From today’s Forbes Magazine:
A common question employment lawyers get from their clients in an employment discrimination case is: if I win, how much will my case be worth?
While no “one size fits all” answer exists, it is possible to specifically identify the types of damages that are available and to spell out how the amount will be determined. For purposes of this article, it is assumed that the employee defeated the employer’s motion for summary judgment and won their employment discrimination trial before a jury, judge, or arbitrator.
Some variation exists in terms of what damages are available depending on what type of employment discrimination claim is at issue. Most employment discrimination cases arise under some combination of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Equal Pay Act (EPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (Section 1981), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The most common forms of damages are described below, but note that not all laws allow for the same type or amount of damages so it is important to carefully review the statute that applies to a specific claim.
A plain English explanation of lost pay damages is that it compensates an employee for the money and fringe benefits they would have earned had their employer not discriminated against them. For example, if they proved their company discriminatorily denied them a promotion, the employee would generally be entitled to damages for the difference in pay (salary, bonuses, stock options, etc.) between the higher level job they sought and the job they were stuck in.
ack pay claims also arise in other types of cases, including discriminatory termination cases (the amount of money an employee would have earned if they had not been fired), as well as hiring discrimination (the amount the employee would have made if they had been hired).
In addition, back pay may also encompass damages beyond salary, including bonuses, vacation leave, healthcare costs, and pension payments. The employer may assert certain legal defenses, which may reduce the amount of lost pay awarded.
Read the complete story here.