Racial and Gender Workplace Discrimination Leads to Wage Loss Inquiry


This case involves alleged workplace discrimination and wrongful termination against a major news organization. The plaintiff, a middle-aged Asian woman, was a seasoned writer who had worked at her job for three years and regularly worked over sixty hours a week. She claimed that her boss made negative remarks about her race during her employment and made derogatory comments about other women in the organization. Upon termination, the defendants falsely claimed that the plaintiff’s position was being eliminated, while a relatively inexperienced junior male employee was promoted to her position. There was a question as to the plaintiff’s lost wages.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. How can this woman's lost wages be calculated?

Expert Witness Response

When evaluating the economic damages in wrongful termination litigation, the first thing that has to be calculated is the likely compensation that the plaintiff would have earned if the alleged wrongful termination had not occurred. The lost income would be calculated from the time of termination until the start of suit. In this case, finding the loss on income would be fairly straightforward from looking at the plaintiff’s W-2 form, tax return, or pay stubs. Another factor is the compensation that the plaintiff can expect to earn from alternate employment given the alleged wrongful termination. The amount of damages is equal to the difference between the two compensation streams. The calculation assumes that the alleged wrongful termination did not occur and that the individual’s compensation stream from the employer in question would have continued uninterrupted. Pain and suffering damages are available to victims of emotional distress as a result of the illegal actions on the part of the employer, such as harassment or an uncomfortable work environment. In situations like these, the plaintiff may have suffered stress and pain as a result of this and should be appropriately compensated. Basically, you are entitled to your lost wages and benefits, any other out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the loss of your job (such as counseling, retraining, etc.), and general damages for humiliation, pain, and suffering. There are additional amounts that could be calculated in special situations. Calculating loss of wages is very complicated and specific to each circumstance, but by discovering the numbers associated with this case, I can arrive at an accurate figure.

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