If you file a lawsuit for discrimination in the workplace, the goal is to help you be in the position you would have been if the discrimination never occurred.
The compensation provided depends on the discrimination and its impact on the victim. For example, if the victim was not given a promotion due to discrimination, they may receive back pay, placement in the position and benefits.
It may also be possible to recover expert witness fees, court costs and attorney’s fees related to the case. Learn more about what you can recover in cases of workplace discrimination here.
Compensatory and punitive damages
Cases of intentional discrimination based on a worker’s sex, national origin, genetic information, disability, religion, color or race may be awarded compensatory and punitive damages.
The compensatory damages will pay a victim for out-of-pocket costs related to the discrimination. It will also compensate them for emotional harm. Punitive damages are awarded to punish employers who have committed a reckless or malicious act of discrimination.
Limits on damages that can be received for workplace discrimination
The limits on the compensation you can receive vary based on the employer’s size. The limits include:
- For employers with 500 or more employees: $300,000 limit
- For employers with 201 to 500 employees: $200,000 limit
- For employers with 101 to 200 employees: $100,000 limit
- For employers with 15 to 100 employees: $50,000 limit
Only liquidated damages are provided in cases involving age discrimination or sex-based wage discrimination. These are given to punish a reckless or malicious act of discrimination. The amount that can be awarded is equal to the back pay the victim receives.
Protecting your rights
Discrimination is still present in many work settings. Taking steps to protect your rights and filing a lawsuit when necessary is recommended. Knowing your legal options will help you protect yourself and your rights.