An employment lawsuit can get complicated, and the more complicated it gets, the longer it can take. That said, you shouldn’t be kept in the dark when you’re waiting for the compensation you deserve. As any good employment lawyer in Kansas City will tell you, it’s important to keep yourself informed of the legal process, and knowing how long your suit is likely to take can make the wait that much more bearable.
Ask an Employment Lawyer in Kansas City: How Long Does an Employment Lawsuit Take?
Types of Employment Lawsuit
There are several different types of employment lawsuits that you might need to file against your employer, and which category your suit falls under will have a big impact on the length of time it takes for you to get the justice you deserve, as some types of cases are easier to prove than others. Below are some of the most common categories that your lawsuit might fall under.
Sadly, discrimination of all stripes is alive and well in America’s workplaces, which is why these types of employment lawsuits are some of the most common to be filed. There are a number of “protected characteristics” that employers frequently discriminate against, including age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and disability. Workplace discrimination could be as simple as getting paid less than your co-workers or being passed over for promotion.
A wrongful termination lawsuit can be one of the thorniest types of employment lawsuit to wrangle. Unscrupulous managers are frequently masters of utilizing loopholes and excuses to make their unfair termination look legitimate. However, a good lawyer who can fight your case in court can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve, even if such a case may take a long time to resolve.
Harassment is another of the most common types of lawsuits filed today. The key difference between harassment and discrimination is that harassment is directed against a single individual, whereas discrimination is against a group.
Workplace bullying, inappropriate comments, and anything that makes you feel unwelcome or uncomfortable in your workplace may be harassment. If you’re in this situation, gathering as much evidence as possible can help speed up your case and prevent it from turning into a he-said-she-said situation.
All workers have a right to work in a safe environment, but if you’ve suffered an injury at work through no fault of your own, then you may consider filing a workplace injury lawsuit against your employer. This type of lawsuit can be quite straightforward, but the time it takes will largely depend on the nature of your injury. Medical reports will often be involved and might well be used as evidence in court.
When to Involve a Lawyer
If you think that you might have grounds for pursuing litigation against your employer or former employer, you’ll need to start looking for an attorney as soon as possible. Kansas City employment lawyers are some of the best in the country, so you’re sure to be in good hands. A good lawyer will be able to advise you on the best way to move your suit forwards and will give you the best representation should your case go to court.
Government Agency Involvement
In many cases, cases will need to be filed or reported to the relevant government agency for the suit to progress. This might be the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission for discrimination-related lawsuits or the state labor board for workplace injuries. Sometimes, the state commission on human rights might need to be involved. Your lawyer will be able to advise you on which agencies if any, you need to inform and what information they’ll need to process your case.
In discrimination cases, EEOC will need to issue a Notice of Right to Sue, which is a prerequisite to filing the lawsuit. After notice is received, you have only 90 days in which to make the filing. It’s also worth noting that you’ll need to make the filing within two years of the incident you suffered.
Out of Court Settlements
After you’ve filed your suit, your employer will be served with papers indicating that you are bringing a suit against them. After this, your employer may decide to settle out of court, which could result in your case being resolved fairly quickly.
In fact, most cases in Missouri end this way, as your employer might want to avoid a costly and potentially embarrassing legal battle. However, settling is the end of your case, so make sure you’re getting the compensation you deserve as you won’t be able to file again later.
Filing an employment lawsuit takes time, and the time it takes will ultimately depend on the specifics of your case. However, with a competent attorney by your side, you’ll be sure to get the compensation you deserve in no time.