Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.
Can you please tell me whether you are an independent contractor or an employee? I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.
Given the amount in controversy, it would typically be better to file a lawsuit rather than a wage claim. In the wage claim process, the labor board doesn't represent you--they are a neutral agency whose goal is to resolve disputes, not to achieve the best possible outcome for claimants. People think wage claims are quicker, but they often take months to resolve and the ruling is typically appealable, meaning you can wind up in court after your wage claim drags out for months in no better position than where you started.
A lawsuit will require you to hire an attorney, but attorney fees are recoverable when you file a lawsuit in civil court, as are your costs. The fact you are entitled to recover costs and attorney fees gives your employer a strong incentive to settle quickly because they know that their ultimate liability is only going to continue going up the longer they continue fighting. Your lawyer will also be your personal advocate and will push for the absolute best result for you.
Typically, cases like this are handled on a pure contingency fee basis. If you don't know, a contingency fee arrangement is one in which the attorney receives a portion of the client's settlement or award as his payment, typically 1/3 of the total amount. If there is no recovery, the attorney does not get paid. The client never pays until the settlement or award is obtained (except perhaps to cover the filing costs for his claim). You can find an attorney to assist you here.
Hopefully this addresses your concerns, but if there is anything else I can do to help, just let me know.
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In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed.
Very best wishes.