If you feel that your employer has discriminated against you on the basis of your race, you have strong grounds to file a lawsuit against the company for which you will receive adequate damages.
Despite the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which protected employees from any kind of workplace harassment and discrimination, some employers still base their judgments at work depending on their employees’ race, complexion and other ethnic prejudices.
Defining Racial Discrimination
When an employee is treated differently and unfavorably due to his ethnicity, it is termed as racial discrimination. This practice is illegal, just as harassment is. Harassment can be done by the employer and co-workers by being abusive to the employee, making snide remarks or showing them dirty pictures concerning the latter’s race.
When the workplace becomes hostile to the employee concerned, it is deemed to be harassment and the employee concerned is entitled to file a suit against them.
Damages A Victim Of Racial Discrimination Case Can Sue For
You can file a lawsuit and get damages for it if the courts see that you have a strong case against your employer for racial discrimination. By way of damages, the employee can get monetary compensation from his employer for disregarding the law.
These are the kinds of compensatory damages a victim of racial discrimination at work can stand to get:
- Back Pay: This refers to the amount of money an employee loses due to discrimination. For instance, if his services are terminated wrongfully or he doesn’t get the promotion he should have got only due to his race, the courts will ensure that you are compensated for it. It is calculated from the day you first experienced discrimination to your days in court.
- Front Pay: Though not the best way to resolve a case of racial discrimination, yet when it becomes impossible to reinstate the individual, he or she is awarded front pay. This is usually a fixed amount of money which the employee receives until he gets another job.
- Lost Benefits: When an employee is fired or discriminated against for his or her ethnicity, the victim could lose out on health care, or retirement plans or any other plans that were included in their terms and conditions when joining the organization. This amount can be actually calculated and reinstated to the employee who suffers discrimination.
- Emotional Distress: To be discriminated against solely because of one’s ethnicity can cause an individual a lot of emotional distress, primarily because he or she doesn’t know how to deal with it. Once the victim proves that this form of discrimination did, in fact, cause him or her emotional distress, then the courts can grant more damages.
- Attorney’s Fees: Attorney’s fees are expensive, and since courts know this, the courts ensure that the victim gets an extra compensation in order to pay his attorneys at the end of the trial.
- Punitive Damages: If the courts accept that the employer acted out of malice and intentionally disobeyed the law, they may levy a fine on the employer. Federal courts can penalize an employer to a maximum of $50,000 to an employee if the organization has a strength of 15-100 employees; $100,000 if there are 101-200 employees in the organization; and $200,000 if an organization has between 201 and 500 employees. For higher figures, the courts are empowered to penalize employers up to $300,000.
Should you ever be in a situation of being discriminated against, you can use this information to leverage for a better settlement amount.