5 things you must know before you file your employment law claim in Connecticut.

Within the past two months I have been consulted by two clients who were representing themselves in their employement law claims.  They went "pro se."  One case was in Connecticut.  The other was in Rhode Island.  In both cases, they made serious mistakes because they just did not know what they were doing.  In one case, the entire case was lost.  The other case was badly damaged.  They were not lawyers, and had no legal training.  In that sense, their mistakes were understandable.  In both instances, if they had known answers to the following 5 questions:  They probably would have avoided their huge blunders, and saved the cases.

Here are the 5 things you must know before you file your employment law claim in Connecticut.  

1.What is the legal basis for the claim?  

Most employment law cases are based on sort of statute.  Know it.  Many cases are also based on contract law.  Either way, know what the legal basis of the claim is. 

2.What remedies are available for the claim?

There are many different types of remedies available.  Unfortunately, not all claims allow for all of the different remedies that are available.  Some claims allow for certain remedies, while others do not.  Some examples of remedies are: Reinstatement of your position, front pay, back pay, liquidated damages, puntive damages, compensatory damages, lost wages, and attorney's fees.  

3.What is the statute of limitations for the claim?

There are rules that say if you fail to file your administrative claim or lawsuit within a certain time period, you lost your right to bring the claim.  Forever.  Know the rule and make sure you file on time.

4.Must I file with an administrative agency first?

For some claims, you must file with an administrative agency.  You can't simply file in Court.  For other claims, you can file your lawsuit with the Court first, and there is requirement to file with the administrative agency.  An example of an administrative agency is the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.  This can be confusing when you have several claims, and some of them must be filed with the administrative agency, while other do not.  

5.What Court will hear the claim:  federal Court or state Court?

Many employment law cases involve federal statutes.  Many others involve defendants who are corporations from another state.  An example of a federal statute is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, or the Family and Medical Leave Act.  This means that many employment laws are subject to the jurisdiction of the federal Courts.  It is important to know which Court can or should hear your case because federal Courts are courts of "limited jurisdiction".  If you don't know what limited jurisdiction means, then you probably should not be handling your own employment law case. 

Where to get help?

If you believe you have an employment law claim contact the employment lawyers at The Bartinik Law Firm, P.C. at 888-717-4211 or 860-445-8521.  We handle cases all over Connecticut and Rhode Island also.  Our main office is in Groton, Connecticut at 100 Fort Hill Road, Suite 2, Groton, Connecticut, and we have two satellite offices for your convenience.  One in Shelton, Connecticut serving the New Haven area, and the other in East Berlin, Connecticut serving the Central Connecticut and Hartford area. 


Peter J. Bartinik, Jr.
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Civil Trial Attorney, Practicing Law in Connecticut
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