Wrongful termination is a common workplace issue not only in California, but in all other states that practices the “at will” form of employment. This occurs when an employer’s decision to terminate an employee is deemed illegal under the federal and state employment and labor laws. An aggrieved employee who sues his or her employer of wrongful termination is entitled to receive damages that may reach up to millions of dollars, giving into account certain circumstances that surround the person’s claim.
- Expectation damages. The difference between the worker’s earnings he or she would have received had the wrongful termination did not take place and the amount of earnings he or she would have earned with alternative employment is what comprises expectation damages.
- Loss of benefits. The plaintiff may also request damages for benefits that have been lost due to wrongful termination. Such benefits include bonuses, commissions, stock options and purchases, and retirement and healthcare benefits. He or she may also be compensated for losses in fringe benefits, which include paid time off, tuition reimbursement, or dependent care.
- Damages to help cover emotional distress, pain and suffering. The plaintiff may also be entitled to receive damages to help cover his or her emotional distress and pain and suffering he or she went through as a result of the wrongful termination. It is possible that such damages may be awarded with an expert witness on trial who will prove that the victim did suffer psychologically.
Victims of wrongful termination must not remain unemployed just for the sake of an increase in the potential damages that he or she may receive. It is their duty to mitigate damages by searching for jobs that are comparable with their previous ones. Courts may determine a reasonable amount of compensation that the terminated employees should have earned during their separation from their employers if the former isn’t able to mitigate the damages. Meanwhile, if you are experiencing a similar situation wherein you were illegal fired by your employer, it would be best for you to consult with a top California wrongful termination lawyer.