Frequently Asked Questions About Employment Law Cases

Here, we will try to answer some of the most common questions about labor and employment law. If you have a question that is not on the list, or if you just need more
information than is provided, please email us. We answer all emails that we receive.

How do I file a charge of discrimination?

The charge of discrimination is filed either with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or with the Kansas Human Rights Commission (KHRC). You will need to contact either agency and tell
them that you want to file a charge. They will follow up with you. You can do this on your own, or enlist an attorney's help. Of course, we think it is best to use an attorney in this process. 

Can I sue my employer for violating my employment rights?

The answer is yes if you first file a charge of discrimination with either the EEOC or the KHRC. With only a few exceptions, like race discrimination, a charge of discrimination must be filed with the EEOC or KHRC before you can go to court.

How long do I have to complain or file a charge of discrimination against my employer?

If you file with the EEOC, you have 300 days from the time that the discrimination occurred. If you file with the KHRC, you have six months to file from when the discrimination occurred.

Can I sue my boss for discriminating or for harassing me?

For the most part, the answer is probably not. The employment laws allow you to sue your employer, not your boss.

Can I file a charge or sue my co-workers for harassing me?

Again, the answer is probably not. Under federal and state discrimination laws, you have to file suit against your employer.

What damages or compensation do I get if I win a discrimination case?

This depends on the facts of your case. All discrimination laws allow you to collect for any economic loss you suffer. Other laws compensate you for emotional distress, embarrassment and humiliation. The age discrimination law only allows economic damage and the same is true for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

How do I get my company to pay the money it owes me?

You can file a complaint with the federal Department of Labor or with the Kansas Department of Labor. We believe that the better option is to hire a Kansas lawyer who can help you get paid. The lawyer can help you collect wages that your employer owes you, including overtime pay that you might be due.

What laws will help me get paid when I am owed money?

The Kansas Wage Act can help you, as well as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA not only guarantees you a minimum wage, it also provides overtime for the vast majority of nonmanagement employees.

How does the EEOC investigate my case?

The EEOC assigns your case to an investigator who will review your charge and often interview you about the specifics of your charge. If you have an attorney, the attorney will usually be part of this interview. The investigator for the EEOC will then request information from the company and talk to witnesses. After the completion of the investigation, the investigator will determine whether he or she thinks discrimination occurred.

What is a cause case?

This is one where the EEOC has found reason to believe that discrimination did occur.

Why did the EEOC dismiss my case and now what do I do?

Sometimes, the EEOC determines that your rights have not been violated. This does not end your case. You can still file a lawsuit in court within 90 days of your receipt of the right-to-sue letter.

I received a letter from the Kansas Human Rights Commission (KHRC) that my rights might not be protected if I don't file a charge with them. Is this true?

Most often, if you file with the EEOC and your employer has enough employees to come under federal law, you do not need to file with the KHRC.

Is my employer big enough to be sued for discrimination under federal employment laws?

If it has 15 employees, it can be sued under most anti-discrimination laws, but it has to have 20 employees to be sued under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. For smaller employees, you need to file with the KHRC.

Can I get a contingent fee lawyer to help me, and just what is a contingent fee?

A lawyer who works on a contingent fee agrees to be paid only if you get a settlement or judgment in your favor. The contingent fee attorney will usually pay all of the costs of the litigation and then get reimbursed out of the settlement or judgment.

When will my case go to trial?

The vast majority of cases do not go to trial. Many cases are thrown out by the courts because the employee does not have enough evidence to prove his or her case. Many cases are settled for some amount of money that the employee and the employer can agree upon. You should talk with an attorney about what your case is worth. In federal court, it can take up to one year after you file your case for there to be a trial.

Should I settle my case instead of going to trial?

This all depends on the evidence and how strong your case is. This is an area where you have to listen to your attorney who should know when a case should be settled and when it is worth the risk of going to trial.

If I win my case, can I get a huge award?

I have heard about people getting millions of dollars in the rarest of cases. Few employees get rich off an employment case unless the employer's conduct was extremely bad. The federal employment laws have limits on the amount of money that an employer has to pay for compensatory damages, which are for emotional distress.

Do I need an attorney to go after my employer for violating my rights?

You can do this yourself, but it is a little like doing your own medical operation. A good employment attorney knows the law and knows how to handle your employment problem. This is not quite the same as trying to sell your own home.

How do I find a good employment attorney?

First, ask friends if they know someone who specializes in employment law. Also, check with attorneys you know. The internet has many listings of attorneys, many of whom have their own websites. Of course, we believe you are already on the website of a good employment attorney.