If an employer has terminated an employee due to protected activities, it may be able to recover both compensatory and punitive damages. In most cases, these damages are not available under the EPA or ADEA but can be recovered in Title VII. Liquidated damages are also available in cases where the employer is found to have acted “willfully” in violating the employee’s rights. Furthermore, state human rights laws and workers’ compensation laws allow for unlimited awards of punitive damages.
In some states, an employer can be sued for discrimination in a lawsuit against the employee fired in retaliation for protected activity. A judge can award civil penalties of up to $10,000 for violations of the Equal Pay Act. Under Labor Code section 1171, retaliation against employees who participate in a national service program is prohibited. This law applies in most cases, but not all.
Usually, an employer may be sued for discrimination if they retaliate against employees who complain about unlawful behavior. A plaintiff must first notify the EEOC of the retaliation within a few weeks after the alleged retaliation. The EEOC will investigate the allegation and determine if it qualifies as discrimination. If it does, the lawsuit will proceed against the employer.
The plaintiff in one case obtained $545,000 in a disability discrimination suit, as well as failure to provide medical leave and accommodations for hospitalization. The employee, a 60-year-old woman, was denied the right to seek psychiatric treatment at work. Her employer then initiated disciplinary action after she asked for time off to care for her terminally ill father. She was fired on the day before her scheduled medical leave. Another case involved a male field worker who filed a discrimination lawsuit against his employer after he protested sexual harassment by his co-workers. He was reinstated and was awarded financial damages as well.
If you’ve been fired for making an illegal claim or reporting a safety violation, you might be entitled to compensation under whistleblower laws. Federal and state laws prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who report safety violations or environmental violations. Some of these laws also protect employees from financial misappropriation. But you might still be concerned about whether or not you are covered by these laws.
In New York, whistleblower protection laws do not cover every situation – only those that pose a serious threat to public health and safety. Depending on the specifics of your case, federal and state whistleblower laws may provide more protection. If you think you’ve been fired unfairly, make sure you contact your local and state agencies and seek out more information.
There are specific conditions that will trigger your case. If you’re fired for making an anonymous complaint about corporate fraud, you’ll likely be covered under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. In New Jersey, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act also protects employees who report illegal activity. Both states have strict penalties for employers who retaliate against whistleblowers.
Damages available in retaliation lawsuits
The amount of damages that an employee can recover for being fired for retaliation depends on the legal claim that the employee has. The damages can include lost wages, benefits, and even medical expenses. If the company has been negligent in the firing of an employee, the company may have to pay treble damages. In some cases, the company can pay twice as much as the compensation that would have been available to the employee had they been hired instead of fired.
Under federal laws, retaliation against employees is illegal. While this may seem difficult to achieve, it is still possible to recover damages for the wrongful termination of an employee. While the law does not recognize the use of illegal methods to punish or degrade employees, many states also prohibit retaliation. In such cases, the employee must file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and prove that his or her employer fired him or her because of his or her protected activities.
Economic damages are not calculated until after the employee takes up a new job. The worker must prove that the additional wages would have been earned without the termination. If the employer can do this, the employee cannot recover damages for lost wages. A new job must be found to compensate for the loss of wages. If the employee has two jobs, then the new job does not count as a second job.