What type of damages can be recovered for a sexual harassment lawsuit?

By Douglas Lipsky

It is going to depend on where you file and what claims you allege. So it is important that you reach out and talk to an employment lawyer here at Lipsky Lowe before you make that decision. But generally speaking, damages in this area are going to be categorized as things like back pay and front pay. What back pay would be is if you were terminated from your job for an unlawful reason the measure of that damage would be from the time you were terminated up until the time you found another job. If your case progressed and you were unable to find another job then front pay damages may come into play. So if your case were to go to trial and you were fortunate enough to be awarded a verdict by a jury, the jury might also award front pay. What front pay does is it says OK this individual hasn’t been able to find another job yet. And we think it might take another year for her to do so or him to do so. So we are going to reward him a year of front pay. That would basically allow you to have some damages to cover that period of time where you are still out there looking for a job. With that said you always have a duty to mitigate your damages which means you can’t just sit back and say Hey I’m going to collect front pay, you have to go out and look for a new job. Other damages that you can recover are things like emotional distress, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees.

About the Author
Douglas Lipsky is a co-founding partner of Lipsky Lowe LLP. He has extensive experience in all areas of employment law, including discrimination, sexual harassment, hostile work environment, retaliation, wrongful discharge, breach of contract, unpaid overtime, and unpaid tips. He also represents clients in complex wage and hour claims, including collective actions under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and class actions under the laws of many different states. If you have questions about this article, contact Douglas today.