Damages in a Massachusetts Wrongful Termination Case

Submitted by pec on

Massachusetts has enacted legislation which makes it illegal for employers to fire an employee under certain circumstances, including discrimination and whistleblowing. If you have been involved in a wrongful termination case in Massachusetts, you may be able to receive both economic and non-economic damages if you file a lawsuit against your employer. An experienced employment law attorney can help you with a claim for breach of wrongful termination law. 

What are the Damages in a Massachusetts Wrongful Termination Case?

Damages are the financial cost of a wrongful act. In a wrongful termination case, the employee who can prove that he or she has been wrongfully terminated may file for damages against the former employer. The amount of damages claimed is considered compensation for the financial cost of being fired illegally.

In Massachusetts, like most other U.S. states, damages are divided into two broad categories. These are economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the direct financial costs of a wrongful termination. They are usually relatively easy to calculate in dollar terms. It is important to carefully calculate all financial costs of being fired illegally, including the potential future costs of remaining unemployed or not being able to earn as much as the previous employment. A thorough calculation of the full cost of economic damages may also be used to calculate the amount awarded for non-economic damages, too.

Typical economic damages in a wrongful termination case include:

  • lost wages due to wrongful termination;
  • future lost wages while remaining unemployed;
  • lost benefits which were available while employed.

Intangible or Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages, also called intangible damages, are those which can be claimed which are the result of the psychological or emotional distress caused by the act of wrongful termination.

The most common type of non-economic damages is compensation for the ‘pain and suffering’ caused by the wrongful termination.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are sometimes included in a wrongful termination claim. They may be claimed if the act of wrongful termination was particularly egregious or hurtful. Punitive damages maybe awarded by a court if it is thought that the employer needs to be punished because of the wrongful termination. The amount of punitive damages awarded in some cases may serve as a warning to other employers that they should take wrongful termination laws in Massachusetts seriously and that employees who believe they have been fired illegally may sue them for considerable damages.

Punitive damages remain a less common type of damages awarded in a Massachusetts wrongful termination claim compared to the other types of damages described above.

Get Help with Your Wrongful Termination Claim

It can be a challenging experience filing a claim for wrongful termination. Massachusetts employment and labor laws make it mandatory to file a complaint with a state or federal agency before being allowed to sue an employer. It is advisable to seek help from an experienced employment law attorney if considering filing a wrongful termination lawsuit against your employer.

Fill out the Free Case Evaluation to get connected with an independent wrongful termination attorney who subscribes to the website and takes cases in Massachusetts.

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