What Types of Damages Can I Receive if I Win My Employment Discrimination Lawsuit in Ohio?

December 26, 2020
By Peter Friedmann

A worker who files an employment discrimination lawsuit in Ohio has the right to request several types of damages and other types of relief, depending on the type of claims filed.

Since the overwhelming majority of employment discrimination lawsuits are brought under federal laws, we will focus on those cases but please know that Ohio laws have different damages and remedies. Do not hesitate to contact The Friedmann Firm online or to call our Columbus offices at (614) 610-9755 if you have questions about your rights under specific state or local employment laws.

Our attorneys are available to advise and represent workers all across Ohio. The free consultation can also include a discussion of how to file an employment discrimination lawsuit.

Federal Laws That Protect Employees From Discrimination

Laws that prohibit discriminating against workers who apply for or already hold jobs include but are not limited to:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans discrimination based on a worker’s race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or national origin;
  • The American with Disabilities Act;
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which bans discrimination against job seekers and employers who are older than 40;
  • Title IX, which bans sex discrimination at educational institutions that receive federal funds; and
  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act;
  • The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Economic Damages Available to Employment Discrimination Victims

The plaintiff in a federal lawsuit over employment discrimination may have the right to claim compensatory damages, punitive damages, and/or liquidated damages. The type of damages vary depending on the type of claim but this is a general overview of the types of damages that may be available.  Attorneys’ fees and costs can also be included in a negotiated settlement or awarded by the Court if the plaintiff prevails at trial.

Compensatory, or actual, damages reflect direct financial harms that a person suffers because they were subjected to discrimination. They can include back pay, lost earnings, interest on back pay and lost earnings, and compensation for emotional distress.

Punitive damages are noncriminal penalties paid for violating the worker’s rights under the applicable federal law.  Punitive damages are awarded in only the most egregious cases typically.

Be aware that the total of compensatory and punitive damages may be capped, meaning there is a maximum that a jury or Court can award. An experienced and knowledgeable Ohio employment discrimination attorney will be able to advise their client on the size of a possible financial recovery.

Nonfinancial Remedies for Victims of Employment Discrimination

A worker who files an employment discrimination lawsuit in Ohio can request injunctive relief and, if they have been demoted or fired, reinstatement.

In the context of an employment discrimination can, an injunction is a court order for the employer to change its policies or practices so other workers do not suffer discrimination. In addition to changing how it treats job applicants and employees, an employer may need to confirm to the court that it is complying with the order.

A request for reinstatement is made completely at the discretion of the worker who filed the employment discrimination lawsuit. The request typically involves a demand to be returned to their former position with all previous pay, benefits, and seniority.