Our Birmingham, Alabama employment law firm routinely represents individuals through the EEOC process. We often get asked whether an individual should hire a lawyer to file an EEOC Charge or simply do it on their own. While there is no requirement to hire an attorney to file an EEOC Charge and many people successfully handle the process independently, there are advantages to involving a lawyer from the beginning.
First of all, hiring an employment lawyer from the beginning allows you to make sure that you are considering all of your potential legal claims and starting to build your case even before you even file. Our firm will often begin with a case assessment meeting and then depending on the facts of the case, start collecting documents, witness statements, or other evidence before we assist you in the filing the charge. As the employer always has the advantage of having access to more information, this can help even the playing field.
Second, most employment lawyers will offer to handle these claims on a contingency fee so that you don’t have to pay for a lawyer out of pocket to start the process. It is possible that the employment attorney can even negotiate a settlement for you prior to filing the EEOC charge if the case is strong enough on the merits.
Finally, the EEOC process, like a lawsuit, is adversarial and it can be emotionally draining when you are fighting both your former employer and that company’s attorney. Sometimes having an experienced employment lawyer at your side and acting as your advocate can make all the difference in the difficulty and burden of the process.
If you are an Alabama resident that is considering filing an EEOC Charge, please contact our firm at (205) 588-0699 for a free consultation.