Answers To The Questions On Your Mind
At Yormak Employment & Disability Law, we know you face difficult decisions. We believe it’s important you are fully aware of the help that is available. We have provided answers to our most frequently asked questions to help you better understand the scope of your issue and what recourse you may have.
If you have a question that is not answered here, call us at 239-399-8808. We’re always pleased to hear from you and want to help when we can.
What is harassment?
Harassment is a type of discrimination that happens on the job. All of us have had bad days at work. All of us have heard someone say something, at one time or another, that was inappropriate. This is not necessarily harassment.
Harassment becomes illegal when the harasser is motivated by an illegal bias related to your sex, race, disability, age, national origin or any other protected characteristic.
Sexual harassment often includes unwanted propositions for sex or dates, sexual jokes or innuendo, unwanted touching, derogatory comments about one’s gender, or similar incidents. Harassment does not result simply because your boss lacks “people skills.” There are laws you may not be aware of, federal and state, which may specifically address your situation.
How do I decide if I need an attorney?
At the initial free consultation, we will help you determine what legal or administrative remedies are available to you, and whether our firm is able to help you with your case. If we cannot provide assistance to you, we will gladly refer you to other attorneys in the area or to a governmental agency that may be able to help.
How much will it cost to hire your firm to represent me?
Most of the time we take employment and disability cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that our fee is a percentage of the recovery we obtain. If no recovery is made, no fee is owed. You are responsible for the expenses of the lawsuit, but not legal fees. We understand that many of our clients are unemployed and unable to work.
How long will it take from the beginning to the end of my legal proceedings?
The answer to this question depends first and foremost on whether your case can be settled, meaning a deal negotiated without having to file a lawsuit, or whether your case is best presented in court. Trials always take longer. Each case is unique, and the details of your case and which court will hear your case will also affect the length of time it takes to resolve. Once a lawsuit is filed, it takes approximately 18 to 24 months to get to trial. A settlement at any juncture is always possible and something we consider seriously if it is in your best interest.
Are there time limits on filing a suit on my employment matter, and if so, what are they?
In cases involving discrimination or harassment, a civil rights complaint (sometimes called a “charge of discrimination”) must be filed against the employer within 180 days of the last discriminatory act. In Florida, you have 300 days against a nonfederal employer. This deadline can actually be as short as 30 days in certain cases involving OSHA. There is a two-year statute of limitation in Florida for cases involving some other types of retaliation or wrongful termination of employment.
It is very difficult or impossible to recover if the applicable time limits have run out. It is important to get good legal advice regarding the time limit that applies to your case and take appropriate action in time to preserve your legal rights. However, you should always consult a lawyer as soon as possible to determine this since in some cases deadlines may be extended.
How much is my employment case worth?
There is simply no 100% foolproof way to predict what any Florida employment law case is worth because of the numerous issues that affect the final outcome. It is difficult to predict precisely what a jury will find on any given day. Damages that our clients commonly recover are: medical expenses and expenses related to counseling and mental health, past and future lost wages and employment benefits, as well as damages for emotional distress and physical injuries. In egregious cases, when the abuse has been blatant, a court will award “punitive damages.” The reason for awarding punitive damages is to send the violator (and the public) a message that the behavior will not be tolerated. Punitive damages are awarded to punish. At your initial interview with us, we will advise you of what we believe is recoverable for you.
What should I do if I believe my rights have been violated?
Be vocal that you want the behavior to stop. Let everyone you work with know this. You should also get it in writing. Send an email to coworkers, supervisors, or HR of the offensive, harassing or discriminatory behavior. This will leave a record of what happened, that you complained and the day and time of it. Complain as long as the behavior continues. Save any responses you get.
Always save evidence: emails, gifts, letters, cards, anything you get from the harasser. Take pictures or video of what’s going on. Keep a journal of the behavior with witness names, dates, times and what exactly was said or done. Also save copies of your performance reports, especially compliments and commendations.
Speak to an employment law attorney about what’s going on. When you call or email us, it is completely confidential and no one at your place of work has to know that you talked with us.
How Do I Retain Your Firm To Represent Me?
Call 239-399-8808 or email us if you need representation or advice. We will ask you for some basic information related to your situation. After the information is reviewed, we will meet to discuss how our board-certified expert may be able to help you. We promise to explain to you clearly any fees due before you ever owe us a dime.