January 12, 2009 · 1:43 pm
If you are an employee, had your job terminated, and are even thinking you may bring a legal claim against your former employer some day, please know that you should keep documentation relating to your job search efforts.
You may ask, “What does my job-search or new employment have to do with what my old employer did?” The answer: for most common employment claims (e.g. a claim your termination violated discrimination law), the offending employer can be held responsible for wages you lost (or “back pay”) from the date of your termination forward. An offending employer could try to legally reduce or eliminate the back pay it has to pay you by claiming that you didn’t look hard enough for a new job (or that you “failed to mitigate damages” in legal speak).
To avoid this potential argument that you failed to mitigate damages or look hard enough for work, you should keep documentation of your job-hunting efforts to remove any doubt that you made reasonable efforts to find work.
What Documentation You Should Keep
To keep good documentation of your job-search efforts, you should:
- Keep or record information about every prospective employer you contact (e.g. write down the prospective employer’s name, date of call/visit, what job position you inquired about, rate of pay, etc.).
- Save copies of job-application-related documents (e.g. job ads you reviewed, applications you sent, cover letters, resumes, rejection letters, etc.).
- Save copies of unemployment-related documents you have (e.g. Wisconsin’s Unemployment division requires that an unemployment claimant-employee contact at least two prospective employers per week, and to keep documentation to that effect).
If you keep these forms of documentation, you will be in a better position for any future legal claim against the employer who terminated your employment.
July 13, 2008 · 1:44 pm
If you listened only to corporate-based rhetoric, you would get the following impressions about individuals who sue organizations:
- Frivolous lawsuits are out of control, and too many huge verdicts are being awarded to individuals who spill coffee on themselves and the like.
- There are too many individuals- including employees, consumers, injured persons and attorneys- who are “extortionists,” and are filing frivolous lawsuits to look for a quick (and large) buck.
- “Tort reform,” and restricting individuals’ access to the legal system, is needed, or else businesses may not financially survive.
As someone who works with individuals bringing legal claims, I see many problems with these concepts, which mischaracterize the state of the world as I experience it.
Continue reading →
Filed under Philosophy - Employee Rights
Tagged as Damages, Dark Side, Discrimination, Employee Rights, Employee Rights Philosophy, Extortionists, Fees, Good Claims, HCQIA, Lawsuit, Litigation, Rhetoric, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Fair Employment Act
April 19, 2008 · 5:44 am
If you have a discrimination complaint at the Equal Rights Division (ERD) and are scheduled for mediation (settlement discussions), you can prepare in the following ways to improve your chances of reaching a favorable settlement. While the information below is tailored to ERD proceedings, it should be useful for EEOC mediation and other types of mediation and/or settlement negotiations.
Please note this post does not provide legal advice- if you want legal advice, you should contact an attorney and discuss your specific circumstances. If you are interested in legal assistance from attorney-author Michael Brown for your matter, you can contact Mr. Brown and his law firm DVG Law Partner here:
Continue reading →
Filed under Employee Tip - Preparing for Mediation
Tagged as Costs, Damages, EEOC, Equal Rights Division, ERD, Fees, Mediation, Negotiations, Preparing for Mediation, Settlement, WFEA, Wisconsin Fair Employment Act