When facing a workplace claim or lawsuit from a current or former employee, it is useful for employers to know the types of damages they may be expected to pay in common employment law cases. Generally speaking, whether an employee has filed a wage and hour violation claim, an employment discrimination case, a retaliation case, or a wrongful termination lawsuit, the purpose of the remedy is to put that employee in the same position that she or he would have been in but for the violation (although punitive damages are also often available). When an employee wins a claim against you, you may be responsible for paying damages or instituting other non-monetary remedies. Our Dallas employment law attorneys can provide you with basic information about the kinds of damages you might anticipate in the event an employment law case is not decided in your favor.
Back Pay and Front Pay
Whether an employee brings a claim under state or federal law, back pay and front pay are the most common damages that an employer can expect to pay if the employee wins the claim. According to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), back pay is designed to compensate an employee for any wages lost as a result of wrongful termination, wage and hour law violations, retaliation, or any other action taken by the employer that prevented the employee from earning wages. Front pay is an equitable remedy that at its most simple and basic form is meant to compensate an employee for what the employee could have earned over his/her working life had the employee not been terminated.
Loss of Benefits
In some cases, an employer may be required to compensate an employee for lost benefits, or for the value of lost benefits.
Punitive damages are intended to punish an employer for particularly egregious behavior and to deter such behavior in the future. The amount of a punitive damages award can vary greatly depending upon the facts of the case, and in some situations can be extremely high. It is critical to work with an employment law attorney on your defense to show that punitive damages are not appropriate even if the court finds in favor of the employee. Furthermore, some employment law statutes have caps on the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded.
Attorney’s Fees, Expert Witness Fees, and Court Costs
Employers can be required to pay the employee’s attorney’s fees in an employment law case. Beyond attorney’s fees, some cases can also involve expert witnesses. If the employee wins the case, the employer can be required to pay expert witness fees. When an employee wins an employment law claim, the employer is also typically responsible for paying other court costs.
Reinstatement, Promotion, and Other Remedies
In addition to monetary damages, employers can also be responsible for other types of remedies. For example, those remedies may include reinstatement or promotion.
Contact a Texas Employment Law Attorney
If you are facing an employment law dispute, or if you have questions or concerns about common damages in employment law cases, one of our experienced Dallas employment law attorneys can speak with you today. Contact Simon Paschal PLLC for more information.