Generally speaking, cases are taken on a contingency fee basis when the liability aspect of a case is overwhelmingly in favor of the plaintiff and the real issue at hand is how much will the plaintiff be getting in damages. This is why rear end hit personnel injury cases are taken on contingency. In those types of cases, the law presumes that the party who hit another car in the rear is liable. Employment law cases, on the other hand, are typically much more difficult for a plaintiff to prove. For example, if an employer gives "poor performance" as a reason for terminating someone, then they are offering an alleged legitimate non-discriminatory reason for the termination. If a jury finds this reason put forth by the employer to be reasonable, then the plaintiff would lose. Consequently, unless there are really good and strong facts that fully support the plaintiff's version of the facts and easily discredit the employer's version, most experienced employment attorneys would be hesitant about taking an employment law case on a full contingency fee arrangement. The only way to find out whether the facts in your case are strong enough to warrant a contingency fee arrangement is to set up consultations with experienced employment law attorneys to go over your case.
I suggest that you go to the National Employment Law Association of New Jersey (NELA-NJ) website www.nelanj.org/ and find an attorney in the "Find Attorney" section. NELA-NJ consists of attorneys who are experienced in employment law litigators and who focus their practice representing employees. You are encouraged to call a few of them and select the best match for you.
Fred Shahrooz Scampato, Esquire
Law Office of Fred Shahrooz Scampato, PC
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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Your fact pattern is Exhibit A of the dangers of employees utilizing HR in the mistaken belief that HR is an employee resource or some sort of neutral broker. It is not. HR is management's team to enable management's agenda on employment issues. Nothing else.
You showed your cards to HR -- unnecessarily -- and got outmaneuvered. You gave HR notice of the need to delay your termination and to lie in wait for a "clean" opportunity to exercise its "at will" termination powers.
You couldn't have known, but significant damage has been done. You now have a much much much more difficult case.There are SOME times when an employee must make a report to HR in order to perfect a subsequent employment claim. In virtually all of those instances, it is prudent to first consult with an employment attorney.
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