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Can I pursue damages if I was fired due to discrimination?

If you lose your job due to a disability, you may feel angry, sad and frustrated. Likewise, employers do not want to do wrong by their employees and wrongfully terminate one. If an employee suffers wrongful termination due to discrimination, they may be able to seek compensation for lost pay, emotional distress or even punitive damages.

Lost pay

Lost pay damages provide compensation for the income and benefits the worker would have received but for the discrimination. This includes not just lost income from being fired, but also lost income from a denied promotion and difference in pay compared to other similarly situated workers. It also includes lost pay due to hiring discrimination.

Emotional distress damages

Federal law allows workers to pursue compensation for the emotional pain and suffering caused by the discrimination. This can include compensation related to depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, loss of enjoyment of life and mental anguish. The employee must be able to prove the discrimination caused their emotional harm to recover emotional distress damages.

Punitive damages

Punitive damages are meant to punish employers who engage in especially egregious acts of discrimination. This means the employer acted with malice or reckless indifference to the worker’s rights under federal law. Under Title VII and the ADA, punitive damages for employment discrimination are capped at $300,000 except for race discrimination under which there is no cap.

Pursuing damages for wrongful termination

Employment discrimination is unlawful. If you are fired in a discriminatory manner, you may want more than just your job back. You may want to seek compensatory or even punitive damages as well. By knowing your rights, you can pursue the types of damages that are in your best interests.