Fighting For
Employee And Union Rights
Fighting For
Employee And Union Rights

What damages can you recover with an unlawful termination case?

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2024 | Employment Law

If you are an employee in Michigan, it’s important to understand that you have legal rights, even if you are employed at will. While your employer can generally fire you for virtually any reason or none at all, there are exceptions to this broad legal policy.

Your employer should not fire you for reasons that violate federal or state laws. Therefore, your termination may be unlawful if your employer fired you because of your race, color, national origin, gender, disability or age, among other protected classes. You can also potentially take legal action if your termination was retaliatory for engaging in protected activities, such as reporting discrimination or unsafe workplaces. If your claim is successful, you may be able to recover several kinds of damages, as introduced below.

Back pay

You may receive the wages and benefits you missed from the date of termination to the date of a judgment in a wrongful firing lawsuit. It is important to keep records of your earnings and benefits to calculate this accurately. Should it be unreasonable or impossible for an employer to reinstate you in your former position, you may also recover the estimated future wages and benefits you would have earned if you were still employed.

Compensatory damages

You may also collect compensation for any financial losses or emotional distress caused by the unlawful termination. This can include things like medical expenses for treatment related to the termination or the emotional distress you experienced.

Punitive damages

Sometimes, the court may award punitive damages to punish the employer for malicious or reckless misconduct. These damages deter other employers from engaging in similar behavior. You may also recover the cost of bringing the lawsuit.

Ultimately, the compensation available to you all depends on the strength of your unlawful termination claim and the evidence you have in your support. Seeking legal guidance can help you assert your legal rights and understand how to build a solid case in pursuit of a favorable outcome.