Workforce.com

What Happens When Discrimination Is Found

March 25, 1999
What remedies will be enforced if the EEOC finds that there was discrimination by an employer?

The "relief" or remedies available for employment discrimination, whether caused by intentional acts or by practices that have a discriminatory effect, may include back pay,

hiring, promotion, reinstatement, front pay, reasonable accommodation, or other actions that will make an individual "whole" (in the condition s/he would have been but for the discrimination).

Remedies also may include payment of attorneys' fees, expert witness fees, and court costs.

Under most EEOC-enforced laws, compensatory and punitive damages also may be available where intentional discrimination is found. Damages may be available to compensate for actual monetary losses, for future monetary losses, and for mental anguish and inconvenience. Punitive damages also may be available if an employer acted with malice or reckless indifference. Punitive damages are not available against state or local governments.

In cases concerning reasonable accommodation under the ADA, compensatory or punitive damages may not be awarded to the charging party if an employer can demonstrate that "good faith" efforts were made to provide reasonable accommodation.

An employer may be required to post notices to all employees addressing the violations of a specific charge and advising them of their rights under the laws EEOC enforces and their right to be free from retaliation. Such notices must be accessible, as needed, to persons with visual or other disabilities that affect reading.

The employer also may be required to take corrective or preventive actions to cure the source of the identified discrimination and minimize the chance of its recurrence, as well as discontinue the specific discriminatory practices involved in the case.

For more information, go to the EEOC Web address below.

Source: U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, December 22, 1998.