Friday, July 15, 2011

Damages Recoverable under the ADA

The damages under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are the same as those available under Title VII. The recoverable damages are as follows:

Back Pay. This consists of wages, salary and fringe benefits an employee would have earned during the period of discrimination from the date of termination (or failure to promote), to the date of trial.

Compensatory Damages. These are future losses, emotional distress, pain & suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish & loss of enjoyment of life. It is important to note that the law places caps on compensatory damages according to the size of the employer. The limits on damages are as follows:

Up to 100 employees: $50,000
101-200 employees: $100,000
201-500 employees: $200,000
500+ employees: $300,000

Attorney’s Fees. If the employee wins, he/she may be awarded the fees the attorney generated in handling the claim.

Punitive Damages. Those meant to punish the employer for the adverse actions. They are limited to cases where the “employer has engaged in intentional discrimination and has done so with malice or reckless indifference to the federally protected rights of an aggrieved individual.” Kolstad v. American Dental Association, 119 S.Ct. 2118 (1999). These damages are also capped according to the size of the employer and are the same as those listed above:

Up to 100 employees: $50,000;
101-200 employees: $100,000;
201-500 employees: $200,000;
500+ employees: $300,000

Front Pay. This is designed to restore victims to their “rightful place”. It compensates the victim for anticipated future losses due to discrimination.

Injunctive Relief. Available when there is an intentional discriminatory employment practice. For instance, an employee can be reinstated and an employer can be ordered to prevent future discrimination. Share this post :
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