What can be recovered in a wrongful termination lawsuit?

When Louisianans take on a job, they rightfully expect to be treated fairly and with respect. This means not being subjected to sexual harassment or racial discrimination and being paid appropriately for the work done. There are many other regulations that help ensure a healthy and safe workplace, and employers must adhere to all of them. When they fail to do and a worker is faced with wrongful termination, legal action may be taken.

Though many individuals in these circumstances like the idea that a lawsuit may hold their employer accountable for their wrongful acts, compensation may also be recoverable. But what, exactly, can be recovered?

Typically, a successful claim will allow a wrongfully terminated employee to recover both emotional and financial losses. In short, a court will try to put the individual in a position so that it is as if he or she never lost his or her employment. Therefore, a wrongfully terminated employee may be awarded lost wages in the form of back pay and forward looking pay, lost benefits, and punitive damages. An individual may even be able to acquire reinstatement to his or her position, though this may not be the best option, as the workplace may become hostile.

It is worth noting that these types of cases can be difficult, as many matters may come into play. For example, a wrongfully terminated individual usually must try to mitigate his or her damages by looking for work in the interim. This will be discussed in a later post, but it is important to keep it in mind in the event that an individual is subjected to wrongful dismissal, as a failure to mitigate may result in a smaller recovery on a successful claim.

Source: Workplace Fairness, "Damages," accessed on March 15, 2015