Damages Available for Discrimination

Jennifer Duke
April 7, 2016

Typically, in a discrimination claim, an employee can seek compensatory damages. These are damages designed to compensate the employee for pain and suffering caused by the discrimination they faced.

closeup of a wooden gavel against a black background

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages do not include claims for lost wages or lost promotions and the accompanying higher wages.

Compensatory damages include compensation for loss of enjoyment of life, damage to ones reputation, or the deterioration of ones health as a result of the discrimination suffered.

In order to be awarded compensatory damages, an employee must first prevail in their claim of discrimination.

Once the employee prevails on their claim, the employee will be required to offer proof of the damages they have suffered.

Actually proving one's entitlement to damages can be a difficult task as the claims are often intangible.

closeup of the roof of a federal courthouse

The EEOC is authorized to award the following types of damages:

  • Lost wages and prejudgment interest (all statutes).
  • Liquidated/double damages (Title VII and ADA cases involving intentional discrimination).
  • Punitive damages (Title VII and ADA cases in which the employer acts with reckless disregard of the federally protected rights of the individual).

The sum of punitive damages and future compensatory damages may not exceed the following amounts, per person:

  • $50,000 for employers with 15-100 employees.
  • $100,000 for employers with 101-200 employees.
  • $200,000 for employers with 201-500 employees.
  • $300,000 for employers with more than 500 employees.
closeup of Benjamin Franklin's face on the hundred dollar bill

Keeping Track of Damages

It is important for employees to keep track of their damages and maintain good records.

For example, keeping track of medical documents from the beginning of a claim will allow an employee to prove their claim for damages easily, should they prevail, rather than require the employee to spend time looking through documents, when the employee may only have a short time to provide evidence of their damages.

Melville Johnson, P.C. has extensive experience working with federal employees at every stage of an employment dispute, including developing and proving claims for damages.

If you are facing discrimination, the federal employee attorneys at Melville Johnson, P.C. may be able to help. Call or message us today using the form below to discuss your claim and learn how we can assist you.

This blog and web site published by Melville Johnson, P.C. should not be used as a substitute for seeking competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney. Readers of this information should not act upon any information contained on this blog or website without seeking professional counsel.
Contact us today
If you're a federal employee and feel you've been the victim of unlawful discrimination involving MSPB claims or EEO claims, our experienced federal employment attorneys stand ready to fight on your behalf. Give us a call today at (404) 724-0000 or fill out the form below and we'll be sure to follow up in a timely manner.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
what our clients are saying
“I really appreciate how much Melville Johnson cared about my case. From the very beginning of the process, their federal employee attorneys were friendly and very informative. We won the case, and they were even helpful afterwards, answering any questions or concerns. Thank you Melville Johnson, and I will definitely pass your good work along to others in need.”
- Jim R.
“Despite the complexity of my situation, Melville Johnson took on my claim and immediately put me at ease with a clear demonstration of their expertise with EEO law. From the very start, the firm’s team members have been amazing to work with—hardworking, honest and extremely trustworthy. I would recommend them to anyone who needed this type of legal assistance!”
- Bridget B.
“As a person with a disability working for the federal government, I knew I needed to get the right legal professional assistance for my case. And while the process could have been tedious and overwhelming for a layperson without much legal knowledge, Melville Johnson alleviated all the potential stress involved by taking the guesswork out of my hands. With their help, I received disability approval in record time! I want to thank you for the superior work your firm performed. From my very first contact, your Client Intake Manager took the time to answer all of my initial questions and provide detailed information at every turn. And your attorneys showed nothing but professionalism and kindness throughout the process.”
- Sandra B.
“The consummate professionals at Melville Johnson work closely with you to ensure your rights are being protected. As a current federal employee, I found myself in a situation where the job I was asked to do didn’t match the position description for which I was hired nor the compensation I deserved. With the firm’s help, I was able to obtain back pay and transfer into a position that matched the job I was performing."
- L.M.