Do I Have A Duty To Mitigate My Damages In My Wrongful Termination Case?
If you were wrongfully terminated from your job, you could have a claim for compensation against your employer, such as for your lost wages and emotional distress. You may be entitled to this if, for example, you can show that you were not an at-will employee and could not be fired except for good cause or that your employer illegally discriminated against you based on a protected classification, like your age, gender, disability, or sexual orientation. An important issue that often arises in these cases is your duty to mitigate your damages.
What Is Your Responsibility to Mitigate Your Damages?
Your duty to mitigate your damages simply means that you have a duty to attempt to reduce your damages by finding another job. If you failed to do this, your claim for compensation could be reduced…or, in extreme cases, denied. However, your responsibilities are not limitless. The following guidelines help explain what this duty really is:
- You are only required to exercise reasonable diligence in attempting to find a new job.
- You are not required to suffer undue risk, hardship, or humiliation, and your feelings must be considered in determining whether you made reasonable attempts to find a job.
- You are only required to look for work that is similar to the job you had before your discharge.
- If you have more than one skill, you may be required to seek employment in more than one trade or profession.
- You do not have to accept substantially inferior jobs.
- You do not have to leave your family to accept a position that is similar but in a different location.
Keeping an employment diary where you document your attempts to seek a comparable job is critical to proving that you fulfilled your duty to mitigate your damages. You also need an experienced employment termination attorney who understands the federal and California laws that apply to your situation and can build your case against your employer. Start an online chat or call the Law Offices of Corbett Williams today at 949-679-9909 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn about your legal rights and options.