Losing your job because of your race, religion, or ethnicity is a degrading humiliating experience.
Thankfully, wrongful termination is a crime in Oregon, and those who are fired for illegitimate reasons may sue their employer in a court of law. If the suit is successful, they may receive compensation for losses they suffered because of their termination. This compensation is also known as damages.
In the parlance of the court, damages are meant to make the plaintiff “whole again” by returning him to the condition he enjoyed prior to the defendant’s wrongdoing.
In the wrongful termination context, plaintiffs may be eligible for three different types of damages:
Economic damages are self-explanatory. They are meant to address financial losses that were a direct result of the wrongful termination. Lost wages, benefits, bonuses, and overtime pay are included in this category.
Compensatory damages address injuries that indirectly resulted from the wrongful termination. For example, it could cost money searching for a new job, or you may have experienced mental trauma because of the ordeal.
Punitive damages are only awarded in extreme circumstances. The court is no longer interested in just compensating the plaintiff, rather, they want to send a message to the defendant (and society) that such conduct will not be tolerated. The defendant’s behavior must be considered especially malicious for the judge to consider punitive damages.
The first step towards vindicating your rights is hiring an experienced employment lawyer. They understand the nuances of the law and can launch a thorough investigation to ensure the truth gets told.
If cost is a concern, many lawyers offer a free initial consultation at no out of pocket cost to the client.