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Compensatory Damages

    Compensation for pain and suffering caused by discrimination is called "compensatory
    damages."  Examples are: loss of enjoyment of life, deterioration of health (both physical and
    mental), loss of social standing, damage to reputation, etc.  The following are not compensatory
    damages: lost wages, lost promotion and higher wages along with it, or loss of career
    advancement potential.  These are pecuniary damages apart form the compensatory damages.

    Compensatory remedies are difficult to obtain and they are awarded after discrimination is
    proven.  Administrative judges may bifurcate (or divide) the hearing to only examine the damages
    on a case.   

    Compensatory damages are difficult to obtain because most damages (non physical ones) are
    hard to prove, such as depression or worsening of your mental conditions.  You need medical
    records to prove deterioration or diagnosis and the proof showing that the damages were
    caused by discrimination, not by your family life or other non-work related stress in life.

    Under the EEOC-enforced laws, the remedies for unlawful discrimination include:

  • An order to eliminate discriminatory practices.
  • Hiring, wage adjustments, promotion or reinstatement, monetary remedies -- depending
    on the nature of the action taken against the individual.

    Monetary remedies available under the laws enforced by the EEOC are as follows:

  • Lost wages and prejudgment interest (all statutes).
  • Liquidated/double damages (Title VII and ADA cases involving intentional discrimination).
    (See below for definition of liquidated damages.)
  • Punitive damages (Title VII and ADA cases in which the employer acts with reckless
    disregard of the federally protected rights of the individual).
  • The sum of punitive damages and future compensatory damages may not exceed the
    following amounts, per person:
  • $50,000 for employers with 15-100 employees.
  • $100,000 for employers with 101-200 employees.
  • $200,000 for employers with 201-500 employees.
  • $300,000 for employers with more than 500 employees.

    Compensatory damages are paid to compensate the claimant for loss, injury, or harm suffered
    by another's breach of duty.

    Compensatory and Punitive Damages are available under Section 102 of the Civil Rights Act of
    1991.  EEOC Notice No. 915.002 at 11-12, 14 (July 14, 1992)

    General compensatory damages compensates the claimant for the non-monetary aspects of the
    specific harm suffered.  This is usually termed 'pain, suffering, and loss of amenity.'  Examples of
    this include physical or emotional pain and suffering, loss of reputation, loss of mental capacity,
    loss of enjoyment of life, etc.

    Liquidated damages: A contractually agreed upon amount to be paid in the event of a breach of
    the contract, in lieu of performance or quantification of actual damages sustained. (Webster's
    New World Law Dictionary)

    Federal or state courts may be able to order greater amount of compensatory or punitive
    damages than the amount allowed under laws enforced by EEOC.

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