If you’ve been laid off from work without committing any offense and the process is straightforward you can file unlawful work termination claims yourself. However, if the circumstance surrounding your termination of employment is complicated, you may need to seek the help of a professional employment lawyer. Also, depending on the nature of your case, the lawyer may need to connect with other professionals. If for instance, you were fired due to a traffic offense, your lawyer may need to arrange a meeting with UI attorneys working in Mesa, AZ.
Typically, the amount charged by a lawyer is dependent on your attorney’s law firm and your financial capabilities.
Also, some employment lawyers charge a contingency fee which means you’ll pay the lawyer a percentage of your unemployment benefits. However, for the contingency fee arrangement, the lawyer won’t get paid unless you get your claim.
Continue reading to get an insight into how employment lawyers charge their clients.
What are Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment benefits are compensation offered to eligible workers who have been laid off work without committing any fault or blunder at work. Ideally, applicants for unemployment benefits can only apply for the benefits if they’ve fulfilled certain conditions such as;
- The employee must have worked for specified hours and
- The applicant must have received a certain amount of salary before dismissal from work.
Furthermore, the applicant must be eligible, available, and currently looking for a new job offer. Applicants should also take note that the eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits vary from state to state (endeavor to make inquiries about the laws governing the eligibility for unemployment benefits in your state)
How Do I Apply For Unemployment Benefits
If you’ve fulfilled the requirements to show you’re eligible for unemployment benefits, the next step is to file a claim with the state’s unemployment insurance program. The filing process can be done via the phone, online, or in person. However, it’s advisable to get legal advice from your lawyer so that you can file for your unemployment benefits appropriately.
Attorney Fee Agreements For Unemployment Cases
Employment Attorneys usually offer several options of payment for their services. Here are some of the common payment plans employment attorneys offer
- Hourly Charges
Typically, employment lawyers charge hourly for consultations. Hourly rates are also charged for the unemployment benefits application process. In addition, some employment attorneys charge hourly fees for representing clients during appeal proceedings for unemployment benefits denial. If your lawyer is charging hourly fees, ensure that you ask about the cost per hour and the estimated hours for consultation and application services.
Importantly, when dealing with a lawyer charging hourly, you must ensure that the case you are dealing with is not a lengthy one. For instance, if you notice that an employer is taking steps against you because you’ve filed for unemployment benefits in the past, you may have to involve your lawyer. In such cases, the legal battle often takes a longer period hence your hourly fees will add up significantly. As such, you must discuss with your lawyer to offer you other payment options.
- Contingent Fees
A contingent fee is an agreed percentage between you and your lawyer. It’s usually about 20% to 40% of the amount of unemployment benefits granted after the case settlement. With this option of payment, you won’t have to pay any fees until the case is settled in your favor. Nevertheless, you might be asked to pay a retainer fee to your lawyer just in case the lawsuit doesn’t end in your favor. The retainer fee will be a mutual agreement between you and your lawyer.
In some states, the law makes provisions for attorneys’ fees compensation if an employer took steps to retaliate against you because you filed for unemployment benefits in the past. For such cases, the compensation is always larger and a lawyer will gladly agree to accept a contingency fee. If the case ends in your favor, the attorneys’ fees will be added to your unemployment benefits and then the contingency fee will be calculated from the total.
Lawyer’s Fee Agreements Can Be Negotiated
In case you don’t know, the lawyer’s fee can be negotiated before coming into a final agreement. Ensure that you discuss in detail the several payment options before you choose one. After proper consideration, propose and choose the most favorable fee agreement.
Put Your Fee Agreement into Writing For Proper Documentation
Every reputable attorney will document the fee agreement with their clients. Ensure that your lawyer gives you a detailed written contract of the fee agreement including terms and conditions. Also, make sure you keep your copy of the contract for reference purposes.