Home » Areas of Practice » Employment

Employment Law Expert Witness

We provide forensic consulting and expert witness testimony in employment legal cases.

If you’re involved in an employment dispute, many elements of the case could require the services of an employment expert witness. At The Knowles Group, we’ve testified as a forensic economist in many employment-related legal cases and can help perform complex wage loss, pension loss and other forms of compensation.

From sexual harassment to gender discrimination and hostile work environments, we can help you or your clients determine past and future income losses as well as complicated economic damages. Over the past 30 years, we’ve testified in federal and multiple state courts throughout the U.S.

Calculating Past Wage Losses & Future Earnings Capacity Losses

A forensic economist is responsible for determining future earnings losses, past wage loss from the date of separation, and other damages associated with the case. They will accomplish this with a thorough records review of the plaintiff’s earnings history of both public and private records such as:

  • Earnings History
  • W2 statements
  • Social Security Administration
  • State unemployment statements
  • Payroll records
  • Federal/State tax returns

The Knowles Group can provide accurate and factual economic calculations for a variety of employment issues including calculating lost wages. Some of the factors we analyze include:

Employment Law Cases We Support

An economic expert witness is someone who is credentialed and licensed to provide an expert opinion in matters pertaining to employment law. This includes calculating workers compensation damages. From wrongful termination to workplace discrimination, these economic experts can help bolster the case of either plaintiff or defendant.

There are many different kinds of employment litigation matters that can occur when an employer and employee are at odds with one another. Many of these cases can result in litigation or other employment disputes. Some of the more common types of employment law cases can include:

Calculating Wrongful Termination Damages

While many states have what’s known as “at-will” employment, employers can still run afoul of the law if they terminate an employee for reasons that violate state or federal law such as discrimination or violations of the ADA act. When an employee is wrongfully terminated, they may be entitled to economic damages including past lost wages and loss of future income.

The Knowles Group can provide economic expert witness services to assist with these cases. We can assess dozens of factors to determine what compensation should be awarded, and explain to the court why the damage calculations are justified.

Compensation for a Hostile Work Environment

Hostile work environments can occur in offices, construction job sites, or any location where an employee is expected to perform his or her job. Labor laws make it clear that it’s unlawful to create a hostile workplace.

We have consulted on legal cases in this area, and are familiar with the economic factors that must be analyzed in order to determine compensation.

Sexual Harassment Damages

Sexual harassment is a common type of lawsuit that’s based on a hostile work environment. It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.

These litigation cases often require taking a lot of data into account, like earnings history, functional employment experience, and expected future income. If the plaintiff was on a positive career trajectory for management and promotions, we can account for these increases to compensation in damage calculations.

Calculating Compensation for Discrimination

Workplace discrimination can be based upon one of many different things, such as:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Religion
  • Disability
  • Sexual preference
  • National origin

Discrimination can happen anywhere in the workplace. Hiring, firing, promotions, pay, and job training are just a few of the areas where employees can face discrimination.

The Knowles Group can offer support in calculating damages resulting from workplace discrimination, including cases where a candidate wasn’t hired or where an employee was not promoted.

Economic Damages for Retaliation

Retaliation cases can occur if a worker was laid off, fired, or otherwise had their hours or wages cut based upon them exercising a legal right (such as maternity leave), or because they stood up for themselves and opposed discriminatory treatment.

We can provide expert testimony in retaliation cases, taking into account various employment factors to determine lost income.

Do you need an employment expert witness for your case?

What is the EEOC?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that’s designed to help protect the federal rights of workers in the U.S. The organization files lawsuits and pursues financial compensation for workers who have experienced discrimination, harassment, or wage-related issues stemming from the companies they work for.

The EEOC Helps Protect American Workers By:

  • Enforcing an equal pay standard for both men and women.
  • Defending workers under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This includes discrimination against sex, race, religion, or national origin.
  • Defending women against pregnancy discrimination. It also helps ensure that employers do not discriminate against women who are suffering from medical or other ill effects due to pregnancy or childbirth.
  • Enforcing the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which helps protect workers 40 years and older.

Wage and Benefit Loss Calculation Expert

Forensic economists are often called upon to testify about wage and benefits loss as well as other pertinent economic damages. In more complex cases, they may be required to determine the amount of financial damage the employee sustained from a particular action such as such as wrongful termination due to COVID-19.

If they are testifying in a worker’s compensation case, a forensic economist might need to determine how much money the injured worker has lost due to the work-related accident. They can also calculate and testify regarding the present value of lost future income as well.

Employment Law Forensic Economist

At The Knowles Group, we’ve been helping our clients valuate wage loss, and determine other economic aspects that pertain to employment law for over 30 years. We’ve testified in both state and federal courts and have the experience and track record to match. If you’re involved with an employment lawsuit that requires an expert forensic economist, give us a call at (206) 860-9477 or contact us via our website.

Employment Legal Cases We’ve Worked On

Loss of earnings and pension as a result of wrongful termination and hostile work environment

Loss of earnings and pension as a result of wrongful termination and hostile work environment

My damage analysis focused on the the plaintiff’s earnings history with a lengthy career working for the City of Boise as well as applying my knowledge of the Public Employees’ Retirement System for Idaho (PERSI). The loss calculations involved the plaintiff’s remaining statistical work-life expectancy, her inability to reenter the workforce for mitigation purposes, and the reduction in her PERSI defined pension benefit at her fully vested age. The value of healthcare benefits had to be weighed against the cost of Medicare Plan B, which the plaintiff was eligible for and enrolled in.

Loss of earnings as a result of school dismissal of student

Loss of earnings as a result of school dismissal of student

My analysis included projecting the plaintiff’s future earnings after finishing her graduate program with the rest of her class and ultimately entering the workforce. These pre-incident earnings were then compared to the plaintiff’s mitigating earnings correlating with a bachelor’s degree. The present value of lost future earnings required two specific statistical work-life expectancies (by education), the plaintiff’s average earnings for her future vocation, and the average earnings for a female with a bachelor’s degree (Bureau of Labor Statistics). In addition to this calculated loss of earnings, a loss component for the loss of employer contributions to the plaintiff’s defined contribution plan (401(k)) was also presented.

Employment related matter involving a physician and hostile work environment

Employment related matter involving a physician and hostile work environment

Due to the events and actions that occurred within the plaintiff’s work environment (hospital), the doctor found herself in a .5 full-time employment position or part-time. The plaintiff was not able to return to full-time work as a result of the incidents. My analysis included calculating the doctor’s remaining statistical work-life expectancy at the time of the subject incident, her pre-incident earnings capacity from past tax returns when she was working full-time and comparing that to her actual earnings capacity when transitioned to part-time. The doctor’s compensation was a complex formula involving overtime and on-call time along with bonuses and other fringe benefits. Estimated damages includes past compensation and fringe benefits as well as the present value of all future compensation (earnings, bonuses, healthcare and pension benefits).