I’m Jonas Urba, a New York employment lawyer, here with Employment Law Reality Check. I’m going to talk about damages today because damages are so important. Everybody wants to know how much is my case worth? There are quite a few things that go through our heads from the very instant that we begin talking to someone. The first thing we think of is who is your employer? We think of where you are located? What will the venue be if we have to file a lawsuit? And we always ask about wage loss. How much money did you lose and have you seen a doctor? Let’s talk about your employer. There are so many times that someone will call me and say this person has a lot of money, the business has a lot of money, the employer has a lot of money and it’s going to be a slam dunk and it not always is a slam dunk. You really have to examine the employer, you have to examine how many employees they have, where they are located, how long they have been in business, are they going to be around if the lawsuit goes forward and will they pay if you get a judgment against them? A paper judgment is only as good as the paper it’s written on. Second, you look at venue. You want to know where the lawsuit will be. Now some people don’t want to file a lawsuit and we don’t necessarily file lawsuits in every case but we have to prepare for that lawsuit in the event that it’s necessary. Anybody who accepts an employment case and does not prepare for a lawsuit from the start, probably is not doing their job. Because you need to make sure that if you have to go forward you can actually file and you want to know where you are going to file. Is it a favorable venue to employees or is it more favorable to employers? Is it federal or is it state? Are you going to do an administrative proceeding? Are you going to end up in mediation? You have to evaluate all those things preferably right up front. And thirdly, we look at wage loss. It’s really hard to explain sometimes that if the wages that you have lost are X dollars and someone else loses many more wages that their claim is inherently worth more than yours. That is not necessarily true. Sometimes you look at the medicals. If you have seen a doctor, if you have treated with your primary care physician, a psychiatrist, a psychologist or anyone. If you have treated with someone for the emotional distress, all the pain and suffering from what happened to you on that job, hostile workplace, you lost your career, you’re older, you can’t get another job. All of those things will play into and will help calculate the damages that you might be awarded. So just because you were not a high wage earner does not mean that you can not recover substantial damages. But you need to have the medicals. And you need to do whatever you have to do to see your doctor, to see a psychiatrist or psychologist or whoever you need to see. Alternatively, if you do have lots of wage loss damages, that might be enough. We can go with the garden variety damages for emotional distress. But as you can see, just those three points, right off the bat, are pretty complicated. Each one of them. And the best thing to do is call employment lawyers. Call a lot of employment lawyers. You can call me. I’m Jonas Urba, a New York employment lawyer. I serve the entire state of New York and I can be reached at (212) 731-4776. Attorney Advertising.
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