Damages Available To Employees In Title VII Lawsuits

There is a wide variety of relief available to employees suffering from Race, Sex, National Origin, and Religious discrimination and Retaliation under Title VII.

An employee who suffers from racial, sexual, national origin or religious discrimination or harassment or retaliation is entitled to a wide variety of relief under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under Title VII, an employee may be entitled to the following relief:

1) Reinstatement - If any employee is discharged because of his or her sex, race, national origin or religion, Title VII permits a Court to order that the employee be reinstated into his or her position.

2) Front Pay - When reinstatement is not practical and the employee cannot return the to work place, the employee may be entitled to front pay. Front pay is an amount of money that would compensate the employee for not being reinstated to the position.

3) Back Pay - When an employee is terminated, demoted, or receives a reduction in pay, the employee may be entitled to back pay. Back pay is an amount of money that is designed to make an employee whole as a result of the loss of income. This amount will generally equal the income lost by the employee as a result of the discriminatory action.

4) Future Earnings - An award of lost future earnings compensates the victim for an injury to the professional standing or an injury to character and reputation of the employee as a result of the employer's conduct.

5) Mental Anguish - Title VII also permits an employee who suffered discrimination to collect an amount of money to compensate the employee for the emotional distress, shame, embarrassment, and humiliation they suffered and continue to suffer as a result fo the discrimination.

6) Compensatory Damages - An award for compensatory damages is an amount of money to compensate an employee for out of pocket expenses and other financial losses as a result of the discriminatory actions. These can include relocation expenses, job search expenses, health insurance premiums,

7) Punitive Damages - Punitive damages may be awarded when the defendant is found to have engaged in discriminatory practices with malice or with reckless indifference. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the employer, deter the employer from discriminating in the future, and to deter other employers from engaging in discrimination.

8) Attorneys fees - A judge in a Title VII case may also award an employee his or her reasonable attorneys' fees and reasonable expert witness fees.

Below are some examples of awards given to victims of discrimination in Title VII cases:

Compre v. GCC DRUM, INC.,Case No. 99-C-6564 (N.D. Ill. 2003) 
Asonye and Associates obtained a jury verdict of 4 million dollars in racial harassment and discrimination lawsuit involving use of racial slurs. The jury awarded 3 million dollars in punitive damages, 900,000 dollars in emotional distress damages, and 100,000 dollars in lost wages.

Bates v. Bd. of Ed. Of the Capital School Dist., 2000 WL 376405 (D.Del. 2000)
Jury awarded employee $750,000 for emotional distress damages in a Title VII case where the employer retaliated against the employee for refusing to rehire him into a position.

Brandon v. Anesthesia & Pain Management Assoc., 205 F. Supp.2d 976 (S.D. Ill. 2002)(J. Murphy), aff'd., 277 F.3d 936 (7th Cir. 2002) Affirmed a $1 million verdict for pain, suffering and emotional distress in retaliatory discharge case.

Deloughery v. City of Chicago, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9102 at 7-8 (N.D. Ill. 2004)(J. Kennelly)
Employee awarded $175,000 in emotional distress damages as a result of the employers' refusal to promote her.

Forsyth v. City of Dallas, 91 F.3d 769, 774 (5th Cir. 1996)
Employee awarded $100,000 for emotional distress damages.

Giles v. General Electric Co. , 245 F.3d 474, 488-89 (5th Cir. 2001)
Jury awarded employee $300,000 for an emotional distress award. Judge reduced award to $150,000.

Harvey v. Office of Banks and Real Estate, 377 F.3d 698, 707 (7th Cir. 2004), aff'g. 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16033 (N.D. Ill. 2002) (J. Anderson)
Jury awarded an employee in a race discrimination case $150,000 in compensatory damages after he was discriminated against because of his race, denied a promotion and retaliated against by his employer.

Nyman v. FDIC, 967 F.Supp. 1562, 1570-73 (D.D.C. 1997)
Court remitted a $350,000 compensatory damages award to $175,000.

O'Rourke v. City of Providence, 235 F.3d 713, 733-34 (1st Cir. 2001).
Jury awarded sexual harassment victim $250,000 for emotional distress as she became a nervous wreck, had trouble sleeping, gained weight, suffered headaches, did not want to leave her house and shook uncontrollably as a result of the harassment.

Peyton v. DiMario, 287 F.3d 1121 (D.C. Cir. 2002)
Jury awarded Title VII Plaintiff $482,000 in compensatory and emotional distress damages as result of being harassed, threatened, intimidated, physically assaulted, and ultimately fired in retaliation for exercising her rights.

Spina v. Forest Preserve District of Cook County, 207 F. Supp. 2d 764 (N.D. Ill. 2002)(M.J. Keys)
Jury awarded sexual harassment and retaliation victim $3 million for emotional distress and damage to reputation.

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