Document Type



Labor and Employment Law


A person is illegally fired and, as a result, becomes unemployed for a period of time. If that person wins a lawsuit based on that illegal firing, she can typically recover what she would have earned in wages during that time, as well as reasonable expenses she incurred to search for a new job. Involuntary unemployment, however, also causes people to lose psychological well-being, because they are forced to suffer the experience of being unemployed while they look for a new job. That loss ("unemployment distress") can range in severity from feelings of anxiety and humiliation to severe depression. Accordingly, if a defendant should pay the plaintiff enough to put her in the position she would have been in absent the defendant's illegal firing, that may imply also awarding the plaintiff damages in an amount proportionate to the unemployment distress that the illegal firing caused her to suffer.