If you’ve been let go from your job and decide to file a claim for wrongful dismissal against your former employer, you must remember that you have a duty to mitigate your damages following your dismissal. What this means is that you have an obligation to look for and obtain new, comparable employment, which would ultimately work towards putting you in the same position you would have been in but for the dismissal.
You must make a reasonable effort to find new work. This means that you have a duty to actively search for work, to keep track of those search efforts, and to be reasonable when accepting or declining an opportunity that is presented to you. Simply saying “no” to a job because it offers a few dollars less an hour than your former place of work, but all other factors are comparable, is not a sufficient reason to decline this job offer in these circumstances.
Sometimes, a former employer offers the dismissed employee a job opportunity at its former place of work. If that opportunity is similar to the employee’s former role of employment and at a comparable rate of pay, then the courts will look at whether a reasonable employee in a similar situation should have accepted the position.
Factors that would make it reasonable for the employee to turn down the new offer of employment by their former employer include a poisoned work environment or a breakdown in the employer/employee relationship.
Mitigation significantly impacts your entitlement to severance. Often, employees feel that they can sit back and wait for their payday, but it isn’t that simple. If you do not make it your priority to look for and obtain comparable employment, you may be significantly reducing the damages that you are awarded at trial.
If you’ve been dismissed from your place of employment, you are not alone. Come speak to the lawyers at Drysdale Bacon McStravick who can help guide you through this process, and advise you of the steps that you must take in order to protect your claim.