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Parker v. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp

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Held. No. A wrongfully discharged employee’s recovery of her full salary must be reduced by the amount the breaching employer can prove she earned or with reasonable effort might have earned. Importantly, the employer must show that the other employment was comparable or substantially similar to that employment of which the employee was deprived. The employee’s rejection of or failure to seek a different or inferior kind of employment may not be considered. For the factual differences stated above, acting in “Big Country, Big Man” constituted inferior employment. Thus, Plaintiff’s refusal to accept the female lead in “Big Country, Big Man” will not reduce her recovery.

Dissent. The majority incorrectly distinguishes between two films, but in fact, the female lead in any movie should qualify as substitute performance.

Discussion. A wrongfully discharged employee is entitled to his lost salary, but he must mitigate damages by seeking alternative employment. However, he does not need to accept different or inferior employment.

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