How Much Can I Get if I Sue My Employer?

How Much Can I Get if I Sue My Employer?

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How Much Can I Get if I Sue My Employer?

There is no fixed amount of compensation you may be entitled to when you sue your employer. The exact amount you may be able to recover depends on the specifics of your case. Contacting an experienced labor and employment attorney is one of the best ways to determine how much compensation you may be entitled to when you sue your employer.

The attorney will review the case and evaluate the damages. Only after assessing damages will the attorney be able to tell the amount of compensation you may be entitled to.

If you have a reason to sue your employer and are unsure of the amount of compensation you may be entitled to, contact Morgan and Morgan for a free case evaluation. Our labor and employment attorneys will review the unique circumstances of your case and then let you know what to expect when you decide to take legal action against your employer.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

  • What Are Some Good Reasons to Sue My Employer?

    Most states follow the 'at-will' employment legal principle. This means your employer has the right to hire or fire you just as long as they do so legally. In other words, your employer cannot mistreat you or violate your rights just because they have the power to hire and fire you. But, despite this, many employers still violate the law and violate their employees' rights. If that's what you or your loved one is dealing with, you may be able to take legal action against the rogue employer.

    Some good and valid reasons to sue an employer include the following:

    Wrongful Termination

    Just because your employer has the right to hire or fire you as they please does not mean you do not have rights as an employee. For example, if your employer terminates your employment for unfair reasons, you can sue them for wrongful termination.

    In most cases, employees are shielded by law when they participate in 'protected' activities in the workplace. Examples of these protected activities include:

    • Offering information to authorities investigating the employer's conduct
    • Raising the alarm over certain violations in the workplace by the employer, e.g., tax evasion, child labor, etc
    • Defending the rights of other employees in the workplace
    • Refusing to participate in illegal activities in the workplace per the employer's orders
    • Requesting accommodation of an employee's disability
    • Filing a worker's compensation claim
    • Appearing as a witness in investigations targeting the employer


    Labor and employment laws all over the country protect workers from discrimination in the workplace. Specifically, these laws protect workers against discrimination based on protected characteristics such as race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, skin color, disability, or others.


    You may be able to sue your employer if you have been harassed in the workplace. This is especially true if:

    • Harassment is a condition of continued employment. Take an example of a situation where your employer demands sexual favors from you in order to keep your job. This amounts to sexual harassment.
    • The employer's conduct interferes with your ability to perform your job. For example, if you cannot concentrate at work because you must constantly watch out for your employer who keeps making sexual jokes towards you, this is a form of harassment that interferes with your job.

    Failure to Provide Workers' Compensation Benefits

    When you get injured in the workplace, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits unless you are exempt. In fact, all U.S. states but Texas require most employers to provide workers' compensation insurance. Even so, some rogue employers misclassify their workers as exempt to avoid paying taxes and offering other benefits regular employees are entitled to.

    So if you get injured in the workplace, and your employer fails to provide this insurance even though you are eligible for coverage, you may be able to sue them.

  • What Are Some Common Signs of Employer Retaliation?

    The sad truth is that many employees are usually victims of employer retaliation, but very few know exactly how this form of retaliation works. Many employers know it is illegal to retaliate against their employees for participating in protected activities or possessing certain characteristics. However, despite that, they still break these rules indirectly. In other words, because they do not want to get themselves in trouble with the law, some rogue employers will use certain tactics to retaliate against their employees.

    Examples of common tactics rogue employers use to retaliate against their employees include:

    • Transferring the employee to a less desirable position, e.g., away from their friends and family
    • Spreading false information about the employee or their family
    • Making the employee's work unreasonably difficult, e.g., requiring them to work on days or times they know or should know that the employee cannot work due to religious reasons, family commitments, etc
    • Conducting a performance evaluation and providing results that are lower than they should be
    • Engaging in physical and verbal abuse targeting the employee
    • Threatening to report certain employees to the authorities, .e.g, reporting immigrants to immigration authorities
  • What Are Some Consequences of Employer Retaliation or Discrimination?

    If your employer discriminates or retaliates against you and you file a successful lawsuit against them, they may suffer some ramifications for their actions. The scope of consequences will depend on the exact measures the employer took against you. Below are some possible implications of employer retaliation or discrimination.

