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What types of damages can I recover in an employment discrimination case?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits several different types of employment discrimination, including discrimination or harassment based on one’s gender, race, religion or national origin.    Where you have suffered work place discrimination in violation of Title VII, you may be able to bring a lawsuit and recover damages.  

Damages differ based on the type of claim, but potential types of damages available include “equitable relief”, compensatory damages, and punitive damages.  Equitable relief refers to damages which put the worker in the place they would have been, had the discrimination not occurred. Equitable relief may include back pay, front pay, restoring a worker's job, or putting the employee in a position her or she would have been in, had there been no discrimination.  Further, the employee may be entitled to back pay which may include wages, lost benefits, even lost bonuses and raises. 

Employees who face discrimination may also be entitled to compensatory damages, which are often are made up of “emotional distress damages.” Emotional distress may include depression, loss of enjoyment of life, sleep difficulties and other emotional components.  

Further, in some situations, workers may also be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are not awarded in all Title VII actions however, they may be allowed in cases where the conduct of the employer is especially egregious, such as where the employer takes actions to cover up discrimination, or fails to act in “good faith” to enforce policies and practices to eliminate discrimination.  

Finally, many times successful plaintiffs in employment discrimination cases are entitled to recover attorney's fees.  This is typically calculated based on the prevailing fees for an attorney in a particular geographical area.  

For more information or if you or someone you love has suffered workplace discrimination, please contact our Georgia anti-discrimination lawyers at Buckley Beal, LLP for an immediate consultation.  

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