The Risks of Taking a Job Too Early
Being let go is never easy, and it can be a huge blow to your confidence, especially if you had been counting on that job for income, a social circle, and other major aspects of your life. For some people, their first thought after being let go is to put their resume on job sites and start updating their LinkedIn accounts in the hopes of finding a new job and getting back on their feet quickly.
This is not an issue for many people. Perhaps they got the severance package that they wanted, or they weren’t working at the company for very long, or maybe they just want to be able to move on with their life and find something else. However, for employees who feel that they have been wrongfully dismissed, or who think that they did not receive enough severance pay, securing another position can affect the damages they can be awarded.
What are the Risks of Getting a Job Right Away?
For anyone who does want to take legal action against their employer and who has not signed a release, it is important to remember that, if you do go to court, a judge will pay close attention to whatever you do after your layoff, and whether you did anything to make your situation better. This is called mitigating your losses.
The main solution that a court will offer if your company has dismissed you wrongfully or has not given you enough severance pay is damages, or more simply, money. Those damages will be calculated based on a number of things, including what the few months after you were fired looked like. Judges will expect that, rather than sitting down and taking a financial loss after losing a job, you will claim employment insurance if you’re able to, and start looking for another position somewhere else.
Once you have found a new position, a judge may choose to deduct any income that you earned from the damages (or amount of severance) that you can claim.
Getting another job immediately after being let go may also make it more difficult to claim that you should have received severance from your previous job, since it will be clear to the judge that you are easily employable. That said, it is still the duty of every employee to attempt to look for a job that is suitable to their expertise, age, and other factors that make that position a fit for them.
Notice and payment in lieu of notice (severance pay) are meant to help the employee as they potentially get ready to go a few months without work, but if you have already shown that you can get a job easily, a judge may be less willing to go out of their way to make your employer give you a payout.
So, while it is important to mitigate your damages, risking termination pay from your previous employer solely because you found a less than average job for your particular expertise may be a risky move. While you have the duty to mitigate, you have to get a job that fulfilling and also comparable to your previous position from which you were terminated.
Losing your job can be a very scary time, especially if you don’t know what to expect. But, if you would like to bring legal action against your former employer, then there are some steps that you should consider taking. Taking a new job right after being fired when you are unsure of the suitability of this job may put your severance pay and your earning potential at risk.
Not only will you be mitigating your losses for an employer who has terminated you, but you’d be placing yourself in an employment position that is not suitable to you given your expertise. The duty to mitigate is important, but it must be with a comparable position.
If you have more questions about what your steps after being let go should be, please contact a qualified employment lawyer at Achkar Law. An employment lawyer can give you the best possible advice and can help you get the results you want.
If you are an employee or an employer with questions about mitigation and the rules around the duty to mitigate, our team of experienced workplace lawyers at Achkar Law can help. Contact us by phone toll-free at 1 (800) 771-7882 or email us at [email protected], and we will be happy to assist.