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How to prove damages in your employment law case

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2023 | Discrimination

Although you should be safe and free from harassment and discrimination in your place of work, the truth of the matter is that employers mistreat their employees all the time. This can have devastating consequences on your career and your mental well-being, causing everything from anxiety and depression to missed job opportunities and termination.

If you’ve been subjected to harassment or discrimination at work, then you probably want to hold your employer accountable for the harm that they’ve caused. An employment law-based legal action might help you get to where you want to be, but the process is likely to be hard fought. While you’ll need to gather and present evidence showing that your employer is responsible for the harassment or discrimination in question, you’ll also want to make sure you argue for the damages that you deserve.

Proving damages related to harassment or discrimination

The harm caused to you by workplace harassment or discrimination can be significant. However, you’ll only recover compensation for those losses if you can successfully demonstrate the extent of your damages. Here are a few ways to do that:

  • Track wages over time: If you lose out on a job, miss a promotion, are demoted, or are terminated from your job, then there are concrete financial losses that you’ll experience. You’ll want to track these so that you can appropriately argue for those lost wages. This, of course, will require you to know what your work would’ve been worth if you had secured the opportunity you sought, and don’t forget to consider any additional benefits that you would’ve received.
  • Mitigate your losses: If you lose your job because of workplace harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, then you need to do everything you can to stem your losses. This means seeking out other employment opportunities. If you don’t, then you might not be able to recover damages covering the entire time that you’re out of work, which could contribute to significant financial hardship.
  • Seek help for your mental health: Many individuals who have been subjected to harassment or discrimination experience extensive emotional and psychological turmoil. They might find themselves riddled with anxiety and depression, and they feel ashamed and fearful of the future. If you’re in that position, you might be able to alleviate your mental health concerns by seeking out therapy. The records created through this treatment might help you prove emotional distress damages, but just keep in mind that your employer might be able to gain access to your records through the discovery process.
  • Keep a journal: Writing down how you’re feeling about the harassment or discrimination can be powerful evidence and serve to refresh your memory if it takes a while for your case to get to negotiations or trial. So, if you’re going to keep a journal, be as detailed as possible.
  • Consider punitive damages: If you can show that your employer acted with malicious intent, which is often the case when you’re retaliated against for reporting harassment or discrimination, then you might be able to recover damages aimed at punishing your employer. Just remember that you’ll have to show intent here, which may require you to gain access to internal communications and secure testimony from key witnesses from your employer.

Take control of your employment law case

It can be intimidating to go up against your employer in an employment law case, but you can properly protect your case so that you can adequately stand up and have your voice be heard. If you’d like to learn more about how to do that, then please continue to read our blog and browse the rest of our website.