If you believe you are being discriminated against in the workplace, you might be able to file an action in order to stop or remedy the situation. This could involve various steps and investigations to be conducted in order to uncover evidence proving the claim, but if it is determined that you were the victim of employment discrimination then you could be afforded legal remedies for damages suffered.

But what remedies are available for employment discrimination? If it is determined that discrimination in the workplace occurred, the goal of legal remedies is to put you in the same position you would have been in had the acts of discrimination never happened. How this will be accomplished greatly depends on the situation and the effect the discrimination had on you. Remedies could include damages that are compensatory or punitive in nature. The latter are often awarded in cases involving intentional discrimination that is based on certain characteristics such as an individual’s race, color, national origin, sex, religion, or disability.

Compensatory damages pay your out-of-pocket expenses the discrimination caused. This could include medical expenses, money used to help search for a job, or other types of damages. Emotional harm may also be compensable, including damage from mental anguish or the loss of enjoyment of life.

Punitive damages might also be awarded in an employment discrimination case. These are meant to punish an employer or the person who committed the act of discrimination. Such damages are used especially in cases of malicious or reckless acts of discrimination.

Suffering discrimination, harassment or mistreatment in the workplace can be a very emotionally and devastating experience. You should make sure you understand your legal options and how best to act on them so that you can be made whole again, if possible.

Source: EEOC, “Remedies For Employment Discrimination,” accessed Apr. 13, 2015