    Recover Lost Pay

    If your employer retaliates against you by cutting your salary and you win the case against them, the judge or jury might order them to repay the lost wages. To do this, you must show proof of your current earnings and what you used to earn before the retaliation. In addition, you will need to demonstrate how your employer's action affected your lifestyle.

    Lost Benefits

    Most employees are entitled to benefits, whether health insurance, 401k, or anything along those lines. If you lose your benefits as a result of your employer's retaliation, you may be able to have these benefits restored.

    Pain and Suffering

    You may not have a dollar amount to demonstrate the painful consequences of your employer's misconduct. But an experienced attorney usually knows the dollar value of your pain and suffering in these cases.

    Punitive Damages

    If the court concludes that your employer was extremely negligent, they might award you punitive damages. This award is meant to punish the defendant for their negligence or carelessness.

    Attorney Fees

    In most cases, attorneys representing victims of workplace discrimination or harassment usually provide their services on a contingent basis. This means that they only charge their clients if they win. This system also allows clients to seek legal representation even if they cannot afford the attorney. So if you win the case, the judge or jury might order your employer to pay the legal fees involved.

  • Do Employment Lawsuits Settle?

    Most employment lawsuits are settled out of court. When you have a valid claim, it is unlikely that your attorney will want to pursue the case in court. This is because if they lose, they might end up paying even more than they would have had they chosen to settle out of court.

    For example, we mentioned earlier that if you win the lawsuit, the court might order the defense to pay the attorney fees and court expenses on top of the settlement you may be entitled to. As a result, the other party will likely want to settle out of court to avoid such expenses.

    Out-of-court settlements are usually settled faster than in-court settlements. This is because court processes tend to drag on depending on government backlogs, the complexity of the case, etc. Keep in mind that if you win a lawsuit and the other party decides to file an appeal, you may have to wait even longer to settle the case.

  • How Can I Sue My Employer?

    The process of suing your employer varies from state to state. Some states require workers to exploit other options first before settling for a lawsuit. For example, in some states, employers must obtain a right-to-sue letter from a government agency responsible for protecting workers' rights. To obtain this letter, such workers must first file an official complaint against the employer.

    The government agency will then try to solve the dispute between the two parties, hoping to avoid the court process. However, the employee might request a right-to-sue letter, allowing them to take legal action against the employer.

    If they choose this option, the government agency handling the complaint will cease the investigations. The worker will then decide to file a lawsuit independently or with the help of a labor and employment lawyer.

  • Will Suing My Current Employer Ruin My Chances of Getting Employed Elsewhere in the Future?

    It is illegal for an employer not to hire you solely because you previously filed a lawsuit against your former employer. Although some employers might consider this aspect during the hiring process, you may be able to take legal action against them if you believe their decision not to hire you was unlawful.

  • How Can I Prove That My Employer Discriminated Against Me?

    The heavy burden of proof makes employer discrimination cases rather difficult to handle. This is also because finding evidence of employer discrimination is quite challenging.

    For this reason, most courts will use the McDonnell Douglas framework, also known as burden shifting. This legal concept requires the plaintiff to prove that their employer discriminated against them. Then, after proving this element, the burden of proof shifts to the defendant (the employer), who must also prove that the plaintiff's claims are unsubstantiated. If they can prove that, then the burden of proof will shift back to the employee. This process will go on until one party wins the case. In addition, it is mostly effective when the plaintiff lacks solid evidence to prove their case. Rather, they rely on circumstantial evidence.

    The other option is to use direct evidence. Unlike the alternative discussed earlier, the direct evidence option is more straightforward. Examples of direct evidence that might help prove employer discrimination include emails, text messages, videos, and mails.

  • Let Morgan and Morgan Labor and Employment Lawyers Fight for You

    Employment disputes are usually some of the most complex to handle. This is because laws vary at the city, county, state, and federal levels. In addition, just as you have the right to sue, the defendant (your employer) has the right to defend themselves. For this reason, they will come up with any claim to dismiss your case or justify their actions.

    In other cases, filing a lawsuit is not always the best option. Most of these cases can be settled out of court if you have a passionate, competent, and experienced labor and employment attorney. That is where Morgan and Morgan come in.

    Do not fight this battle alone; Morgan and Morgan can fight for you. Did you know our firm files the most employment litigation cases in the US?

    You can be part of the success story. Fill out our free case evaluation form to get started.

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