If you find yourself part of an employment litigation lawsuit, whether as the employee or the employer, it’s vital that you have some basic knowledge over the potential “damages” that is being sued for. Armed with such knowledge, like what is punitive damages, you can predict much more accurately as to what the jury will award, and if the case is settled outside the courtroom, the damages that will likely be paid. This can help you plan better.
Calculating the damages
- Sum up the wages that was lost, and add to that the other actual losses. The sum that you arrive at is called compensatory damages, and is intended to compensate the employee for any monetary loss that he incurred due to the employer’s behavior. In case the employee had to job hunt for five months after he was let go illegally, then he is entitled to lost wages for the same amount of time. If he did find a job, but it didn’t pay as well as the one he was illegally fired from, then he can claim the difference in wages over the same period. If the litigation deals not with wrongful termination but the wrongful passing over for a promotion, then he is eligible to receive the difference in wages between what he would have gotten if he had received the promotion, and what he was actually paid.
- Figure out an approximate amount for pain and suffering. The damages for pain and suffering can be availed in cases where the victim had to go through emotional distress due to the illegal actions from the employer’s part. For instance, if the employee underwent harassment at work, or was forced to endure a hostile environment that he couldn’t cope with, the stress and pain that resulted would make him eligible for compensation.
- Then there are punitive damages. What is punitive damages? They’re damages pursued with the sole purpose of punishing the defendant, and are not always awarded. The only cases where the punitive damages are awarded are where the employer has acted in a shocking manner. In general, punitive damages cannot go over two to three times the actual compensatory damages.
- Also add to the above, the legal fees that is owed to the attorney. If the employer has violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, then he must pay for the employee’s legal fees and court costs as well.
These are just a few “damages” that can be sued for while engaged in an employment-related litigation. Further information can be availed from legal resources online.Google+