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Can I get a pro Bono attorney to sue my employer?

Seattle, WA |

I have been working for him as a waitress for 11 months now. I believe he discriminates me. He constanly asks me if I speak English; a week ago he slapped my arm FOR NO REASON; cuts ONLY MY hours; et cetera. I have more examples.
I need a legal advice. Can I do something in my situation? How can I get a pro Bono attorney?
Thank you much for your time and attention.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Most attorneys do not handle discrimination complaints on a pro bono basis, however, if the discrimination you have is severe enough, you may be able to find someone who will represent you on a contingency basis. That means that your attorney would only accept payment for his or her services when and if you were successful in a complaint against your employer. You can search for a local discrimination attorney on Avvo or contact the National Employment Lawyers Association for a referral.

    You may also want to contact local bar associations, sometimes they offer referrals to attorneys who are willing to take cases on a reduced basis.

    Also, as far as I am aware, most states do not have many legal aid resources that can afford to take one employment discrimination cases, but it may still be worth your time to speak to legal aid organizations in your area about getting assistance or a referral.

    Good luck.

    This answer is provided for guidance only. DO NOT rely on it as legal advice. We DO NOT have an attorney-client relationship. You should contact an attorney in your area for a one-on-one consultation before pursuing any action or making any decisions.


  2. You also have the right to obtain a new and better job, leaving your ungrateful boss for greener pastures. Sometimes that is even more rewarding than suing him for perceived discrimination.

    Attorneys are very competitive. Choose the Best Answer so we know who helped you the most.


  3. "Pro bono" means "for the good of the public." Pro bono cases are those that have the potential to change the law for the benefit of many, many people. Attorneys who accept pro bono cases usually have a particular interest in the subject matter. For example, an attorney who is very interested in the environment might represent an environmental organization on a pro bono basis.

    Employment discrimination attorneys usually take cases on a contingency basis, as Ms. Slack explained. In a contingency case, the attorney's fees are paid from the final resolution of the case, usually between 30% and 50% of the amount.

    Employment law is complicated and fact specific. You may wish to consult with an experienced plaintiffs employment attorney in your state. To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in your area, please go to the web site of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA). NELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the country for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is www.nela.org, and you can search for attorneys by location and practice area.

    Also, NELA has affiliates in every state and in many cities. On the NELA web site, you can look at the list of affiliates. Some attorneys will be listed in the affiliate membership list, some in the national organization membership list, and some in both. Being listed in one or both lists should not influence your selection because attorneys can choose whether or not to purchase the listing in the national directory. Each local affiliate has its own rules for listing.

    I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best.

    *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***