Available Remedies in an Employment Discrimination Claim
Anti-discrimination laws are intended to prevent discrimination and, if this prohibited conduct occurs, to put the victim back into the position he or she would have been in if it had not occurred. There are, therefore, a variety of remedies that may be available to an employee who has experienced discrimination. The specific remedies available will depend on the facts and circumstances of the particular case. If you have a legal issue involving an Atlanta workplace, the experienced employment discrimination lawyer John L. Mays can advise you on the remedies that may be available.Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VII prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from engaging in discrimination based on race, color, national origin, age, sex, or religion. Depending on the facts of the case, a person who has experienced employment discrimination may be entitled to injunctive relief, front pay, back pay, and compensatory and punitive damages.Injunctive Relief
Under Title VII, if a court determines that an employer intentionally engaged in an unlawful employment practice, it may issue an injunction to keep the employer from engaging in that practice again. The court may also order the employer to hire or reinstate an employee, or other equitable relief.Front Pay
If it is not feasible to order the employer to hire or reinstate the employee, a court may order the employer to pay “front pay” to an employee who has been the subject of employment discrimination. Front pay compensates the employee for the anticipated future damages resulting from the discrimination, in terms of wages and benefits he or she would have received.Back Pay
Title VII specifically allows for the recovery of back pay in an employment discrimination case. Back pay includes not only lost wages but also other benefits the employee would have received. An employee may only recover back pay for a period of up to two years prior to the date the charge was filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.Compensatory and Punitive Damages
If there was intentional discrimination, an employee may be able to recover compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory and punitive damages under Title VII are subject to a combined cap based on the employer’s size.
Compensatory damages may include future pecuniary and non-pecuniary losses, including suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, and loss of enjoyment of life. Pursuant to 42 U.S. Code § 1981a, compensatory damages do not include back pay or interest on back pay. Back pay is not, therefore, subject to a cap.
Punitive damages are only available if the employer engaged in a discriminatory practice “with malice or with reckless indifference to the federally protected rights of an aggrieved individual.”Limitation on Recovery
In a case in which a claimant proves that sex, race, color, religion, or national origin was a motivating factor for the employment practice, but the employer is able to show that it would have taken the same action without that impermissible motivating factor, the court cannot ward damages or order reinstatement, hiring, or promotion. The court may, however, grant other declaratory or injunctive relief and award attorney’s fees and costs.Attorney’s Fees
Title VII allows a court to award attorney’s fees and expert fees to the prevailing party. Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) The same remedies available under Title VII are available to individuals with employment discrimination claims under the ADA.Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”)
The remedies available under the ADEA for age discrimination may include injunctions, reinstatement, lost wages, and liquidated damages in the same amount as the lost wages. Liquidated damages are only available when the violation of the ADEA was “willful.” The ADEA does not provide for the recovery of non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. Equal Pay Act The Equal Pay Act prohibits sex discrimination in compensation. Remedies available under the Equal Pay Act include injunctive relief and lost wages. Liquidated damages in an amount equal to the lost wages may be available if the violation of the law was “willful.”Providing Legal Representation for Employment Discrimination Claims in AtlantaThere are a variety of potential remedies available in employment discrimination claims. In some cases, an individual may have claims under multiple laws. A knowledgeable employment litigation attorney can be important in a discrimination case. Atlanta attorney John L. Mays knows how to evaluate a claim to determine which laws may apply. If you have an employment discrimination issue, call us at (877) 986-5529 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.