Wrongful Termination |
April 24, 2014

Mitigation of Damages and an Effective Job Search

Employees who have been wrongfully terminated may pursue a legal claim for lost wages caused by the termination. However, those individuals also have a responsibility to “mitigate” those lost wages by making reasonable efforts to seek new employment. The amount that the employee earns from his or her new employment, in some cases, may reduce the amount of wages the employee can recover from being wrongfully terminated. Likewise, if the employee uses reasonable efforts but cannot find a comparable new job, or finds a job that is not comparable, then the wages he or she lost as a result of being wrongfully terminated will not be reduced.

Thus, employees who have been wrongfully fired should make reasonable efforts to find a new job and should retain copies of all records or files showing what efforts were made.

Of course, obtaining a new job is not always easy. Some useful advice about how to stand out in a job interview was given in an article by Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, who recently interviewed Google’s hiring director, Laszlo Bock. Here is a portion of that interview:

How do you write a good résumé?

“The key,” [Bock] said, “is to frame your strengths as: ‘I accomplished X, relative to Y, by doing Z.’ Most people would write a résumé like this: ‘Wrote editorials for The New York Times.’ Better would be to say: ‘Had 50 op-eds published compared to average of 6 by most op-ed [writers] as a result of providing deep insight into the following area for three years.’ Most people don’t put the right content on their résumés.”

What’s your best advice for job interviews?

“What you want to do is say: ‘Here’s the attribute I’m going to demonstrate; here’s the story demonstrating it; here’s how that story demonstrated that attribute.’ ” And here is how it can create value. “Most people in an interview don’t make explicit their thought process behind how or why they did something and, even if they are able to come up with a compelling story, they are unable to explain their thought process.”

The article is here.