a contingency fee basis gets paid for all the hard work when you recover the money illegally withheld by your employer. Your attorney receives a percentage of what you recover, which can include liquidated damages that match the amount of wages you recovered.