Having a good-paying job in the US is an achievement not a lot of people can get. Although this may be true, most American employees work at will, which implies they can get fired and lose their jobs any time based on legal reasons. Apparently, there are no restrictions when an employer decides to terminate at-will employees because of the following reasons:
– poor performance
– cost cutting measures
– giving employment opportunities for more qualified candidates
– personal reasons
However, there is still a significant percentage of the employees who do not work at will. These employees are bound by their employment contract that can either be in forms of oral, written, or implied agreement. The existence of such contract limits the rights of the employer to fire an employee. And even if employees work at will, there are still grounds for suing for being fired if they are terminated for discriminatory reasons, complaining about issues in the workplace, or violating public policies.
Claims for a Wrongful Termination
How much can I sue for wrongful dismissal? This is basically the first question you would ask yourself if you were fired without acceptable or legal reasons. If for instance, a case of a wrongful termination has been won, then the claimants, that is the employees, may get their job back and receive a back working pay, compensatory damages, and other kinds of expenses spent during the course of the litigation.
However, the victory in a wrongful termination case is, unfortunately, uncertain. This is because you need to prove that you have been terminated or fired for impermissible reasons such as your race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, reporting a harassment, or whistleblowing. Oftentimes, employers respond to such allegations by presenting evidence that shows validity behind the termination of the employee like showing poor performance at work.
This is the reason why, based on statistics, 75 percent of these cases end up in a situation where the aggrieved employee does not get anything from suing for being fired. Rather than settling the issues in a courtroom, many cases are resolved even before the trial takes place. A settlement can be considered as the best option to fix the problem between the employee and the employer.
Moreover, employers would choose to have a settlement to avoid revealing an information, which could damage the reputation of a company, in wrongful termination trials. Even if they can win the case, employers do not want to risk destroying the image of their company because of what can be revealed in the courtroom.
Value of a Wrongful Termination Case
How much can you sue for wrongful termination? Getting the value of a wrongful termination case is based on factors that determine how much damages incurred due to getting fired. These factors include:
Wage Loss – This refers to the amount, in wages or salaries, the employee lost from the date he or she was terminated until the present.
Benefits Loss – For example, if an employee, who lost his job, must compensate for his health insurance after losing his job, then the employer may give a refund or cover for such expenses.
Emotional Distress – Terminated employees may demand a substantial compensation after suffering from anxiety, depression, or other emotional pain and suffering.
How Much can I Sue for Wrongful Dismissal if I was Forced to Quit?
In the case when you are forced to quit, how much can you sue for wrongful termination? The answer is similar in the case of a wrongful termination. There is still a need for the plaintiff to prove that there is an acceptable reason why you are forced to quit your job. If the aggrieved party wins the case, then he or she will also be compensated based on wage loss, benefits lost, and emotional distress.
Apparently, this is a case of a constructive discharge, which in legal terms, refers to the occurrence when the actions of an employer have made the employee’s working conditions highly intolerable, causing for the latter, with a reasonable disposition, to feel that there is a need for him or her to resign. In simplest terms, a constructive discharge is merely another case of a wrongful termination, hence, suing for being fired unreasonably is can take place.
If for instance, you are an employee who has been a subject of an ongoing discrimination and harassment at your workplace, then it may end up to your employment termination, or you have the choice to either resign from your position or stand up and deal with the people who keep on harassing you.
But oftentimes, many employees are forced to quit their jobs because taking their case to the court would require them to prove or present evidence of their constructive discharges, which can be countered by their employers just like in a wrongful termination case.