2024 How Much Does an Employment Lawyer Cost in California?

Under California labor laws, employees are entitled to certain rights that are regretfully exploited by employers every day. Employment lawyers work to defend the rights of workers across the state. If you are dealing with a situation at work with the potential to turn into a legal battle, you should seek out the advice and counsel of an experienced California employment lawyer. Their involvement in your case could make or break it.

Why Hire an Employment Lawyer?

Employment law covers a wide variety of situations, each of which carries with it a unique set of circumstances that a skilled employment lawyer can navigate. Here are just a few different types of employment law cases you could find yourself facing:

  • Workplace Discrimination: California law greatly protects the rights of workers, and one of the most frequent causes of workplace lawsuits is discrimination. It is illegal to discriminate against any employee due to their age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, political views, disability, or any other personal factor that falls under a protected class.
    Workplace discrimination can include any situation that arises based on a superior or a colleague excluding or mistreating you based on your protected class qualities, such as being refused a promotion, being denied a well-deserved bonus, being denied an interview, or being fired. If you believe you have been discriminated against at work, contact an attorney to start building a case.
  • Wrongful Termination: Employers can be retaliatory and vengeful, especially when someone they view as a subordinate challenges their authority. It is illegal to fire an employee as a result of whistleblowing on illegal activity, being the victim of workplace harassment, or as a result of workplace discrimination. An employment lawyer can help you figure out if you were indeed wrongfully terminated, and from there, they can help you begin to build your case.
  • Workplace Harassment: Being harassed at work can be scary. It makes people feel unsafe at a place they are supposed to trust. It can ruin lives. It can ruin relationships. It can even destroy people. Nobody enjoys being harassed, and you can take legal action to ensure it stops happening to you.
    Typical workplace harassment situations can include jokes of a sexual nature, racial slurs, mocking someone’s religion or sexual orientation, or making comments about a coworker’s body. It doesn’t matter if they were just joking or if they were trying to be complementary. In the end, harassment has no business in the workplace, and consulting a lawyer is a good first step toward ending it for good.
  • Wage & Hour Violations: Sometimes you are not paid what you were told you were supposed to be getting, and while that can be frustrating and difficult to deal with, it may also be illegal. Your employer may be violating California labor law by withholding your rightful pay for their selfish benefit.
    Employers count on their employees being too afraid of losing their jobs to pursue any legal action against them. An employment lawyer can investigate on your behalf and help you build a case to ensure you get every penny that you deserve.

Steps to Take in Building a Case

Building a solid case does take time, but with the help of an employment lawyer, you can start as soon as possible by following a number of essential steps. An employment lawyer can help you by:

  • Offering sound legal advice throughout the entire process.
  • Investigating your claim and helping you gather evidence to back it up.
  • Assisting in filing any complaints or grievances with the right state or federal entities.
  • Representing your interests during negotiations with your employer.
  • Protecting you against any potential retaliation from your employer.
  • Filing a lawsuit if negotiations do not result in a settlement.


Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Lawyer in California?

A: Lawyer rates are dependent on a number of different factors. Every discipline of law is different and carries with it different levels of knowledge and skill. The same goes for a lawyer’s experience, which factors into their quote. In California, the average cost of an attorney is $300 per hour. A more prominent lawyer may cost as much as $1,000 per hour. It depends entirely on the case at hand and the lawyer’s experience.

Q: How Much Do Employment Lawyers Make in California?

A: Attorney fees depend entirely on whether your lawyer is working on a contingency fee basis or an hourly basis. In a contingency fee situation, your lawyer only gets paid if they win your case. They typically get between 33% and 40% of your total compensation.

If your lawyer charges hourly, it can range anywhere between $300 and $1,500 per hour, depending on the lawyer, their experience, and the facts of your case. Most attorneys offer a free consultation, which can include a layout of lawyer fees.

Q: What Percentage Do Lawyers Charge in California?

A: If a lawyer is working on a contingency fee basis, they typically charge between 33% and 40% of your total compensation package. But that’s only if they successfully win your case. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, but lawyers in other disciplines have been known to work that way, too. The total percentage can be influenced by the complexity of the case as well as the potential risk involved.

Q: How Much Do Most Lawyers Charge Per Hour?

A: Many lawyers bill their clients at an hourly rate, but what they charge depends entirely on the case at hand. You have to factor in the lawyer’s popularity, experience, education, and how far they are willing to go for their clients. As of 2023, the average hourly rate for a California attorney is $358 per hour. However, the lawyer’s field of experience can raise or lower the hourly rate. Employment lawyers, for example, average $388 per hour, while personal injury lawyers average $291 per hour.

Contact an Employment Lawyer Today

Dealing with a workplace violation can be very damaging to your everyday life. You might be hesitant to burn a bridge by accusing your employer of taking advantage of you somehow. With Ferraro Vega San Diego Employment Lawyers, your case is well in hand. We can offer you skilled legal advice to help you determine the course of action that’s right for you. Contact us to schedule a consultation soon.