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What Kind of Damages Can You Get in a Wrongful Termination Case?

What Kind of Damages Can You Get in a Wrongful Termination Case?

Depending on the facts of your case, you may be entitled to several kinds of damages.

What Kind of Damages Can You Get in a Wrongful Termination Case?If you have been wrongfully terminated by your employer, perhaps on the basis of your race or religion, then you will likely be entitled to some measure of damages.  The goal of a lawsuit in a wrongful termination case is to make you whole again.  In other words, you should be put in the same position that you were in — or that you should have been in — if you had not been wrongfully terminated.  So what type of damages can you expect to receive if you have been fired by your employer in violation of the law?
There are several types of damages available to plaintiffs (the person filing the lawsuit) in wrongful termination cases.  These include economic damages, compensatory damages, and punitive damages.  However, there are a number of factors that may limit that amount of damages that you can receive and what kind of damages you are entitled to in your case.  An experienced wrongful termination attorney can advise you on the type of damages that you may be able to expect in your case.

Economic damages are often the largest component of a wrongful termination case.  They can include a number of different types of damages, including the repayment of lost wages, which is further broken down into back pay and front pay.   Back pay is the amount of money that you lost because you were wrongfully fired.  It is calculated from the date that you were wrongfully terminated until the time of trial.  It generally includes lost wages, bonuses, benefits and overtime pay.  However, you will be required to mitigate your back pay damages; this means that you will have to seek other employment that is comparable to the employment that you had before you were terminated.  The money that you earn at this new job will be used to offset the back pay damages award.  Front pay is a different compensation that is given to employees for the time between the court judgment and when they are reinstated at work.  If they are not offered reinstatement, then a front pay award may be offered instead.

Compensatory damages are meant to make an employee whole for any losses that he or she suffered based on being wrongfully terminated.  This could cover a range of potential losses, from the costs of searches for a new job to emotional harm to medical expenses.

Punitive damages may also be awarded against employers who have engaged in particularly malicious or reckless discriminatory actions.  However, this is relatively rare.  To obtain punitive damages, you must show that your employer either discriminated or retaliated against you with the conscious knowledge that it was a violation of the law, or that your employer engaged in egregious or outrageous conduct from which an inference of malice or reckless indifference could be drawn.  Punitive damages are limited based on the number of employees an employer has, from $50,000 for an employer with fewer than 100 employees to $300,000 for an employer with over 500 employees.

If you have been wrongfully terminated by your employer, you may be entitled to recover damages through a lawsuit.  At PLBSH, our team of attorneys is highly skilled at handling wrongful termination cases.  Contact our office today at (800) 435-7542 or info@plbsh.com to schedule a free initial consultation.  In many cases, we do not charge a fee unless we obtain money for you.

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