The most basic component of damages in most employment discrimination lawsuits or wrongful dismissal lawsuits is lost earnings due to termination of employment. Generally, your damages are measured by what you would have earned from your former employer from the date of your wrongful termination until the date of trial, less any earnings you receive from part time or full time employment before trial.
It is critical that you look for work. You cannot sit back and let your damages build up and hope that you will recover the full amount of your lost wages or salary at trial. If you do not look for work or are unavailable for work during a period of time, you probably will not be able to recover your lost wages or salary for that period. Making a reasonble effort to find work is a duty which the courts require of you. Our courts call this the "Duty to Mitigate Damages."
Should you eventually file a lawsuit, the attorney for your former employer will ask you what steps you have taken to find work. That lawyer will ask youspecifically where you have looked for work, the positions you have sought, applied for, or inquired about, the name of each individual with whom you have spoken about that job, whether you were interviewed, and the results of that interview. The lawyer will ask whether you have prepared a resume to submit to potential employers. You will be asked whether you have registered at an employment agency such as Michigan Works. In short, you will be asked about every single action you have taken since your dismissal to find suitable, replacement employment.
We recommend that you keep detalied records of every job you look for, apply for, or express any interest in. For instance, if you email your resume and cover letter to a potential employer, you should keep copies of the cover letter and resume as well as a copy of the email to prove that you actually sent it. Should you talk to a potential employer in person, on the telephone or otherwise not have any documentation of your employment inquiry, you should record all the information you can about that contact. Such information includes date of contact, person with whom you made contact (including that person's contact information) and details of the position (including duties and salary). It is best to record that information in a log or notebook. If your inquiry leads to further contact, such as an interview, you should record that as well. The more detailed records you maintain, the more likely it is you will be able to prove you fulfilled your duty to mitigate damages.
If you have been terminated and believe that termination violated the law, contact us at: https://www.fettlaw.com/Contact.shtml.
Note: This blog entry is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. You should always consult with an attorney before taking or refraining from taking any action in your individual situation.