When an employee in Washington, D.C., believes he or she was wrongfully terminated, they may take legal action, via filing a lawsuit against their employer. However, while a successful lawsuit may allow the employee to recover compensation, such as compensatory damages and back pay, there is always the chance that the employee’s lawsuit will not succeed, meaning the employee will get nothing. Moreover, in some situations, it is hard to prove one was wrongfully terminated. Therefore, many employees in Washington, D.C., who have filed a wrongful termination lawsuit ultimately decide to settle.
In fact, many wrongful termination lawsuits never see a courtroom. Employees have to show that they were fired for an impermissible or unlawful reason, such as discrimination, being a whistleblower or reporting sexual harassment in the workplace. It is not always to prove this to a jury. Therefore, a settlement may be the most appropriate option for some employees.
Valuing a wrongful termination claim can depend on a number of factors. One is wage loss, that is, the wages lost starting from when the employee was let go until the present date.
However, these damages may need to be mitigated as much as possible by the employee. For example, the employee may have to show he or she sought different employment after being fired, and if he or she did obtain a new position or unemployment benefits, these will be subtracted from the amount of wage loss.
Another factor that may be considered when valuing a wrongful termination claim is lost benefits, such as health insurance benefits that the employee had to pay on his or her own after being fired. A third factor that may be considered when valuing a wrongful termination claim is emotional distress. These types of damages may be awarded if the employer’s actions were particularly harmful, such as in the case of discrimination or sexual harassment.
In the end, if an employee does decide to settle a wrongful termination case, it is important that the amount he or she receives in the settlement is fair. It may help for employees in such situations to seek legal help, to ensure they are not taken advantage of in any settlement offer.