There are a lot of factors that go into determining the value of an employment discrimination or wrongful termination case. These factors include:
- Severity and frequency of the discrimination: The more severe and frequent the discrimination, the higher the value of the case.
- Lost wages and benefits: Particularly in cases where the discrimination leads to the termination of the employee’s employment, all discrimination laws will allow the employee to get lost wages, which include pay for a reasonable time off to find a new job and wage differential for a lower paying new job.
- Impact on employee’s career: The impact of the discrimination on the employee’s career can be assessed by looking at the career trajectory prior to the discrimination, as well as the employee’s current and future earning potential.
- Emotional distress: Emotional distress caused by the discrimination can be assessed by looking at factors such as the employee’s mental health and emotional well-being, as well as the level of humiliation, embarrassment, and distress caused by the discrimination. While seeking medical or counselling treatment may not be necessary to recovery emotional distress damages, doing so may positively assist in raising the value of the employment discrimination case.
- Strength of the evidence: The strength of the evidence, such as eyewitness accounts, documentation, and testimony, can impact the value of the case.
- Laws and regulations: Laws and regulations that govern the case, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”), as well as various state laws, can also affect the value of the case, including putting caps on damages.
- Financial solvency of the employer: This factor is often ignored. However, no matter how strong your evidence is or how horrible the race, gender, or age discrimination is, none of it will matter if the employer cannot afford to pay a judgment. Firstly, if the defendant company is insolvent or has limited financial resources, it may be difficult or impossible to collect any damages awarded by the court. This can significantly reduce the value of the case, as the plaintiff may not be able to recover the full amount of damages that they are entitled to. Secondly, the financial resources of the defendant company can affect the likelihood of a settlement. If the defendant company is financially stable and able to pay a large settlement, they may be more willing to negotiate a favorable settlement with the plaintiff in order to avoid the risk and expense of a trial. On the other hand, if the defendant company is struggling financially, they may be less willing to settle and more likely to take the case to trial, which can increase the time and cost of litigation.
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What is a Medusa case?
In Greek mythology, Medusa, once a beautiful woman, was transformed into a monster with snakes for hair and cursed so that a single gaze by her would turn people to stone. Some cases, no matter how strong, will turn to stone if a defendant employer cannot afford to pay a settlement or judgment. And, as the old saying goes, you cannot bleed a stone. Thus, at Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm, our attorneys call these cases “Medusa cases.”
In these types of cases, it is important to hire experienced employment lawyers to help navigate this situation. In some circumstances, employment discrimination attorneys can help you sue the managers, supervisors, or owners of the company directly. In other cases, the employee’s rights lawyers can help you understand how to squeeze something out of your former employer before it goes bankrupt or simply just closes its doors.
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Does the EEOC care about getting me paid?
No. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) does not care about individual people. Instead, the EEOC’s focus is about setting precedent and creating headlines. Case in point, on March 23, 2023, the EEOC issued a press release bragging that it obtained a default judgment against Green JobWorks LLC in the amount of $2.6 million. The EEOC’s press release, which mentions various EEOC attorneys and directors by name but not a single one of the 48 female workers by name, fails to explain what a default judgment is or how it obtained the judgment.
A default judgment is a legal ruling that is made by a court in favor of one party in a lawsuit when the other party fails to respond or appear in court. When a default judgment is entered, it means that the party who failed to respond or appear in court is deemed to have admitted to the claims made against them by the other party.
Green JobWorks did not respond to the lawsuit filed by the EEOC because it instead choose to simply close its doors. However, because the law does not allow lawsuits to be filed against no longer existing companies, this means that Green JobWorks was a viable company through the EEOC investigative and mediation process. While it is unclear how much, if anything, the employer offered to settle prior to shutting down, the EEOC opted to reject putting at least some money in these victims’ pockets as opposed to a default judgment that is not even worth the paper it is written on.
So, in this case, the EEOC chose the flash of a million-dollar judgment despite that fact that it did absolutely nothing for the victims.
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Does the EEOC have to consult complainants before settling cases against employers?
No. The EEOC is not required to consult with complainants before settling cases against employers. While the EEOC is responsible for investigating and resolving employment discrimination complaints, it has broad discretion in how it chooses to pursue cases and reach settlements with employers. Thus, the EEOC may choose to settle a case without consulting with the complainant, particularly if the EEOC determines that the proposed settlement is in the best interests of all parties involved. A private employee’s rights attorney is not concerned with the best interests of “all parties involved” – just the best outcome for the employee.
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So, what is my employment discrimination case worth?
In order to determine the value of a particular employment discrimination case, it is best to consult with an experienced employment lawyer who can assess the specific circumstances of the case and provide guidance on the potential value of the case. Whether you are dealing with race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion or disability discrimination on you job, it would be best to call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation. (Read: What is the Spitz No Fee Guarantee?; Why Having Skilled Employment Attorneys Is Critical; Employment Law: Avoid Hiring The Wrong Attorney). Call our lawyers in Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, and Kentucky to get help now. Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm and its experienced attorneys are dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.
This employment law website is an advertisement. The employment discrimination and wrongful termination materials available at the top of this page and at this race and gender discrimination website are to give you general information only and not to give you direct legal advice. For direct legal advice regarding your workplace age or disability discrimination, it would be best for to contact our top attorneys to obtain advice with respect to any particular employment law issue or problem. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.