So you were terminated or denied a promotion and you have good reason to believe it was due to discrimination. I get a lot of these calls. Your next move should be to create a comprehensive list of all the evidence that supports your case. It should include witness names, photographs, emails, and documents.
In the song “Remedy,” the Black Crowes asked, “Can I have some remedy?” In the employment discrimination context, what’s your legal remedy? Believe it or not, more than one may apply to your particular situation.
Always start with the remedy known as “back pay.” It’s available under federal and state anti-discrimination laws. You’ll have to determine how much money you lost as a result of your termination, suspension, etc. You can include lost fringe benefits too (vacation time, pension and retirement benefits, etc.).
Generally, back pay is awarded from the adverse action date until the harm you suffered is redressed. Back pay is designed to return you to the economic status that you would have enjoyed but for your employer’s unlawful conduct. Consideration should be given to unemployment benefits you received during the back pay period as well as the potential impact that receipt of back pay will have on your taxes.
Never forget your on-going duty to mitigate damages. This means you can’t sit back and wait for your case to end without ever looking for a new job. Failure to mitigate = no back pay.
Often times, back pay alone is inadequate to make you whole. The next remedy to explore is “front pay.”