Types of Damages
1. Compensatory Damages
Compensatory damages refer to damages that are recovered in payment for injury or economic loss.
2. Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are damages that are added due to malicious or grossly negligent action. Punitive damages may be awarded in a lawsuit as a punishment and example to others for malicious, evil or particularly fraudulent acts.
In a disparate treatment case, the statute (Title VII) allows the following remedies (as applicable): injunctive relief*, reinstatement, front pay (until or in lieu of reinstatement), back pay, attorney’s fees and costs, compensatory damages for any past or future out-of-pocket losses and any emotional harm, and punitive damages if the employer acted with malice or with reckless indifference to the individual’s federally protected rights. Punitive damages are unavailable against a federal, state, or local government employer.
The law places caps on the sum of compensatory and punitive damages for which an employer may be liable. The caps are based on the size of the employer’s workforce:
Employers with 15 - 100 employees: up to $50,000
Employers with 101 - 200 employees: up to $100,000
Employers with 201 - 500 employees: up to $200,000
Employers with 501 or more employees: up to $300,000
The caps apply to the sum of: punitive damages, and compensatory damages for emotional harm and future pecuniary losses (financial losses). The caps do not apply to back pay and interest on back pay, front pay, or past pecuniary losses.
Section 1981A(a)(1) and 706(g) of Title VII.5 allow for compensatory and punitive damages to be recovered.
* Injunctive relief refers to a court-ordered act or prohibition against an act or condition which has been requested, and sometimes granted, in a petition to the court for an injunction. Injunctive relief is not a judgment for money. It is sometimes part of a lawsuit for damages and/or contract performance. (Source: www.law.com)