March 21st, 2016
Under federal and state law, an employee has a duty to mitigate lost wages by seeking new employment. Ford Motor Co. v. EEOC, 458 U.S. 219, 231 (1982). The obligation to mitigate damages requires that a claim for back pay must be reduced by the amount the employee earned or could have earned in alternate employment. State ex rel. Martin v. City of Columbus (1971), 58 Ohio St.2d 261, 264. However, ordinary effort to find similar, suitable employment in the same vicinity where the employee previously worked is sufficient to mitigate damages. State ex rel. Stacey v. Batavia Local School Dist. Bd. of Edn. (2005), 105 Ohio St.2d 476, 485-86. Title VII and R.C. § 4112 expressly provides for the reduction of allowable back pay by “interim earnings or amounts earnable with reasonable diligence by the person or persons discriminated against . . . .” 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(g); R.C. § 4112.05(G).