Damages in a Wrongful Termination Case
If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated from your position, then you may be able to sue your employer for damages. Wrongful termination lawsuits are typically only rewarded with monetary damages due to the nature of employment and termination laws, so for most wrongful termination cases the only type of damages you can pursue are monetary. However, monetary damages are not arbitrary: they are carefully decided upon by a jury who, if they decide that you are entitled to damages, must calculate what an appropriate amount of compensation for your termination. The following guide will explore more about the types of wrongful termination compensation you may receive and what to consider when filing a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Types of Wrongful Termination Damages
In this case, “damages” refers to compensation for a loss. Compensation for wrongful termination lawsuits is almost always money. During a wrongful termination case, you must prove the losses you have experienced due to your termination; these losses will help determine the type of damages you may receive as compensation.
This is the most common type of damages. Lost pay refers to pay you lost due to your compensation; this not only includes the wages you would have been entitled to receive had you not been terminated, but also overtime and unpaid wages leftover from your employment. It should be noted that lost pay damages are reduced when you earn money after being terminated.
Lost benefits refers to any employment-based benefits you lost due to your wrongful termination. This can include medical insurance, pensions, 401k plans, profit sharing as well as stock options and more.
This is the most difficult type of compensation to receive because there is no concrete measure for emotional distress. In most cases, juries will only consider giving emotional distress compensation if it can be proved that the employer’s actions caused the wrongfully terminated party to emotionally suffer so much that a mental health professional can verify it.
Punitive damages refers to compensation due to an employee acting in a notably outrageous way to the degree that punitive damages are an appropriate response. In some cases, punitive damages may not be available–they are only available in certain locales and come with the caveat the punitive damages are difficult to receive due to the subjective nature of punitive measures.
You may be able to receive compensation for all or some of your attorney’s fees after you win a wrongful termination case, but it is not standard. Most attorneys who work on wrongful termination fees will work on a contingent fee plan.
Should You Sue For Wrongful Termination?
Wrongful termination causes can take lots of time and money to follow through on, so before you file a lawsuit for wrongful termination, you will need to take a hard look at the facts. Will you be able to receive enough compensation that it justifies the time, money, emotional toil and general risk associated with wrongful termination cases. It’s up to you whether or not the potential compensation will be worth these risks. If you have any questions about wrongful termination, please feel free to call Jaime Alvarado & Associates for more information at 915.852.0500.