If you were fired illegally, you probably have a wrongful termination case. Employment in New Jersey is at will in most cases, but there are certain limitations on employers. For example, they cannot retaliate against workers for exercising a right, and they cannot discriminate against a worker based on certain protected characteristics like disability, age, religion, or race. Further, employers must abide by a valid employment contract, which often limits termination for cause.
Many wrongfully terminated employees wonder how much they can receive in compensation. We consider the most important factors below.
Lost Income and Benefits
If you are fired, you obviously lose out on the ability to earn income. Under the law, you must try to mitigate your damages, meaning you should look for another job as soon as possible and accept an offer of employment. However, you can still typically receive compensation for:
Back pay. This is what you would have been paid if you continued working and should include earnings growth.
Front pay. If you can’t be reinstated into your old job, you can seek front-pay damages.
Benefits. Many jobs offer fringe benefits like health and dental insurance, 401k contributions, and transportation benefits. You can request compensation to make up for these lost benefits if you can’t find a new job or your new job doesn’t offer them.
Every case is different, so consult an attorney to understand how much you are looking at.
You might have suffered emotionally based on your wrongful termination. In fact, some people suffer serious emotional harm when they are harassed by their employers or even coworkers. You should consider whether you can make a request for emotional distress damages. Generally, you should be receiving mental health counseling or have a prescription for depression or another mental health condition. You can only receive money if you have proof of distress.
Job Search Costs
You might have spent money to find a new job, such as hiring a search firm to help you or even traveling long distances to interview. Keep records of these costs, because you should request compensation to cover them.
Depending on your case, you might request attorney’s fees. This is true in many discrimination cases.
In some cases, you might request punitive damages to punish your former employer, especially for egregious conduct. As an example, your employer might have intentionally broken the law when firing you. Punitive damages attempt to punish a defendant for this type of reprehensible act.
How Much Can You Receive?
The above is a general consideration of compensation. But how much can you really receive in your case? There are certain factors that will influence the amount:
Whether you agree to settle or take your case to trial
The size of your employer and the insurance they have
The reason for your termination
Whether you suffered harassment in your job prior to termination
Whether you could get another job and the amount it pays you
Contact Our Office Today
No worker should be fired illegally, and we are happy to offer our services to hold your employer accountable. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.