Employment law cases involve such situations as wrongful termination, sexual harassment, age or sex discrimination, and Americans with Disabilities Act cases. In these types of cases, the damages consist of loss of past and future earnings. These damages can only be testified to by a vocational expert.
The vocational expert can add valuable services to assist the Plaintiff or Defense attorney in determining the impact of the termination on the Plaintiff’s ability to return to work in their previous occupation, and their ability to earn money equivalent to their pre-termination earnings.
The employability assessment consists of an in-person evaluation of the Plaintiff to determine their age, education, past work experience, previously learned skills, and medical limitations, if any. In addition, the expert may administer a battery of vocational tests to assess the individual’s achievement level, skills, and aptitudes. The vocational expert will perform a transferability of skills evaluation to determine what type of occupation(s) the Plaintiff can perform if they cannot return to their pre-termination employment.
Based on this data, the vocational expert will determine what jobs, if any, the terminated Plaintiff can perform, as well as what these jobs pay in the local labor market. The salaries for open jobs are compared to the average salaries for the same jobs in the Plaintiff’s geographical area. Labor Market Research and federal and state government wage surveys will be used to obtain the salaries for open jobs.
The employability expert will also review the Plaintiff’s job search, if any, to determine if the job search conducted was reasonable.
A recent case example involves a middle-aged woman who was allegedly terminated from her occupation as a Fast Food Restaurant Manager as a result of racial discrimination. An in-person evaluation was conducted and it was determined that the woman had applied for and was offered many jobs, but rejected them as she did not want to work on Saturdays.
However, at the time of her interview, she was working as a Cafeteria Manager at a salary equal to her pre-termination job. Therefore, there was no future loss of earnings.
A vocational expert can be of tremendous help in employment law cases, assisting in documenting the case damages. Vocational experts can testify on such questions as:
- Did the plaintiff perform a reasonable job search after their termination?
- What is the individual’s post-termination ability to work?
- What is the plaintiff’s post-termination earning capacity?
In fact, the Supreme Court in New Jersey found in the Quinlan Case that in order to prove future lost earnings, the Plaintiff’s attorney must hire a vocational expert, as well as an economist.
OAS is one of the leading companies providing vocational expert services in Employment Law cases in the United States with offices in NJ, NY, FL, TX, CT, GA, and CA. We have extensive experience working for both Plaintiff and Defendant in Employment Law cases.
Contact OAS at 800-292-1919 to obtain a Free Case Consultation to discuss how OAS can assist in your case, as well as obtain our fee schedule, experts’ professional qualifications, and a sample report. In addition, feel free to review the OAS website at oasinc.org.