In an employment law case, such as a case involving a claim of wrongful termination, retaliation, or discrimination, the plaintiff must “mitigate” any economic losses he or she has suffered due to the job loss. Typically, the loss can be attributed primarily to lost wages. Lost benefits like health insurance may be involved as well.
There are several reasons why plaintiffs are required to mitigate their economic losses before the Court. The ultimate goal of awarding lost wages is to compensate plaintiffs for any economic losses suffered so that you are considered to be “whole” again. If these losses are not offset earnings from another job, and you can potentially recover what you would have earned if you had not lost your job, then you would be considered to be “more than whole” in the eyes of the law. Mitigation also encourages plaintiffs to seek other employment, as the Court sees your return to work as a “benefit to society.”
The Court may require you to perform a “reasonable job search.” But the exact definition of what is “reasonable” can be a bit murky. A vocational expert can help you figure out and document a job search that a judge would deem “reasonable.” For example, a vocational expert may suggest that you create and maintain:
1. Hard copies of all employment listings to which you responded, including printouts of online listings;
2. Hard copies of resumes you sent out (including multiple versions, if necessary);
3. Hard copies of all applications and cover letters you sent to potential employers;
4. Hard copies of letters you may have received from employers, including offer letters, acknowledgment letters, and rejection letters;
5. Hard copies of any organizational tools you may use in your job search (such as a datebook, calendar, notes in your smartphone, etc.); and
6. Hard copies of any other documents that reflect your job search.
Unfortunately, it may take some time to find a new job, especially during the current economic downturn. This is another reason why the aid and testimony of a vocational expert who can help you properly document your “reasonable job search” are so important. You don’t want any potential award you may receive in your employment law case to be reduced based on a judge’s ruling that you did not put forth sufficient effort to find a new job.
Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS) is one of the top companies providing vocational experts in Employment Law cases in the United States. We have over 40 years of experience in performing employability evaluations in Employment Law cases. Contact OAS at 800-292-1919 to discuss how we can help with your case.