Employment law includes severance agreement and noncompetition clause reviews for flat fees.

Contingent fee claims are carefully analyzed on a case by case basis. Why?

Following is employment law’s reality check. Litigation is great! But many employees, even lawyers, downplay the time and stress of litigation. We all know it’s expensive. But it takes unique employees to endure the grueling, seemingly endless, back and forth. Courts know this too.

It’s why mediation was invented. Mediation brings out the creative. It still demands that good lawyers dig deep for strong facts and draft strong positions up front. But facts are facts and in most cases they rule. During mediation employment lawyers battle more efficiently and productively to help their own clients. Many cases settle. Here’s the proof.

In 2022 a national bar association compiled federal trial court data from around the country. The study examined jury awards for discriminatory hostile workplace lawsuits. Amazingly, fewer than 100 hostile workplace lawsuits across the entire country, all 50 states, over one year, favored employees. Seems shocking, right? Not at all.

The overwhelming majority of employment discrimination and discriminatory hostile workplace claims settle. Mandatory mediation, to bring parties together, is required in all federal employment law cases. Most of them settle. Employment lawyers who accept contingent fee cases need strong facts. If the lawyer or firm invests hundreds, sometimes thousands, of hours gathering those facts, cases should settle. But the trick is to grab employment lawyers’ interest. And the best way of doing so is by knowing your facts. No guarantee. But strong facts result in awesome results while weak facts almost always produce poor results.

No matter how awesome your lawyer or law firm is there is never any guarantee that any employer will settle. Therefore, every case must be prepared for trial from the very beginning. Many employment law firms will be reluctant to substitute for prior lawyers who might not have invested those hours to dig for the good stuff. Or maybe no one discussed expectations. Gather the following to help your employment lawyer:

1) Employment offer letter, sometimes an employment “specific term” employment agreement or contract.

2) Employee’s most recent performance evaluation, often tied to an advertised position or job description.

3) Employer’s handbook, sometimes posted policies or procedures.

These are the basics. Experienced employment law attorneys start here. What is the plain meaning of the language, was it followed and, if not, what happened and why?

Emails, texts, voice messages, recordings, brave witnesses who heard or saw comments or events, and many other sources of information often help.

Defense counsel wants a “stopper witness”. A witness with first hand knowledge. Someone who speaks and presents credibly. This witness knows the facts. On cross-examination they are essentially unimpeachable.

On the other hand, employment lawyers look for employees who remember what was said or done to them consistently. Employees who come across well because their facts make sense. Sometimes employees who took the time to store important emails or other documents to help prove their claims. These employees might be packrats. They keep everything. Employment discrimination complaints are never easy nor trivial. When supported by strong facts they usually settle without guarantees. But they rarely settle without strong facts or when employment lawyers don’t take the time to gather, preserve, and present those facts persuasively.

Over 20 years of employment discrimination litigation experience since 1988. Law practice is devoted exclusively to employment law, employment mediation, employment arbitration, and employment discrimination. This is all that Jonas Urba has done for two thirds of the years he has practiced law nationwide. Exclusively in New York since 2011.

B.S. – Indiana University (’80)

M.B.A. – University of South Florida (’83)

J.D. – Valparaiso University School of Law (’88)

2014 – United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

2015 – United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

2020 – United States District Court for the Northern District of New York

2020 – United States District Court for the Western District of New York

2011 – Practicing exclusively across New York State since 2011.

Jonas worked in healthcare, banking and finance, retail foods, sales and marketing, automotive, heavy manufacturing, and within the health industry even before enrolling in law school. Understanding what employees do every day is critically important to the plausible theories we develop for discrimination complaints.

Employees’ facts are unique. Their backgrounds are unique. Career struggles and hardships are unique. These facts must be expressed in writing as well as verbally and doing so takes time and commitment. They must be tied to communication or events proving discriminatory animus. This is never easy and our skilled colleagues never imply that anyone’s employment law complaint is a slam dunk regardless of the facts. Commitment and patience from employees and their employment lawyers are required. Here are some of the laws:

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

New York State Human Rights Law aka the Executive Law

Equal Pay Act expanded by New York

Americans with Disabilities Act expanded by New York

Fair Labor Standards Act and New York’s Labor Laws

Age Discrimination in Employment Act expanded by New York

A hostile workplace is more than just a nasty or unpleasant one. It has to include some type of discrimination. Calling those claims discriminatory hostile workplace claims makes sense. Most commonly included are:

1. Race, color discrimination

2. National origin, ethnicity, ancestry discrimination

3. Sex, gender discrimination

4. Disability, perceived disability discrimination

5. Severance, noncompetition agreements, employment offers and contracts

6. State and local government civil servant protection when discriminated

7. Unfair pay practices related to gender, sex, and other protected classes as well as misclassified salaried employees who were entitled to overtime compensation which was unpaid


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More than 60 YouTube videos on various employment law topics at “Employment Law Reality Check” on YouTube here:

V. Jonas Urba, Esq.’s YouTube Channel

Urba Law PLLC Fights Race Discrimination

Urba Law PLLC Fights Gender, Hostile Workplace, & Pay Inequity Discrimination

Urba Law PLLC Fights Disability Discrimination

Urba Law PLLC’s Severance Blog

Urba Law PLLC Contact Us About

Salaried Nurse Consultant Might Not be Owed Overtime but Those without Independent Judgment Might

Severance Blog Noncompetition Agreements

How to File EEOC Charge – Best to Retain Lawyer

Urba Law’s video suggests Employees keep Copies of their Personnel Files

Urba Law’s video on Employment Application Dishonesty

Urba Law’s video on why Rebuttals are Important when placed on a PIP

Urba Law’s video on the Defend Trade Secrets Act

Urba Law’s video on why Calling beats Texting Employment Lawyers

Urba Law video on how it represents Clients in Buffalo, Oswego, Manhattan and anywhere in between

Urba Law’s video that assigning Value to an Employment Discrimination Case takes Time

Urba Law’s video on why Employers’ Defenses are stronger if Policies were followed

Urba Law’s video on why the Strongest Employment Discrimination Claims may be Hidden

Urba Law’s video that Restrictive Covenants protect Confidential Info Relationships

Urba Law’s video on 2019 changes to NY Executive Law eliminating severe or pervasive standard for Hostile Workplaces

Urba Law’s video on why Noncompetition Nonsolicitation Agreements may be Enforced

Urba Law’s video on why retaining an Employment Discrimination Lawyer before going for Media Attention might be best