The below information has been primarily extracted from the EEOC Website. As an employer involved in an employment discrimination case and seeking to defend against wrongful termination, you should seek legal advice for a local employer defense lawyer. You should understand the types of employment discrimination damages that your company can be exposed to.
Types of Employment Discrimination Damages in Colorado
If an employer is found liable for discrimination in the workplace, employment law serves to put the victim of discrimination in the same place (or nearly the same) that he or she would have been if the discrimination had never occurred. Whether there is a wrongful termination, gender discrimination or some other means of discriminatory action, employers can face serious consequences.
The types of employment discrimination damages available will depend on the discriminatory action and the effect it has on the victim. If employers choose not to promote and hire someone new for a position as a result of employer discrimination, a court may award damages to include placement on the job and back pay and benefits the person would have received.
The company also will be required to stop any discriminatory practices and take steps to prevent discrimination in the future. Another type of discrimination damage that may be imposed on you as an employer may include attorney’s fees, expert witness fees, and court costs.
Compensatory & Punitive Damages
Compensatory and punitive damages in Colorado for employment discrimination may be awarded in cases involving intentional discrimination based on a person’s race, color, national origin discrimination, sex (including pregnancy), religion, disability, or genetic information.
These types of workplace discrimination damages pay victims for out-of-pocket expenses caused by the discrimination (such as costs associated with a job search or medical expenses) and compensate them for any emotional harm suffered (such as mental anguish, inconvenience, or loss of enjoyment of life).
Punitive damages in Colorado for employment discrimination case may be awarded to punish an employer who has committed an especially malicious or reckless act of discrimination.
Limits On Compensatory & Punitive Damages: As an employer, there are limits on the amount of compensatory and punitive damages in employment discrimination a person can recover in a job discrimination case. These limits vary depending on the size of the employer:
- For companies with 15-100 employees, the limit is $50,000.
- For employers with 101-200 employees, the limit is $100,000.
- For employers with 201-500 employees, the limit is $200,000.
- For companies with more than 500 employees, the limit is $300,000.
Equal Pay Act Damages: In cases involving intentional age discrimination, or in cases involving intentional sex-based wage discrimination under the Equal Pay Act, victims cannot recover either compensatory or punitive damages, but may be entitled to “liquidated damages.”
Liquidated damages for this type of discrimination may be awarded to punish an especially malicious or reckless act of discrimination in Colorado. The amount of liquidated Equal Pay Act damages that may be awarded is equal to the quantity of back pay awarded the victim.
For more advice on the types of employment discrimination and damages allowed, or for help with a pending case, you should seek legal help from a Colorado employment law and employer defense attorney.
How to Minimize Employment Discrimination Damages
As an employer, the first step to minimizing the various types of employment discrimination damages that you are found liable for is to ensure that you have sound policies in place and to make sure that each employee has signed off on them.
Next, make sure that your employment discrimination policies are posted in the workplace. This way, a court can see that you have done everything reasonable to make the employee aware of his or her rights.
Lastly, make sure that you train your supervisors on employment discrimination policies and laws. In states such as Colorado, damages that can be imposed can be staggering.
If your supervisors do not adequately react to allegations or complaints, you can be liable for thousands or millions in employment discrimination damages. Always seek help from experienced employment lawyers and discrimination defense attorneys to make sure that your rights are protected when seeking to defend against wrongful termination
Call a Colorado employer defense attorney to prevent a costly lawsuit. Call 1-866-601-5518 for a free initial consultation.