Posted By Sirmabekian
When it comes to calculating damages in employment discrimination cases, there are various factors determining how much money (also called monetary damages) you might be entitled to should you partner with a successful law firm and win your lawsuit.
Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), some categories of damages have an upper limit that depends on the size of your employer. On the other hand, for noncapped damages – like the first three in this article – your employer will need to pay the full amount regardless of their size. With that, here is a list of damages you may receive in your employment discrimination case.
Back wages are what you’d have earned if the employment discrimination had never occurred. In theory, calculating this is as simple as deducting your wages after firing or demotion from your previous salary. However, there are various factors that can affect the final back wages you’ll receive.
Firstly, total back wages are calculated from the time the act(s) of discrimination occurred to the time you win at trial, which can be anywhere from a few weeks to several years. Additionally, total back wages are affected by whether you were earning money from other sources to replace what you lost from your job – if you were, those earnings will be subtracted from the total lost wages.
Front wages are what you would have earned if you had never been fired or demoted, starting from when you win at trial until a given future date. Judges award these damages based on expert testimony regarding how soon you could find sufficient replacement income, for instance. Even if you do win at trial, front wages are awarded based on the judge’s discretion, so bear that in mind as you calculate your total employment discrimination damages.
Consequential damages are what you had to spend as a result of being fired or demoted, such as medical expenses and relocation costs. To claim consequential damages, you will require evidence such as receipts and credit reports – be sure to keep these records safe and secure!
Interest rates are applied to all noncapped damages. The appropriate interest rate is calculated by the court, with a reasonable interest rate typically being around 3%.
Emotional Distress Damages
Also called “pain and suffering”, these damages are awarded if you can prove that you suffered mental or emotional injury due to the discrimination, and these injuries may require verification from mental health professionals. Since emotional distress damages are awarded by juries, the amount can vary greatly from case to case, making it difficult to estimate.
Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant in cases of especially poor conduct. Since punitive damages are also awarded by juries, the amount awarded is entirely up to them and is hard to calculate in advance. Punitive damages are not available in every state and even when they are, they’re not easily won. As such, it is important to note you may require an even greater burden of proof at trial to win punitive damages.