When it comes to employment, discrimination is an unfortunate reality that many individuals face. Thankfully, the legal system is designed to rectify such injustices and provide remedies to victims of discrimination.
When discrimination is identified, the law’s primary aim is to restore the victim to the position they would have held if discrimination had never occurred. Remedies vary based on the discriminatory action and its impact. For example, if someone is denied a job or promotion due to discrimination, remedies may include job placement, back pay and benefits.
Compensatory and punitive damages
Victims of discrimination may also seek financial compensation, including attorney’s fees, expert witness fees and court costs. Compensatory and punitive damages play a crucial role in addressing intentional discrimination based on various factors such as race, color, national origin and other protected characteristics.
Compensatory damages cover out-of-pocket expenses resulting from discrimination, such as job search costs or medical expenses. Moreover, they aim to compensate for the emotional harm endured by the victim. This may include mental anguish and inconvenience.
Punitive damages may be awarded in cases of particularly malicious or reckless discrimination. These damages serve to punish the employer for their discriminatory actions. This acts as a deterrent for future offenses.
Ceasing discriminatory practices
Apart from compensating victims, employers are obligated to halt discriminatory practices and implement preventive measures for the future. This dual approach helps ensure not only the well-being of the victim but also serves as a deterrent against recurring discrimination within an offending organization.
Limits on damages
It’s important to note that there are limits on compensatory and punitive damages, varying based on a company’s size. These limits are structured to help ensure a fair and balanced approach to compensation.
Additionally, victims may not recover compensatory or punitive damages in specific cases involving intentional age or sex-based wage discrimination. However, they may be entitled to “liquidated damages.” These damages are awarded to punish especially malicious or reckless acts of discrimination, and the amount equals the back pay awarded to the victim.
In the fight against employment discrimination, understanding the available remedies allows victims to make informed decisions about pursuing legal action.