The use of a vocational expert is widely used to objectively assess an evaluee’s employability and/or earning capacity in many types of cases. The assessment and documentation of the employability of persons who have been wrongfully terminated or sexually harassed is an important part of the damages in employment law cases and can only be performed by a vocational expert.
Vocational experts are sometimes brought into wrongful termination or age discrimination cases to document the effect of the termination on the evaluee’s ability to be employed. The initial purpose is to assess the effect of the termination on the evaluee’s employability. A comprehensive analysis of the evaluee’s education and past work history is produced, a transferability skills assessment is completed, and vocational testing may be administered to ascertain the type of work the person can perform. In addition, a labor market survey may be conducted to determine the level earnings the individual my obtain despite being terminated from his/her prior employment.
This is extremely important in our current economy where there is a record-high unemployment rate. The vocational expert takes a comprehensive history of the evaluee’s job search to assess what efforts have been made to locate appropriate employment. An opinion is rendered regarding the evaluee’s efforts to mitigate his/her damages despite being terminated.
Reasons why an attorney should use a vocational expert in an employment law case:
- To determine the worth of the case
- To move the case toward settlement by justifying the amount of the demand
- To provide testimony regarding damages for trial
A vocational evaluation enables the attorney to document the damages of the case to the jury in a clear, concise, and demonstrative manner. In all types of cases, the key to bringing your case to settlement or resolution is to prepare your case for trial as early as possible. This means that you should retain your damages experts, i.e., vocational and economic experts, early on to fully document the case.